Mon. May 20th, 2024

Many Americans now know that it is insensitive to celebrate the Pilgrims, and the Conquistadores, and the other European invaders, who came to the U.S. and wrought so much havoc amongst the Native Americans, here in the U.S. and in Latin America.  Over 75 million Native Americans died as a result of the Euro invasion.

In November, a fraternity at UCI thought it was a great idea to hold a “Pilgrims and Indians” party.  As you might imagine, many others disagreed with that notion.

Many Santa Ana residents attend UCI, and our co-blogger, Sean Mill, graduated from that school, ergo my interest in this issue.

Here is M.E.Ch.A. de UC Irvine’s response to this scandal (it should be noted here that Assemblyman Jose Solorio was a member of this organization, when he was a student at UCI):

M.E.Ch.A. de UC Irvine condemns parties that bastardize the cultures of underrepresented students on our campus, such as the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity’s “Pilgrims and Indian” party, which occurred on November 23, 2010. While we recognize the fraternity’s right to free speech, it is not acceptable to do so at the expense of the culture and history of marginalized students. These parties promote cultural insensitivity and lack an understanding of the struggles and oppression connected to holidays such as Thanksgiving. While Thanksgiving was created to appease the American population at the end of the Civil War and it is also representation of the genocide of indigenous people in the United States. No student should be exposed to this kind of representation of their identity and culture, as it fosters a hostile environment on a supposedly safe campus.

M.E.Ch.A de UCI demands a response from Student Affairs and will not accept a “slap on the wrist.” The students responsible for these parties need to be held accountable and should attend a cultural sensitivity training, such as a Reaffirming Ethnic Awareness and Community Harmony (R.E.A.C.H.) workshop in order to challenge their positions of privilege and educate them on the cultures they mock.

M.E.Ch.A stands in solidarity with the American Indian Student Association (AISA) and the Native community in demanding a change in the UCI discrimination policy for these types of events, an increase of Native faculty and an increase in Native American courses. These demands should not be unreasonable nor impossible to achieve on a campus that is supposedly dedicated to the diversity and well being of its students. These demands will not only improve campus climate but also spread awareness to student of color issues and increase the retention of those students.
This is a important matter that cannot be taken lightly or overlooked. We hope you take this situation seriously and take steps to change policy in regards to these parties.

In Solidarity,

M.E.Ch.A de UC Irvine

And here is the response from the American Indian Student Association of UCI:

The American Indian Student Association at UCI is asking for your support and solidarity with us in regards to an event that occurred on November 23, 2010. In light of Thanksgiving, the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity at UCI decided to throw a “Pilgrims and Indians” party.

As soon as AISA was made aware of this event, it was reported it to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity and an official complaint was filed through the school. While the right steps were taken to ensure that our voices were heard; they were seemingly NOT heard. Although the school administration, faculty, and the fraternity involved were notified about the grievance filed and the situation; the party still went on. Advertisement for the event were still distributed throughout the UCI community through the attached fliers, Ring Road tabling and throughout the internet via a Facebook event. To make matters worse, university shuttles served as transportation for students JUST FOR THIS EVENT!

AISA members have went out of their way to voice their opinion on the issue. Dedicated their time educating and explaining why this event was exceedingly disrespectful to the Native community. Yet AISA members were subjected to seeing students of all stature prancing around adorned in rainbow colored headdresses, skimpy “loin clothes” and warpaint. Making a mockery of our culture and a direct attack on our communities experiences for the sake of entertainment.

As university students and as Native community members, it is not acceptable for us to have to endure these repeated cases of hostility towards us as people of color and Indigenous peoples especially in an educational institution like UC Irvine that advocates its dedication to diversity. This events and others that make a mockery of peoples experiences and identity are not to be tolerated. They create a hostile campus climate for people of color that are not safe and welcoming. That is why we are taking a stand and making sure that our voices are heard at the University of California, Irvine. We will not back down, and though we only have a .01% representation on the UCI campus; our voices are loud. Numerous other cultural and campus organizations stand in solidarity with us. This is not an isolated incident to Natives or other cultural groups, and we demand that this outright racism and disregard for who we are as Indigenous peoples and disrespect of our culture stops immediately.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

46 thoughts on “UCI fraternity crossed the line with their “Pilgrims and Indians” party”
  1. Thank you for the solidarity and support. AISA greatly appreciates it…. Please help us and forward this to your contacts and email/call/ write in to voice your concerns and opinion. Everything helps and we want to show that our communities can stand together for something that is unjust and has gone on for too long. Thank you!

