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Penn State sorority sisters denigrate Mexicans in party photo
Penn State's Chi Omega chapter apologized for this photo that was posted on Tumblr.
December 5th, 2012
12:37 PM ET

Penn State sorority sisters denigrate Mexicans in party photo

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) - Penn State has had its share of controversy for a while, but this week it is getting some more unwanted attention.

The university's Chi Omega sorority chapter is under investigation after a photo with Mexican stereotypes surfaced on a social media site.

It shows a group of sorority members dressed in ponchos and sombreros and wearing fake mustaches. One woman holds a sign that says: "Will mow lawn for weed + beer." Another sign says: "I don't cut grass. I smoke it."

The photograph was taken at a Mexican-themed party around Halloween, according to the independent college blog, Onward State. It was posted last week on Tumblr.

The university's Panhellenic Council said it had received concerns about the photo and that the council does not condone derogatory behavior from members.

"The Penn State Panhellenic Council recognizes the offensive nature of the photo and is therefore taking the matter very seriously," the executive board said in a statement.

"We are addressing the situation immediately with the members of the chapter in conjunction with their national headquarters," it said. "Our council and all its members strive to hold ourselves to a high standard and are disappointed by any failure to meet these expectations."

Jessica Riccardi, president of the Chi Omega chapter at Penn State, released an apology to The Daily Collegian newspaper.

“Our chapter of Chi Omega sincerely apologizes for portraying inappropriate and untrue stereotypes," she said. "The picture in question does not support any of Chi Omega’s values or reflect what the organization aspires to be."

The connections to the sorority were discovered through members' names tagged on Facebook, Onward State said. The posts have since been taken down.

Penn State public relations director Lisa Powers said that university officials have had conversations with Chi Omega members and that the women have expressed "deep remorse."

"The students in the photo are within their First Amendment rights to express themselves in this way, although we are certainly appalled that they would display this level of insensitivity and lack of judgment," Powers said.

"Because the right of free expression is guaranteed under the Constitution - for both behaviors we disagree with or for those that we support - we are approaching this as a teachable moment to engage this group of young women in discussions about their actions and to further educate them about diversity issues," she said.

Powers said the national leadership of Chi Omega will have to decide if disciplinary action is warranted.

A statement from Chi Omega headquarters said, "Personal degradation has no place in our organization, even if such behavior is meant facetiously or in jest. The Chi Omega national organization is taking this situation very seriously and is being thoughtful and deliberate regarding any sanctions or educational directives for the chapter."

At least one student at Penn State demanded a direct apology from Chi Omega to all Latinos.

"This is not a joke. This is our culture," said Ariel Coronel, president of the Penn State Latino Caucus.

She was shocked when she first saw the photo and said the signs the women were holding were especially offensive.

"There's a huge drug war going on in Mexico and you have a sign that says, 'We will mow lawns for weed and beer,' " Coronel said. "It's wrong on so many levels. How can you think this is OK?"

The reactions to the incident varied on Twitter. Here are two:

Posted by
Filed under: Ethnicity • Latino in America • Race • What we think
soundoff (1,756 Responses)
  1. rascal

    abolutely 100% agree look at all the bigots leading the big companies 🙂

    December 6, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  2. damnvalley

    I'm jealous of this party. Looked like it was a lot of fun.

    December 6, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  3. W8a2nd

    Much ado about nothing. Sans sombreros, I guess they would be offending all men (and women) with mustaches. LOL!

    December 6, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. larry

    How much you want to bet there was a Jersey Shore type of party at some point in the last few years and everyone was dressing up like "guidos" yet that is ok I guess since making fun of Italians is ok. Geeze who cares, the only reason it is causing an uproar is because the news is trying to make it cause an uproar. What is next the Greek people on campus suing because of Toga Parties?

    December 6, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • KIZYLE

      Funny how some bigotry is more accepted than ever. I would add to the list rural folk.

      December 6, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. BemidjiJack

    I am of Mexican decent and this doesn't bother me one bit. Sorry that I'm not following in lockstep with the rest of my brethren, but I refuse to play "victim".

    December 6, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. NC_Right

    Amen

    December 6, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. Rich

    Interesting how the Mexican and Latino community is offended, yet there is no reference to either group. Unless of course they agree with the sterotypes of poncho's and wide hats are only worn by their groups. To be offended by this it would seem you first have to agree with it. Or is the only issue the signs?

