James Ramsey, Louisville University President, Apologizes After Outcry Over Costumes
James Ramsey, president of Louisville University, is under fire after a picture of him and several staff members dressed as Mexican bandits surfaced on the Internet. Ramsey claimed that his wife came up with the Mexican-themed party and has apologized for his actions.
James Ramsey, the Louisville University president, has apologized to his students for his decision to take part in a Mexican-themed Halloween event. On Wednesday, staff members along with Ramsey participated in the annual Halloween luncheon, which was held in a mansion owned by the university. A picture from the gathering rapidly hit the Internet and is causing an uproar especially among those with ties to the Hispanic community.
The much-talked-about photograph features Louisville University president, his wife, and staff members all wearing stereotypical Mexican costumes that included sombreros, ponchos and thick beards and mustaches.
The group appears to have had a great time at the luncheon for they are all smiling and rattling maracas as they pose for the photo. Leonardo Salinas, a Latino student, condemned the costume party by saying that he was disgusted by the image and added:
“I was appalled. It’s not just offensive to Mexicans; it’s offensive to the immigrant community as a whole. Someone thought, ‘Oh, this is a good idea.’ How did it not click in anybody’s mind that it was a very bad idea?”
Sarah Nunez, the university’s director of the Office of Hispanic and Latino Initiatives, revealed that she has been bombarded with emails and calls from most of the university’s 712 Hispanic undergraduates, who are appalled by James Ramsey’s actions. She said:
“Some students shared that they felt this was degrading to them, and disrespectful.They feel hurt. They feel like their trust was broken.”
Ramsey’s chief of staff, Kathleen Smith, issued a statement saying Ramsey’s wife provided the “Mexican bandit” costumes, and the president did not plan to offend anyone. The statement read:
“We made a mistake and are very sorry. This event shows we have much more to learn about our community.”
Smith has reached out to the school’s Hispanic students, faculty, and staff members to work on programs “to build a diverse and inclusive campus.” Both Nunez and Salinas, who are pleased with the outcome, shared:
“There could be a silver lining to this terrible situation. The university realized it’s a problem and they need to fix it. It has to be not only something they talk about, but something they act on.”
Louisville University president James Ramsey’s racist photo comes on the heels of a sex scandal. According to FOX:
A woman named Katina Powell released a book called “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen” that alleged she was paid thousands of dollars by a former director in the university’s men’s basketball program to strip and have sex with recruits and players. Multiple investigations into her allegations are pending.
What are your thoughts on Louisville University president James Ramsey’s controversial photo?