The use of blackface in any circumstance can’t avoid very specific historical contexts where blackface was a widely acceptable means of portraying the entire black community, accompanied by incredibly demeaning and dehumanizing portrayals of their intelligence and habits. And sorry I’m not sorry if it makes you uncomfortable that people are offended by this, but we don’t live in a present devoid of the past. The repercussions from that era haven’t disappeared. Beyond that, there is no doubt that a similar backlash would result if anybody in the UC community donned ‘yellow-face’ and taped their eyes up, for any reason whatsoever. Well-intentioned or not, it was unnecessary and thoughtless. While you’re bringing up Martin Luther King, Jr., didn’t he say something about content of character versus color of skin? Absolutely everybody knows that Jay-Z is black. So why, then, was it necessary to reinforce that with blackface? No matter how you slice it, blackface will never be an homage, or even remotely respectful. These kids aren’t villains, but they were casually racist and chose to be so in a very public forum. Now they’re receiving a very public reprimand, and I don’t see anything disproportionate about that.