Frats under fire: Oklahoma fraternity closed over racist chant caught on video

Colleges nationwide are reconsidering the role of frats on their campuses in view of hazing, pledge deaths and injuries, sexual assaults, alcohol infractions and other problems.

Some schools have banned fraternities on campuses, including Williams College, Bowdoin College, Middlebury College, and Amherst College.

In a piece a few months ago, Inside Higher Ed reported: “Wesleyan University announced that its fraternities would have to go coeducational amid a push from students and faculty members who say that fraternities encourage sexism and mistreatment of women. Clemson University suspended all fraternity activity following a member’s fatal plunge from a bridge. The Texas Tech University chapter of Phi Delta Theta was suspended after displaying a banner that read ‘No Means Yes, Yes Means Anal.'”

Last year, a Bloomberg News investigation chronicled more than 60 deaths linked to fraternities and countless more injuries and assaults since 2005. (Here is a great investigative piece in the Atlantic on injuries in frat houses, drawing on insurance and risk management data.)

This chant by an Oklahoma fraternity caught on video and released this weekend will not help the cause of frats.

According to the Associated Press this morning:

The president of the University of Oklahoma chastised members of a fraternity on Monday who participated in a racist chant caught on video, calling them disgraceful and their behavior reprehensible.

President David Boren joined students at a pre-dawn rally on the Norman campus, just hours after the Sigma Alpha Epsilon said an investigation confirmed the contents of the online video and announced the local chapter would close. The video shows several people chanting a racial slur and indicating blacks would never be admitted to the fraternity. The chant also references lynching.

“You are disgraceful,” Boren said, according to The Oklahoman newspaper. “Real Sooners are not bigots, real Sooners are not racist.”

The national fraternity released a statement Sunday night saying it was “embarrassed” by the “unacceptable and racist” behavior.

Reader Comments 0

97 comments
alexander2
alexander2

@Bernie31 nope, a small group of individuals whose influence has progressively declined in the last few decades. Racism will always be with us, but is now increasingly manageable, witness-the publication of this event and the furor that arose.....

Bernie31
Bernie31

@alexander2 @Bernie31  can I have a Hit of that what you are smoking....cause its making  you Brain Dead. Such events are on the rise each and everyday all across this Nation. You just happen to have yer head buried in the sand and is not aware of what is going  on around you. How sad!

popcornular
popcornular

@Bernie31  In 119 years of football, Oklahoma has posted 12 losing seasons, fewest of anyone in college football.

bu2
bu2

@Bernie31 

Now that's a funny one Bernie!  OU is serious about football.

Bernie31
Bernie31

Christian College Football Players Don CLAN Robes For Team-Building Skit -http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/wheaton-college-football-kkk-skit

The Hatred never Ceases......America where are you Headed ?

The Spirit of America WEEPS for her Children.......for they are a Nudder Lost Generation to Bigotry and Hatred.

Thank-you OLD Thinkers...it appears your Legacy will continue in America for a NUDDER 3-4 Generations

of yer Evil Vileness.

straker
straker

Quidoc


I was just asking a question, but your response shows a total lack of reading comprehension, just as I knew it would.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@straker


Your response was asking a question, but there was an obvious underlying suggestion behind that question... it is called making an "inference".  If you can give me a reasonable explanation for asking your that question that shows my inference was erroneous, I will offer and apology.

straker
straker

I wonder how many of these students had to take a required course where anti-White Black History was shoved down their throat by a perpetually angry Black professor?

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@straker


Oh yes, let's look to blame someone else for their expression of bigotry and hatred... Or do you also excuse poor Johnny when he robs a store cause him mother didn't hug him enough when he was a boy?

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@straker 

Actually, Black History courses are about the history of black people, and don't much concern whites one way or the other, except as background. I know this because a good friend of mine is a professor in the African American Studies Department at the University where I taught before retirement.  I have also studied a certain amount of Black History on my own.

