Local

Cal Poly investigating photo on social media of frat member in blackface

A photograph posted to Facebook on Saturday shows two brothers from Cal Poly's Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, one of whom is in blackface.
A photograph posted to Facebook on Saturday shows two brothers from Cal Poly's Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, one of whom is in blackface. Monique Chenault-Hakker

Update, 1 p.m. Monday:

An Instagram photo has now surfaced showing Lambda Chi Alpha members throwing gang signs while dressed as gangster stereotypes in front of their San Luis Obispo fraternity house — the same day as a fraternity member was also photographed in blackface.

»» Read more here: Second photo surfaces of Cal Poly fraternity under fire for blackface image

Read Next

Original story:

A photograph of two Cal Poly fraternity brothers that shows one of them in blackface has sparked outrage on social media and prompted an apology from Lambda Chi Alpha.

The caption on the photo, posted on Facebook by Monique Chenault-Hakker, reads in part, "Don’t send your kids here if you want them to be safe."

One of the men in the photo, identified by the Mustang News as Kyler Watkins, is shown with his neck and face painted completely black.

"We are extremely sorry and embarrassed for failing to recognize the racial impacts this brought forth," the fraternity said in a statement released to the Mustang News. "Although it was not our intention to stir up racial tension, we understand the negative impact this picture had on our peers."

The fraternity also said in the statement that the photo was taken at an April 7 event where their members wore different colors to represent teams during a competition.

Requests by The Tribune for comment from the fraternity were not returned as of Sunday evening. The other student in the photo also did not respond to a request for comment.

Cal Poly spokesman Matt Lazier said the university is aware of the post and is investigating the incident.

"The university finds deplorable any acts that would seek to hurt, offend, intimidate, or frighten any member of our campus community," he said in an email.

The incident happened during the university's PolyCultural Weekend, an event where cultural organizations on campus come together to welcome prospective students to the school.

The woman who posted the photo, Monique Chenault-Hakker, did not respond to a request for comment Sunday evening. Chenault-Hakker said in comments on her Facebook post that "the pic was posted by a professor at Cal Poly calling them out." It's unclear who originally posted the photo and where it was posted.

  Comments