I confess that if either of my kids had joined a fraternity, I'd have felt like a failure as a mother. There's just too much racism, binge drinking, hazing and misogynist behavior built into the Greek culture for me to feel good about it. (I've been told it's the only affordable housing option at some schools, which I find hard to believe.)
But schools are just dodging the issue if they think shutting down a fraternity after a racist incident like this solves anything. That just makes these kids conservative heroes and "martyrs to P.C." -- it doesn't solve anything. There should be anti-racism education on campus, and programs in place to deal with these incidents. Considering the amount of money UoO spends on football, they should be able to figure something out:
University of Oklahoma President David Boren on Monday joined hundreds of students protesting a video apparently showing Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members at the Norman campus participating in a racist chant.
SAE's national headquarters said Sunday night that an investigation had validated the contents of a video showing multiple people chanting a racial slur against blacks and indicating that blacks would never be admitted to the fraternity's chapter in Norman. The chant also references lynching.
SAE said the fraternity chapter at the school has been closed and its members suspended from the national organization.
The Oklahoman newspaper reports that Boren spoke to the crowd, describing as "disgraceful" those who participated in the video.
"Real Sooners are not bigots, real Sooners are not racist," Boren told the crowd. The school's sports teams are called Sooners, a reference to a 19th century dash for land in the state.
SAE's national headquarters issued a statement apologizing for the video and saying it did not reflect the views of its 15,000 members nationwide.
"We are disgusted that any member would act in such a way," the statement said. "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."
On Monday, the building had been vandalized with graffiti. On one side of the building, in huge letters, was written "Tear it D." Two unidentified chapter members told The Oklahoma Daily, the student newspaper, that they had received death threats.
The video was posted online by a black student group at OU, Unheard. It wasn't immediately clear how it was obtained.