AlternativeDawg
AlternativeDawg

If expulsion is the proper response would the University Of Alabama even have a student body?

alexander2
alexander2

Frats Can and do perform an important function of gathering young men for life-long freindships and business associations. They can provide a home away from home to young people in a competitive /aggressive enviroment.Clearly they can lead to group-thing and can exacerbate ugly tendencies.Alcohol/testosterone and racism is an ugly brew that can bring out the worst in imprssionable people. I suspect we all may have knowlege of disagreeable traits of associates such as alcohol, unfaithfulness, cheeting which we overlook... Damning these children appears to be a bit harsh, perhaps they are other ways to deal with this:as , after all, what we really want is a harmonious society, not angrier boys who will continue to vent their frustrations

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@alexander2


I don't consider these students "children" or "boys".  These are young men!  My parents were married and had a child by this age. We need to stop coddling our kids and teach them to be ADULTS and to take responsibility for their actions.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Those SAE cats are all alike, the ones here in GA are of the same clan...

styymy
styymy

Universities have to do a better job at looking at character when it comes to admissions. These students have NONE. I'm students with much better character that didn't get it would love the chance to trade places and represent what this school truly stands for and would put their parents hard need money to good use. Its apparent that these students are into wasting money.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@styymy  - Well said...STYMY! ))  a little inside humor here with the name....for those who do not know. its reference is to one of the characters of OUR GANG. Nice! uh..huh.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Every soul on Earth hates injustice. It is born into the human condition. However, America was birthed from the concepts of justice and equality for all. As a result, most Americans feel those emotions deeply even when they act out in opposite ways, to their own discredit.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@MaryElizabethSings  - My Dear, America was NOT birthed in the Concept of Justice and Equality! There is (400) Four Hundred years of Human Bondage of an entire race of People based on skin color alone to discredit your claim entirely. A supposedly Christian Nation of People using the most INHUMANE and DEPRAVED ways known to MAN in the treatment of another Human Being.  Even the Horrific atrocities seen today by the heinous Terrorist Acts in the middle EAST. Pales in comparison of the Human depravity acted upon the People of color by the People of this Great Nation. And it still continues to this day with the Verbal denigration even of our First Black President daily. As well as those students seen in this discussion of hatred by this college fraternity. 


I am sorry, I find your comment outrageous and offensive to the core of my very being. You are insulting the Intelligence of the American People with such false declarations of a Bad attempt to rewrite the Sordid and UNCHRISTIAN like History of America and her people. I understand your intent perfectly, but your delivery needs a LOT of WORK!


Such Lies of sanitation of American History is what allows students of this University and those of Gwinnett Schools to think it is OK! and No Big Deal to denigrate another group based on skin color and religion.


If every Soul on Earth hates Injustice, then why is it practiced so widely and without regret of Harm or consequence? I ask of you.....


Then to read comment after comment, that a University expulsion is too excessive, for these Hateful Acts committed by these ADULT College students who should Know Better in 2015.


Please! save the Flag Waving for a more appropriate discussion....this is not the time for it on this subject matter. Wrong is Wrong...even if it is being committed by a Bus load of College Age Adults or a Collective Nation of People.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Bernie31 


Bernie, please read President Obama's speech in Selma yesterday in full.  America is an "idea" that has never reached its ideal but we should ever be reaching for that "North Star," that ideal, (which Obama stated yesterday) which was set in motion with Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence.


Here is what I just wrote to another poster on another blog, that is germane to your words to me, above.  I hope my words, below, help you to understand me and my thinking better.


"You miss an understanding of the spiritual flow of history, imo.  Human enlightenment started well before America's Revolution, as well as before the French Revolution thereafter (among others), and that human enlightenment still persists today and still keeps seeking for that state-of-being, which is America's and the world's North Star.  Jefferson understood this spiritual flow of history very well, and yet he abhorred organized religion.  He wrote the Declaration of Independence with the hope that America would live out its birthed tenets in time, and Lincoln died, to keep that possibility alive.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@MaryElizabethSings @Bernie31  - So its about spiritual flow now...I will keep that in mind when watching the evening news about these Hateful College Kids and explain to other family members. Not to worry because Mary Elizabeth says its about spiritual flow and we just do not understand what our ears are hearing and our eyes are seeing on screen. I will share with you later...their response! Ok! )))


Spiritual Flow we have missed an understanding of!....maybe this is a SPIRIT from SATAN! ever think of that one? but I forgot too, you are not a Believer in such wishful thinking of any religious dogma.