    December 6, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • rapierpoint

      I'd say that without the signs, they would be hard put to say it's racism.

      December 6, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational Guy

      Well, sombreros did originate in Mexico so it's not crazy to assume they are clearly referring to Mexicans. I mean if the signs aren't also a dead giveaway. Don't be an idiot about it.

      December 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. history bear

    For cripes sake people, if you look there are latino ladies involved with this. Quit being so sensitive about this. I guarantee you if it had been about making fun of anglos not a word would have been said.

    December 6, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Art

      I think those are Italians or Asians.

      December 6, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      I'm sure they've had their share of "Jersey Girl" parties.

      December 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kate

    Should they have done that? No.
    But what I'm mostly upset about is the negative light they are shedding on Greek Life. Greeks have been trying to get rid of the bad stereotype for years, and this chapter has just set all organizations back a step. I'm disappointed that I have to tell potential new members that this is not what Greek Life is about.

    December 6, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  10. Marc Florida

    We have become so politically correct that as a nation we have lost our sense of humor. Without it, the future for America is bleak

    December 6, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  11. Art

    It's OK to make fun of others.......But when they make fun of you watch out!

    December 6, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. FredInIT

    Wait – Chi-O National is complaining about being this being 'discriminatory' when they are one of the most selective, and to a great extent, discriminative sororities out there. If you don't fit their height, weight, socioeconomic status, etc. you can forget about joining. I see one, possible, person of color, two Asianic, and the rest appear to be Western European decent. True, the Chi-O National, just like the BSA, Catholic Church, etc. can reprimand members for behavior unbecoming – that doesn't mean that they can't have that behavior. Just have to face the consequences.

    Personally, I think the picture is rather cute and funny. Harkens back to the 70' drug humor (Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, Robbin Williams, George Carlin, etc.). And sure as heck is a lot more tame than a lot of other antics that have happened on College and University campuses over the years. No one is naked, flipping the bird, or even has a beer in their hand.

    The campus Latino community should work directly with the local sorority on any repercussions and just be done with it.

    FredInIT

    December 6, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. Chris

    I choose to see a silver lining – Penn Satae PR reminded everyone that these girls' actions are protected by the First Amendment, as insensitive as their actions might be. In these Orwellian times, to see even a flicker of resistance to the juggernaut of political correctness is encouraging. Many organizations wouldnt even offer THAT much of a counter. – they'd just roll over, pander, and ask just HOW MUCH punishment should be inflicted...
    Lighten up, people.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  14. Geez

    When did America become so sensitive to other cultures? Most of America is racist and eager to throw out foreigners.

    We are "outraged" by a bunch of girls wearing sombreros and holding signs? I know people who attend redneck-themed parties... should we be offended by that?

    This is garbage reporting and only published because it involves Penn State. All these articles do is bring out the sanctimonious hypocrits so they can feel good about themselves at end of day.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mark B

    Seriously???!!! Are people really that sensative? Can't laugh at ourselves anymore? Seems people have to find reason to whine... PC at its best...

    December 6, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  16. GAW

    And toga parties are denigrating to Romans.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Was it over when the......Germans bombed Peral Harbor??? HELL NO...!!!.... And it aint over now.................

      December 6, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  17. Frank

    California offered them citizenship, a free education, health care, food stamps, housing, a cell phone and a driver's licence...then realized they were Americans and are of course now outraged..

    December 6, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  18. legalize the weed

    For crying out loud... Some people need to take the advice of these young ladies and LIGHT-EN UP!

    Not everything in this world has to be politically incorrect... Get over yourselves...

    December 6, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  19. GAW

    Why not have a college sorority sl ut theme night and take a photo of that? Have em hold up signs that say I love to Hook Up. I wonder if that will raise a few eyebrows.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  20. cosmicc

    Unfortunately, they don't have to look very far...and that needs to be kept in the news.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  21. David Larcomb

    I have to agree. Pretty soon the media will report outrageousness of the Roman Toga Parties. This is girls just going to have fun. ice it down.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  22. Jason

    I'm completely outraged by the lack of young nubile skin displayed in this photograph.....

