AirTalk for April 29, 2013

Asian-American fraternity under fire for blackface video

uci ltd

Screenshot via YouTube

Members of Lambda Theta Delta (LTD), an Asian-American fraternity at UC Irvine, created a music video inspired by the Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z collaboration, "Suit and Tie," that shows one of the men in blackface.

The University of California, Irvine, is looking into a video produced by the Asian-American fraternity Lambda Theta Delta that features one of its performers in blackface. The video shows three members of the fraternity dancing to the Justin Timberlake song “Suit & Tie.” A minute into the video, they are joined by a fourth member in blackface pretending to be the hip-hop star Jay Z.

The video went viral last week and sparked outrage on campus. Lambda Theta Delta has since issued an apology on Facebook. "This behavior is simply unacceptable and the individuals responsible for the video have already been reprimanded within the organization prior to the public outcry to which this formal apology is responding," the statement read. But some in the university community are calling for more than just reprimands.

Thomas Parham, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at UCI, has said that if school policy is found to have been violated, the fraternity or its members could face more severe sanctions. What should the punishment be?

Guest:

Sarah Menendez, opinion editor of the New University, UC Irvine's official newspaper, who’s been covering the story for the paper.


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