A fraternity at Arizona State University has been suspended after throwing a Martin Luther King Jr. Day party, which called for attendees to wear basketball jerseys, flash gang signs, and drink out of watermelons. Yes, really.
You'll be entirely surprised to learn that the folks at the party were white and that photos of their themed soirée ended up on Instagram. Also a complete shock is the fact that the frat in question, TKE, was only reinstated in December after a suspension for inappropriate behavior, including a fight that resulted in at least one injured ASU student.
A representative for Arizona State University said school officials have suspended Tau Kappa Epsilon's chapter operations while they investigate an unregistered Greek event that has many on campus offended.
Pictures from the event, coined "MLK Black Party" by the group, show members and guests dressed in basketball jerseys, flashing gang signs and even drinking from watermelon cups.
"This isn't appropriate at all and you really have no business dressing like this on a day that's sort of revered for African-Americans," said ASU senior Frank Hogan after seeing some of the pictures.
Somehow, the only thing actually astonishing about a story involving a fraternity being suspended for throwing a racist theme party is that the reports have not indicated that there was anyone wearing blackface. [FOX5, h/t Jezebel]
Arizona State University Media Relations Officer Julie Newberg reached out with a statement about the ordeal.
Tau Kappa Epsilon has been on disciplinary probation with the university since 2012. The party TKE held last weekend was not held on campus and was not a sanctioned university event. Because of the latest incident, ASU has suspended chapter operations, can and will take additional action against the individuals involved, and is meeting with the national TKE organization today to take further action against the chapter. ASU has one of the most diverse student bodies of any major university in the country, and it is unfortunate that a few misguided individuals held an offensive party at a time when ASU, the state and the nation are celebrating Dr. King’s achievements and legacy. Senior Vice President for Educational Outreach and Student Services James Rund has already spoken to two community leaders, Rev. Oscar Tillman, and Rev. Jarrett Maupin, about the university's response to this incident. The university will not tolerate this kind of behavior.