University of Louisville President James R. Ramsey Dresses in Sombrero and Jorongo for Halloween

Lead Photo: Scott Utterback/The Courier-Journal via AP
Scott Utterback/The Courier-Journal via AP
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It happens every year, without fail: someone wears a racist Mexican costume for Halloween. Despite the Internet backlash and constant reminders that someone’s culture is not a costume, James R. Ramsey, University of Louisville’s president, dressed up in a sombrero and jorongo. Fusion reports he was attending a staff luncheon and his wife was handing out sombreros, mustaches, and maracas like it was Halloween candy.

Because no one saw anything wrong with this, they took a photo that ended up online. It’s a lot of NO going on in one pic. These are all grown-ass adults who should have known better.

Ramsey and co. were criticized online, and the editor of the student newspaper, The Louisville Cardinal, really let him have it. “The president of a school that prides itself in diversity opted to dress himself and his staff as a culture for Halloween,” she said. “Not just a culture, but a minority that is frequently faced with prejudice.”

The apology came soon after the image was released. Kathleen Smith, Ramsey’s chief of staff, released a statement. “We made a mistake and are very sorry,” she said. “This event shows we have much more to learn about our community.”

Hopefully, others will learn something from this, so that we don’t have to keep writing these posts.