“There Will Never Be A Nigger S-A-E”

One of the most blatant, in-your-face, ugly, demonstrations of racism since the days of Jim Crow, occurred recently at the University of Oklahoma.

A fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon (S-A-E), engaged in a racist chant on a bus tour. The participants were young, well-to-do white kids and their white house mother. Supposedly educated! Supposedly enlightened!

Many of us had believed that racism was waning among the young. We considered it a problem of old white men, cops, and ignorant rednecks.

This incident demonstrates how pervasive and ubiquitous it is. And that it exists across society.

The University of Oklahoma shut down the fraternity chapter and expelled two identifiable leaders in the leaked video of the outrageous display of hatred.

Turns out that the chant was shared at the national convention of the fraternity. Now that it has become a public relations disaster, Sigma Alpha Epsilon is declaring a “no tolerance policy” for racism in its ranks.

The fraternity has 200,000 student and alumni members. It is unbelievable that this racism had gone undetected until the video surfaced.

If I was surprised, my African American brothers were not. Their racist radar is finely developed. Like most white folks, mine is on near mute.

Seeing the video and hearing the chant embarrassed me. Watching the tortured machinations of the fraternity brass to distance themselves from it was painful to witness. The entire episode made me ashamed to have not been more sensitive to racism that surrounds us all.

Maybe a bus load of privileged white kids who are no better than Klansmen will result in an awakening of others.

It certainly affected me.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on ““There Will Never Be A Nigger S-A-E”

  1. I was really disturbed and effected by this also. My second to last blog entry was about the situation, in fact. I think the surprise factor brought on by this type of behavior, for many African American’s is gone. However, the disappointment is still very real. Thanks for sharing and for being impacted by it as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another excellent post, Roland.

    We had an SAE chapter at my school too. I’m African-American. Most of their members (including a friend of mine) had blond hair. I would even hang out and party at their house from time to time, but there was always an undercurrent of either feigned tolerance or hostility. At that age I never thought to “connect the dots”.

    Of course when this story broke I wasn’t at all surprised. Yet to be fair, I have never been comfortable with any of these so-called “Greek letter” orgs; the white ones, the black or otherwise. And while I was a member of a “house” on our campus, it was most assuredly not of the “Greek letter” variety. It was in fact “co-ed”! :o)

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s