    December 6, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  23. FactsRBad

    Yes, these children have the right to free speech – what they need to understand that all forms of speech and/or expression carries certain consequences.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Amen.

      I see no crime here... but perhaps the could stand to be suspended from the national sorority for a year.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  24. MikeDD

    Wow! Who would have thought college kids would have done something stupid.....

    And this is breaking news??

    December 6, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  25. chris

    you can't tell people "don't be offended".
    how about the girls dress in white hoods and set crosses on fire.. is that funny too? would people need to "lighten up" about that too? where do you draw the line Lou? you pretty much draw the line at whatever people en mass get ticked off about. just cause you aren't... too bad Lou.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  26. John M

    What is the big deal? Has anyone ever seen Cheech and Chong? I didn't see anyone go after the producers of that film? This was a private party, and they weren't out rubbing this in peoples faces. Don't post any photos of your next Christmas party, otherwise people may think you are being insensitive towards Christians.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  27. rascal

    bad taste, bad education, just so bad ..oh sorry bad school too

    December 6, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  28. less

    Whats ironic is here that its the rich Americans who smoke the weed and cause the wars in Mexico. Pro dopers argue that if doping out were legalized, the violence would stop, which is baloney. The dopers need to abstain, then the market would collapse

    December 6, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Marcus

      Growing up I attended Hawaiian Luaus dressed like a Hawaiian, I attended "fiestas" dressed in a sombrero, and toga partys dressed like a Roman. How anyone could lable this racisim is beyond me. It seems that this country has gone crazy over all this political correctness. My message to those girls is that you did nothing wrong, just resist the temptation to post your pictures. Make your next party a "Sandusky Soire" and have everyone dress like little boys. Now THATS funny!

      December 6, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • chico

      less, you could not get it more wrong. If it is legalized it will be grow locally gutting the market for Mexican weed. No demand no smuggling.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  29. Chuck

    You know who succeeds in the post college world? People who do not take themselves too seriously. When was the last time you saw an uptight stiff running a successful company?

    It is the people who have a problem with this that will have a hard time landing jobs as they will come off in an interview as taking themselves and the world too seriously. I don't hire people like that. These ladies, on the other hand, will do fine in life.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  30. floored1

    their future ambitions at display!

    December 6, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  31. Not a Mexican

    Your thinking is pathetic. I am not a Mexican, however think about the time your people came to America. Everyone in this country is an immigrant. I am totally disgusted reading your thoughts that any child should starve.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  32. Tri lam

    Yet another example of the fine character that is built by frats and sororities...

    December 6, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  33. powergril

    They are dressed up portraying their future jobs! A degree from Penn St. useless 🙂

    December 6, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  34. Melanie H.

    I think it is funny and I am one of the most tolerant people I know. It wasn't that offensive. Stereotypes when used to deprive people of rights or access to basic freedoms we all enjoy are terrible, but when used for humor, they are just plain funny. We see stuff like this all the time on television. Most situation comedies use stereotypes on a regular basis. People just need to take all their outrage wasted on something like this and put it to something more important, like oh...human trafficking, domestic abuse, war. This is just stupid to get upset about something as harmless as this.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • cosmicc

      Just picture them wearing a costume that mocks your cultural background and then see how you feel.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  35. Jake

    Just another reason for me to be ashamed of being a PSU graduate.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  36. powergril

    go girls!! make us proud 🙂 have fun with them loans not gonna find a job perhaps end up mowing as well 🙂

    December 6, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  37. skilledworker

    lets see 2 maybe 3 more years for these young ladies before graduation... can hardly wait to see the final product 🙂

    December 6, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  38. James

    As far as offensive halloween costumes go, these are pretty mundane. I understand they may be offensive to some, but lots of Halloween costumes are. This is not something unique to chi-omega or Penn State. Although the decision to pose for a group photo and put it online might be unique to this sorority lol.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  39. Columbo

    How about white people committing mass shootings, raping and kidnapping young children, performing cannibalism, and committing murder suicides– as if it was the next Gangam style. Oh yeah, all I have to do is go outside and see that too!

