In an incredibly unsurprising story, it turns out that those guys from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Oklahoma didn’t make up that racist chant on their own, they learned it on a cruise sponsored by the national fraternity and it’s something routinely used at SAE chapters around the country.
Members of the University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity learned the racist chant that got it kicked off campus at a leadership event sponsored by the national fraternity, President David Boren said Friday.
Boren said in a news conference that the the school’s investigation into the local SAE chapter found frat members learned the chant four years ago during a leadership cruise sponsored by the fraternity’s national organization. Local chapter members who attended that event then brought the chant back to OU, where they incorporated it into their pledging process, Boren said.
The OU president also read out a letter he sent to the national SAE organization seeking information as to whether the fraternity has looked into how widespread the chant was among its various local chapters.
“While there is no indication that the chant was part of the formal teaching of the national organization, it does appear that the chant was widely known and informally shared amongst members on the leadership cruise,” Boren wrote in the letter.
Could anyone possibly be shocked by this? I don’t think all fraternities and sororities are like this. One of my best friends is a national leader with a sorority and there’s no way this kind of thing would be tolerated for a second. But a whole lot of them are little more than cabals of rich white kids making connections that ensure that rich white kids continue to enjoy all their privileges in their generation. Racism of this type is the rule, not the exception (and there are exceptions).