University of Oklahoma acts swiftly to repudiate racist frat video and banish chapter

The University of Oklahoma spoke forcefully and quickly today in condemnation of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members and their dates caught on video in a racist group sing on a charter bus apparently en route to a formal event.

University of Oklahoma students held a dawn protest today of a racist video released Sunday night. (AP Photo)

University of Oklahoma students held a dawn protest today of a racist video released Sunday night. (AP Photo)

Dressed in evening attire, frat members took to the bus aisles to lead a chant that included the lines, “There will never be a n*gg*r in SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me. There will never be a n*gg*r in SAE.”

The swift and unequivocal response of OU leadership to the video left no doubt about the fate of the fraternity.

“To those who have misused their free speech in such a reprehensible way, I have a message for you. You are disgraceful. You have violated all that we stand for,” said an angry University of Oklahoma President David Boren, who kicked the chapter off campus, closed the frat house and ordered members out of it by Tuesday night.

Frat members are on their own finding new housing, said Boren at a press conference today, explaining, “We don’t provide student services for bigots.” He also said he does not want the frat back on campus as long as he’s OU president. The university is reviewing the video and may take disciplinary action against individual students.

Boren joined outraged students in a dawn rally today after learning of the video Sunday night. It was released by the OU black student group Unheard, which was given a copy by an unnamed source. (Let’s hope it was a frat or sorority member on the bus who did so out of disgust. It would be nice to think at least one person on that bus had integrity.)

The OU football team did not hold spring practice this afternoon; players and coaches walked arm-in-arm wearing black in protest of the video. (A top football prospect announced today he was not going to OU, but it’s not clear whether Jean Delance was influenced by the video. In a tweet, he blamed “personal reasons.”)

In his statement to the frat, Boren said:

“You should not have the privilege of calling yourself  ‘Sooners.’ Real Sooners believe in equal opportunity. Real Sooners treat all people with respect. Real Sooners love each other and take care of each other like family members.

Effective immediately, all ties and affiliations between the university and the local SAE chapter are hereby severed. I direct that the house be closed and that members will remove their personal belongings from the house by midnight tomorrow. Those needing to make special arrangements for positions shall contact the Dean of Students.

All of us will redouble our efforts to create the strongest sense of family and community. We vow that we will be an example to the entire country of how to deal with this issue. There must be a zero tolerance for racism everywhere in our nation.

In its own blistering statement, the SAE national office said:

Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s national headquarters has closed its Oklahoma Kappa chapter at the University of Oklahoma following the discovery of an inappropriate video. In addition, all of the members have been suspended, and those members who are responsible for the incident may have their membership privileges revoked permanently.

We apologize for the unacceptable and racist behavior of the individuals in the video, and we are disgusted that any member would act in such a way. Furthermore, we are embarrassed by this video and offer our empathy not only to anyone outside the organization who is offended but also to our brothers who come from a wide range of backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities.

This type of racist behavior will not be tolerated and is not consistent with the values and morals of our fraternity. We have more than 15,000 collegiate members across the nation, and this incident should not reflect on other brothers because this type of hateful action is not what Sigma Alpha Epsilon stands for. This is absolutely not who we are.

“I was not only shocked and disappointed but disgusted by the outright display of racism displayed in the video,” said Brad Cohen, the fraternity’s national president. “SAE is a diverse organization, and we have zero tolerance for racism or any bad behavior. When we learned about this incident, I called an immediate board meeting, and we determined with no mental reservation whatsoever that this chapter needed to be closed immediately. I am proud of my fellow board members because we mean what we say.”

Alumni who serve on the chapter’s house corporation board and who serve as advisers are appalled by the video and the song that was sung in it. They do not condone offensive and hateful behavior and will hold accountable the men who participated in the incident.

Although Sigma Alpha Epsilon regrets the closure, we believe members must be held responsible for their actions. We are hopeful that we can re-establish the Oklahoma Kappa chapter at some point in the future with a group of men who exemplify our beliefs and who serve as leaders on campus and in the community.

 

Reader Comments 0

57 comments
popcornular
popcornular

No more 'Enie meeny miney moe' I guess.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@popcornular - Satan loves that game too....you and He will have a Lot of time to have fun. Not to worry. it just will not be any where around here.  uh...huh.

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

...and you hear this in hip-hop all the time but that is okay????

Ashley Gibson
Ashley Gibson

@MiltonMan You must not listen to hip-hop.  I would like for you to quote me one hip-hop song that says "you can hang a n*gger from a tree"

Bernie31
Bernie31

@MiltonMan  - I think you really should do yer homework and see just who is really listening and buying this Music in overwhelming record Numbers. If you have an kids, you can start with them. check their phones, their computers, the music they are downloading, the music in their cars, the music their friends are listening and jamming too. If No kids move on to yer Grand Children and friends......You are in fer a HUGE SHOCK!!!


