Cops and Robbers Party Canceled At UVA After Protest That Police “Kill and Brutalize Marginalized Communities”

downloadWe have been discussing the rise of groups on campuses that assert the right not to simply protest but to prevent other students from hearing speakers or participating in events.  The latest such incident occurred last week at the University of Virginia where members of a social justice group called UVA Students United disrupted a “cops and robbers”-themed party at a campus fraternity.  The group would not allow a party that it claimed made “a joke of systems that kill and brutalize marginalized communities.” Ultimately, the party was canceled.

UVA Delta Psi chapter’s party the frat brothers dressed in orange jumpsuits and their dates dressed as police officers.  The group objected to the party on Facebook  and insisted that “These ‘costumes’ make a joke of mass incarceration and the prison-industrial complex, systems that disproportionately brutalize people of color.”  Rather than focus on convincing fellow students, it moved to impose its view on other students.

The group objected that

“These ‘costumes’ make a joke of mass incarceration and the prison-industrial complex, systems that disproportionately brutalize people of color. The predominantly white members of this fraternity got to take their costumes off at the end of the night, people trapped in the prison system do not . . . Historically, the police have justified violence against people of color in the name of protecting white women, and in wearing these costumes, these women made a joke of that legacy of violence.”

So it could either be a fun costume party for couples or  a celebration of government sanctioned white supremacy.  Most of us would gravitate toward the former, but universities are places for a wide array of views.

 The problem is when you then go to the party to force it to close.  The group would not accept claims of innocent intentions:

“During confrontations with people at the party, the majority of partygoers asserted that they had no intention of ‘offending or hurting anyone.’ It’s this kind of willful ignorance that allows white supremacy to continue.”

The Frat tried to convince the group for an hour to leave and then called the campus police about the trespass.  Rather than reaffirming the right of the fraternity to hold the party, it was decided to cancel the event.

Henry Crochiere, the Inter-Fraternity Council president and a fourth-year College student, issued an apology for the holding of the costume party.  “The Inter-Fraternity Council acknowledges that the theme, while not overtly reprehensible, is potentially offensive to members of the community. As a result, we thought it was best to end the party and other Delta Psi events planned for the weekend in order to reevaluate the situation.”

If the standard is not to be “potentially offensive” to any group, it would be hard to hold any costume party. Even a safari theme would bring out animal rights activists or other groups.  What concerns me is that we are reaffirming that such groups can shut down events and speeches. The message is that any activity that offends anyone or any group (even if not “overtly reprehensible”) is impermissible.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the prison system is almost 59 percent white.  However, the black population in prison is almost 38 percent (while it is 13 percent of the population at large).

66 thoughts on “Cops and Robbers Party Canceled At UVA After Protest That Police “Kill and Brutalize Marginalized Communities”

  1. The professor asserts, “… What concerns me is that we are reaffirming that such groups can shut down events and speeches…”

    According to The Cavalier Daily, “U.Va. Students United and the Charlottesville Police Department, which was called to the party, did not return requests for comment.”

    Facts, facts, facts …
    A competent trial knows the “Universe of Known Facts, he or she knows there are unknown facts, and, suspects or understands, there are or may be unknown, unknown facts.
    Here, the unknown facts seem to be as many as the known facts. The unknown facts also seem to be as important, if not more important than the known facts.
    This includes, but is not limited to, did the campus police remove the trespassers, did the police provide a clear public access to the party goers, were the party sponsors and party goers merely acquiesce to the purported “higher moral ground” asserted by the protesters?
    Consequently, this article by the professor seems to be one more of a “moral” confrontation or a social, political issue than anyone asserting or demanding a legal right to host a costume party.
    Sure there is buried in there a legal issue or issues.
    But, again, no one seems to have asserted or demanded a right to privacy, freedom of assembly or free speech.
    In sum, it seems the professor wants to have a legal issue, constitutional issue, when the party ( pun intended ) of interest choose or failed to assert any such right or rights.
    Is the issue “peer pressure?”
    The professor notes,  “The Inter-Fraternity Council acknowledges that the theme, while not overtly reprehensible, is potentially offensive to members of the community. As a result, we thought it was best to end the party and other Delta Psi events planned for the weekend in order to reevaluate the situation.”
    Here, the “we” seems to be the Fraternity, Inter-Fraternity Council, the protesters and, perhaps, the University administrators and academic faulty.
    When the professor claims, “…What concerns me is that we are reaffirming that such groups can shut down events and speeches.”, who is the “we?”

    dennis hanna

  2. So much for free speech at colleges & universities. The article said “Most of us would gravitate toward the former, but universities are places for a wide array of views.” It should say “…are SUPPOSED to be places for a wide array of views.”

    Seems to me there is something wrong with higher ‘learning’ faculties when they get ‘pushed around’ by radical fringe groups. Then again, Soros types have a lot of sway these days.

    We desperately need to vote out D & R establishment members of Congress & replace them with true Constitutional conservatives. I would even break down & vote for a D IF they had a true record of conservatism. Not holding my breath till a D of that kind emerges though. So we are pretty much left with R’s,Independents & maybe a Libertarian or two to vote for.

    To me one of the worst mistakes we could make is to just replace R’s with D’s. If we do that, Bye Bye Miss American Pie. It is way to close to that now…

    SamFox

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