August 5, 2021

FIGHT THE POWER, STICK IT TO THE MAN: They Were Accused of Wearing Blackface. Now They’re Suing Their College.

In the suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California last week, the team accuses Cal Lutheran administrators of misinterpreting the students’ costumes as blackface. The members and their coaches say the university, its president, and its vice president for mission and identity “allowed the softball team and their coaches to be publicly shamed and harassed, placed in fear for their safety, and to otherwise suffer lifelong injury to their mental health and reputations.” They asked for damages, but did not specify an amount.

The softball team alleges that the university manufactured “a sham racially-derogatory event” and punished the team “to deceive the public into believing that the university is active in combatting racism on campus,” the complaint says. This was all, the suit says, an attempt to distract the community from the university’s poor record of racial inequality. The team claims in the suit that the university’s accreditor was investigating Cal Lutheran “in part for its history of racial and gender equality-related failures.”

Cal Lutheran, shockingly, denies all wrongdoing. Anyway, blackface isn’t a crime. It’s not even a disqualification to serve as Governor of Virginia.

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