University investigates Hispanic student who wore ‘undocumented’ alien costume with sombrero

University investigates Hispanic student who wore ‘undocumented’ alien costume with sombrero

Marquette University is investigating a Hispanic student who wore a costume other Hispanics found offensive. The investigation was launched after a student posted to his Snapchat account a picture of another student wearing the costume.

“The student, a white male in the College of Engineering, posted the picture Friday night of someone dressed in a green alien suit with a sombrero, a traditional Mexican men’s hat,” notes the Marquette Wire. “The person also wore a nametag with the word ‘undocumented’ written on it.”

The unnamed man who wore the costume is of Hispanic “origin,” as he indirectly indicated in his public apology for wearing the costume, which said he wore the costume ironically.

“I would like to apologize to everyone that has been affected by my wearing of the offensive costume. Particularly, I would like to apologize to the entire Hispanic community. At the time, I thought wearing that would be an ironic joke regarding my personal history and country of origin.”

The wearer of the costume and the student who took the photo are both seniors at Marquette; the student dressed in the alien costume is also a member of the Sigma Phi Delta fraternity.

“As a Catholic, Jesuit institution, we are called to build a nurturing, inclusive community where all people feel safe, supported, welcomed and celebrated,” Director of University Communication Monica MacKay said in a public statement. “Racism and discrimination have no place on our campus. I want you to know that Marquette University has taken swift action to address this matter.”

This is not the first time a sombrero costume has triggered uproar at a university. In 2016, students at Cornell University expressed outrage after two football players both wore a sombrero. That led to a public apology by a university coach.

Also in 2016, Phi Delta Theta fraternity at Case Western Reserve University was investigated by its national headquarters and the University after some frat brothers wore sombreros in a skit that mentioned Donald Trump’s proposed border wall.

In 2015, the head of the University of Louisville apologized for wearing a sombrero in a picture he took with his wife and other college officials wearing sombreros and things like fake mustaches, at a Halloween event.

Immigration-related terms like illegal alien are also deemed offensive on campus. In December, North Carolina State University’s “Voice of the Wolkpack” broadcaster was suspended after using the term “illegal aliens” while narrating a football game.

In 2018, the student government’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee at Emporia State University pledged to impeach a student official for refusing to resign after using the phrase “illegal aliens” on Facebook.

Progressive officials have also sought to curb use of the word “illegal alien,” which appears in the U.S. code, unlike words preferred by progressives, such as “undocumented workers.” As Jazz Shaw notes at Hot Air, merely “using the same phrase” — “illegal alien” — “that appears all through Title 8 of federal law” “can now land you in hot water” in New York City. Even though the Supreme Court itself uses the term “illegal alien.”

“Illegal alien” is a term that comes up again and again in federal and state laws and regulations. Two examples of laws using the words “illegal alien” are 8 USC 1365 and 6 USC 240. It is used in Supreme Court decisions, such as Arizona v. United States, and lower court rulings, such as Texas v. United States.

Yet New York City’s controversial “immigration guidance” restricts the use of the term “illegal alien” in workplaces, housing, and public accommodations, threatening those who use it with $250,000 fines. Legal scholars have criticized such restrictions as a violation of the First Amendment, with one of their objections being that “illegal alien” is simply legally accurate terminology.

LU Staff

LU Staff

Promoting and defending liberty, as defined by the nation’s founders, requires both facts and philosophical thought, transcending all elements of our culture, from partisan politics to social issues, the workings of government, and entertainment and off-duty interests. Liberty Unyielding is committed to bringing together voices that will fuel the flame of liberty, with a dialogue that is lively and informative.


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