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ASU Fraternity Celebrates MLK Day with Party Mocking Black People

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Photos posted to social-media websites show white Arizona State University students dressed up in basketball jerseys and bandannas, throwing up gang signs, and drinking out of a watermelon cup as part of an "MLK party."

"Just a day after the nation celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., racism has reared its head at one of the America's largest universities," says the Reverend Jarrett Maupin, a local black activist.

Maupin, who saw photos of the party early this morning, says the "MLK Black Party" was organized by members of ASU's Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.

You can see some of the students' posts to Instagram below:

Maupin fired off an e-mail to ASU president Michael Crow, calling for any student involved in the party to be expelled.

"There should be a zero tolerance policy for racism at ASU. Period," Maupin says.

ASU spokeswoman Sharon Keeler tells New Times that the frat already was on "social probation," which means it's not supposed to have parties. She notes that the party wasn't held on campus, nor was it sanctioned by ASU.

"ASU has suspended chapter operations, can and will take additional action against the individuals involved, and is meeting with the national TKE organization today to take further action," Keeler says. "ASU has one of the most diverse student bodies of any major university in the country, and it is unfortunate that a few misguided individuals held an offensive party at a time when ASU, the state and the nation are celebrating Dr. King's achievements and legacy. The university will not tolerate this kind of behavior."

Police said in late 2012 that members of the TKE fraternity were involved in a brawl with another fraternity chapter.

Down south, the TKE chapter at the University of Arizona lost its recognition from the university in 2012.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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