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The Boston Globe

Opinion

Derrick Z. Jackson

Clueless at Dartmouth

After another black-mocking frat party, the usual spin is not enough

Dartmouth College far too often seems to exist solely to reveal the depths of racial catatonia among cloistered white students. The latest example is a “Bloods and Crips” party held in July by the Alpha Delta fraternity and the Tri Delta sorority. The party degenerated into the same kind of “ghetto party” held 15 years ago by the Chi Gamma Epsilon fraternity and the Alpha Xi Delta sorority, mocking black culture and low-income African-American communities through dress, language, and hairdos.

Though the years may be apart, the level and range of hurt never changes for students of color who feel disrespected either because they, in fact, do not come from ghettos, or precisely because they survived them. In 1998, one student responded to the virtual blackface party by saying, “I live in a ghetto. For Dartmouth students in general to mock a situation that I was lucky enough to get out of by the grace of God just seems to me very snotty and very ignorant, because my next door neighbor couldn’t dream of being here right now.”

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