  2. I am having a hard time understanding how the author of this article can claim so many prejudices without a shred of evidence. To propose the idea that this fraternity acted by “Making a mockery of our culture and a direct attack on our communities experiences for the sake of entertainment,” is pure slander and completely stretches the truth of the matter. The idea of a pilgrims AND Indians party in itself insinuates a blend of the two groups, which does not single out Indians and the party was just that, a party. It was a not an exhibition or act celebrating the conquest of Europeans over an indigenous culture and did not even address modern day Native Americans. The idea was to dress as either a 17th century Pilgrim or an 17th century “Indian” as a representation of the two groups who partook in a particular important and historical event in which cultural and ethnic identities were forgotten and friendships were made. To say that the party was intended to celebrate European conquest in America is ignorant, childish, and pure speculation, for when has Thanksgiving ever been celebrated in such a way? This all appears to be a minority group of individuals who feel unimportant and forgotten and merely want to raise a storm to gain some recognition and feel some sort of self worth. Individuals “pranced” around in both Pilgrim and Indian garb, but why hasn’t the UCI Puritan Organization raised any concern? Why don’t all 2 billion Catholics on the Earth raise concern when individuals dress as the Pope on Halloween? The reason is simple: if you’re comfortable with who you are, someone pretending to be you will never be a cause for concern. But lets remember these college kids weren’t even mocking 400 year old Indians let alone modern day Native Americans. Next time the .01% of Native Americans at UCI should adorn real Native American attire and show those frat boys how a real Native American parties.

  3. For the love of god can we all quit crying foul every freaking time the word Native or Indian is brought up. Back in the day we were warriors, fierce and strong. And now we cry around about everything and cause an uproar and demand apologies over the slightest thing. Do me a favor but your Warrior panties on and deal with it Natives! We have bigger issues to worry about.

  4. M.E.Ch.A are a bunch of brown supremacists. Who cares what they think? Brown supremacists tend to have easily offended egos. Do they get their panties in a wad over Saint Patrick’s Day? Nope. No one does, not even Irish people even though the same argument could be made that drinking green beer defames Irish people the world over. M.E.Ch.A sucks and it’s a shame that Americans of any color have to put up with their racist crap.

  5. That’s cause the Irish people aren’t weak and fragile, plus we have big ego’s and love a good crack!

    See what happened is that brown people all over this world are oppressed and have as much power as opening a packet of salt and vinegar crisps. They come here and all of a sudden, they see,that they only needed to cry foul when it comes to their skin color and they are treated like the favorite kid in the house.
    It is understandable but the rest of the kids can only take so much of the brat in the housing crying foul!

    Is that a good enology?

  6. It’s amazing: At the De Mexico racist center in Santa Ana they just had an Anti-European/White hate fest. An Anti-thanks giving event. And I think video taped by Mexico’s favorite child Naui, at the same center a kid renounced his religion because the WHITE man give him the cross ( yeah, I know christ was brown!) Naui the Nazi clapped like the kid had just gave the speech of a life time!

    People just need to stop and realize these people are completely devoid of any common sense!


    MQ says:

    Take the time to look at a couple of these people who are in this MECH.A group. They are nothing about a bunch of ethnocentric racist whack jobs! They really, really believe that white people are the devil that we starve them, oppress them and keep them down. The truth is the are their own worst enemy, they oppress themselves with their tiny minds!

  8. Michelle, I don’t see how Irish people are any better than anyone else. I don’t like white supremacist groups anymore than I like M.E.Ch.A. People that are comfortable with who they are usually aren’t part of groups like that. If you are a white supremacist, you are no better than a group like M.E.Ch.A.

  9. White Like most white people I would give my left boob for a tan!

    It’s not fun looking like the local vampire:)

  10. Michelle, nothing wrong with being white like a vampire either 🙂 I think it would be cool to send all racist groups to an island far far away to let the rest of us live in peace. Art Pedroza, David Duke, Louis Farrakhan, Meir Weinstein, and others can duke it all out in one last showdown.

    1. Mochi,

      And why am I listed amongst all these racists? I am a peace-loving Libertarian-leaning pro-migrant liberal. I am most definitely not a racist – but I do spend a fair amount of time illuminating my readers as to the actions of folks like Michelle and her Minuteman pals.

  11. Mochi,

    Can we add to that Island: losers, waster’s, welfare queens, bad parents, teacher’s unions, union’s, the dull and the ignorant!

    What a really interesting island; we could do tours!

    🙂 love your name very french!

  12. And why am I listed amongst all these racists?: I would say you are not a full racist, your just a product of your environment and you’re ethnocentric!

