A seemingly harmless fraternity party-event went south this past Saturday at the University of Oklahoma, after a video was released containing an alarming racist chant sang by members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity.
Although the video (shown below) was slightly blurry, the words the members of the fraternity and their guests came out loud and clear. As you can see on the video, the participants repeatedly chanted “There will never be a ni**** SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me. There will never be a ni**** SAE.”
Shortly after the video was anonymously submitted to the school newspaper and a school organization, the clip was publicized and went viral. In a Monday afternoon conference, David Boren, President of the University of Oklahoma, spoke up and took action. The members directly involved with the video were expelled, and the fraternity, despite being shut down by their national chapter, was disaffiliated with the University indefinitely. “The house will be closed, and as far as I’m concerned, they won’t be back,” said University President David Boren.
Campus-wide rallies and protests followed the video’s release within hours, and despite President Boren’s efforts, and show no signs of slowing down. Sadly, African American students at the protests say the “only thing novel about this racism, is that it was finally caught on tape.” Chelsea Davis, co-founder of a student group called “Unheard” that promotes cultural change on campus and released the video, stated “Clearly this has been going on for years and years and years and everybody thinks it’s okay because nobody has said anything” in a recent interview with CNN.
The idea that we live in a post-racial society is ludicrous, evident in this small clip featuring cheering, happy students chanting racial slurs like it’s part of a game. American racism continues to grow and prosper through the generations, and needs to be put to a stop.