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University Of Louisville Apologizes For Hispanic Halloween Costumes

The University of Louisville in Kentucky issued an apology on Oct. 29 after a photograph surfaced of the school's president, James Ramsey, and other staff posing in fake mustaches, wearing sombreros and holding maracas at a Halloween party.

The picture was posted by The Courier-Journal on Oct. 28 as part of a photo gallery about a neighborhood mansion used by Ramsey for various college events. The picture was also posted on The Courier-Journal's Facebook page on Oct. 29 where it drew both outrage and support.

"We’re human beings," Sarah Nunez, the director of the school's Office of Hispanic and Latino Initiatives, said to The Courier-Journal. "We’re not costumes."

The Louisville Cardinal, a student newspaper, ran an op-ed by Editor in Chief Olivia Krauth on Oct. 29 with the headline "What, what, what are you wearing?: Ramsey goes racist."

"The president of a school that prides itself in diversity opted to dress himself and his staff as a culture for Halloween," Krauth wrote. "Not just a culture, but a minority that is frequently faced with prejudice. Not just a culture, but a completely wrongfully depicted culture according to people who are actually in that culture.

"There’s a word for this. It’s called racism."

Krauth added that she contacted a university spokesperson for comment.

"We made a mistake and are very sorry," Kathleen Smith, chief of staff for Ramsey's office, said in a statement.

Smith also expressed "deep regret for the hurt this experience has caused" and said the staff plans to begin diversity training immediately.

However, that may not be enough. Krauth tweeted about a protest at the school on Oct. 30. One of her tweets includes a video in which students can be heard chanting, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, racist Ramsey has got to go."

Sources: Facebook, The Courier-Journal, Reuters, The Louisville Cardinal, Twitter (2) / Image Credit: University Of Louisville Logo


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