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Racist video stirs anger on UC Irvine campus

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POSTED April 25, 2013 9:53 p.m.

IRVINE  (AP) — The University of California, Irvine, is investigating a video that shows a member of an Asian-American fraternity dancing in blackface after the clip sparked outrage on campus, a university official said Thursday.

The video shows members of Lambda Theta Delta dancing to the Justin Timberlake song "Suit & Tie" as they get dressed up in suits and dark sunglasses. About a minute into the clip, a student wearing blackface joins in and pretends to be hip hop artist Jay-Z, who raps on the song with Timberlake.

The fraternity, the university's oldest and largest Asian-American Greek fraternity, and the four students behind the video are under investigation for the "reprehensible" clip, said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Thomas Parham.

If violations of school policy are found, the fraternity, the students or both could face sanctions ranging from a verbal warning to suspension, he said.

Lambda Theta Delta posted an apology on Facebook on Wednesday and said the video was made by individual members and was not approved by the organization.

"This behavior is simply unacceptable and the individuals responsible for the video have already been reprimanded within the organization prior to the public outcry to which this formal apology is responding," the statement read.

The individual students also apologized to the Multi-Cultural Greek Affairs Council and the Black Student Union, Parham said.

Ainaria Johnson, a 21-year-old senior and Black Student Union co-chair, said the group's apology didn't ring true.

"We told them the time to apologize and the time for conversation has passed," Johnson said. "None of that can take back what you did. You're not sorry that you did it, you're only sorry you got caught."

Asian students make up 49 percent of the student body at UC Irvine while black students make up about 3 percent, Parham said.

 

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