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Cal Poly Fraternity ‘Embarrassed’ After Being Called Out for Blackface Photos

This Instagram post was sent to KCBX late Sunday night.

A fraternity at California Polytechnic State University is on suspension while an incident including a photo that was deemed racially insensitive is investigated. The images in question surfaced on Instagram from a costume party held by Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. The caption of one of the photos read, “She want a gangster not a pretty boy.”

The photos show the fraternity members wearing saggy pants, fake jail tattoos, throwing up gang signs and at least one person wearing blackface. Following the backlash, the fraternity released a statement stating, “We are extremely sorry and embarrassed for failing to recognize the racial impacts this brought forth.” They continued, “Although it was not our intention to stir up racial tension, we understand the negative impact this picture had on our peers.”

This photo is at the center of social media outrage over alleged racism. The photo was shared on social media and confirmed as taken Saturday by fraternity officials.

Campus organizers held an emergency meeting Monday night to discuss the incident.  Protesters also marched to Lambda Chi’s chapter house to speak to its president Logan Boersma but had the door shut in their face, according to their school newspaper Mustang News. Dean of Students Kathleen McMahon said in the press release, “Racism and hate are unwelcome here, in any form. Cal Poly is focused on enhancing the diversity of our campus and providing an environment that is welcome to all who would study, work or visit here.”

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