    December 6, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  40. Recon

    If they were dressed like Pastor's and were making fun of Christianity would it be reported? No it would not be reported because mainstream media could care less it does not fit their agenda. When a group of kids at a high school in Arizona on Cinco De Mayo removed the American Flag stepped on it and put up a Mexican flag do you think that was offensive? Why did mainstream not report that? Because it does not fit the agenda.. Only thing offensive here is the media who reports this junk.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  41. randy skeller

    USA!! USA!! USA!! USA!!

    December 6, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  42. Lou

    This is very disturbing and should be dealt with in an expeditious manner. I'm certain American's have more worries than someone wearing a sombraro. They should be speaking out against those who support abortion or those who do not support abortion. Speak out against guns or join the NRA. Maybe we should be screaming about how our government is not spending enough money on social programs or how we can cut monies available for those in need. WOW! Mexican hats. (if you take offense to my post, read it again. If you didn't, it's your choice to read it again if you would like)

    December 6, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • SensibleJoe

      It's not so much that the sorority sisters were wearing sombreros (not "sombraros") that was offensive. It's the signs they're holding, equating being Mexican or Mexican-American with nothing more than mowing lawns (menial labor) and smoking marijuana (illegal behavior). How on earth did you miss that, Lou?

      December 6, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  43. rambo

    are these educated minds? looks like something failed so sad

    December 6, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  44. SSAYCM

    Does this mean it is racist for Texans (hell, people everywhere) to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with sombreros and margaritas? Many who do so are not even aware that Cinco de Mayo is the Mexican Independence day, but I have never seen a public outcry over those celebrations. Also, does anyone think themed parties (yes, even those that border on the politically uncorrect) are unique to Penn State?

    Hint: no and no.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Adriana

      5 de Mayo has nothing to do with the mexican independence day. We started to fight for our independence from Spain September 16, that's the day we celebrate it.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      The part that was bad was the signs. If they all Chi Omega women want to wear sombreros and ponchos, it is a bit of a stereotype - possibly a little tasteless - but not a big deal. If there were no signs, then I might suggest they attempt to learn a little more about Mexican culture, but no reprimand would be in order. The signs, however, clearly indicate these women embrace wholeheartedly very negative stereotypes of Mexican people.

      Without the sigs, it was a bit juvenile, perhaps a little shallow - nothing more. The signs make it offensive.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Curt

      SO the sign is fine with you? What if it said "need money to pay for meth and rent for my trailer" or "will work for chicken" or "will take your SAT for rice"?

      December 6, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • JaySquared

      FYI, the 5th of May or Cinco de Mayo is NOT the celebration of Mexico's Independence. Just so you can become a tad bit more educated in another culture, Mexico's Independence is celebrated on September 16th.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • JP

      Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican's Independence Day. Most Mexicans in Mexico don't even celebrate the day. It's an excuse for American's to pretty much get drunk.

      I agree that the sombreros and mustache may not have been uber offensive. It's the signs the ladies are holding that make the picture truly tasteless...

      December 6, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • SensibleJoe

      Cinco de Mayo isn't Mexican Independence Day. It isn't even celebrating throughout all of Mexico - only in the Mexican state of Puebla. Mexican Independence Day is on September 16, and it's a national holiday. The sombreros didn't make this photograph racist. The signs the sorority sisters are holding up did, because they equate being Mexican or Mexican-American with nothing more than mowing lawns (menial labor) and smoking marijuana (illegal behavior). How on earth did you miss that?

      December 6, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  45. CJ

    This definitely would not have been a big deal if not for those signs... People dress up like this for parties or at Mexican restaurants all the time, even though it's not really how people dress down South.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  46. sweet

    A+ for this class, what's nest on the hate list?

    December 6, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  47. robert_58

    Good Job! what an amazing display of educated minds!

    December 6, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  48. TheMan

    awesome

    December 6, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  49. joe

    I refuse to comment until I see the Freeh report

    December 6, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  50. Rihanna

    This is nothing new in Fraternities and Sororities. I go to the University of Georgia and they have BET (Black Entertainment Television) themed parties all the time and everyone dresses as black stereotypes. It's the norm around campus and I think it's absolutely disgusting.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Darnell

      Don't be so harsh. We had a 'slaves and masters' party where all the guys dressed up as slaves and the women tied chains around us and whipped us. It was fun.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
      • Edwin

        The slaves&masters parties you describe are clearly unrelated to black slavery - so there is no racial issue. I do find it odd that there were no dominatrices at your party - usually it is the woman who is the mistress and the men are her slaves...

