University of Oklahoma Fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon Shut Down for Racist Chant (VIDEO)

And here I was for a moment hoping that college students of all races would promote diversity and unity. (sigh)

GOOD BLACK NEWS

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Last night, according to CNN, the national chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity shut down its house at the University of Oklahoma after a video of its members chanting racial epithets surfaced on the internet.  University president David Boren said the university’s affiliation with the fraternity is permanently done as a campus group called for the expulsion of fraternity members.

The members have until midnight Tuesday to get their things out of the house, university  Boren said in a Monday afternoon news conference.

“The house will be closed, and as far as I’m concerned, they won’t be back,” he said, adding that the university is exploring what actions it can take against individual fraternity members.

The video showing party-bound fraternity members on a bus Saturday clapping and pumping their fists as they boisterously chant, “There will never be a ni**** SAE. You can hang him from a tree…

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Posted on 03/09/2015, in Potpourri, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 56 Comments.

  1. yeseventhistoowillpass

    At least the university president told them to leave.,..

    Like

  2. I’m not even surprised anymore when ‘people’ can put on such a disgusting display of racism. Stupid, Ignorance.

    I’m not glad it happened but I am happy that now the whole country knows. We can no longer ignore this. The stand taken by the school is IMPRESSIVE!

    Overall, even with the hurtful words, what happened, is fantastic. Does that make sense?

    Like

    • Mindyme, yes, it makes sense. No excuses were given in attempt to justify it. It was not only the racially hateful slur, but a death threat. There’s nothing funny about chanting about lynching people.

      Like

      • Our issues with race in America will never improve if folks pretend there is no problem.

        To see the problems the fraternity have had around the country shows a mindset, these kids were taught this hate. They’ve been being prepped for this their entire lives.

        Like

        • Mindyme,

          Our issues with race in America will never improve if folks pretend there is no problem.

          What I’ve noticed is that there is a group of those who hold to White Supremacist ideologies, who posture all positive discussions concerning race relations as creating division where there isn’t any. That is another way of promoting the ideology of segregation. If they are unsure of the race of individuals in the discussions, they perceive them to be Black and call them a “black racist.” If they know the race of the individual to be White, they call them a “White guilt idiot.”

          It doesn’t stop discussion but rather, gives us a head’s-up of the challenge facing young people when the adults in their lives lean towards or embrace White Supremacist ideologies.

          With the frat in Oklahoma, the Frat mom played a significant role in making members feel comfortable denigrating a race of people.

          The college’s student newspaper, The Oklahoma Daily, posted a Vine video late Monday that allegedly shows the frat’s house mother, Beauton Gilbow, 79, laughing while repeating the n-word at what appears to be a party. The newspaper identified Gilbow by comparing her Vine image to a photo on a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for her after the fraternity was shut down. The campaign page has since been removed.

          http://newsone.com/3097199/oklahoma-fraternity-racist-chant-video-sae-sigma-alpha-epsilon/

          Like

  3. yahtzeebutterfly

    It was important to expose this disgusting, ugly and hateful racism and for the fraternity to be immediately shut down.

    Also, it was good to hear that the student body and football team stood up against those racist fraternity members.

    Like

  4. Two sides to a story

    I love it that the university took such quick, decisive action. Just the way it should be.

    Like

    • I’m impressed

      Like

    • I ditto this sentiment. The President David Boren has sent a message as to how those who act out of hate should be treated with zero tolerance. I am so disappointed with these young peoples’ actions because the one hope I have had with all these issues, was that our young people suffer less prejudice. My adult children and their friends are much more open and accepting of differences. This has burst my bubble of denial. I feel so let down!

      Like

  5. yahtzeebutterfly

    Shaun King in his article at this link offers an excellent examination into the history and dangerousness of this demented SAE chant in his article at this link:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/09/1369591/-A-deeper-examination-of-the-sheer-joy-of-Oklahoma-students-chanting-about-hanging-niggers-from-trees

    Like

  6. yahtzeebutterfly

    Like

  7. The young man in the 2nd video is right, no one stood up to say ‘this is wrong’

    Now let’s get the police to acknowledge that if you don’t condemn the bad behavior of your members, you may be accused of condoning it.

    Like

  8. yahtzeebutterfly

    “Deadliest and Most Racist?”

    https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/03/10/several-sigma-alpha-epsilon-chapters-accused-racism-recent-years

    Long Excerpt (because SAE is known for its racism on many more college campuses):

    “SAE has frequently been accused of racist and discriminatory behavior over the years. Now the largest fraternity in the country, SAE seems to have played a disproportionate role in some of the most offensive incidents in recent decades — and yet remains a house in good standing at more than 200 campuses.

