University of Oklahoma cannot seem to sty off of the national radar. Former SAE members have received death threats, because of their participation in the racist chant filmed earlier in the month. The students are afraid for their lives in the wake of the racist chant. Alumni members have hired a lawyer to handle the backlash.
This news comes after the video was released of University of Oklahoma students participating in a chant that stated no black person would ever be a member of SAE fraternity, and mentioned lynching at least once in the song. University of Oklahoma states that the members of SAE that sang that song learned it at a national leadership cruise, and brought it back to Oklahoma. The national fraternity acted fast and dissolved their University of Oklahoma chapter after the video leaked onto the Internet. The students who participated in the chant have received death threats and are afraid to go to class.
The president of the national chapter of SAE criticized President Boren of OU, saying that he thinks it is disgusting if Boren believes the national chapter was taught the song as part of their culture. As well, they said that Boren should not hold his position as a president of a major university if he believes that SAE is a racist organization. The president of SAE, Brad Cohen, believes that the chant was taught by other racist members of his organization outside of the curriculum. At the national meeting, members of the former University of Oklahoma chapter decided to adopt it as part of the culture of their chapter.
One of the members of the University of Oklahoma chapter that was expelled, Levi Pettit, later apologized to the black community for his participation in the chant. Pettit apologized to members of the Oklahoma Black Caucus, after they held a round table discussion for him and his family, explaining how racism has affected the members who spoke. Pettit said that he would turn his life around after the incident. Pittman, a graduate of University of Oklahoma, and the president of the Black Caucus, challenged Pettit to become a leader in the fight against racism, accepting the challenge during his speech.
Members of the now-defunct chapter of SAE, on the University of Oklahoma’s campus, have received death threats because of their contributions and participation to the racist chant. Many of the members were afraid to go to school last week because of death threats they received, and there is a legitimate worry about the safety of the young men in question. Alumni for the group have hired former Timothy McVeigh attorney, Stephen Jones, to handle the fallout for the controversial video. Jones wanted to make sure that his participation in no way supports the boys who participated in the chant. Jones said that the boys on the bus participating in the chant have already paid for their actions, and continue to pay a high price for their role in the chant.
By Deneishia Jacobpito
Photo by Corey Seeman – Flickr License