        December 6, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  51. salma

    I bet their parents are proud what over achievers!

    December 6, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  52. DJCowboy

    They should have waited until Cinco de Mayo then it would have been alright! Seriously, a couple of my friends and I during college one year dressed up exactly like this during Cinco and hit the bars! No one complains! The only reason this is getting any attention is because it happened at Penn State

    December 6, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • SensibleJoe

      Open your eyes and look at the photograph, DJCowboy. It's not the sombreros that make this incident racist. It's the signs the sorority sisters are holding up, equating being Mexican or Mexican-American with nothing more than mowing lawns (menial labor) and smoking marijuana (illegal behavior). How would you feel if they all wore ten-gallon hats and held up signs saying "Will work for chaw," "Will work for meth" and "Need $$$, my trailer's broke"?

      December 6, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
      • Rich

        But the signs have no context unless you buy into the Mexican poncho stereotype. So I think that only people who agree with the stereotype can complain about the signs, by agreeing that they themselves are racist.

        December 6, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  53. slamma

    no surprise, what else do you expect from college?

    December 6, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  54. daredevils

    Penn St. rocks! best education on the planet!

    December 6, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  55. eyesoftruth

    I did not know you could take hate & intolerance as a minor in college maybe Penn St. specializes in that study!

    December 6, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Al

      Stay Classy Penn St

      December 6, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  56. dodder

    hmm oh yeah intolerance is an elective at college these days!

    December 6, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  57. Wasted money on stupid girls

    Now we know who the die hard Sandusky supporters were even after it was more than obvious he was raping little boys.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  58. Mr. Trejo

    for the Mexican guy...is noted that you don't know rural Mexico...yes we still have places that we still dress like that because we're farmers or sheep care givers... and it is ofensive also to mention the "word Latino" at first we ain't Latinos we either are mexicans, argentinians etc.. in this case is focus in Mexico... and yes you all can agree what a country of we have here in USA..

    December 6, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • thexan

      Is it really offensive to use "Latino"?
      Also, do you really expect the average American to distinguish between Mexican and Argentinian? Can you distinguish between Austrian and German, or Kenyan and Tanzanian?

      December 6, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
      • Fran

        No, I am Latina and I don't consider "Latino" to be offensive, I think some people just don't like to be mixed in with other natinalities, personally, I think they have issues... but I'm okay with the term. As for the posting, I have no issues with the girls dressing as Mexican farmers, however the posters are offensive.

        December 6, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  59. bobabaloo

    as long as you can keep those hard earned tax dollars, cause everyone knows you buying a new flat screen tv is much more important than dying babies on the streets.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  60. Steve

    Is that what they teach you at Sarah Lawrence?

    December 6, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  61. Juan Luna

    This is the CNN message boards, so you're not going to find the brightest bulbs here.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  62. Steve

    Is that what they teach you at Sarah Lawrence?

    December 6, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  63. jason

    how many people commenting are Mexican??? my wife is mexican and she thought it was funny...they joke about these stereotypes in Mexico...the only people offended are idiot americans that are offended by everything...we always gotta be soooo politically correct...what a joke...i've traveled all over the world and believe me, other coultries aren't so politically correct when talking about americans!!!!!!!

    December 6, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Stephen

      spot on

      December 6, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • JOSE

      I 100 % agree..... as a Latino i saw this only as a funny HALLOWEEN picture...... these politically correct ACLU liberals need to get a life......i am now wondering if this is why Speedy Gonzalez is never on TV anymore....... hummm....

      December 6, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Brock

      Best post I've read in a while

      December 6, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  64. Stephen

    The use of the word "OUTRAGE" is overblown. People should be outraged at the atrocities in Syria or outraged that we cant fix our economy. NOT outraged at college kids doing what college kids do

    December 6, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  65. MontanaTrace

    Harmless, with no intent to denigrate Mexicans. The signs weren't necessary but as others have noted, Cheech and Chong have made fortunes making the world laugh at their caricatures of Mexicans smoking weed. Mostly the media and the real bigots are the first to shout, "racists!"