Your comment today has surpassed any surprise, I could have ever imagined...Truly. in Loud Laughter with a smile. )))


Lord Help US!

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Bernie31 


Can your mind not see the present, the past, and possibly the future, all at the same time? Some prophets, like MLK Jr., could see all three dimensions of time together in their minds.  History does change over time, and it changes often in a flow toward more justice for all.  MLKJr.:  "The moral arc of the Universe is long, but it bends toward justice."  That "bend in the moral arc of the Universe" is the "flow of history" as it plays out over time.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@MaryElizabethSings @Bernie31  My Dear, We as a People Live and breathe that Moral Arc every time we step outside of our Front doors.  Especially, When I am being followed in  department stores and grocery stores by armed goons with guns. And most recently with my 91 year mother who is a retired APS Teacher on a cane. We were recently in The Northlake Kohls  store, being followed and watched by a store detective. She was being Followed around and Looked with such suspicion. As if she is about to Steal or Shop Lift something. A 95 year old Black Woman on a Cane!


Oh yes! this is the Cross we must burden as a people in a pretend God Fearing Christian Nation of Hypocrites.  That moral Arc is still doing some bending...Yeah baby!


I hear ya....just do not accept any wooden Nickels or Confederate money, if it is ever offered to yer. There will be No more planned Vacations in the State of Oklahoma for this Household. Bus rides either!  its kind dangerous out there...maybe the Spirit of History does extend to that State. when seeing the Video today. The only thought that occurred to me was, Where are the Boxcutting Thugs when you need em?


USAA! USA USA!......uh..huh. ))

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Bernie31 


Bernie if you do not know that I totally condemn what these frat boys have said, you completely misunderstand my thoughts.

straker
straker

Bernie - "did you hear it with your own ears"


Yes. It was posted to youtube.

styymy
styymy

‘No Means Yes, Yes Means Anal.?? REALLY?  Is  this what parents bust their humps for? Saving up tuition costs for all those years??? To waste all that money on kids that will have nothing to offer society. If this behavior is what Americans spend their money on, then its no wonder why our future looks bleak. I’m sure better students who didn’t get in would be glad to take the place of this trash and uphold the standards of what this university truly stands for. 

Bernie31
Bernie31

@styymy  - My friend, something tells Me you have some serious repressed issues, You need to confront REAL soon!  Maybe you should have been along for that ride....The mean one leading the Racist Rant needed some support.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

It's clear that this particular fraternity has a racist culture generally, given the statements made about never pledging minority members and lynching.  There are certain national white fraternities that have a history at many of their chapters of racist incidents... SAE is one of them.  We don't know if there had been prior incidents on this campus or not. I would say that the University was justified in closing down the chapter.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

"Why would young men act like this in a public setting knowing they were being recorded?"

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 

There is something deep in the American soul that hates injustice of any kind.  Many just ignore that feeling in order to impress others of their own kind.  Childish for a mature adult.  These frat boys were not taught to be just, kind, and fair to all people and to stand alone to do that, if necessary.


Fortunately, I was taught that kind of independence in the name of fairness and truth. I didn't have to be part of the black subgroup in my Jim Crow South to know how much pain blacks were suffering because most whites of that era had no sensitivity to others different than they were.  I just had to open my eyes and see that most just followed their groups, regardless of how much hurt their actions and perceptions inflicted upon others.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@OriginalProf 


My second paragraph was limited to my restating my personal testimony.  I was not referring to Oklahoma in that paragraph, and I certainly know that Oklahoma was not part of the Jim Crow South; however, vestiges of the Old South's influence and perceptions reached (and still reach) beyond the states of the Old South.  Man's inhumanity to man is everywhere, and that inhumanity is timeless and placeless.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@OriginalProf @MaryElizabethSings  - Are either one of you aware that Tulsa, Oklahoma is the place of one the Worst Race Riots this Nation has ever experienced in its History?  All because a Black hotel worker tripped into a white woman elevator Operator!  he did not Rape her, sexually assault her or anything of that Nature. Just an accidental bump! from that single incident in March to June of 1921 Rioting by an entire community of White residents wiped out and summarily forced the removal of every Black American out of the State.


