The University of Michigan is investigating its local chapter of Theta Xi fraternity after several students reportedly complained about a planned “Hood Ratchet Thursday” party.
According to UM student newspaper the Michigan Daily, “Many students of colour say they were personally offended by the invitation that was sent via Facebook, complaining that it parodied Black culture and offended women, referring to twerking contests, ‘bad b——,’ gang references and repeated use of the word ‘ratchet.'” The party promoted itself as a World Star Hip Hop event, a reference to a popular hip-hop website known for its over the top content.
One student told the Daily that she “was particularly offended by the use of the word ‘ratchet,’ which she says is prominently used in the Black community to describe something terrible or someone who doesn’t know how to handle themselves.”
Via imgur, here’s a picture of the party’s Facebook invitation:
UM administrators condemned the planned party in an email to the student body, writing:
We were deeply disappointed to learn that members of a university fraternity had planned an offensive themed party for November. The language of the invitation and theme of the party denigrated all women and African American/black identified people through racial stereotypes and cultural appropriation.
This behaviour is offensive, disrespectful and unacceptable at the University of Michigan. It is unhealthy and harms everyone in the community. It is in direct contradiction to the values, policies and expectations of the University and will not be tolerated.
Theta Xi has been placed on social suspension by their national organisation, and the planned party has been cancelled. The fraternity is reportedly in the process of drafting a formal apology to the UM community.
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