You Can Party Without Appropriating A Culture
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

You Can Party Without Appropriating A Culture

Mexicans are more than stereotypes: piñatas, tequila, "Despacito."

2240
You Can Party Without Appropriating A Culture
Hannah Denham

Greek life in the college social atmosphere was built on racism, formed by white men in resistance to integration of American colleges. The Sigma Nu chapter at Washington and Lee University apparently hasn't overcome this history. On Monday, September 4, an email invitation for the annual "Sigma Nuevo" party was sent out to W&L students, announcing the fraternity's first party of the 2017-18 academic year.

"Amigas and Amigos,

Tonight, mariachi your way over the border to --- for Sigma Nuevo. DJ --- will be making an appearance. The wall comes down at 9:30pm, and the piñata goes up around 11pm.

La fiesta is at ---. Age appropriate beverages will be provided by Señor Cuervo himself. Word on the street is, he loves limes.

There will be rides from the quad, but walking isn't that bad either. I've attached a map for the directionally challenged.

From --- and the --- hombres

“What doesn’t tequila, makes you stronger.” – Sean Spicer

“Remember, salt first…” – Chill ---

“Mr. Gringo, tear down this wall.” – Ronaldo Reagan"

Walking into the part in light of the invitation felt like a remake of Dear White People. It was held in a historical Lexington home that served as a safe haven for African Americans who visited the area during segregation -- a slap in the face, enough. People squeezed in on the porch under the hanging piñatas, wearing sombreros. Banners and flags of Mexican alcohol hung inside, where there were many more sombreros and piñatas.

You can't base a party theme on an entire culture, especially one that has been historically and currently marginalized and exploited. Mexicans are more than stereotypes: piñatas, tequila, "Despacito."

On the night before Trump's decision regarding DACA, the program that provides temporary protection and work visas for undocumented immigrants, jokes about the wall just aren't funny to the 618,342 out of the total 800,000 DACA recipients who are from Mexico. And it definitely wasn't funny to some W&L students.

It's not just a Sigma Nu chapter issue. Fraternity and sorority parties with racist and culturally appropriative themes happen on this campus as well as plenty of others at colleges and universities across the United States. It perpetrates a culture of exclusion, violence and blatant disrespect. It shouldn't be tolerated by both those within these organizations and those who aren't.

I know I'm not the only person who was offended by this party. There were some who came and left very soon, like I did. I even knew a few people who stole the piñata off the porch and ran away. I talked to a few other people while I was there who said, "Hey, something's not right about this," but stayed the whole time. It was a very crowded house. You couldn't walk anywhere without being uncomfortably close and squeezing by strangers. Imagine a Mexican student walking into the party just to see how she was represented and, judging by the sheer number of people that were there, felt like a good portion of the school views her culture as something to be mocked, personified, appropriated. You didn't have to write the email. If you participated, you contributed. We can't progress forward if we aren't actively thinking about what message our presence (or absence) sends.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

1849
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

303953
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

190569
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

92735
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

286102

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

172246

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

114736
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Take A Look At The Extravagant Lane Woods Jewelry Collection For Valentine's Gift Ideas

So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection

335093

Just like diamonds are a girl's best friend, so are pearls, rubies, gold, emeralds, and any type of luxurious jewelry you can get your hands on! A woman is incomplete without a piece of jewelry on her and it is a gorgeous accessory required for all occasions. So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments