Bid Day Racism Is Not to Be Taken Lightly

Mary Higgins, Daily Tar Heel, September 12, 2012

TO THE EDITOR:

As a former sorority president, I remember the anticipation of bid day. At my undergraduate institution, we referred to it as “second Christmas” because it was so exciting to welcome new women into our sorority.

However, I saw an event on Thursday that greatly diminished Bid Day’s intended sense of welcome by its display of ignorance and stereotyping.

Members from a sorority celebrating bid day had plastered a huge sign across their house proclaiming “Mi casa es su casa.”

While this sentiment is understandable given the purpose of bid day, the way in which it was executed is inexcusable.

What first attracted me to look at this house was the mass of sorority members standing outside in ponchos, large fake mustaches and sombreros.

As a Latina, I was appalled by this flagrant demonstration of stereotyping and racism. To provide such a caricatured and unidimensional depiction of Latinos is offensive, disappointing, and embarrassing in its ignorance.

Would sorority members and their advisers feel it was acceptable to house a bid day centered on African-American stereotypes, complete with blackface and doo-rags? I can assume that even this suggestion makes people’s stomachs churn.

Why, then, is it acceptable to systematically express racist sentiments toward Latinos on campus? The fact that this theme could have been sanctioned by this sorority’s executive board members, advisers and national council is abhorrent and reprehensible.

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I would like the ladies involved, in particular, to reflect on what negative stereotypes they themselves are perpetuating by planning and partaking in these events. What you are telling the world (Latino or not) is that sororities are full of bigoted, ignorant white women.

Is this really how you want to represent your sorority and Greek life? Furthermore, for those not involved: When we remain silent in the face of racist attitudes and events, we are just as culpable as those who take part in them.

{snip}

Mary Higgins

Ph.D. candidate

Clinical psychology

[Editor’s Note: The comments at the original article are quite funny.]

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