Trust me!  you will regret your words posted here....The fault will be found to return back to YOU!  For through your many giving's you have contributed financially to this MUSIC industry through yer Kids, Grand kids and friends.  uh..huh.

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve

@MiltonMan I know the answer to this, but do you actually have anything at all to say about this topic specifically without bringing any other situations into your analysis?

Bernie31
Bernie31

@ScubaSteve @MiltonMan  -  This one you are referring too, has not a clue into reality. He has no future in this world. The sun is setting on him and his world has been turned upside down and he is tired of it all...All he wants to do is lay down and sleep...Forever!


MiltonMan
MiltonMan

Too bad Maureen did not have back-to-back columns when Fulton County commish, ex-mayor Shirley Franklin, John Lewis & Andy Young were ripping into whites via radio ad back in 2007.  But hey it is The AJC after all.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@MiltonMan  - 2007????? Please!  You are truly a OLD Thinker, if that is all you have..Sweet Jesus on the Cross, Help US!

living-in-outdated-ed
living-in-outdated-ed

I applaud the University President and National Chapter for moving swiftly and doing the right thing.  It's rare in this day and age that reaction is swift and severe.  There is ABSOLUTELY NO TOLERANCE for such blatant racism in our society, EVER. I was mortified when I heard about this. It's the year 2015, and racism and Anti-Semitism is still alive and well in the United States and around the world.   It's disturbing and sad that we can't all love and respect each other.    Why is it so hard to live in a color-blind society?

RichardKPE
RichardKPE

@living-in-outdated-ed So the "right thing" is to throw the people out of the educational system?  I guess it depends on what you're trying to teach.

ProHumanitate
ProHumanitate

I sincerely hope these boys' parents are appalled by this and not merely embarrassed by the attention.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@ProHumanitate  - There will be a very costly financial expense as well, that will mark and help them to remember this occasion for their lack of good and responsible parenting.  uh..huh.

redweather
redweather

@ProHumanitate  Although I could be wrong, I suspect the parents of these boys are at least partially culpable.

Finnsrevenge
Finnsrevenge

SAEs have always been bad boys, really bad.  They love to drink and have rich parents, well at least most of them.  I know.; I went to the University of  GA and barely got to go to one Sunday brunch at the SAE House, but it was fun.  They are very exclusive as are many organizations.  But most of them don't act like idiots and sing songs: however, anyone who has gone into a job and was excluded just because of their age or ethnicity knows that "songs on a bus" are not what is hurting us.  Is this country really going to go into micro and pretend that this is so, so alarming.  I hear nasty talk all the time.   I think the person that revealed the video is the enemy, because they did nothing about the situation and probably made money from selling it.  It certainly gave this angry nation news for the day plus Jay Bookman his only watermark in recent history!   Let's get serious about this.  Do you really think any of the boys on the bus  would ever act upon what they said. Legally they could not. Are we really going to have one whole month of commentary about this really stupid thing.? I certainly hope not.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@Finnsrevenge


I can't help but wonder if you would be so dismissive of this if it had been a video of members of some other racial, religious or ethnic group singing about hanging whites from a tree, and calling whites and Christians derogatory names...

ProHumanitate
ProHumanitate

@Finnsrevenge

What's that thing so many on this blog are fond of saying? Something like bad behavior being caused by bad parenting?

living-in-outdated-ed
living-in-outdated-ed

@Finnsrevenge It is appalling you'd stereotype this fraternity this way. Every fraternity has a different makeup at every campus.   Don't start making excuses because there are plenty of fraternity brothers that do not share the values of these stupid kids.     And YES, we're going to have MONTHS of commentary about this because racism cannot be tolerated.  So either deal with it or stop reading blog posts and news stories!

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Finnsrevenge  - Your comment is truly amazing and astounding. However, not surprising! I want to thank-you for validating and confirming my opinion of what is wrong with the thinking of the People of this great nation.

Truly a sad state of affairs and I will not shed a Tear or a concern when the Tables are turned in the day of your Great distress. No Big Deal...will be My response and reply.

bu2
bu2

@Finnsrevenge 

You've got a point.  Someone rose above the group-think, realized how wrong and offensive this was and recorded it.


Then, instead of communicating with the people, they arranged to get the video released.


People need to learn to talk to each other.  Hate the racism, not the racist.

DB2013
DB2013

I know the GOP must be proud

Bernie31
Bernie31

@DB2013  - yes we CLAN...is many of the thinking of its members and supporters.

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

@DB2013 


Leave it to a liberal moron to bring this to a political level.

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

@Bernie31


...and leave it to a liberal minion moron like Bernie to give it legs.

