A fraternity has suspended its Duke University chapter after an offensive Asian-themed party dubbed the “racist rager” ignited a firestorm.
Hundreds of students on Wednesday protested against the party hosted by Kappa Sigma last week, according to the university’s newspaper The Chronicle. Ting-Ting Zhou, the president of the Asian Students Association, said the party was “only the most recent of numerous racist and sexist fraternity theme parties.”
“These parties are not racist because they necessarily offend all Asians; these parties are racist because they reflect and recreate power structures that people can be subject to simply by being Asian,” she added. “This protest is about the destructive prejudice that must be uprooted from every corner of Duke to make this place an inclusive and safe place for all.”
Members of Kappa Sigma fraternity sent out invitations for their “Asia Prime” party that were mockingly written in broken English. After the invitation received criticism, the fraternity sarcastically changed the name to “International Relations,” declaring that, “Our forebrothers’ secrets of the far east have not survived.”
Outrage grew after images of students wearing sumo gear and rice paddy hats were posted on Twitter using the hashtag “#racistrager.”
Kappa Sigma President Luke Keohane apologized for the party on Wednesday.
“Our fraternity acknowledges that at Duke University, racial divides and stereotypes exist, and that our actions have promoted and aided these afflictions,” he wrote at The Chronicle. “Our institution has been the subject of controversy at the national level in the past for issues relating to race, and we apologize to the entire Duke community, past, present and future, for any negative light that we are responsible for being cast upon the University.”
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by DukeStudentBroadcast, below: