A group of students spent their Saturday night picketing wannabe gangsters and strippers.
The “Gangsters and Strippers” party, held on the 6700 block of Sabado Tarde Road, attracted protesters angered by what they described as an offensive and insensitive theme. The students stood outside in a line holding signs dedicated to people they knew affected by gang violence. One sign read, “Why are you celebrating the marginalization of a group of people?”
Like most themed parties, not all in attendance participated, but there was an occasional gangster and stripper amid the crowd.
Michael Moore, the party’s host, said the theme was not intended to upset anyone, and questioned the protesters’ decision to specifically target his party.
“I’m not trying to knock them,” Moore, a third-year business economics major said. “I’m from the ghetto. I’ve been through shit. They can’t tell me shit.”
Moore said the party was much like any other in Isla Vista and he pointed out that although some male guests wore bandanas, none wore specific gang colors.
However, Christopher Carlay, a fourth-year Asian American studies and sociology major, said he felt the theme of the party encouraged stereotypes and failed to recognize the sensitive issues surrounding gang culture.
“[The party] feeds off racial and class stereotypes of marginalized groups of people,” Carlay said. “We are deeply offended by the insensitivity of the party.”
Ivan Haynes, a fourth-year film and black studies major, said the protesters were disappointed that the partygoers did not recognize the implications behind gang violence.
“I want folks to know we are not angry,” Haynes said. “We are a little disheartened that they have not grasped the seriousness [of their party].”
Meanwhile, partygoer Jessica Lieberman said the protest surprised her.
“We’re all here for fun,” Lieberman, a second-year communication major said. “This is Isla Vista – it’s a partying community. I’m a white girl pretending to be a gangster, it’s about fun and partying.”
This is so pointless.
This is like vegan activists protesting somebody’s private dinner because they think that eating meat is "insensitive".