Kanye West is a famous musician whose work is enjoyed by many, but that doesn't necessarily license mostly-white fraternities to throw Kanye West-themed parties. There are many ways such an idea could go really poorly, and one of those, of course, is white students appropriating black stereotypes in culturally insensitive ways.
Lo and behold, this appears to have happened at UCLA on Tuesday night, where the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity teamed up with the Alpha Phi sorority to throw a "Kanye Western"-themed party. The Daily Bruin reports "several student groups" are now asking the university to respond to what they perceived as insensitive behavior, including some attendees showing up with their "foreheads covered in charcoal" and others in "baggy clothes, plumped lips and padded bottoms." Via The Daily Bruin:
Fourth-year political science student Jaimeson Cortez, who has seen multiple photos and tweets from the party, said he expected the fraternity to be conscious of existing issues with campus climate and refrain from dressing up in ways he said culturally appropriated a subset of the UCLA community.
“As someone who’s been in a UCLA fraternity, I had hoped that Greek life had more awareness than to host an event where black culture was the theme,” Cortez said.
“The issue isn’t simply about putting on blackface,” Alicia Frison, a student, told the Times. “It is also about the entire mockery of Black culture."
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.