Students Seen Wearing 'My Nigga' T-Shirts at UC Irvine's Shocktoberfest, Say It's Not Racist

Categories: School Daze

Screenshot Statigram

Non-black students were seen wearing "My Nigga" shirts at UC Irvine's annual October celebration, Shocktoberfest, last Friday. Some posted photos of themselves to photo-sharing service Instagram, garnering dozens of likes.

The shirts referenced one of the Shocktoberfest performer's hit songs. Rapper YG, who opened for headliner A$AP Rocky, released "My Nigga" earlier in September. The song has since peaked at 22 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart under the edited version titled "My Hitta."

"It really saddens us that anyone would see this as supporting anti-black behavior when that clearly was not our intention," wrote the two girls, who are not UC Irvine students but wore the "My Nigga" shirts in question as shown above, said in a message sent via Facebook. "Everyone we came in contact with at the concert only had positive things to say about the shirts and knew it was referencing YG's song by that title, not meant to be derogatory."

Incidentally, the Associated Student of UC Irvine funded a "Language is Powerful" campaign in March in hopes to teach students the effect certain words can have. The irony of trying to teach students to be sensitive and then hiring an artist whose hit song includes 80 uses of the word "nigga" hasn't been lost on student media.

"Now, our memory may be a little bit off here, but didn't ASUCI fund an entire social justice movement called 'Language Is Powerful?'," wrote the New University in this week's editorial. "Didn't they pass out pamphlets, fliers and t-shirts, police the language of others, and conduct workshops, all in the name of eliminating toxic and offensive language from this campus? But I suppose that's not a surprising contradiction from the people who misspelled 'Income' as 'Icome' in their annual budget report presentation. Whoops. Guess they could've gotten around it by slapping a nice big '#TRIGGERWARNING' in front of the venue, right?"

This incident is the latest in several questionable decisions regarding race at UC Irvine. In May of this year, a Black student found a note in her backpack that read, "Go back 2 Africa slave." The student's mother also claimed an Asian person called her daughter "nigger."

In April, UC Irvine Asian Fraternity Lambda Theta Delta saw heavy backlash after producing a music video with one of its members performing in black face and posting said video to the organization's official YouTube channel. The video started protests across campus, and the fraternity placed itself in self-imposed suspension after posting an apology.

Screenshot YouTube
Anyone remember this?

Following the April incident, both UCI Chancellor Michael Drake and Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Thomas Parham issued statements reaffirming the University's commitment to diversity and committing to expand on education efforts.

"We will use this regrettable incident to redouble campus education efforts about the toxic effects of insensitivity, and will continue to work toward building a truly inclusive community," Drake wrote.

Whether those efforts have had any appreciable effects remains to be seen.

A request for comment from rapper YG was not returned.

Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

Email: Twitter: @charlesnlam. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

Sponsor Content

Now Trending

From the Vault