A video surfaced on Sunday, March 8 which caught members of the local fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) of the University of Oklahoma, singing a racial song. The video was posted by a school organization called Unheard, which reportedly was organized at the University of Oklahoma after the Michael Brown incident had occurred in Ferguson, Missouri, according to CNN.
The video depicts University of Oklahoma SAE members chanting a song using racial terminology and referring to racist acts. CNN reported the President of the University of Oklahoma, David Boren, expelled two students affiliated with SAE who were found to have “leadership roles” in connection to the demonstration. Boren was reported by The Chicago Tribune as saying that the college has a “zero tolerance” policy for discrimination, particularly that listed under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
Boren also announced that ties with the SAE local chapter and the University of Oklahoma have been severed and that the fraternity house will be shut down with no opportunity in the foreseeable future to be re-opened. CNN reported Boren as saying, “If we’re ever going to snuff this out in the whole country, let alone on college campuses, we’re going to have to have zero tolerance and we have to act right away.”
Such announcements come after a video shows members of SAE singing what appears to be a rehearsed song related to preventing blacks from entering into the local chapter at the University of Oklahoma. What is even more disturbing than the racist terminology used in such song is a lyric referring to a lynching from that of a tree.
A campus demonstration took place on Monday, March 9 at the University of Oklahoma, organized by Unheard, according to CNN. The Oklahoma University football team also held its own demonstration by marching instead of practicing. One of the players, Eric Striker, reportedly posted a video using heavy profanity over the anger he felt toward the entire incident, not just from what was seen on the video, but from possibly running into some of the SAE members on campus.
According to CNN, Striker apologized for the use of profanity, but not for his reaction. He told CNN he speaks among all athletes who attend the University of Oklahoma and have zero tolerance for this type of thinking, demonstration, and attendance. He indicated some of the people who may be involved in SAE have been cheering him and others at football games, even smiling to their faces, but appeared to have been contradictory.
Some SAE members who attend the University of Oklahoma were caught singing a racist song with heavy reference to the n-word. The video was shared on social media, which led to an investigation by the national chapter of SAE. The Chicago Tribune reported that national leaders of SAE confirmed some of their members had participated in the singing and that the local chapter for the University of Oklahoma will close. Boren had told members they had until Tuesday evening to get their belongings.
The Chicago Tribune also stated national leaders apologized about the incident and were highly “embarrassed.” According to NBC News, they plan on expelling all members involved.
Members of the SAE Fraternity at the University of Oklahoma were caught singing a song containing racial slurs in a video that surfaced on Sunday. Since the video has spread to different parts of the U.S. via social media, it has caused an uproar on disciplinary actions involving racial discrimination, free speech, and an announcement by top recruit, Jean Delance of his de-commitment to attend the University of Oklahoma as a linebacker football player.
(Warning: This video contains Graphic Language)
By Liz Pimentel
Top Photo provided by tylerphotos – Flickr License
Second Photo provided by verndogs – Flickr License