But efforts by the Athletic Department to amp up school spirit by encouraging students to wear black at a couple of the football games has been tossed. The cultural sensitivity crowd thinks the color black is racist. It seems it creates for the school an intractable problem: Someone might do something untoward and worse--someone might be offended.
From the Daily Barometer:
But that web page has been changed to read, "Got Orange and Black?" And that suits the hyphenated Pride crowd just fine:For the Oct. 20 and Nov. 17 games, some tickets for season-ticket holders had been printed telling game attendees to wear black, and there is also a page on the Oregon State University Athletics website saying what should be worn at each game.
In 2007 some students took the "Black Out" a little too far and colored their faces black. Some wore 'afro' wigs. It was insulting. It's probable that 18 - 20 year olds in 2007 didn't have a clue about the old black-face minstrel shows from the 1920's and 30's, but some of their elders remembered and condemned it. However, instead of using the offensive students to illustrate what not to do, they just shut the whole thing down.“Having worked with different communities as part of the cultural centers, I know many are really offended by the topic,” said Charlie Vang, external coordinator of the Pride Center.
Nicole Perez, a fourth-year student majoring in ethnic studies and natural resources, did not understand why the university was even considering such a move.
“The whole thing is insensitive. They could have thought more about it,” Perez said.
I thought we might be a bit past this. After all, until recently a white man in black face represented Barack Obama on Saturday Night Live. There was no widespread discussion of how offensive this may have been. I always thought Fred Armisen was just the best guy available on staff who could do an Obama imitation. After all these years they've just switched him out with a man who does a much better imitation of the President. He happens to be black.
At a school where the brother in law of the first black President of the United States of America is one of the coaches, I suppose it could be a bit of an embarrassment if one of these students shows up in black face again and it makes the national news. But I didn't think this was about the President. I thought this was about the students and OSU school spirit.
So what does that leave us? Here's a possible solution: OSU could adopt a new color to replace black. I suggest YELLOW.