The past week and a half was … “eventful” for Princeton.
The outrage still rocks on regarding the performance by a group dubbed “Urban Congo” — a “joke dance group” comprised of members of the school’s swimming team. It seems their dress, “the way they dance,” and even their name “is offensive and perpetuates stereotypes of Africans.”
Then there’s the matter of rapper Big Sean headlining the big Lawnparties event.
Students Duncan Hosie and Rebecca Basaldua began a petition to oust the performer from the big bash due to the “promoting [of] rape culture and misogyny” in his lyrics.
Hosie told The Daily Princetonian that after he saw the Undergraduate Student Government’s (USG) promotional video for the event, which featured Big Sean repeating the lyrics “stupid ass bitch” from his hit song “IDFWU,” he reached out to Basaldua. Together they agreed to start a petition against Big Sean’s involvement with the event and open up a dialogue on campus about the selection of acts for school events like this one.
“After I saw that video, I started researching Big Sean’s language and I found language that was both misogynistic and homophobic,” Hosie said. “We wrote an op-ed piece that we published on Google Docs [on Sunday] and wanted to see the number of supporters. Right now, close to 500 people have signed.”
The petition asserts that “USG Should stop promoting rape culture and misogyny by rescinding the offer to Big Sean to headline Lawnparties Spring ’15. In the future, USG should strive to bring non-misogynistic acts to campus.”
As you might expect, the perpetually aggrieved weren’t satisfied:
Ifunanya Nwogbaga ’18 said he believed that Eisgruber overlooked the severity of the issue in the email and had “the wrong message.”
“I could see how Eisgruber’s message was really not totally appropriate. It’s kind of implying that the things that have been happening are okay and that they need to be discussed, when really they should not be happening at all,” he said.
Nwogbaga added that Eisgruber should have acknowledged that the Urban Congo incident offended black students in particular.
Some students who gathered in the University Chapel on Sunday to address issues of racism and prejudice turned their backs on University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83, and some walked out.
U-Councilor Naimah Hakim ’16 then introduced four students who presented a list of demands, including dignity, accountability and change.
While these students spoke, other students stood in the aisle of the Chapel with signs protesting for change. After the four students onstage finished their remarks, they and the protesters in the aisle marched out of the church, chanting, “Hate speech is not free speech.”
Wow — now we got a demand for dignity.
It’s well worth reading the comments at the Daily Princetonian articles as it’s there you’ll encounter comments by students (well, hopefully by students) that will assuage at least some of your fears about the future of civilization.