    I have never met a minute man and I think going down to the border is not only danger for them, but a waste of time. I suggest they stand outside the Anaheim Social Service and protest the fact that it is so unjust for foreign nationals to be picking up a check from a service that was intended to help struggling American Citizen’s!

    And the fact that you keep saying Migrant, when you know that you are being intellectually dishonest only makes you appear to be lying for a reason, and that reason would be that you value skin color over your own people!

    Just saying!

  13. Art, you are just fooling yourself. Most racists that run blogs run stories that claim the race or ethnic group they are rooting for are victims. I know one blog in OC run by a guy that seems to run mostly stories about how white people are victims of non-white violence. You are doing the same thing and, in the end, do more harm then good. You encourage brown people to be easily offended and maladjusted. You alienate non-brown people by making them think brown people are easily offended. Most sane level headed brown people think you are off your rocker just as most sane level headed white people think David Duke is whacked out. If you didn’t seem to support M.E.Ch.A or La Raza, I might believe that you don’t have supremacist views. Don’t attack one racist organization unless you attack them all.

    1. Mochi,

      I don’t consider M.E.Ch.A or La Raza to be racist organizations and I think you would be hard-pressed to find many Latinos who would agree with you.

      You sound like a Republican.

  14. Michelle,Vampires rule! we’ll talk racism some other time. Pedroza is not a racist. He is a “libertarian”. Which is dangerously close to being an Anarchists. Which is strange because like most libertarians he seems to have a lot of government ties. Sorry Mr.P We are all guilty hypocrites! Only Michelle Q. believes her own hype.

  15. Michelle reminds me of Mubarak, or the last of the Mohicans. She better find a mexican to date fast. time is running out. just kidding. Dont spell check me, por favor.

  16. Admin, maybe a Republican like Abraham Lincoln that was against slavery. Definitely not a modern day Republican.

    How do you feel about a college club that was only for white people and the unique problems they face? They could complain about how hard they have it being a minority and how thanks to affirmative action they get turned away from schools like Berkeley even with near perfect SAT scores. Or they could just celebrate their heritage, culture, art, music, architecture, engineering achievements, scientific discoveries, etc. My guess it’s only ok with you when brown people do that but not white people.

    1. Mochi,

      White people are not an aggrieved minority in this country. Their ancestors took part in killing 75 million Native Americans. I don’t feel sorry for them one bit.

      But if they want to have a club, that is fine. That by the way is what frats are. And the one at UCI that had a Pilgrims and Indians party crossed the line…

  17. “Michelle reminds me of Mubarak, or the last of the Mohicans. She better find a mexican to date fast. time is running out. just kidding. Dont spell check me, por favor.”

    MQ says:

    Are you kidding, it would be like clash of the titans! 🙂

    What hype?

  18. “White people are not an aggrieved minority in this country. Their ancestors took part in killing 75 million Native Americans. I don’t feel sorry for them one bit.”

    MQ says:

    He is not racist hmm?????

    Art, White people plus brown people have conquered this world for as long as the world has existed….Like in Mexico over 30 thousand people have been butchered due to drugs… drugs, land, power, etc….

    In Africa millions of men, women and children where butchered at the hands of another tribe.

    Next year, I am going to have a party called: cowboys and indians! I am going to dress up as little big horn!:)

  19. Admin, the more you write, the more apparent your racist views are. It’s unfortunate for Native Americans they didn’t have the technology, might, and immunity to small pox to defend their culture and way of life. Spain and England quite easily conquered The New World. That’s just a product of the time people lived in. Had Native Americans been more advanced and wanted to expand into Spain and England, they probably would have. Back then Native Americans seemed to be just as violent and territorial as any other group of people. Warfare between Native American tribes was quite common. Like I said, it’s unfortunate what happened. However, just as a child might be born our of rape, you can’t hold it against the child. You seem to blame Hispanics and Anglos for anything ailing brown people yet not do anything to make their lives better.

    I don’t see brown people leaving America anytime soon (except the ones here illegally). I also don’t see any other group of people leaving America anytime soon (except the ones here illegally). It’s unfortunate there are people with narrow minded and hateful views like yourself that try to spread hatred to others.

  20. Mochi,

    That was the best response!

    You are right, it was a time of conquering new worlds and yes if the American Indian’s been more advanced it would have been them doing the conquering!

    Very well said!

    1. Michelle,

      Usually cultures that become militaristic come from a farming environment. They are able to field armies because they produce more food. Europe had large land animals and wheat. The largest domestic animals in Latin America, and North America, were dogs and turkeys. And there was no wheat. Thus these cultures never developed the sort of large, invading forces that we saw come out of Asia and Europe. Nor did they get to the point of smelting iron. Their weapons were formidable, but obsidian blades don’t match up well against armored knights with guns and cannons.

