Tennessee gets its rockes off by making mockery of Blacks
By Noble Johnes
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (BNW) Tennessee is by far one of the most racist states from the old South, and if you think things have changed in Tennessee, think again. Not only is it racist, it gets great pleasure out of making mockery of Black Americans.
As one popular white politician from Tennessee once said, We may have to give the niggers this and that, but nobody can stop us from making fun of them. . . a nigger is a nigger down here, and they are the butt of every joke in this State.
The University of Tennessee will not penalize six white fraternity members who painted their faces black to appear as the Jackson 5, saying their right of expression must be protected.
``The University of Tennessee is firmly committed to protecting the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and expression even when some find it to be insensitive and offensive,'' the school said in a statement posted recently on its Web site.
University officials, however, warned that the incident recalled earlier times when minstrel shows depicted blacks as ignorant simpletons, and should not be seen as an innocent college prank.
Black students saw members of the Kappa Sigma fraternity with painted faces walking to a private party Oct. 22.
The frat members reportedly said they were trying to look like the Jackson 5 or Louis Armstrong for an ``air guitar'' contest.
Last month, the Kappa Sigma fraternity suspended its Tennessee chapter and apologized.
In the past year, Auburn University, Oklahoma State University and most recently the University of Virginia all dealt with similar incidents.