Cal Poly fraternity member’s blackface makeup sparks controversy

April 9, 2018

A Cal Poly fraternity is under university investigation and faced with community outrage after one of its members appeared in blackface at a brotherhood event over the weekend. A photo of the individual was later circulated online. [Cal Coast Times]

On Saturday, the Cal Poly chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha held a brotherhood event at its fraternity house. Following the event, the photo circulated on Facebook showing Lambda Chi Alpha member and agricultural business senior, Kyler Watkins, in blackface.

“This event was a competition between teams in which each team was represented by a different color (i.e. Red, Blue, Green, Black, Yellow),” the fraternity said in a statement.

“Similar to high school spirit rallies and collegiate student sections, members dressed up in support of their specific team. We are extremely sorry and embarrassed for failing to recognize the racial impacts this brought forth.”

Cal Poly spokesman Matt Lazier released a statement saying the university finds the incident deplorable and has launched an investigation.

“The university finds deplorable any acts that would seek to hurt, offend, intimidate or frighten any member of our campus community. The university is aware of the posting and is investigating the matter at this time,” Lazier said in the statement.

Lambda Chi Alpha’s brotherhood event occurred in the middle of Cal Poly’s Poly Cultural Weekend, which prompted additional criticism from community members about the blackface incident.







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Sam O

Good job Lambda Chi Alpha, you created more PR headache for Poly. They should know by now the media will take any opportunity they can to affirm their ideology. Next thing you know Cal Poly is raising tuition ten grand to make it cheaper or free for non-white people.

Niles Q

It can truly be said that America has lost its sense of humor. I doubt these frat boys meant any harm or that they were being racist. I would hope being college students, they are smart enough not to have a racist tinged party and then blog about it.
Makes me wonder how serious this generation really is about race relations, and social justice.
“Yeah, yeah, social justice, just not while we’re partying, OK…”

copperhead

Hey calpoly, what is the percentage of African American students on your campus? How about non athlete African American students?

Russ J

Some may jump to conclude this was racist behavior but it is most likely a fraternity member being a douchebag. School fraternities attract narcissistic idiots that learn the social skills of intimidation and domination. That’s why societies leaders are filled with corrupt and unscrupulous individuals. Look no further than Sacramento, Washington DC or pharmaceutical companies.

The Identarian

Oh boo hoo hoo.

rukidding

Turning the clock back about 65 years we sure did have fun playing Cowboys and Indians. It was usually a flip of the coin
to see if we could be the Indians. Why? So that we could paint our faces red with war colors. Nobody got upset because it was fun. Everbody is way too sensitive and just looking for something to protest about. Get over it.

copperhead

Not only can’t you play Indians, you can’t even say Indians. A society full of hypersensitive losers moving the bar everyday closer to outlawing speech. Who in the world is so mentally weak that behaviors of other people to which they do not even know the intent, affect their emotions?

SLOpoker

I’m shocked. College students still using Facebook.

DocT

Back in the olden days, we used to think of Freedom of Speech as being the freedom to say things that might be offensive. Street corner preachers, punk rockers and the Communist Party of America….even the Nazi’s….were allowed to rent public space, put on seminars, concerts and basically just say stuff. Much of it offended someone, somewhere.

That’s what is meant by “Free Speech,” the freedom to say something controversial, or offensive or critical of someone wearing a government uniform, or the government itself. We rightly understood that if we were to take away their freedom of speech, it was only short step to losing our own freedom. “I hate what you are saying, but will defend to the death your right to say it,” was the bumper sticker version of what I’m trying to say.

But today? We all know instictually that there are two sets of laws in America: 1. The Constitution which protects Free Speech and……2. The vague and often unwritten rules of PC speech at play on university campuses and in the media.

Painting your skin red or black, or dying your hair grey is free speech. Just because some elderly person might get offended that you dye your hair grey doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to do so.
We are struck by madness. We’re destroying ourselves.

When a government infringes on freedom of speech, it necessarily follows that such a government will abuse their subjects based on what they see, think or write.

Is that what we want? I don’t think so.

MrYan

DocT you seem to be a bit confused.
You have the “right to speak freely” in the United States. But you can’t really say speech is “free”.
Sometimes you have to pay a price for what you say or do.
Kyler will find out the hard way that this is true.
It won’t be the government making him pay either–just potential employers —who at the very least will think twice about hiring someone who has shown such poor judgement (by being a douche–he doesn’t need to be a racist).
But you’re welcome to make Al Jolsen Jr. your poster boy for the “Oppresed Free Speech” movement by cheering him on and rationalizing his poor decision. Burning flags is free speech too. Would you cheer him on then?

CentralCoaster

This quote may be appropriate in this case:
“If you see everything through the lens of race, you might be a racist”.