The entire Black communities all over the State of Oklahoma were forced to leave by huge gangs of Thugs and Terrorists!  At that time Tulsa had the most successful Black Community this Nation had ever seen since the freeing of the slaves by Lincoln. A success of African Americans  have not seen by any American city until Now....The City Of Atlanta, to this date. This is why Atlanta is called the Black Mecca of America. No where in the U.S. in 2015 can you find such notable individual success by this one community of People. Seems to me some one needs a History lesson in Reality!


This is why the ACTS of these students are even more offensive. We as a people find so disturbing and a grim reminder of what can happen. I challenge each and everyone of you to Google this riot for a better understanding and informed insight of the depth of this seemly ongoing problem in the state of Oklahoma.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@MaryElizabethSings 

Oklahoma was not part of the Jim Crow South, but it has a fairly large African-American population.  A black friend of mine whose husband went to this University reported a definite racist edge to it. SAE sounds like it's part of it.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Bernie31 @OriginalProf @MaryElizabethSings 

No, I wasn't aware of this race riot there. Of course, Oklahoma also is the site of several Native American reservations and much hatred of those people, too.  I think that's where the Cherokees were sent on their "Trail of Tears" from Georgia.

Bernie31
Bernie31

I would like to TIP My Hat to the President of this University for stepping UP and doing the Right Thing on Behalf of All of the Students of this University. THEY ARE DONE!

Thank-you Sir!

class80olddog
class80olddog

I think expulsion from the University would be an appropriate punishment for the offending students.  I am hesitant about punishments against the fraternity itself unless it is proven that this is commonplace behavior.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@class80olddog  - Expulsion is an excellent Idea and a lesson that will not soon be forgotten by the students as well as the many Parents, whom are financing their Failed education in Human decency. Finally! a point we can both agree on. 

gapeach101
gapeach101

@class80olddog  I agree with what you said, only just the opposite.  I don't think the students should be expelled for stupidity.  It's not against the law.  The fraternity on the other hand,  clearly has a "culture" that allows and encourages this behavior.    The fraternity should be suspended.

I believe fraternities should  bring back "house mothers".  Perhaps that would help these young men behave better.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@gapeach101 @class80olddog " I don't think the students should be expelled for stupidity"


If by stupidity you mean hate crimes or sexual assault, I certainly believe they should be expelled for "stupidity".

bu2
bu2

@class80olddog @gapeach101 

But in this case, they were just saying stupid things.  That's different than actually doing.


Maybe not this stupid or broadly offensive, but do you think you never said anything stupid or offensive while in college?  What % of college students do you think wouldn't be expelled if that happened whenever they said something stupid and offensive?


A public official would be one thing.  An individual is something different.





class80olddog
class80olddog

@bu2 @class80olddog @gapeach101  You could make the same excuse for the sexual remark quoted in the article - it is "only" talk after all.  But sometimes the talk drives the behavior.  How many blacks have pledged that fraternity that chants about keeping blacks out? 

Bernie31
Bernie31

@bu2 @class80olddog @gapeach101  - So here is a less of a concern if an individual spews their Hatred vs a Public Official?  WOW!  The Stupid is very strong here!

Surely you are not a college Graduate. That is perfectly clear in your stated comment.

bu2
bu2

@class80olddog @bu2 @gapeach101 

Not very conservative to punish people for random speech, class80olddog.


I'm not opposed to shutting down the fraternity, but tar and feathering the students for stupid remarks that weren't intended to be published?


They're pretty stupid in their choice of friends too.  Rather than trying to "educate" them, one of the people they invited, recorded it and sent it out in public.

bu2
bu2

@class80olddog @bu2 @gapeach101 

Where do you draw the line class80olddog?


At what point do you determine to punish individual's free speech?


This is not yelling fire in a crowded theater.  This is not them saying these things to a black person (obviously, they don't invite any to hang around them).  They didn't publish this on their website.


Maybe at some point people get punished for saying Democrats are socialists.  Where would you draw the line on controlling individual's speech?