EdUktr
EdUktr

Those of you baying for the blood of this handful of young idiots on a bus ... should feel equally embarrassed by your own overreaction.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@EdUktr  - Oh really! LOL! rofl!  On the Day of the worms you are in for one heck of a surprise and shock.

uh..huh. I Pray,  the Good Lord will allow me to see and look on its final outcome and repayment of such a Great Evil.

living-in-outdated-ed
living-in-outdated-ed

@EdUktr no overreaction here. These kids need sensitivity training ASAP.  There is no reason why they couldn't eventually find their way back into the good graces of society if they earn forgiveness.   People can change, but at the moment, we cannot stay silent about this.

DB2013
DB2013

@EdUktr Why? because you thought that was a good song?? go back to that cave you came from

Astropig
Astropig

I applaud President Boren's actions.No foot dragging for the former senator!


However, I must ask: Was printing these offensive lyrics strictly necessary? They are vulgar and offensive,and I think everybody agrees on that.Does it advance the story? Is it gratuitous?

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Astropig 

Jay Bookman did on his blog earlier. So why not here? It's kind of a jolt..."racist video" seems generic.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Astropig  - Yes! The playing of the Video in its use of the vile and evil hatred was very Important and necessary. This is needed to allow You and others to see and hear. The unvarnished vile evilness of your fellow countrymen in its purest form. What we have all seen and witnessed is PURE UNVARNISHED EVIL of the one from the PIT. I will Pray for him but his suffering is now only at its beginning stage. The Proud One leading The Chant will most likely perish as a victim, of his own hands and doing.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@OriginalProf @Astropig  - Generic!??? I would love for you to explain that one. For every time a Person of color hears and sees as well as witness such a great vile Evil. I can assure you, its NEVER GENERIC for any of US!  The shock and horror of such words never fails to surprise US and reminds us that SATAN is a very active member and participant in the Souls of many around Us each and every day.


The depth of the and scope of the Ignorance being conveyed in the many comments here is Truly Astounding!


And You People are supposed to be the Informed, educated and rational ones among US.


So, So very Sad!...Pitiful and outright Pathetic....


I will Pray for ALL of you, that you find a way to allow God's Love in to your very Dark and unrepentant evil souls. Unfortunately for YOU and many others like you. I fear its far too Late to turn this around.

Astropig
Astropig

@Bernie31 @Astropig


What they did is vile and reflects badly on their upbringing and values.But it's no worse than the bile you spout here all day,every day.Racists come in all colors and creeds.


If you don't mind,just can the "holier than thou" until you've cleaned up your own act,okay?

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

@Bernie31


No thanks.  I don't want a hypocrite moron like you "praying" for me.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@MiltonMan @Bernie31  - I will ...continue to pray for you. because you are going to need it, more than you know. The day of the start of the wailing and eternal screams of pain...a good prayer of David will be sweet music to your ears. Psalm 37, is your Prayer...from this day forward.

J Coffey
J Coffey

@Bernie31 @Astropig I suppose that eventually one digs such a deep pit of cant that at the bottom one finds the urge to hope someone commits suicide because he sang a rude song.  You should be thrilled that the media finally found racism on a college campus that wasn't a complete hoax. This will allow the process to swing into action:


Swift punishment (already happened)


Grovelling apologies


Sanctimonious editorials


More grovelling apologies


Denunciations by politicians


Teachable moments all over the place


This incident explaining the achievement gap


Further grovelling apologies


A new multicultural resource center complete with a full complement of high paying jobs for connected bureaucrats with degrees in diversity studies


Payoffs to civil rights groups


Forgotten, save to be trotted out during the next series of hoaxes until another actual incident of people freely expressing dislike for others, legally and without harm to others, until that is made illegal.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@J Coffey @Bernie31 @Astropig  - The chanter will most likely do it  in the manner he which his words spoke.  Wait for it.... for when it happens, your hand will quickly cover your mouth in shock.

J Coffey
J Coffey

@Bernie31 @J Coffey @Astropig I wouldn't be shocked; he has people comparing him to a rapist and is facing an almost certain expulsion and possible ruined life.   "Pure, unvarnished evil?!" Really?  This is the worst, most appallingly bad thing you can imagine?  What do you say about actual criminals; is their evil extra pure, like olive oil? 


I can't imagine hoping someone kills himself because he offended me.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Bernie31 @OriginalProf @Astropig 

I meant that the term "racist video" (used originally here) was "generic," or vaguely descriptive of an entire group, without being specific enough to shock us. I was only answering Astropig's post.

Calm down.  You're attacking without fully reading what you're attacking, just flailing around.

bu2
bu2

@Astropig 

To let someone else determine what is offensive or not?


It needed to be released both for public information and for public embarrassment so that SAE and other fraternities control this type of behavior.