Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Youtube Education Social Networks Your Rights Online

YouTube Video of Racist Chant Results In Fraternity Closure 606

HughPickens.com writes The NYT reports that after a video was posted on YouTube that appeared to show members of the members Sigma Alpha Epsilon at University of Oklahoma singing a racist chant, the organization's board decided "with no mental reservation whatsoever that this chapter needed to be closed immediately." The video shows a group of young white people in formal wear riding a bus and singing a chant laden with antiblack slurs and at least one reference to lynching. A grinning young man wearing a tuxedo and standing in the aisle of the bus pumps his fist in the air as he chants, while a young woman seated nearby claps. The chant vows that African-Americans will "never" be allowed to join the campus chapter.

The nine-second video was uploaded to YouTube on Sunday by a student group, the Unheard Movement, that first identified the people in it as members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, although the group did not indicate how it obtained the video or when it was filmed. University president, David Boren, said in an emailed statement that the administration was also investigating the video. "I have just been informed of the video, which purports to show students to show students engaging in a racist chant. We are investigating to determine if the video involved OU students. If O.U. students are involved, this behavior will not be tolerated and will be addressed very quickly," said Boren. "This behavior is reprehensible and contrary to all of our values." Students marched on the campus of the University of Oklahoma on Monday to protest the video.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

YouTube Video of Racist Chant Results In Fraternity Closure

Comments Filter:
  • You don't say... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 09, 2015 @03:29PM (#49217755)

    SigEps are racists. Wait, frats in general are racists. No shit, Sherlock. PKA on my campus was 100% Jewish. If you weren't Jewish, you weren't getting in. Some were all white. Some all black. The entirety of the greek system is racism and sexism in action. Give me a break with your feigned outrage.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 09, 2015 @03:41PM (#49217945)

      I'm not a "Greek", and I never have been or wanted to be, but your characterization of them is not consistent with what I have known. Even if they were exclusionary, as you suggest, actively seeking the company of those with similar background and actively mocking/hating/disrespecting others others is different.

      • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Monday March 09, 2015 @04:51PM (#49218753) Journal

        I'm not a "Greek", and I never have been or wanted to be, but your characterization of them is not consistent with what I have known.

        Neither was I, and I agree to a *small* extent. Mind you, I'm from Arkansas and it was a long time ago, but there were still frats (and sororities) that were, shall we say, a wee bit on the exclusionary side of things, and the exclusions were occasionally based on religion, skin color, ethnic origin...

        As for TFA? As much as I myself detest racism and bigotry based on someone's religion/ethnicity/etc... Personally, I think they *should* be allowed to be total asshats about it. Seriously - as long as there's no assualt or other crimes against others, let them chant whatever the hell they want.

        I say this for two reasons:

        1) College is supposed to be a place where all viewpoints and ideas are explored - even the ugly and stupid ones. Freedom of speech should hold highest priority in such a place.

        2) The video (and anything like it) can serve as an example to point at and instruct against; a competent prof can debate the racist activity into the dirt, in a setting that educates everyone else, and (hopefully) teaches the racists in question along the way.

        By kicking out the frat charter, you only drive the problem deeper underground... and where is the frickin' benefit in doing that among a body of kids that are going to be naturally rebellious in the first place? You only make it more attractive to such a mindset.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 09, 2015 @05:32PM (#49219301)

          By kicking out the frat charter, you only drive the problem deeper underground... and where is the frickin' benefit in doing that among a body of kids that are going to be naturally rebellious in the first place? You only make it more attractive to such a mindset.

          The charter is an endorsement by the university. There is a world of difference between endorsement and non-interference.
          Those boys are free to continue their racist association all they want - they haven't been expelled, they haven't even been disciplined.
          They just can't do it with the university's blessing.

        • by Bill_the_Engineer ( 772575 ) on Monday March 09, 2015 @06:34PM (#49219949)

          The SAE's only sin in the eyes of the university was to bring bad press. If the University of Oklahoma president truly meant it when he said that "we don't provide services for bigots" then the only fraternities on campus would be the ones dedicated to professions or academic achievement.