    December 6, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  66. cgs

    Get over it. No one would care if they all donned habits for a nun party.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  67. Concerned

    How can it be stereo typing if everyone knows the things they put on the signs are not true? Apparently everyone commenting knows the things that wrote were not true. Even they knew it. It was just a little twist one humor. I live in Chihuahua< Mexico and tell red neck jokes to Mexicans here all the time. They think they are funny and so do I. I am white and speak Spanish and my wife is Mexican. They even tell me jokes about Mexicans. They are just like Americans and other people around the world. They also make cultural jokes here. Many about blacks. Welcome to the world. Mexicans make jokes about other Latin countries. They just do not make it on CNN. Come to a celebration here in Mexico. Someone said they do not dress like that. Well come to a celebration here and you will see them dressing just like that. Even more so. I bought a the same sombrero and top just like that here in Mexico. It is CNN that is making this into a problem and wanting to divide the country. Mexican people here joke about the new long toed Mexican cowboy boots. They are exaggerated to beyond belief. They make funny statements about them. So do I. They do not get offended. By the way. My wife laughed after I told her what the signs said. She does not speak English. She knew it was a joke.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • jt88

      I think the issue here is context. I'm sure you don't mean to offend, but you're telling these jokes about your race to acquaintances. Try telling a joke about a different race at a corporate event to a room full of complete *strangers*. People you've never met. They don't know you or your intentions. They don't know if you're being callous or facetious. Just because your wife laughs at your jokes, doesn't mean the stranger at the bus stop will.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
      • Concerned

        Exactly. This was not meant to go before the world on CNN. It was a private party and some silly jokes. It was not meant to get outside the party. CNN should not have published it.

        Like the guy on the street corner that has a sign that says will work for beer. It is funny, but it is true. So maybe it does a ply to someone out there. Everyone that has a brain knows that all Mexicans do not smoke weed, and neither do all Americans. But many do. Just a funny play on words.

        I live in Mexico and it is easier to find weed for sale here then in the USA. It is legal to smoke it here as well as use drugs. The USA has not caught up yet. They were inside jokes that should have not gotten any further then the front door.

        December 6, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
      • Concerned

        It looks like they all participated. So it was not supposed to be on CNN. Many ethnicities in that group. I think I do see a couple of Latina's in there also.

        December 6, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • jt88

      I agree with you this was a private matter, but the problem (or mistake, depending on your point of view) is that they posted on the internet – a very public forum. I'm with you about being able to joke about ourselves. I posted elsewhere admitting to my own digressions, butI keep it private amongst people I know very well. In fact, I don't mind how they dressed up. What's offensive are the signs. And not knowing these individuals, it's impossible to know their true intentions, other than to err on the side of maliciousness due to the negative content of the signs.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  68. SRLinMD

    This is sanctimony Defined! Get over it. Political correctness between the Latin American countries themselves doesn't exist.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  69. johnny57

    I can not believe this. Who really cares? If something comes of this, it will tell me that we are heading down the wrong path. The signs say something about grass and beer. At least it did not say something about heroin and whiskey. This is really petty. These are college kids. Back off CNN!!

    December 6, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  70. Kevin

    Everyone needs to chill out. We should be able to poke fun at everyone including ourselves and laugh at it.
    Look's like there are women of many races participating in this event and having fun too. I'd like to drink a tecate with them.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  71. Darnell

    I guess they should be arrested then!

    December 6, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  72. Deb

    That's what the college kids do...smoke weed!!! Wake up! It's no wonder that other countries are surpassing us. Whatever happened to freedom of speech?

    December 6, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael Means

      Uh...weed is not the issue?

      December 6, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • kksj33

      Their speech is not what's at stake. They can say whatever they want and the article points that out. The KKK can say whatever they want. What's happening is that we as a civil society don't agree what they're saying. Plus, the first amendment has nothing to do with this as it relates to the federal government. Go back to school.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
      • Deb (insulted for no reason!)

        All I am saying is that they aren't hurting anyone with their themed college party. RELAX! I would love to go back to school but can't afford to. I need to stay at my current job and raise my 3 wonderfully smart children the best I can.

        December 6, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
      • Mr. F

        Dumbest thing I have heard in a while. Comparing sorority girls in sombreros to the KKK.

        You do not speak for all of society; some of us either don't care or have a sense of humor about silliness like this. This is not terrorizing, spreading hate speech, or murdering people. Its playing stereotype dress up. Why someone would post it online, however, is beyond me.

