I feel like I’m running out of original ideas for my blog posts. Therefore, I am going to elaborate on a topic that has already been posted about: the Facebook meme about Greek life and black culture that surfaced last week. While I do not believe the whole conversation happened in the best way, I feel it was an eye opening experience for many members of the Greek community. I know it was for me, specifically because I am a member of Alpha Delta Pi, the sorority specifically accused of cultural appropriation in this meme.
My first reaction to the meme was, “Shit. This is not good.” I immediately went to my Facebook profile to remove any trace of the LemonADPi cover photo. Then, I went back and read some of the comments that were being posted. My primary concern was for my chapter and my sisters because I did not want ADPi to be labeled “racist.” Then, I stepped back for a minute and realized this wasn’t about ADPi in particular but, rather, the Greek Life system as a whole. While this provided some comfort to know that my sisters were not being specifically targeted, the whole situation still stung. ADPi prides itself in our diversity, individuality, and sisterhood.
While Greek Life does not always appear racially diverse (which I agree is not right in regards to how Greek Life should be), I have met so many individuals who are diverse in other arenas such as religion, sexuality, and intelligence through Greek Life. Even though this does not make up for the lack of racial diversity in fraternities and sororities, I think it is important to remember that the Greek system was not built to tear down specific groups of people but rather to build them up. I never would have had the opportunity to meet some of my sisters if ADPi had not brought us together.
Before closing this out, I want to provide my own opinion on the whole matter, which I cannot state on behalf of ADPi because of policy. I admit that the use of Beyoncé’s Lemonade album to promote our philanthropy event was not the best decision. However, I think it is important to recognize both sides of the argument surrounding cultural appropriation and millennials’ sensitivity to racism. In order to promote further discussion of this topic, I have attached a Wall Street Journal opinion piece below. I think Jonathon Haidt raises some key issues that we should all consider if (most likely when) another issue of racism or cultural appropriation presents itself on our campus.