A number of students found the party and its social media pics offensive enough to complain. So it's pretty clear that Arizona State University is doing its share to broaden minds of students who pay tuition there.
Whenever white people, particularly college students, inadvertently but blatantly, disrespect African American culture and history, conversations need to begin. Why does this college frat, regardless of its bawdy reputation, feel it's okay to discredit the work of Martin Luther King with images that mainstream Americans find offensive?
Whatever the answer and regardless of the many images and icons that the frat and its guests chose to reference at their Black Party, the MLK spoof is funny to me. A spoof makes fun of something and as iconic as MLK is, he's not immune to being spoofed. And neither is his legacy.
Tau Kappa Epsilon may be suspended, but their Martin Luther King Jr. holiday message is resoundingly clear: African American culture, the best of it, hasn't found its representation in the hearts and minds of mainstream America.
Mainstream America targets teens and young adults like those who threw the black party. Mainstream media has little to no knowledge of Booker T Washington or W.E.B. DuBois, the leaders of the African American civil rights movement.
Mainstream media has so little knowledge that Martin Luther King's civil rights movement began in 1865 because so many communities of people, black, white and otherwise are also oblivious. There was a lot of work, a lot of ideologies, and a heck of a lot of conflict that merged to create Martin Luther King Jr. and his "dream".
And the beauty of it, the art of it all is that non-frightening word and idea "dream" wasn't a dream at all. It was a realistic perspective of how Dr. King's life and the lives of his contemporaries should have been at that time.