      The Natives of Latin America were very advanced. Sadly the Euros destroyed much of their civilization. The same thing happened in North America. Very sad. The Euros have a lot of blood on their hands.

      BTW, the U.S. is still misbehaving on an international stage. We have no business being in the Middle East. Nor should we have bases in Europe or Asia. Obama has failed to call our troops home and in fact he has exacerbated our armed conflicts.

  21. “The Natives of Latin America were very advanced. Sadly the Euros destroyed much of their civilization. The same thing happened in North America. Very sad. The Euros have a lot of blood on their hands.”

    MQ says:

    And latin America does not?

    for God sake they take the lives of each other like life has not value! Children beg and are abandoned on the streets and as far a the native Americans goes their brutality towards different tribes is unbelievable!

    The world runs red with the blood of many a man, woman and child. Europe has seen its share of blood shed and so has North and south America!

    And I agree with you, America should not interfere with cave men in gap. let them fight, die and hopefully create a country such as this one! I just pray for the women of the middle east… I can only hope their hell is not going to get a lot worse, if that is at all possible!

  22. Admin, I agree with your statement that Native Americans had advanced societies and technology. Time and space are important though when comparing their technology to European technology. I personally don’t think one culture is better than the other. However, at time of contact, Native Americans (who really aren’t native considering they came from Siberia) and Europeans (not counting the ones already there) were not on par as far as military technology goes. Clearly Europeans had more technologically advanced weapons.

    This is similar to why Stephen Hawking worries about aliens. If they can make it to earth to look for resources, they probably have much more advanced weapons than what humans will have. Aliens could make treaties with no intention of honoring them. They might even have the nerve of calling the humans “earthling givers” when they renege.

    They also might introduce diseases with no known cure. For the survivors, they could end up living in a society vastly different than what they were used to. The aliens might debate amongst themselves as to why earthlings can’t assimilate. Maybe it’s genetic? Maybe it’s cultural? Maybe it’s both? Maybe the aliens will realize what they did was wrong? Then what? Do the earthlings make peace and live happily ever after? Or do they hold a grudge for something they could have just as easily done to another planet given a few more centuries.

    Let’s hope it would never get to that. Let’s hope any alien visitors will truly come in peace.

  23. Michelle, notice how Admin says Euros have blood on their hands? It’s a statement made in present tense. He holds innocent white (Hispanic and Anglo-Saxon) people accountable for crimes they did not commit.

    Most people agree, that if a child’s father commits a crime, you don’t send the child to jail. This is not the case according to Admin. He wants innocent people to pay for what he thinks is an injustice.

    Admin seems to have a history of going out of his way to be offended so that it justifies his anger towards Hispanics and Anglo-Saxons. It’s bizarre because the Native people I know, couldn’t care less. They are just nice family people. I am lucky I am not friends with hateful angry people that perscribe to the hateful views like Admin’s. It reminds me of how militant Jews bring up past Muslim offenses from hundreds of years ago and vice versa.

    Ghandi had a great statement. An eye for an eye makes the world go blind. Admin could never be anything close to that because his mission of inciting hate wouldn’t have anything to be fueled by.

    1. Mochi,

      I was not talking in the present tense.

      Secondly, are you a Native – or even a minority? If not, why are you talking for them?

      It is a fact that 75 million natives died after the Euros invaded the western hemisphere. That is beyond dispute.

  24. By the way, “America Before Columbus” was on National Geographic last week. It’s a great unbiased look at life before and during contact. For anyone interested in this time period, I highly recommend it!

  25. I’m probably no more or less Native than you. I could be a minority depending upon what your definition of a minority is.

    I don’t think I’m talking for Native people other than a few friends I have that are. They don’t share hateful views of the world like it appears you do.

    75 million isn’t a fact. It’s an estimate on the high side. It’s not something I will argue about because I too believe a lot of (probably most) Native Americans died from European diseases without ever seeing someone from Spain or England. That’s not exactly blood on anyone’s hand.

    Remember, Native Americans gave Europeans syphilis to bring back to the Old World. Back then, neither Native Americans nor Europeans really understood how stuff like that was spread. They didn’t even sterilize medical instruments in that time period.

    My guess is someone with such hateful views as yourself probably thinks all 75 million received a blanket infected with smallpox just so you can pass the blame to Conquistadors and Pilgrims?

    Just curious, do you think Spain and England should have to pay (monetarily or otherwise) for their colonial past? When do you think the hate for your fellow homo-sapiens should end? 1000 years from now? Maybe 2000? Maybe you prescribe to the model of hate militant Arabs and Jews follow? Do you feel ashamed to be of Hispanic Conquistador descent? I’m assuming you are of Hispanic descent for that last question.

