Culture

Sorority Cancels Kentucky Derby–Themed Party over Concerns of ‘Racism’

Last year’s Derby winner American Pharoah (Andy Lyons/Getty)

The Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority at Dartmouth College has canceled its annual Kentucky Derby–themed party after people complained that the theme was racist. 

The invite-only party will now be Woodstock-themed instead. 

According to an article in the Daily Caller, the Kentucky Derby theme had created controversy on campus last year — even causing some students to protest outside of it on the grounds that it was apparently a racist and elitist theme. 

Sorority vice president Nikol Oydanich told the school’s official newspaper, the Dartmouth, that these protesters had convinced the sorority members to change the theme. 

“[It is] related to pre-war southern culture,” she said. “Derby was a party that had the power to upset a lot of our classmates.”

Jehanna Axelrod, the social chair, agreed:

“We realized that if anyone on campus felt uncomfortable or upset with the theme, then we obviously shouldn’t have it,” she said.

Wait . . . she sees it as obvious that if even a single person somewhere on campus will be upset about the theme of a party, the whole thing should be changed? Sorry, Axelrod, but that’s not “obviously” the right thing to do — it’s “obviously” ridiculous. 

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