Racist Fraternity Joke Prompts Outrage at Duke

More than 20 student groups at Duke University are calling on the university to act after a fraternity member made a racially insensitive joke about immigration, the NBC affiliate WRAL reported.

Promoting an off-campus fraternity party, Alex Van Lanshot, a member of Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, allegedly wrote in a group chat, “Need help crossing the border? Lucky for you ADPhi has a few too many Latinos who are extremely skilled at evading law enforcement. Join us in [Tabor City]. Just don’t get deported.”

Alpha Delta Phi is an off-campus fraternity that is not affiliated with the university but is made up of Duke students. Last year, Alpha Delta Phi was among a group of fraternities that separated from the university’s interfraternity council and formed their own council.

Multiple Duke student organizations, including Mi Gente, Duke’s largest Latinx student group, signed on to a letter making several demands of the university, including that it create a “peer judicial board” so students can hold each other accountable and establish more systems to allow for confidential peer reporting about Greek life.

“It is both racist and classist to undermine and stereotype the experiences of Latinx students and their families. This statement criminalizes and dehumanizes Latin American immigrants whilst ignoring the hardships faced by them,” the letter states.

According to WRAL, a statement from Alpha Delta Phi said it “does not condone racially insensitive language and does not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We encourage our members at Duke to take part in diversity, equity and inclusion educational programming to better understand how their words and actions can be hurtful to others.”

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