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Duke’s Anti-Asian “Racist Rager”

It’s hard to believe, but according to Alex Johnson of NBC News, the Kappa Sigma fraternity at Duke advertised and held a “Racist Rager” party mocking Asians.

The event was promoted through flyers and email messages that included stereotyped Asian spellings like “herro” and “peopre” and images of the late North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il. It was promoted on Twitter with the hashtag #RacistRager.

More at Duke’s The Chronicle.

This reminds me of the Asians in the Library incident at UCLA (and more). As I noted in those posts, of course, folks like Rush Limbaugh have done similar things regularly.

I don’t know whether the discourse will follow the predictable “Can’t you take a joke?” path. When I hear that strategy, I almost always convert the question about humor to a question about power.  Would this fraternity have done the same thing to other racial groups, such as African Americans?  If not, what does that say about the relative social power of the various racial groups?

Of course, in this case, I fully concede that the frat might have organized an equally hateful Racist Rager against Latinos, Blacks, LGBTs, etc.

I do a lot of work on implicit bias, but these incidents regularly reveal that explicit biases are hardly long gone.


Back to work.


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