University of Oklahoma Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members’ racist chants
No one really knows what goes on behind closed doors. We can infer but we are never sure until some brave soul on the inside reveals occurrences like the above.
So is the case with the University of Oklahoma’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. A video appeared on twitter that shows members singing a rather racially insensitive if not racist rants that take us back to the pre-Civil Rights days.
The fraternity clapped and chanted “There will never be a n****r at SAE. You can hang them from a tree but they will never sign with me.” Following is the twitter press release from OU_Unheard on the incident.
— Meagan Johnson (@Meggie_Jay) March 9, 2015
Unheard is an alliance of Black students organized for change within campus administration and atmosphere.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s national headquarters released the following.
FRATERNITY LEADERSHIP CLOSES CHAPTER AT UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA
NORMAN, OK – 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.
We teach our members to serve as role models in their communities and to live up to our creed, “The True Gentleman.” When members fail to do so, we will not hesitate to take corrective actions or to impose sanctions. Any behavior that is not aligned with the conduct we expect is unacceptable. Equally unacceptable is bystander behavior of members who fail to intervene when they witness conduct that deviates from our beliefs.
“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.
(h/t Raw Story)