        December 6, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  73. William Holder

    Shameful, disrespectful, ugly! Why do we keep churning out bigots! not even higher education can eradicate intolerance!

    December 6, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  74. Phil

    Lets see cheech and chong make a full blown career from doing this, now the world is outraged by this. People should be more concerned about the thinness of skin, not the color of it.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  75. ModernMan

    Oh here we go again... the ultra-sensitive media hype. This is a funny picture. They are having fun. It pokes fun at a stereotype... so what? If we can't laugh at ourselves and the crazy ways in which people are charicatured, then we are surely on our way out as a society.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  76. Brock

    Eh, who cares...these themed parties have been happening for 50 years. Just because someone posts a picture on the internet now it is a big deal? People who went to school before the world of Facebook should be happy. And for once I wish someone like Chi Omega would just tell people to "shove it" when they complained instead of apologizing.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  77. giggity

    this is free speech whether we like it or not

    December 6, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • DeeCee10000

      That is correct. People are also practicing their right of free speech in calling this sorority's behavior idiotic. Do you have a problem with that?

      December 6, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
      • Dennis

        No, feel free to say it is idiotic all you want. Just don't say what they did was illegal or SHOULD be punished under university, sorority, or government law.

        December 6, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  78. MNfree

    God forbid if there were a whole bunch of Mexican girls that had viking helmets and blonde beards smiling for a picture, holding a sign saying, "Pillaging for Pilsner." You'd probably have to blur the picture out I'd be soooo offended.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • EL MEXICANO

      I dress like white people everyday.....when I go to work.

      December 6, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  79. rockysfan

    Penn State just can't help hoof 'n mouth disease now can they?! First they allow Sandusky to peddle little kids, then they are outraged when their inglorius "Pa" is removed from campus and now this? What kind of people go to this campus? Please, let me know so I can avoid these pukes!

    December 6, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  80. Barbara Starr

    this is disgusting, is this the state of our higher education? Nation of bigots!

    December 6, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  81. Tom

    Umm. They are a group of college girls that had a halloween party and all coordinated to be dressed like stereotypical mexicans. There may be a handful of people that dont like this but who really gives a crap! At least now they have all learned a valuable lesson that American Culture is too uptight and this seemingly innocent act can have reprocussions. So they are learning how not to behaive when they get into the workforce. Better now than when they are CEO's or Program managers for our country's companies.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • btldriver

      Don't many Americans dess up and act like Mexicans every May 5th? I'm sure there are many stupid things done on that day and we don't here anything about it.

      December 6, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  82. Margoh

    Why should I send my kid to this University?

    December 6, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  83. katincal

    If my daughter was in this picture she sure wouldn't be in this sorority much longer – possibly not even in this school. She'd be going to school very close to home and experiencing a significant emotion event herself!

    December 6, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  84. Neil Foster

    Is this what our young to be leaders are learning as part of their higher learning?

    December 6, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  85. Janath McKee

    I had relatives on the Mayflower. Members of my family have fought for America in every war since the American Revolution. I am not Latino, not Hispanic, and I have no friends or family members who are. But that photo offended me!! I am shocked and disappointed in these young women and those who rush to their defense. We are Americans–we should be better than that!!

    December 6, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • gecko

      If this offended you, how do you make it through a day?

      December 6, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • ted

      one of the things your releatives fought for was freedom of speech so its not all bad.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  86. Steve in Northern NJ

    Come on people.... It was a party and they were goofing around. The assertion that it was "wrong on so many levels" was EXACTLY the point. If this is the biggest concern that these organizations have, then they lead a pretty good life. Get over it folks.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  87. csi5521

    I don't find the photo offensive. Who in their life, at one point or another, hasn't attended a themed party? I think this was done all in fun, and without malicious intent. However, as a sorority member myself (not of this particular sorority) you are held to high standards and are expected to represent the sorority in a positive light at all times. I just see this as maybe poor judgement. It is no different than being in the workforce. I work in law enforcement and certain professions expect you to represent them in a positive light, whether you are on the job or off duty. It boils down to life decisions. Sometimes the choices you make (although perceived as being harmless), have great consequences. I hope this will be a lesson to these young ladies, and I pray they do not face harsh disciplinary action(s) for something that I am sure was harmless fun.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  88. kennyzales

    This would be a non-issue if it hadn't happened at the school everyone loves to hate: Penn State. Just like a rabid dog, the media just loves to attack anything or anyone when they're down. I can't wait for for some conspiratorial incident to happen at CNN so the other media outlets can rip it to shreds.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  89. Nick

    Pay attention folks, this right here is the next generation. A bunch of Kanye West listening, low performing idiots!

