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University of Oklahoma

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It is not realistic to think that racism doesn’t exist these days. If you believe that, you’re living on another planet. Some may even say that racism is even more prevalent today than it has been in the past, because it doesn’t seem as blatant, however, Sunday, video surfaced online of members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Oklahoma, chanting racist lyrics to the tune of “If You’re Happy And You Know It”. The lyrics were heard were as follows:

There will never be a ni**er in SAE

There will never be a ni**er in SAE

You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me

There will never be a ni**er in SAE

That is some pretty ‘in your face’ racism. The fraternity’s national headquarters has closed the OU chapter, effective immediately and the University has suspended the members involved and ordered them to move out and close its fraternity house overnight. Though the swift response and action is creditable, the punishment is quite lenient. After all, these students will be future lawyers, managers, politicians, doctors and teachers who may someday be in a position where their racist beliefs may reflect decisions they may make regarding minorities. Expulsion would further cement the University’s intolerance of such actions and attitudes.

The video was shot anonymously and posted to Youtube by Unheard OU, an alliance of African American students who wished to bring attention to the climate on OU’s campus. The Oklahoma chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon has had a history of trouble involving other sigma Alpha Epsilon chapters.

Read the statement released by the president of University of Oklahoma president, David Boren:

Statement:

To those who have misused their free speech in such a reprehensible way, I have a message for you. You are disgraceful. You have violated all that we stand for. You should not have the privilege of calling yourselves “Sooners.” Real Sooners are not racist. Real Sooners are not bigots. Real Sooners believe in equal opportunity. Real Sooners treat all people with respect. Real Sooners love each other and take care of each other like family members.

Effective immediately, all ties and affiliations between this University and the local SAE chapter are hereby severed. I direct that the house be closed and that members will remove their personal belongings from the house by midnight tomorrow. Those needing to make special arrangements for possessions shall contact the Dean of Students.

All of us will redouble our efforts to create the strongest sense of family and community. We vow that we will be an example to the entire country of how to deal with this issue. There must be zero tolerance for racism everywhere in our nation.

President Boren

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