Opinion » Shredder

Punish them all


Dear white people who don't think blackface is racist: Open a history book.

These people include Wesley "NOBODY GIVES A SHIT" Murphy, who mansplained in a post on New Times' Facebook page that we were forcing "people to be offended by face paint until we've ruined some kid's life" by publishing a story about a member of Cal Poly's Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity running around at a frat party with black paint on his very white face.

He also called us "fucking pathetic." Yup, that's pretty much how I would describe Mr. Murphy's lack of understanding about the significance of blackface.

But Shredder: "Since when is racism when u paint ur face" asked Coleen "I don't get why this is a thing" Tooley. Well, I mean, it was a statement on Facebook, not a question directed at this hot chunk of office machinery, but since you posited it, I will Shredder-splain it for all you ignoramuses out there spouting your privileged views on social media. White people, such as yourself, once used burnt cork to color their faces black for theatrical performances that represented caricatures of black people—spreading racial stereotypes of black people as a way of entertaining white people.

It's not just face paint.

I know, Coleen: "People need to get the facts straight. What I've read [sic] they were doing a team building competition and he painted his face black [sic]? If u called that racism u need help. If u don't like it don't look at it."

If you don't call it racist, you need help. That's a fact. If you don't understand that, we need a better education system. Preferably one that teaches the full breadth of U.S. history to the white guys who want to be frat boys. Maybe that should be the first class required for Cal Poly freshmen.

Hans "Shut up you pussies" Mager and his buddy Murphy, the "real" newshound, agreed on the same Facebook thread that this incident "isn't rocking the community." You two BFFs need to drop your inside knowledge on Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong. I don't think he realizes that the 300 students who showed up at an emergency town hall meeting on campus demanding action and all the people who protested during Cal Poly's Open House weekend aren't actually part of this community. He also doesn't seem to understand—as you guys obviously do—that all the flak he's gotten for doing nothing to address systemic racism on campus isn't coming from this community, either.

The Mager-Murphy duo could team up with all the Poly Mommies out there who are really offended that their sons can't go to that frat party next week because Armstrong put all the Greek life organizations on suspension after hearing about another incident of "racial profiling and cultural appropriation that occurred at Sigma Nu six weeks ago." Our fratty friends dressed up as Hispanic gangsters.

Geezus! What ever happened to the toga party?

Luckily, the idiots on campus are keeping it classy, tearing down posters promoting inclusivity, writing the N-word on bathroom stalls, and posting racist flyers. These moms are shocked! Nope, not because of all that racism. They called Armstrong's reaction a "radical statement" and "an over reaction regarding ONE kid in the entire Greek system."

Don't worry angry mothers, your baby can still be a drunk racist frat boy. It just isn't sanctioned right now.

Incidents like these have been perpetuated at this mostly white school for years. While you ladies seem to be OK with your sons attending a prestigious university with that kind of reputation, people in this community are over it!

Cal Poly Greek organizations have been suspended or reprimanded individually for sexual assaults, hazing, racial discrimination, and alcohol-related deaths—according to university PR guy Matt Lazier. But clearly, it has done nothing to curb poor behavior.

If "one kid" misbehaves, the whole team should be held responsible. It's the only way to get the team members to hold each other accountable. But it wasn't one kid, and it wasn't one time. It's systemic, covering multiple generations of students, and Cal Poly is just now recognizing it as such.

It only took multiple incidents over years and years for the university to say, "Enough!" Which is more than I can say for Peoples' Self-Help Housing partnership with Planned Parenthood. It only took two months and "hostile" comments from anti-abortion activists for the affordable housing organization to call it quits on their Dignity Health-funded mission to provide accessible reproductive health care to North SLO County residents who needed it.

"It's disappointing that anti-Planned Parenthood activists were able to interfere with this critical expansion of care in Paso Robles," Jenna Tosh, CEO of Planned Parenthood California Central Coast, said in a statement. Peoples' Self-Help Executive Director John Fowler told New Times that it "reassessed the assets in the area" and felt the existing health programs were just fine.

I guess what you're really saying is the 32 low income or uninsured patients that Planned Parenthood served in the two days a week it was open in your Canyon Creek Apartments health center didn't really need that cervical or breast cancer screening.

Welcome to SLO County folks: where you'll find plenty of people willing to defend racist frat-bros, but when it comes to impoverished women who need heath care to keep them alive—crickets. Δ

The Shredder thinks crickets are best when dipped in yogurt. Send comments to [email protected].


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