Display of racism at university sparks outrage

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The year is 2015; and society would like to think it has advanced beyond the mentality of those raised prior to desegregation and the American Civil Rights Movement.

However, a viral video over the weekend shows how some young people carried the torch of racism and got burned. It’s appalling to see that young people, who grew up in an age where racial equality has always been touted, were recorded singing a racist song on a bus.

Now, the members of the University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity chapter are looking for a new home, and two of those members are now expelled because a video of the act hit the Internet. While the American government has passed bills and laws ensuring the fair treatment of all people, this event shows that no amount of legislation can change racist thinking that prevails still today.

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Passing laws is moot if young people are still introduced to the social mores of decades past through fraternities or any other organization. According to coverage by www.insidehighered.com, SAE as a national organization has deep segregationist roots that are still growing.

The article lists several previous racist acts by members of other chapters that occurred as recently as 2013, this instance excluded.

When racial disparity is promoted through tradition, all that was achieved by Martin Luther King Jr. and all others that fought for equal rights is reversed. Fortunately, the Internet and the work of Unheard OU spread word of this recent act faster than damage control could quell the opposition that ensued.

While previous instances of racial actions by SAE members received little to no press, this viral video has brought the deeper issue in the fraternity and this country to light. Our hope is that these students learn that all people, regardless of race, creed, religion or social standing should be treated fairly not because a law says so, but because we are all equal.