“Dear White People, please stop touching my hair. Does this look like a petting zoo to you?”
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SCREENING01_Donovan_02192015
PCC Alumnus and journalist, Justin Chapman poses at the Pasadena Public Library for the second annual Author Fair on Saturday, February 21, 2015. Chapman promoted his book, Saturnalia about his recent trip to Africa. Chapman is a journalist and also writes for the Pasadena Weekly. (Erica Hong/Courier)

“Dear White People, please stop touching my hair. Does this look like a petting zoo to you?”

So goes one of the lines from the 2014 satirical movie “Dear White People” about black students at a prestigious university who dance the fine line of maintaining their own culture while also assimilating with their white peers.

The film was shown on campus on Feb. 10 by Associated Students to foster discussion about present day racism on college campuses.

AS President Jordyn Orozco said they chose to screen “Dear White People” because it brings up a serious topic but in a smart, comedic way.

“I thick racism is racism,” said Orozco, “It’s not hidden, it’s not subtle. It’s still around.”

The movie centers around Sam White, a film production major who hosts the radio show “Dear White People” at the fictional Winchester University.

“I chose this movie because it mixes humor with a serious subject and it takes place on a college campus,” said Orozco.

In somewhat cliché fashion, the movie is building up to the ubiquitous dance/party that serves as the resolving plot point of too many movies but takes things a step further because the party’s theme involves the predominantly white fraternity on campus hosting a “black-themed” party.

More disturbing is that the inspiration came from actual parties held at colleges across the country.

“The Tau Deuteron chapter of Phi Gamma Delta at the University of Texas at Austin (also known as Texas Fiji) hosted a ‘border patrol’ theme party Saturday night where attendees wore clothing that reflected the stereotypical portrayal of Mexicans: ponchos, sombreros, and construction work outfits topped off with labels reading ‘Pablo Sanchez’ and ‘Jefe,’” Fox News reported on Feb. 12.

Jacob Mondragon, film, enjoyed the movie and expressed concern for any group who would be targeted.

“I haven’t experienced [racism] firsthand but it’s still an issue that needs to be discussed,” said Mondragon. “It’s still out there.”

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