    GOD BLESS AMERICA

    December 6, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  90. Devon Strickland

    what a waste of college money is this the best Penn St. can do?

    December 6, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  91. bigrigknowhow

    Wow!!! To all of the People who see nothing WRONG with this and seem to have a hard time understanding if this is offensive, here is a very easy test for you to gain perspective: Imagine yourself and your friends posing for this picture
    in front of, lets say, several Mexican Families with their Mothers, Daughters, Sons, Fathers,Husbands Cousins, etc watching everyone pose for this great party picture. If you wouldn't feel uncomfortable taking the picture, then you're RIGHT, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. If you think you would feel uncomfortable, then maybe you should evaluate why you would feel uncomfortable.,,, African American Male...

    December 6, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  92. DeeCee10000

    Must be hell attending a school known for molesting kids.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  93. NeoGraphix

    The bigger picture is how social media is showing it's dark side and people are searching for it and reporting it. It's another example of how social media is able to cause uproar over a photo or a statement. This was posted on Tumblr. The video about Muslims on YouTube, the countless number of bad twitter statements, the list will continue. How American's think and what they do used to be confined in small circles. Now the whole world is getting a glimpse on just how disfunctional American people can really be. This type of behavior is not new, it's just new to the general public.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  94. kt

    If you don't understand why it's not okay to make fun of people who are less fortunate then you, you're a jerk and I feel sorry for decent people who have to be around you.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  95. Michael Mason

    so exciting, these young ladies are already ready to lead and have not even graduated yet 🙂 Penn St. produces such quality students.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  96. B

    At a young age I was taught, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." This helped me to rise above the mental level of anyone making fun of me, for whatever reason. It's part of life.
    I was also taught that sometimes the truth hurts.
    If those girls want to show their immaturity and bigotry, fine, that's their right.
    If the Hispanic population, ever so proud of their culture, doesn't want to allow the infamous drug cartels and their drug empires to be a dominant stereotype in their society, then they should concern themselves with doing something about it instead of crying foul whenever they feel they have been "offended" by something that has a large amount of truth to it.

    Coronel said. "It's wrong on so many levels. How can you think this is OK?"

    If Coronel had as much passion to do something about the drug cartels as she does with complaining about what other people say about her race, maybe the Hispanic community would have a different stereotype.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • NeoGraphix

      I think you need to read more about how the Mexican people are dealing with the cartels. They are trying to change what is going on but it's very difficult when you, your family and your friends are decapitated and left on the side of a road if you cause the cartel any type of resistance in what they are doing. Read about the reporter just recently murdered for reporting about the cartel. That might give you a bit more insight on how hard it is down in Mexico. Plus there is a video on YouTube that shows the public execution of a police chief and his wife in a jewelry store where 4 people are murdered in the middle of the day while shopping for a gift. Watch that and then repost.

      December 6, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • bigdumbdinosaur

      Mexican isn't a race.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  97. DeeCee10000

    Romney should invite them to provide the entertainment at his next secret meeting with his millionaire buddies where he likes to talk trash about "the 47%".

    December 6, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • kt

      I saw the same connection. American exceptionalism = treat others with disrespect to make yourself feel important

      December 6, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  98. JR Ledesma

    Its pretty easy to make fun of a culture when you yourself don't have one. I mean, what is a American Culture? It is a bunch of borrowed cultural attributes from other cultures. It would be too boring to walk in as.?????? That's right we really have no true representation of American culture, unless you consider racism, shooting sprees, corporate greed, reality TV and ignorance as culture. But what can we expect, from a bunch of soriority girls at Penn State.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  99. Robin Smith

    Impressive display higher education can do wonders whats next on your bigot list?

    December 6, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  100. DeeCee10000

    They could always apply to work for the next GOP candidate. lol

    December 6, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
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