Once in a while, a few white people get together and do something so insanely stupid it makes me embarrassed to be white. All of you white people getting fidgety out there.... I'm not talking about you and I'm not suggesting that you should also feel embarrassed. I'm talking about me. This morning is one of those times.
The news is just hitting the media about a party that a few stupid white students threw at Clemson University on or around Martin Luther King's birthday. Now let me be clear, I'm no fan of Clemson. My family are Carolina (University of South Carolina) fans. So don't think this is some Clemson fan apologetic for the university. But I do find it unfair and unfortunate that the actions of a few students is dragging the name of Clemson through the mud. On the other hand, the university needs to send a clear message to the entire student body that racist behavior is not acceptable.
What frightens me first about this whole affair is that so many white students could allow themselves to think that throwing a party that parodies black culture stereotypes on MLK Day is acceptable social behavior. The very fact that these students could seriously entertain such a thing, much less actually throw a party that mocks racial stereotypes, is an indication of the true nature of race relations at Clemson in the first place. Secondly and perhaps most disturbing is the lame excuses given by other students on camera for the behavior, characterizing the party as just another "theme" party. Give me a break.
Now I was born in South Carolina, my ancestors are buried there, the fought on the wrong side of the war, some even worked for slave owners. So when the nut wings who argue that keeping the Confederate flag on the top of the state house is to honor their ancestors, I just shake my head in disgust.
What honors my ancestors is to stop being stupid white people and evolve enough to value the dignity, culture and history of all humans and indeed, all creation. I am confident that the administration of Clemson will deal with this situation both short term and long term to benefit all the students there. Only if they fail to deal with these individuals will I hold the school itself responsible. Stupid white people are everywhere.
But I must admit, I never thought I'd see the day when I would defend Clemson. Hmmm... now that you mention it.... there's not a single black person on the masthead of the homepage.