    “In 1982, the University of Cincinnati suspended its Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter after they organized a racist party around Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. According to an article in The New York Times, flyers for the event encouraged revelers to “bring such things as a canceled welfare check, ‘your father if you know who he is’ and ‘a radio bigger than your head.'”

    “In 1992, the Texas A&M University chapter hosted a “Jungle Fever” themed party which, according to an online exhibit created by the university’s Cushing Library, featured “black face, grass skirts and ‘slave hunts.'”

    In 2000, members of SAE at Oglethorpe University were among men from four fraternities who threw bottles at black athletes and yelled racial slurs during a cross-country meet. In 2002, a member of the Syracuse University chapter of SAE wore black face out to local bars.

    In 2006, two SAE students were suspended at the University of Memphis after harassing another member for dating a black woman and bringing her to the chapter’s house.

    In 2009, the Valdosta State University chapter caused outrage on campus after flying a Confederate flag on its front lawn. On Sunday, the Oklahoma State University chapter also drew ire on social media when a Confederate flag could be seen through one of its windows just hours after the controversy emerged at the University of Oklahoma.

    In 2013, the Washington University in St. Louis chapter of SAE was suspended after some of its pledges were instructed to direct racial slurs at a group of black students.

    Last year, 15 SAE members at the University of Arizona broke into a historically Jewish off-campus fraternity and physically assaulted its members while yelling discriminatory comments at them. In December, Clemson University’s SAE chapter was suspended after the fraternity hosted a “cripmas” party at which students dressed up as gang members.

    As for the now-infamous song, there’s evidence that the lyrics are not popular just among members of the Oklahoma chapter. One month ago, before the controversy at Oklahoma, a user on the online forum Reddit wrote that a nearly identical version was a “favorite” of SAE members at universities in Texas. On Monday, a Twitter user, whose profile has been made private, tweeted that he “was an SAE at a university in Texas from 2000-2004. The exact same chant was often used then. This is not isolated.”

    Like

    • And they have never suffered any serious consequence for their actions.

      Like

      • Mindyme62, This fraternity has also been infamous for 10 deaths due to hazing including a Cornell, Black pledge, George Desdunes in 2/2011. Please note the consequences as per article excerpts from the 4/12/12 NY Times article by Michael Winedrip:

        Eventually, Mr. Desdunes passed out and was loaded into the back seat of a Honda Pilot belonging to one of the brothers. At the fraternity, it took several people to carry him to his room, but when they found it locked, he was brought to the library and left on a leather couch.

        They tilted his head, said Mr. Williams, so “he would vomit onto the floor” and not choke. Then they walked downstairs to the kitchen, made themselves something to eat and went to bed.

        The S.A.E. house was quiet a few hours later, at 6:45 a.m., when the cleaning man and his father arrived for work. The place was worse than usual. There had been a beer pong tournament that night. Plastic cups were strewn all over. Furniture was broken. The room smelled like stale Keystone Light. After finishing the toilets, the younger cleaner walked by the library and noticed a student in a brown hoodie lying still. “I could see what looked like vomit or mucous on his mouth,” he told the police. “I tried to wake him by grabbing his foot to make sure he was O.K. There was no response.” Mr. Desdunes’s right pant leg was rolled up. One of the zip ties was around his ankle; a second zip tie with duct tape lay on the floor beside the couch.

        The cleaners called 911.

        When the police and firefighters arrived, they found an unresponsive male. He was not breathing, had no pulse and was cold to the touch. They laid him on the floor, cut off his sweatshirt, suctioned his throat and applied CPR. He was put on a stretcher and taken to a hospital in an ambulance.

        Continue reading the main story

        The rescue workers remarked later that there was not a single fraternity brother in sight, just the cleaners, who told the police what they knew, then went downstairs to finish the kitchen.

        HAZING is common on American campuses. A 2008 University of Maine study concluded that 55 percent of students who join fraternities, sororities, sports teams or other student groups experience it. On Wednesday night, officials at Binghamton University of the State University of New York, citing “an alarmingly high number of serious hazing complaints this spring,” halted all recruiting and pledging for the rest of the semester while it investigates. Binghamton has more than 50 fraternity and sorority chapters.