  26. Mochi,

    Your skin may be of golden brown and your eyes of dark. Mine of light green and of skin so pale…but both our blood run red!

    Thats for you!

    I hope your skin is brown that would be sweet:)

  27. Michelle, it’s not brown unless I stay in the sun a lot. I agree with you. People are the same but different. All of our blood runs red and we should all look out for each other.

    I say accept people for who they are and stay away from people that want to incite hate and hold grudges regarding things that happened hundreds of years ago. It’s unhealthy to wallow in that much hate. It hasn’t worked out for militant Arabs and Jews and I don’t think it’s going to help out angry people of Hispanic Conquistador, European Pilgrim, or Native American (Siberian) descent.

  28. Michelle, it’s not brown unless I stay in the sun a lot.

    MQ says:

    Ok, don’t rub it in:)

    “I say accept people for who they are and stay away from people that want to incite hate and hold grudges regarding things that happened hundreds of years ago.”

    MQ says:

    I would also add that humor is very important. Humor has always broken barriers!
    I have brilliant fun with my English friends, even though Northern Irish Catholics really were treated very badly by the English we are able to deal with each other because of are mutual love of slagging each other…very simplistic, but has saved many a life! Being PC with someone based on color, religion, creed or what ever is completely intellectually insulting!

  29. Michelle,

    That’s an excellent example! Irish and Scottish people could hold a grudge against English people for past injustices. However, what good would it do?

    Yes, political correctness is ridiculous. Luckily it’s only a small minority of the population that is easily offended. Some people like to get offended so much they will be offended on someone else’s behalf.

  30. “Some people like to get offended so much they will be offended on someone else’s behalf.”

    MQ says:

    The eternal victim:)

    Cheers Mochi!

  31. The fact that someone would throw a party in owner of Native Americans is a good thing. Even better if they dressed up like Native Americans.

    I’m not Irish but I love Saint Patrick’s Day. If I were Irish, I would not be offended by non-Irish people wearing kiss me I’m Irish buttons or pinching people because they didn’t wear green. I’d be happy it was celebrated at all. I mean, where is the day for Norwegians?

  32. Michelle, it looks like someone is censoring or editing my posts. Oh well. I hope no one took what I said personally. I may not agree with what I think are someone’s racist views but my intention isn’t to attack them personally. I just have a differing view is all.

    1. Mochi,

      We reserve the right to abridge your comments if you insist on personally attacking – and naming, others. If you stick to the point and refrain from doing that, then we have no issue with your comments.

  33. I know, but the brown victim mentality has been encouraged and enabled to the fact that if you are white it is offensive even to tell the truth.

    Admin, I don’t not go down the path of censoring people, because it only proves what we are saying. It is offensive to you that I am white and that I am here!

    Come on Admin, get over it!

  34. Admin, I’m reading through the post that was censored and I don’t see any kind of personal attack. I used a theoretical analogy of you being Irish and the things you would do to highlight what I think are your racist views. How is that any different that you attacking the decision for those college students to honor Native Americans and Pilgrims? Or you attacking a politician for having, what you think, are racist views?

  35. Admin, A typo in the second to last sentence didn’t help:

    How is disagreeing with your views any different than you attacking the decision for those students to honor Native Americans and Pilgrims by throwing a party? Or how is that any different than you attacking a politician for having racist views?

    Not agreeing with your views is not attacking you or anyone else.

    One major way you are wrong about Pilgrims is that it’s the term for the first English people to come to the New World for religious and cultural reasons. They didn’t come to kill 75 million Native Americans like you suggest. They didn’t have “blood on their hands”. Plus, they really weren’t the first Europeans nor the last. There is some evidence that Europeans came to the New World even before the Vikings (900AD). Europeans that came to America after the Pilgrims weren’t Pilgrims.

    As far as what happened in the past is just that, it’s in the past. It’s too bad the Columbian Exchange could have gone better. However, that’s just how the times were back then. It was the era of colonialism. Human rights weren’t very evolved. You could buy a slave just like a farmer buys a cow back then. At least we have come a long way from then and I would hope, everyone is thankful for that. Just imagine if times were still like what they were. Or imagine how much worse things can get in the future if the next world power likes how things used to be.

    Denying or re-writing the history of Pilgrims is just as bad as denying or re-writing the history of Native Americans. Denying people the right of expressing themselves and honoring significant parts of American history and culture via a party is against the First Amendment. Carrying around so much hate for your fellow human beings that had nothing to do with what happened hundreds of years ago is truly a life wasted.

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