    • I'm not sure how it helps to oppose bigotry to create a false stereotype demonizing all fraternities and sororities. Seems like just another chapter of bigotry, to me.

    • I have attended or worked at four different universities at some point. At each one, SAE was considered to be the most undisciplined, anti-social, and exclusionary fraternity on campus. That's just my anecdote, I know, but I'm certainly willing to believe that they should be singled out for special condemnation.

    • SigEp is Sigma Phi Epsilon.

      The accused Fraternity here is Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

      (9 seconds of video? That's not enough to know the full context. What if the words just before were, "We'll never accept people who say," or something like that. This screams of Dowdification.)

      Fraternities are just like any other group of self-chosen associates, they bond over commonalities. Some are all white, some are all black, some are all Engineers, some are all Jocks, whatever.

      Prejudice and ignorance are fairly universal, as

  • by jandrese ( 485 ) <kensama@vt.edu> on Monday March 09, 2015 @03:32PM (#49217797) Homepage Journal
    Seems like you can't be a racist bigot anymore without someone taping what you say and posting it online. How are good old boys clubs supposed to survive in the new millennium? Are we going to have more places demanding people surrender their cellphones before entering? Between this and dashcams and cop cameras it's getting really hard to get away with being a total shithead anymore. We're going to have to see some senators step up and propose legislation to protect the children and good old fashion values soon or it will be too late.
    • by PeeAitchPee ( 712652 ) on Monday March 09, 2015 @03:40PM (#49217919)
      I'm waiting for the gangsta rappers and make believe, wanna be thugs to be ruined for their racist, anti-gay, misogynistic, anti-social, violent cliched rants. You'd think with all of the cameras out there it would have happened already. Ahhh, right. When they say it, it's art. When anyone else says the exact same thing, it's a hate crime. Got it.
      • Don't believe the hype!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Haven't you heard?

        Only white people can be racist. [sistahvegan.com]

      • When they say it, it's art. When anyone else says the exact same thing, it's a hate crime.

        You can't play the us and them card both ways. That's kind of like saying the problem with unarmed blacks being shot by white police is that the police aren't shooting enough unarmed whites to compensate. Discriminatory rants are reprehensible, and any record company or educational institution that wants to distance themselves from conduct that paints the whole group as uneducated, crass, and antiquated is constitutionally allowed to do so.

        In the meantime, get back to me when you have trouble being accepted

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@worl[ ]net ['d3.' in gap]> on Monday March 09, 2015 @05:52PM (#49219529) Homepage

        So close... If they say it outside of a rap song they generally are condemned for it. People accept that songs are not always the writer's actual beliefs, even if the writer is white. Remember Dire Strait's Money for Nothing? The "little faggot with his own jet airplane"? I think most people accept that Knopfler was speaking as a character here, not expressing his own views.

        Sometimes songs do go too far, and are rightly condemned for it. It's not black and white I'm afraid, that's just not the nature of human society.

      • by zieroh ( 307208 )

        I'm waiting for the gangsta rappers and make believe, wanna be thugs to be ruined for their racist, anti-gay, misogynistic, anti-social, violent cliched rants.

        When those gangsta rappers and thugs become senators, company presidents, or the captains of industry and subsequently start imposing their views on their constituents / employees / industries, then you will have a point. But until those gangsta rappers and thugs have any kind of actual power imbued upon them by their standing as a majority, then your argument is meaningless and paints you as a racist idiot.

    • by clovis ( 4684 )

      Seems like you can't be a racist bigot anymore without someone taping what you say and posting it online. How are good old boys clubs supposed to survive in the new millennium? Are we going to have more places demanding people surrender their cellphones before entering? Between this and dashcams and cop cameras it's getting really hard to get away with being a total shithead anymore. We're going to have to see some senators step up and propose legislation to protect the children and good old fashion values soon or it will be too late.

      I solved that by using "Anonymous Coward" for all my public interactions, whether total shithead style or not.
      Ok, well, I can't recall my ever not having been a shithead, but you can see the potential for the technique.

