Photo shows Cal Poly frat member in blackface, sparking controversy

A Cal Poly fraternity is under university investigation and faced with community outrage after one of its members appeared in blackface at a brotherhood event over the weekend. A photo of the individual was later circulated online. [Mustang News]

On Saturday, the Cal Poly chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha held a brotherhood event at its fraternity house. Following the event, the photo circulated on Facebook showing Lambda Chi Alpha member and agricultural business senior, Kyler Watkins, in blackface.

“This event was a competition between teams in which each team was represented by a different color (i.e. Red, Blue, Green, Black, Yellow),” the fraternity said in a statement.

“Similar to high school spirit rallies and collegiate student sections, members dressed up in support of their specific team. We are extremely sorry and embarrassed for failing to recognize the racial impacts this brought forth.”

Cal Poly spokesman Matt Lazier released a statement saying the university finds the incident deplorable and has launched an investigation.

“The university finds deplorable any acts that would seek to hurt, offend, intimidate or frighten any member of our campus community. The university is aware of the posting and is investigating the matter at this time,” Lazier said in the statement.

Lambda Chi Alpha’s brotherhood event occurred in the middle of Cal Poly’s Poly Cultural Weekend, which prompted additional criticism from community members about the blackface incident.

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2 Comments about “Photo shows Cal Poly frat member in blackface, sparking controversy”

  1. obispan says:

    These guys are dead meat. Cal Poly has diversity specialists and investigators sitting around like firefighters, just training and strategizing and waiting for the call… All I remember about kindergarten (other than lying on the floor and not napping, how stupid, it’s just 4 hours) was that I was a member of the “green” group. We were divided into 5 color-identified groups for the purposes of play activities. The most popular was this awesome, giant set of blocks and we got the blocks on Friday. A great way to end the week. I don’t remember what the other 4 colors were. I don’t know what other colors would be acceptable today. Black, white, red, brown and yellow are out.

    (5) 9 Total Votes – 7 up – 2 down

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