It seems that each Halloween there are stories of college students dressing up in blackface to attend costume parties. This year is no exception.
A Halloween party with the theme “Rockers and Rappers” was held at an off-campus fraternity house near the University of Florida. Photographs were posted on the Internet the next day of two white students at the party in blackface wearing sagging pants, gold chains, and baseball caps .
The students who wore the costumes, the president of the local fraternity, and the national fraternity all issued apologies. The students admitted that it was “a very ignorant and poor decision,” claiming that they did not know the racist history of blackface minstrelsy. In their statement, the students said, “At no point in time were ever trying to negatively portray African American stereotypes. We have since learned about the history of blackface and fully understand how our actions were insulting to the African American community.”
University of Florida President Bernie Machen issued a statement saying, “Demeaning any race is intolerable and completely counter to the welcoming and inclusive environment that the University of Florida had created for its broadly diverse community.”