      • by clovis (4684) Alter Relationship on Monday March 09, 2015 @03:44PM (#49217993)

        Its all over now, you screwed up!!!!

  • My two cents... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Katko ( 2923353 ) on Monday March 09, 2015 @03:32PM (#49217799)
    The guys were racist, they got the hammer of justice thrown at them. They suffered consequences and will have to deal with and learn from them. Case closed.

    Not all men are now magically racist, nor college students, nor frats. The system doesn't need to change. Everything worked as intended.
    Personally, I don't think we need to make every event that happens into some huge debate over whether our culture is circling the drain and chanting, "There needs to be a law!".

    That's just my opinion. Feel free to disagree, and I hope you have a good day.
    • That isn't the hammer of Justice, that is the Reality of the Public Discourse, the Natural Social Consequence of Freedom of Speech.

      They spoke, other people reacted according to their established prerogatives. No Justice needed.

    • Re:My two cents... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pla ( 258480 ) on Monday March 09, 2015 @04:06PM (#49218293) Journal
      The guys were racist, they got the hammer of justice thrown at them.

      One problem there - In the US, you have every right to hold racist views. You can't act on them in certain protected contexts, but you can rant day in and day out about hating blacks or Jews or Asians or, yes, even Whites.

      Now, I have no problem with the university choosing not to support a racist organization - If I attended OSU, I'd much rather the university disband the entire "Greek" system (see? I have a right to that particular prejudice, except I won't find myself homeless a week from now as a result). But talking about expulsion and searching frantically for actual crimes to charge them with, for singing a stupid racist song?

      No. We need to collectively get a fucking grip, and move on. Stupid kids doing stupid things.
      • Re:My two cents... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Monday March 09, 2015 @04:56PM (#49218817)

        Mod parent up!

        They have the FIRST AMENDMENT right to say and chant anything they want. As long as they are not inciting a riot or stirring up violence or breaking the law by others, they have the right to hold any opinion and express that opinion.

        What we need to realize is that this freedom of speech we have means that the other guy (or gal) has the right to offend me with their opinions, because if you restrict THEIR speech based upon your being offended, then there really is no freedom of speech anymore; you have the thought police then. We need thicker skins and a large doses of tolerance, not restrictions on speech.

        • Re:My two cents... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by cant_get_a_good_nick ( 172131 ) on Monday March 09, 2015 @05:18PM (#49219147)

          Why do folks keep on bringing up the First Amendment when people act like clowns?

          1) the first amendment only prevents the government from slapping you down. This was a slapdown by a private entity.

          2) Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of consequences. Act like a clown, expect them to slap a clown suit on you.

          • Why do folks keep on bringing up the First Amendment when people act like clowns?

            1) the first amendment only prevents the government from slapping you down. This was a slapdown by a private entity.

            2) Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of consequences. Act like a clown, expect them to slap a clown suit on you.

            I'm not in disagreement with that. You are free to express your opinion about your boss by right, but your boss is free to fire you when you do.

            What I'm saying is that folks need to slow down the knee jerk "there should be a law" reaction to this kind of stupidity and grow some thicker skin when you hear stuff like this. So freedom of speech means you will eventually be offended by somebody and we need to accept that, just as much as it doesn't mean the speaker is free from consequences.

      • Re:My two cents... (Score:5, Informative)

        by NoKaOi ( 1415755 ) on Monday March 09, 2015 @04:58PM (#49218837)

        But talking about expulsion and searching frantically for actual crimes to charge them with, for singing a stupid racist song?

        So, where does it say anything about criminal charges, or even expulsion? The are closing down the frat chapter. Beyond just being racist, this is probably what did them in the most, FTA:

        The chant vows that African-Americans will “never” be allowed to join the campus chapter.

        First off, it is illegal (though not criminally) to deny somebody admission to anything based on race. Secondly, they don't have to commit a crime to be banned, in general universities have policies and codes of conduct, and if you violate those you can be expelled. In this case it appears the frat is being closed down because they violated university policies, not because they committed crimes.

        • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

          No, it is not illegal to deny somebody admission to anything based on race. It is illegal to deny employment or housing based on race, and if a place is open to the public (stores, restaurants, etc) you can't deny admission based on race, but there is nothing preventing a private organization from denying admission based on any criteria they choose.

          Remember that in additional to freedom of speech you also have freedom of assembly, which means you get to choose who you will associate with. There are plenty

        • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday March 09, 2015 @05:42PM (#49219385)

          Clubs are held to a higher standard. The general student body can get away with a whole lot. You can go and have a racist rant out in public every day and so long as you aren't disruptive, threatening, etc then they can't do anything, they have to let you stay and if a teacher were to retaliate grade wise they could get in trouble. However clubs, like frats, have additional rules imposed on them if they wish to remain school recognized clubs. The school doesn't have to allow them, so they can choose what additional restrictions they face.

          Now you are free to have a club not recognized by the campus, but then you won't be able to use campus facilities, participate in official campus events, and so on.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      We don't necessarily know as much about the young men who did this as we might think, though.

      Let me tell you a story that illustrates what I mean. On a recent trip to NYC, I was people-watching on the subway when I noticed something interesting. When women were traveling with with their women friends, their faces express a kind of delight in each others company. When you notice it, it's something quite striking and beautiful. So I started to look at the men to see if they ever did the same thing. Most of t

  • Sunday night on the Row.

  • by OverlordQ ( 264228 ) on Monday March 09, 2015 @03:54PM (#49218113) Journal

    I'm pretty sure SAE is bad from the top down [wikipedia.org]:

    Sigma Alpha Epsilon has had nine deaths linked to drinking, drugs and hazing since 2006, more than any other Greek organization, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. More than 100 chapters have been disciplined since 2007, with at least fifteen suspended or closed since 2010. [...] As a result of these incidents, student members pay among the highest rates for liability insurance of any fraternity.

  • so for clarification (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Monday March 09, 2015 @04:02PM (#49218243) Homepage
    As a millenial I dont find racism offensive, I find it contemptuous. it serves as reminder that a sizeable minority of americans willfully refuse to be a part of modern society. That theyre given a voice, taken seriously and sincerely at their word, and that they participate in my government and interact with my society is infuriating. that despite the best efforts of millions, there will always without question be a remainder of those who would rather cling tenaciously to racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia than get onboard and tackle real issues and challenges is a absurd to no end. You can live for yourself today, or you can work together to build a brighter and better tomorrow for everyone.
  • Just from what's in the another post I read, I'd say that they were not "merely" racist, but threatening. I mean, that is the South, home to the KKK that murdered a hell of a lot for the "crime" of being black. That makes them dangerous.

    And, of course, it's the kind of crap I'd expect from the majority of Greeks - classiism, racism, you-have-to-be-worth-money-to-get-in.... They've never had much of a rep beyond party, drinking, etc, and this goes back to my first time in college, long before most of you were born.

    I see no reason to make Greeks part of the official college landscape. Most of 'em have nothing to do with actual learning... which is, allegedly, what you're paying that money for.

                          mark

  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdflat. c o m> on Monday March 09, 2015 @04:55PM (#49218803) Journal

    They vowed that African-Americans will "never" be allowed to join the campus chapter, and they stayed true to that vow by getting the chapter closed down.

    Not that for a second I condone such attittudes, just saying that from a purely literalist standpoint, they certainly weren't lying.

  • by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2016q1@virtual-estates.net> on Monday March 09, 2015 @05:06PM (#49218961) Homepage Journal

    The scariest part of this, to me, is the sheer number of people, who chose to post here anonymously...

    Clearly, the fear of being prosecuted for thought-crimes is wide-spread... Among Whites.

  • by Hartree ( 191324 ) on Monday March 09, 2015 @05:34PM (#49219329)

    On thing is for certain: The people in the video are quite safe from charges of thought crime.

    I think we can safely say there was damn little intelligent thought happening there.

The cost of feathers has risen, even down is up!

Working...