Fraternity suspended for throwing MLK Day ‘black party’
PHOENIX, Arizona (PIX11) — An Arizona State University fraternity has been suspended after pictures of an “MLK party” they threw, showing students holding watermelon cups and dressed in gang attire, were posted to social media over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend.
The “MLK Black Party” was organized by members of ASU’s chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, according to The Phoenix New Times. Pictures of the unsanctioned event were posted on Instagram.
“Ballin out with my wildermuth wildboyz (and girl) #blackoutformlk #ihaveadream,” a caption under one of the photos read.
“This isn’t appropriate at all and you really have no business dressing like this on a day that’s sort of revered for African-Americans,” one ASU student told KPHO.
“Just a day after the nation celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., racism has reared its head at one of the America’s largest universities,” Reverend Jarrett Maupin said.
A representative for ASU said the fraternity was already on social probation and was not allowed to hold any events or parties. “ASU has suspended chapter operations, can and will take additional action against the individuals involved, and is meeting with the national TKE organization today to take further action,” Sharon Keeler told the New Times.
“ASU has one of the most diverse student bodies of any major university in the country, and it is unfortunate that a few misguided individuals held an offensive party at a time when ASU, the state and the nation are celebrating Dr. King’s achievements and legacy. The university will not tolerate this kind of behavior.”
None of the members of the ASU chapter have commented, but a representative for the national board of TKE told KPHO they would be fully investigating the incident.