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Arizona State fraternity: Controversial MLK Day party gets frat suspended

A "Black Party" for MLK Day has gotten an Arizona State fraternity suspended.
A "Black Party" for MLK Day has gotten an Arizona State fraternity suspended.
13 Action News

An Arizona State fraternity has been suspended and is under investigation after holding a controversial party for Martin Luther King Day. The frat was allegedly looking to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., but ended up doing it in racially motivated ways that were not accepted well by a large number of people, according to Fox News on Jan. 22, 2014.

The Arizona State fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon, invited students to what they called a "Black Party." Pics appeared online of party-goers in baggy basketball jerseys, backward baseball caps, and wearing bandannas. They drank out of watermelon cups and even darkened their skin.

Photos on social media sites were tagged: #HOOD, #KILLEM, #MYBOYMARTIN, and #IHAVEADREAM.

The party by the Arizona State fraternity was held off campus and was not sanctioned by the school, but the school is still taking notice.

"We regard the behavior exhibited as completely outrageous, extraordinarily offensive and wholly unacceptable," said James Rund, ASU's senior vice president for Educational Outreach and Student Services. "This kind of behavior is not tolerated by the university, and we intend to take swift and immediate action.

"We just don't have room at the university to tolerate that kind of conduct."

A meeting is scheduled for this weekend between the Arizona State fraternity and school officials in regards to the party. Alex Baker, a spokesman for the national fraternity organization, said this is not something that the frat condones.

"It is with embarrassment and regret when a few individuals within our organization make decisions that do not align with the values and principles of Tau Kappa Epsilon," Baker said in a statement.

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