A Public Apology
We, the members of Lambda Theta Delta, are deeply remorseful and apologize for the racial ignorance and insensitivity demonstrated by our organization in two recent videos released online. The initial video which came to light last week shows four LTD members dancing to Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie,” with one of the members impersonating Jay-Z in blackface.
This is in addition to another video clip which depicted another member impersonating Antoine Dodson in blackface during Halloween. Upon realizing how offensive and harmful these videos were, as well as its historical context, the videos were immediately taken down to prevent further offense.
While the videos do not reflect the values and mission of the fraternity, we take full responsibility for them and acknowledge the problems of racial insensitivity and lack of awareness that nonetheless exist within our organization.
Whether the videos were motivated by ignorance or otherwise, we know that it does not change the fact that the behavior demonstrated by the members is shameful and inexcusable. The entire incident has been a much-needed wake-up call for the fraternity; an obvious sign that we need to re-evaluate our principles and the state of the active house. While we have identified this serious problem affecting our fraternity, however, we realize that it is not an issue that can be immediately resolved but rather worked on over time.
These ignorant actions resulted in a deep offense to an entire community and our organization apologizes for not better educating our members on both cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity.
In response to this issue, the fraternity plans to use the problem as an obvious sign to reevaluate the state of the active house. The fact that the idea could occur to any one of our brothers is appalling, not just for others, but for the active house as well. This is not what we promote in our brotherhood. We want to fix this problem. We plan to move on from our mistake and use it as an opportunity to grow.
As for the disciplinary actions we are going to take, we decided to have not just the four individuals go through cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity training, but also have the entire house be educated to ensure awareness and the elimination of ignorance in future generations.
The fraternity plans to use the incident as an opportunity for growth and has plans to commit to a sustained effort toward educating our members. Our goal is not simply to prevent future incidents but to work toward fostering true cultural awareness and compassion within our brotherhood.
Furthermore, the house acknowledges its accountability in the publishing of content and has since changed the way in which official social media platforms are handled by members. The production and release of the “Suit and Tie” video was unapproved by the entirety of the house, but it was ultimately possible due to a lack of regulation.
Now, any production in any association with Lambda Theta Delta will have to be approved by all members of our executive board. We now realize that we are all responsible for holding each other accountable and have since made it a priority to ensure that all official content produced by the fraternity reflects and is in complete adherence to our fraternity’s goals and philosophies.
We also realize that the problem of racial ignorance is bigger than the confines of our fraternity. The fact that any individual thinks that this is an acceptable act to begin with is wrong, and we need to change that. Consequently, our fraternity is willing to take steps to eliminate this problem from the community and prevent it from being brushed under the rug. We want others to learn from the mistakes we made. We understand that this was not an isolated event but rather the culmination of a series of incidents that perpetuates racial ignorance and insensitivity in society. In an effort to eliminate all racial ignorance on campus, the fraternity has plans to work with student leaders as well as ally itself with local cultural groups in an effort to pursue a common goal — to raise cultural awareness.
This incident has been absolutely humbling, and we realize that we can no longer subscribe to this culture of casual insensitivity and complete disregard of others. We acknowledge the severity of our ignorance and the impact it has made. This action offended people. It hurt people. Although, at this point in time, we have nothing to offer but our most humble apologies, we are hoping our methods of education will not only change how current and future LTDs view racism, but society as a whole. We want to change. We want to move past this issue with a lesson learned. Our priority now is set toward educating ourselves and the community to ensure that incidents such as this will not be repeated.
We acknowledge the problem of ignorance in our house and we plan to use education as the means to fix it.
Lambda Theta Delta UCI can be reached at email@example.com.