The long and exponentially growing list of things that are racist now includes mock jail philanthropy events designed to raise money for child literacy.
Students at Northwestern University discovered this exciting, new racist thing last week after a sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and a fraternity, Zeta Beta Tau, had planned the “Jail N’ Bail” fundraiser, The Daily Northwestern reports.
The fundraiser would have involved members of the Greek groups arresting volunteers who would then sit in a pretend jail until they raised enough money to bail themselves out.
“Bail” proceeds from the fundraiser would have benefited Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), America’s largest nonprofit dedicated to children’s literacy. RIF provides reading material, instruction and motivation to low-income children.
No funds will be raised for RIF, however.
After the event was announced last week, a small group of critics began to condemn it online. They were particularly upset that some sorority members posed in a publicity shot in orange, jail-like jumpsuits.
“You’re employing aspects, the orange jumpsuits, of an oppressive system that operates as a massive encumbrance to the lives and literacy rates of black and brown children,” sophomore Alejandro Banuelos blasted in a Facebook comment, according to the campus newspaper.
“All of them should be ashamed,” junior Maria Marquez declared.
Also, in a letter to the editor, student Ajay Nadig explained that “Jail N’ Bail” fundraisers are offensive because “the fact that a group of wealthy Northwestern students are ‘playacting’ at being prisoners (most of whom are poor) is a blatant belittling of the realities of mass incarceration and the prison-industrial complex.”
The sophomore availing himself of the luxurious amenities at the fancypants schools also detected racism and systematic social oppression.
“I’m just saying that the Greek system is 71 percent white,” he lectured, according to Campus Reform. “In a situation in which roughly 40 percent of incarcerated people in this country are black, ‘Jail-and-Bail’ leads to the same situation presented in my first point, except this time with regard to race.”
Kappa Kappa Gamma and Zeta Beta Tau quickly caved. Representatives from both Greek organizations confirmed the cancellation of the event over the weekend.
A Kappa Kappa Gamma apologized for trying to raise money to help poor kids have access to books, adding that it “regrets organizing the Jail N Bail event due to its offensive nature.”
This incident certainly isn’t Northwestern’s first politically correct rodeo.
In May 2013, for example, school officials sent a campus-wide letter that advised students not to celebrate Cinco de Mayo by engaging in racially-offensive activities, such as eating tacos and drinking tequila. (RELATED: Latino Student Group Says Eating Tacos Is Offensive To Mexicans)