        Hank Nuwer, a professor at Franklin College in Indiana who has written four books on the subject, says that as long as there have been universities, there has been hazing: in 1657, two Harvard upperclassmen were fined and suspended for hazing. Mr. Nuwer has counted 104 deaths involving hazing since 1970. In one high-profile case, a drum major in Florida A&M’s Marching 100 was beaten to death in November during a hazing on the band bus. While no arrests were made in that case, seven band members have been arrested since then in two other hazing incidents. At Cornell, four students have been charged with hazing in connection with the Desdunes case and are scheduled to go on trial May 21.

        Douglas Fierberg has built a law practice by suing fraternities involved in hazing cases. In 2010, he won a multimillion-dollar settlement for the family of Carson Starkey, a freshman at California Polytechnic State University, who had pledged the S.A.E. chapter there.

        According to the police, the pledges were put in a garage, given large quantities of liquor and told to drink quickly while the brothers chanted “Puke and rally.” When Mr. Starkey passed out, fraternity members drove him to the hospital, but turned around for fear of being arrested. Mr. Starkey, 18, was placed on a mattress at the house, where he died. His blood alcohol level was about .40, five times the legal limit to drive.

        As a condition of that settlement, S.A.E. officials agreed to post on their Web site every case in which a local chapter was put on probation, suspended or expelled by universities from 2007 to 2011. In five years, disciplinary action has been taken against nearly 80 of S.A.E.’s 223 chapters. A spokesman for S.A.E., Brandon Weghorst, declined to comment for this article, citing continuing litigation. (In the spirit of full disclosure: one of my sons belonged to an S.A.E. chapter for two years, and enjoyed his experience.)

        Last June, Mr. Fierberg filed a $25 million lawsuit against S.A.E. on behalf of Mr. Desdunes’s mother, Marie Andre. A widow and Haitian immigrant living in Brooklyn, she worked as a nanny, hospital aide and AIDS counselor so her only child, George, could go to private schools.

        ALCOHOL is often the not-so-secret ingredient that turns pledging into hazing. Four of five fraternity and sorority members in this country are binge drinkers, according to a 2000 Harvard study. Mr. Nuwer estimates that 80 percent of hazing deaths have involved alcohol.

        In 2006, Mr. Favor’s firm was bought by a partnership of seven national fraternities, including S.A.E. Asked whether he recommends that fraternity houses ban alcohol, he said, “I make them aware of the effects of going from wet to dry.”

        The fraternity has debated getting rid of alcohol. In a proposal submitted to the S.A.E. Eminent Supreme Recorder in 2010, Frank Ginocchio (S.A.E. Northwestern ’66) recommended that the constitution be amended to require that all chapters be alcohol free by Aug. 1, 2014. “This proposal takes into account that approximately two-thirds of our members are under the age of 21 and that most of our risk management incidents involve the abuse of alcohol,” he wrote. “Beneficial consequences of this change will be a better maintained housing facility, and a better environment for studying.”

        Last July, at S.A.E.’s 155th national convention in Memphis, the 450 fraternity brothers present failed to give the measure the two-thirds majority needed for passage. “A big mistake,” said Mr. Fierberg. “These decisions ought to be made by experts in risk management, not underage drinkers.”

        THREE freshman pledges in the Cornell case — Mr. Williams, Max Haskin and Ben Mann — have been charged with misdemeanor hazing, a penalty that carries up to a year in jail.

        The records of a fourth pledge, who was 18 at the time and considered a juvenile, have been sealed. In addition to hazing he has been charged with tampering with evidence. After the police arrived at the fraternity house that morning, it was that fourth pledge who called his roommate and asked him to get rid of evidence of the kidnapping, according to court papers.

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  9. This is why I hate when the right fights when it comes to affirmative action. I would want young people to attend a University or College where they would interact with peoples of different colors, cultures, backgrounds and from different countries. The exchange of ideas, knowledge and experiences enrich everyone. The right forgets about the legacy placements in colleges. For example, If one’s Dad attended Yale, then his child would have a preference in being selected as a Yale student. This legacy treatment can go back for generations.

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  10. Unbelievable !! So all I have to say……..well, you all know I’ll say more is………..

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  11. peni4yothot

    https://t.co/64laE9aW2N
    Here is SAE House Mom on video.

    Like

  12. yahtzeebutterfly

    I was good to see the Oklahoma students and president decree “Not on our campus!”

    Martin Luther King spoke to the law and such decrees as beneficial even though laws don’t change the hearts of racists:

    “Certainly, if the problem is to be solved then in the final sense, hearts must be changed. Religion and education must play a great role in changing the heart.

