Greek life on America's college campuses is often a lightning rod for criticism. Much of that negative reputation stems from psychologically or physically abusive hazing practices, but another key complaint about the institution is the occasional appearance of a racist undercurrent among frat or sorority members.
Such a perception of discrimination was recently amplified when a compromising video of members of the University of Oklahoma's Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter was leaked. While traveling together on a bus to an unspecified event, members of the fraternity can be heard repeating a chant, "There will never be a n****r in SAE." This racial slur is followed by garbled audio that sounds like an allusion to lynching -- "you can hang them all from a tree."
You can watch the video below to decipher the University of Oklahoma students' racist frat chant for yourself.
Although it is unclear how the video made it out of the fraternity, local black student activist group UO Unheard were the ones to post the video, along a tag to University of Oklahoma president David Boren.
Explain @AsSmallAsAGiant RT @OU_Unheard: Racism is alive at The University of Oklahoma. @President_Boren pic.twitter.com/EZdn5xOjlsBoren himself responded to the controversy over the racist frat chant, promising that SAE would be thoroughly investigated. The national SAE organization has already ordered a cease and desist to the chapter, reported Tulsa World.
— Young OG Moses (@iBChrisMoses) March 9, 2015
If the video is indeed of OU students, this behavior will not be tolerated and is contrary to all of our values. We are investigating. - DBo — David Boren (@President_Boren) March 9, 2015
We are investigating the details and will sanction those who are responsible.Although it appears that at least the initial response of campus authorities has been strong, University of Oklahoma students offended by the racist frat chant are taking action to assure that the video does not go unpunished. On Monday morning, UO Unheard is encouraging students across campus to wear black in order to stand in solidarity against the statements in the fraternity's leaked video.
— Sigma Alpha Epsilon (@sae1856) March 8, 2015
Outside of the University of Oklahoma campus, social media users are joining together under a hashtag inspired by the frat's video in order to voice their disgust over the leak.
Who do you think should be held responsible for the racist frat chant from University of Oklahoma's SAE?
[Images via YouTube and Bucknell.edu]