Penn State Sorority’s Mexican Fiesta Backfires

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A Penn State sorority is under investigation by the college’s Panhellenic Council after this photo of a Mexican-themed party surfaced on Tumblr, depicting poncho-clad sisters holding signs that say things like “I don’t cut grass; I smoke it.” The president of the Nu Gamma chapter of Chi Omega apologized in a statement, saying the picture does not reflect what the organization aspires to be. It has been widely noted that this episode does little to correct the recent criticism of Penn State’s culture, where widespread devotion to a football coach enabled a serial sex abuser to work for years. But for us, it’s simply too early in our recovery from our dual national nightmares — Halloween and the Victoria’s Secret fashion show — to trot the racist stereotypes back out. (Same goes for you, Charlotte Casiraghi.) College-aged women are known to go to great lengths for the opportunity to don a fake mustache and take pictures of themselves. (Why?) But this episode stands out for being the most broadly offensive. Fifty-two million Americans identify as Hispanic or Latino. Did none of them get Chi Omega bids?