    “But we must go on to say that while it may be true that morality cannot be legislated, behavior can be regulated.

    “It may be true that the law cannot change the heart but it can restrain the heartless.

    It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me but it can keep him from lynching me and I think that is pretty important, also.
    Martin Luther King 1963

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    • “It may be true that the law cannot change the heart but it can restrain the heartless.

      It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me but it can keep him from lynching me and I think that is pretty important, also.
      Martin Luther King 1963

      yet it seems those that used to do the lynching now carry badges and are still getting away with it.

      Like

  13. crustyolemothman

    While many of us rush to demand our rights, we often forget that others have rights as well. I am going to provide a link to an article that while many of you might (and will) disagree, it does make some points that need to be considered. While I personally find the words of their chant absolutely abhorrent, it would seem that their right to utter those words are protected under the first amendment. Can we somehow justify violating their rights to speech and at the same time demand that our rights are not violated? I don’t pretend to be an expert on Constitutional Law, but are not these people to be afforded the same rights that we demand? Before you start cutting me to shreds, take the time to read the article, and try to realize that I did not write it…

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/03/10/no-a-public-university-may-not-expel-students-for-racist-speech/

    Like

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      The national chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity had the right to shut down its house at the University of Oklahoma.

      We’ll see what happens as far as the expulsion of the two students by the university as far as the free speech issue. The president felt

      Boren said the students who played a leadership role had created a hostile learning environment for others.

      http://www.koco.com/news/boren-expels-two-students-for-involvement-in-racist-video/31714126

      This article I just linked said:

      A letter was sent to both students that said they had the right to contest the decision by contacting the university Equal Opportunity Officer by the close of business on Friday.

      Several sources have confirmed that Parker Rice was the student in the first video that surfaced on Sunday.

      Like

      • yahtzeebutterfly

        I imagine that the line “you can hang them from a tree” can be considered a threat, and so the Black students on the OU campus could probably be successful in obtaining an restraining order against the 2 SAE students should the 2 be allowed back on campus.

        Like

        • For a little more background on SAE, IT WAS STARTED IN 1856 at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa campus. Famous alumni have been members such as President William McKinley. As you might guess, any one who served in the Civil War were Confederates. In the more recent years, this fraternity has also been infamous for 10 deaths due to hazing during the pledging period which was notorious for being brutal. About a year ago, the pledging process was banned because of this reason. Their insurance costs were out of this world expensive. Many signed up for SAE despite this reputation because lots of the folks on Wall Street have been members of this fraternity and this provides a valuable connection. Yes, this fraternity has lots of monies and deep pockets. Every time a fraternity closes, donations dry up from these alumni members. This is why I am so thrilled at the President Boren’s handling of this situation. Although he is experiencing a lot of support, you can bet he is also dealing with unkind feedback.

          Like

    • Hey Mothman!

      While I personally find the words of their chant absolutely abhorrent, it would seem that their right to utter those words are protected under the first amendment.

      I would agree except for one part. When they chanted about hanging N—-s from a tree, they crossed from free speech to hate-speech.

      Like

      • crustyolemothman

        Xena, It could be questioned if that was a direct threat, it would depend on the perspective that one choses to read (or hear) it in. One problem that could be pointed out is the media failed to call out many of the protesters in Ferguson when they made what could be also considered threats against the police officers on the scene of the protests. My concern is that we will in asserting our rights to free speech deny others the same. Who will ultimately be the one to decide who has rights and who does not? I would suspect that much like the cases in the past involving “Nazi” speech, the ACLU would jump in and defend this group.

        I might suggest that as we grow closer to the year 2016 these problems will expand largely, If there is any one thing that unites the GOP/TP during an election year it is the shear hatred of people that are not like them in color, class or heritage. The political control of the masses is the only way the elite manage to keep control of the nation and the fear of the unknown drives way too many to vote against their best interests. Think I’m wrong? Look back into history to see what I mean…

        Like

        • Mothman,

          Xena, It could be questioned if that was a direct threat, it would depend on the perspective that one choses to read (or hear) it in.

          The chant contained a direct threat for this reason; it was directed towards any and all Black male students who sought to join that fraternity. There’s no mistake that that they would be lynched them from a tree before signing them into membership.

          One problem that could be pointed out is the media failed to call out many of the protesters in Ferguson when they made what could be also considered threats against the police officers on the scene of the protests.

