NAACP Speaks Out Against UCSD ‘Compton Cookout’ Party
Friday, February 19, 2010
The NAACP today condemned an off-campus party held by members of a UC San Diego fraternity mocking Black History Month and urged the university to punish those involved.
"This event was intended and did expose the true feeling of a group of people, who either are racist, who acted out their beliefs, or people who say they are not racist, but engaged in acts that were racist," said Leon Jenkins, president of the Los Angeles NAACP.
Monday's party, allegedly organized by some members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, was themed "Compton Cookout" and urged attendees to dress and act in a manner perpetuating racist stereotypes.
The fraternity has denied that it sanctioned the event.
University officials initially indicated that because the party was held off campus, there may not be grounds to punish those involved under the student code of conduct. After The San Diego Union-Tribune published a story on the party, university officials said they were investigating the incident.
A UCSD spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking information on the status of the investigation.
The NAACP maintains that if the university does not sanction those involved, it willl "send a less than clear message that such future reckless or intentional behavior will not be tolerated, which may embolden the perpetrators, and future perpetrators' beliefs that they will not suffer any serious consequences concerning acts of discrimination and racism, which may cause such actors to act out their racist tendencies in the future."
Councilman Tony Young, San Diego's only black City Council member, is scheduled to meet with UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox about the party early next week, according to an aide.
Jimmie Slack, Young's chief of staff, said he plans to "talk to the chancellor about what she is doing and ways they can possibly ensure these types of incidents don't happen again."
UCSD students, staff and faculty are planning a "teach-in" on Wednesday to discuss the incident and promote "mutual respect and civility on our campus."