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Arizona State University's TKE fraternity apologizes for mocking blacks

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The Arizona State University fraternity – Tau Kappa Epsilon - that was revoked as a fraternity chapter by ASU for mocking African-Americans at a Martin Luther King Jr. party a week ago, has apologized via orders from the TKE fraternity’s international headquarters, according to the Chicago Tribune on Friday.

The Beta-Xi chapter wrote its apology to the Tempe community and Arizona State University on its Facebook page. On Thursday afternoon the Facebook posting said that the fraternity was sorry for the offensive and racially insensitive conduct in which a few members of their chapter recently acted.

As previously reported of the incident, there were sixteen members of the fraternity’s local chapter who dressed in a manner that was considered stereotypical of blacks. At a Martin Luther King Jr. Day eve party, those in attendance wore baggy basketball jerseys, backward baseball caps, and bandannas. One of the guys attending the part was photographed holding a cup made from a watermelon. Hashtags accompanies the photos they posted from the party asserted #blackoutformlk and #ihaveadream.

Defensively, TKE wrote that the offensive party that took place was not planned, publicized, endorsed, hosted or condoned in any way by either the Beta-Xi Chapter of TKE or the International Fraternity. It went on to say that they apologize that a few select individuals, in a moment of poor taste and bad judgment, held an event that was both insulting to the community and contrary to the values, principles and ideals of TKE.

Officials of TKE International have asserted that only 16 of the 125 members of the ASU fraternity were present – though there were approximately 30 persons in attendance at the MLK party. The party, therefore, was not an official fraternity function as it did not meet the Interfraternity Council guidelines set by the University for an official function of a fraternity. The fraternity members involved have been suspended from the fraternity as the organization continues its investigation.

TKE International’s officials have put the ASU chapter on probation for at least one year.



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