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Video goes viral at NCCU, students sound off

By Alexandria Sampson - Echo editor-in-chief
On October 31, 2013

There's a black party, white party then there's the black and white party. The monochromatic colors have become popular themes for sophisticated parties.

The innocuous naming of such parties, however, caused a stir at N.C. Central University when the subject was used out of context.

In a video posted before the 2013 fall semester, two international NCCU students are shown outside of Annie Day Shepard. Filmed by another international NCCU student, the males are asked what they think about a White and Black Party.

More specifically, they're first asked: "What do you think about the American party?"

One of the students proceeds to say that the party would be a good idea if it was 50/50 and not 5/95. At that point it becomes clear he's not talking about clothing choices.

"In a room with lights on, it will still be dark and I don't want to be the only shining light in there so people will have something to shoot at."

He then states that going to the party is a risk that could result in him being stabbed in the back.

At the end of the video, the other male encourages the cameraman to stop shooting because "there is black people" coming.

Psychology senior Christine Allen first viewed it in September. She said she wasn't sure whether the students were joking or not.

"I was unsure about what I was watching so I ignored it," Allen said.

The video remained in obscurity until Allen brought it to Jhordan Perry who urged her to take action. Allen tweeted the video Tuesday night under the tag #FreedomOfSpeechOrNah.

"[Perry's] reaction made me want to know how other students felt," Allen said.

Allen said in several hours the video's views and comments went from virtually none to 80.

Ranging from disgust to anger to nonchalance, NCCU's Eagles were eager to give their opinions. Some students who didn't feel the video was problematic were hesitant to comment afterwards.

It was Perry himself who had one of the strongest reactions to the video.

Perry said the first thing that stood out to him was the comment made about being the only light in a room full of black people. His initial reaction was one of anger.

Perry said what made him angrier was the dismissive response from students.

"In a lot of situations like this, people would rather not be angry because it's easier," Perry said. "It's easier to pretend you're not offended and the video is clearly meant to be offensive."

For Perry, the video and its subsequent reactions present an issue that extends beyond the campus of NCCU.

Perry said the reason why racism doesn't get the coverage it deserves is because black people frequently ignore it. He said this is an example of the Uncle Tom mentality.

"That's the result of dancing for the white man," Perry said.

Perry said aside from the video being filmed at a HBCU, it was ironic that one of the students wore a FUBU shirt which is a black-owned clothing line.

Accounting and marketing junior Destiny Feemster said she was disgusted with the video.

"We open up our doors and hearts for other people, and for them to feel that's sad," Feemster said.

While the intention of the video was unclear, Feemster said she took it seriously.

"In every joke, it's 75 percent of the truth," Feemster said.

After the video received a swell of attention, it was eventually deleted.

As far as repercussions, Allen said she'd like to see a video apology at the least.

"If they can get on camera and say all of that then they can get on camera and apologize," Allen said.

Perry shared a similar sentiment but said he was wary of the students giving an ingenuous apology.

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