          Being a police officer is voluntary employment. Police officers are not a group with a history of having other groups lynch them because of the color of their skin. In fact, the only group recently on record for intentionally planning to and killing police officers are sovereign citizens. Don’t get me wrong — threats are wrong.

          The overall picture of exclusion, and the chant that says why and how they would keep it that way, is classic hate-speech and discrimination based on race.

          Like

      • I watch “Law & Order” a lot and just yesterday was an episode of just that topic. Using the guise of the 1st Amendment to get young people to perform hate crimes by the suggestion of violence then claim “self defense”

        Hmmmmm, where have we heard that before ??

        Like

        • Racer,
          I like Law & Order. A SVU Marathon was on Sunday in recognition of women’s day.

          You might remember that I suggested that Zimmerman heard of the John Orr case, because much of his story mirrored that given by Orr. Orr was found guilty, and when comparing the two cases, the one thing that comes to mind that was missing in Zimmerman’s case is that the prosecution did not present debris finding of Zimmerman’s clothes. They did in Orr’s case and that was significant in testing Orr’s story. He lied. Orr was never pinned down on his back.

          Like

  14. crustyolemothman

    Off topic but still important…

    While I fully support the use of body cameras on police officers, there are some problems that are being brought up about their use. Is the camera just for keeping the actions of the officers in line, or is it also to record evidence? Can we have it where the police can be responsible for their actions recorded by the camera while the citizens are not to be held responsible for their actions also recorded? Once again the rights of the some citizens could conceivably denied while extending rights to others? How do we strike a fair balance?

    http://swtimes.com/news/state-news/body-cameras-spur-questions-about-victim-privacy-oklahoma

    Like

  15. chuquestaquenumber1

    Speaking of raising money. Howard Dixon the Black cook who fed these racists for 16 yrs is the recipient of a large GoFund Me effort upon being fired.,since the fraternity is being closed. Hope he gets a job soon or start his own business.

    http://www.okcfox.com/story/28310216/fundraiser-for-fraternitys-cook-gaining-support

    http://money.cnn.com/2015/03/10/news/sae-university-of-oklahoma-indiegogo/

    Like

  16. Can you believe that the Seattle SAE chapter is suing their university for false allegation?

    Like

    • From the Washington Post;

      Jones gave more details to the Oklahoman on Friday, saying he has been hired by a board of alumni who oversee the OU chapter of the fraternity. According to the newspaper’s report:

      He said the board hired him Thursday after an emergency meeting and he is reviewing paperwork before deciding what legal steps he might take. He said no decision has been made yet on whether to sue the university or Boren. He also said he has not been hired by two fraternity members who were expelled.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/03/13/reports-ous-sigma-alpha-epsilon-fraternity-plans-to-sue-the-university/

      The article goes on to say that they feel the University’s president painted all of that fraternity’s members as racist.

      Like

      • Xena, The plot thickens! If Mr. Jones can figure out a way to proceed, he will. There is a history here. The current OU President Boren used to be a Senator. The person who ran against him for that senate seat is Mr. Jones and he was beaten handily by Mr. Boren. Mr. Jones would love nothing better than to take on this case but it will not be any easy task. Technically, it was not President Boren who closed down the OU SAE chapter but the executive staff of SAE who took this step. The video speaks for itself. There is a possible argument that those who were dismissed from the college were not given their due rights to counter the allegations but when you have these two guys on video. What is there to counter? There is a press conference that Mr. Jones will state his intentions.

        Stephen Jones who represented the Oklahoma bomber would not feel any qualms about representing SAE. If he decides to proceed, this would be an opportunity to publicly bring out the dirty laundry by SAE of which there is plenty. I would donate to the legal funds to whoever would oppose Mr. Jones.

        Like

        • Gronda,

          There is a possible argument that those who were dismissed from the college were not given their due rights to counter the allegations but when you have these two guys on video. What is there to counter?

          This depends on the University’s policies and procedures. Since the frat members were not arrested, they lack standing to argue constitutional due process. I don’t know where attorney Jones is going or might go with this, but it should be interesting.

          Like

          • I watched the press conference. Stephen Jones claims he is not looking to sue as a first solution but he is not ruling out this option for the future. If I were President Boren, I would force him to sue but of course, I am not!!

            Like

  17. I made an error with above comment. Washington University at Seattle SAE members are denying claims of racism. It is the OU SAE chapter which is filing a suit. The same attorney who represented Timothy McVeigh, Stephen Jones has agreed to represent them.

    Like

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