Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Maybe Wearing It is Better Than Smoking It
When I was a college student, I enjoyed membership in a national fraternity. We did all those crazy things one would expect of immature, away-from-home 19-year olds, just like they do today, with one major exception – we studied.
In any event, our world has changed, and few people not appearing on TV or in the movies believe it is for the better. Nevertheless, every time ridiculous actions are taken in the name of freedom and equality, I get sick to my stomach.
The latest idiocy emanates from California (you could have knocked me over with a feather). It seems a group of loonies has now accused the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity at the University of California Irvine of racism because the members hosted a charity fundraiser billed as a FIJI Islander Party, complete with students dressed in grass skirts and coconut bras. Since the 19th century, Phi Gamma Delta has referred to itself as FIJI (for “Phi-G”). The incident has resulted in mandatory campus-wide discussions on offensive behavior among Greek organizations.
“The administration and student affairs is using it as an opportunity to show to fraternities what cultural appropriation is and how they might be more sensitive . . .”
The entire incident began when a student of Fijian descent, claimed the charity fundraiser harmed “marginalized” people in favor of “white male hegemonic structures.” The Asian Pacific Student Association stated the fraternity was “tacitly committing an act of cultural appropriation and publicly projecting their ethnographic ignorance.”
I don’t know what that means, but there is sure a great deal of ignorance present when Americans are compelled more and more every day to silence their voices and curb their actions. I remember when President Lyndon Johnson tried that during his escalation of the Vietnam War. Of course, it did not work. His Great Society appears to have flopped, unless you prefer to walk the streets of America like a scared rabbit, in silence, afraid to say anything because some fragment of society is waiting in the wings to pounce on you for being racist.
Come to think of it, I think I will sue my Alma Mater. I spent four years at that school as a member of one of its fraternal organizations and I am not Greek. That’s all they offered at the time. I have been retroactively culturally misappropriated and marginalized because of the school’s ethnographic ignorance.
. . .