SAE: Racist recruiting?

Several weeks ago a significant incident involving racial hatred occurred in Oklahoma in a relatively unlikely setting. The University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity was caught on camera shouting an incredibly anti-black chant on a bus which seemed to involve the whole fraternity chapter.

This struck a chord with the entire nation as Americans from east to west called for action against the group; the president of the University very quickly disbanded the entire fraternity chapter, ridding its image of an organization capable of such atrocities. All the involved students were suspended, two who presumably were leading the chants were expelled. Their parents must be so proud.

According to the University of the Pacific’s website, we attend the fourteenth most diverse campus in the nation in one of the most diverse and welcoming states in the country. We as students may not necessarily experience that severe of racism here, but without a doubt it sill exists in other parts of the country. The University of Oklahoma has a roughly 63 percent white population of its 25,000 total students. Compare that to our 33 percent. Although our university has about five times less students, University of Oklahoma’s black population is single digit, as are all other populations of races that aren’t white. Although we Tigers are a small population, we should feel lucky to be exposed to so many rich cultures, especially since our diversities are  celebrated so frequently amongst us.

What is most appalling about the situation in Oklahoma is the fact that racism has probably been bred in that chapter of SAE. Young people in our country are thought of to be the most accepting generation of Americans, which seems like an accurate, although weak observation because our past has involved some of the most established racism of any developed country.

The extreme hatred exemplified at the University of Oklahoma doesn’t just pop up out of nowhere, and it is almost guaranteed that generations of men in that chapter looked for other white men with similar values and ideals to perpetuate.

The University of the Pacific had a Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter, but it was disbanded in 1997, but not due to the same issue.

Some say jokingly that the letters SAE are an acronym for “Same Assholes Everywhere,” but that would be extremely unfortunate if this was true.

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Thomas Levy

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