This week, while on Instagram, I saw a very disturbing image. Fraternity and sororities are known for having some fun themes for date parties, but this one took things too far.
The image, which is below, was for a Make America Great Again themed date party. I get it, we live in the South, and the vast majority of people are very much for our current president. However, saying that Trump will deport people "Juan by Juan" is a testament to our racist roots. No longer is it about "southern culture" or "southern heritage," but it is about instilling principles of white supremacy. That is not okay.
What really set the image over the edge was the fact that the girl had half of her face painted as a sugar skull, or Calavera. If not familiar with Calaveras, they are painted sugar skulls done to celebrate the dead on Dia De Los Muertos. The fact that a white girl can do that and people can "spit out their drinks" laughing is something that is inexcusable. I know that the same people who are laughing at that image would be outraged if a Mexican person mocked their culture. Where is the outrage with this? It is no longer an issue that can be mocked. We need to take action.
Now, I know what you may be thinking in reference to me: She is not Greek, her opinion on our date parties should not matter. It is actually essential to have a Gamma Delta Iota's opinion on this issue. For me, it shows that a Greek system which prides itself on inclusion has exclusionary ideals. In 2017, that is not okay. I am lucky in the fact that my campus has a Greek system that many would envy, and the people within it are fantastic. Some of my best friends have the honor of wearing Greek letters across their chest, and I am proud of their accomplishments within their organizations. I also know that this kind of thing is happening everywhere. However, the fact of the matter is that if it is happening at a campus so close, what can we do to stop it?
I did not think about myself when I saw that picture. Who I did think about were the 12 million Americans who are at risk of deportation. These people are hard working men and women who came to our country for a better life. There are millions of people who are scared, and wake up with an unknown future on a day to day basis. Why would someone make an event of another person's heartbreak? It does not matter that the message was satirical, but it does matter that a university would allow this to happen. At a school where 1647 students are International, what kind of message does that send to them? It is impossible for a school to pride itself on diversity and inclusion when incidents like these happen on the campus.
The 2016 election is over, and I had hoped that attitudes like these would go with it. Enough is enough.