Members of the Oklahoma University fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon were caught in a 10-second video chanting something about not allowing black people into their fraternity. In their version, however they didn’t say black people, they used the n-word.
I’m not sure why that word is so bad, but it is. It probably has more to do with what it reveals about the person or people saying it than with the word itself. This video reveals a lot.
It wasn’t shocking to see a bunch of preppie pukes reveling in their whiteness. It wasn’t even surprising. What’s surprising is that we see it as an isolated incident or a problem within the Greek system (college clubs, fraternities and sororities that use Greek letters as their names).
Save for the hazing-like the kid who almost lost his fingers because he was forced to do push ups in the snow, sororities and fraternities can be a good thing. The graduation rate for Greeks is 20% higher than for independents.
Corporate board rooms of most of the largest companies in America tend to be filled not only with college graduates, but graduates of the Greek system. Sure, a lot of it is cronyism, but it’s still a path to professional success.
I was in a fraternity, of sorts at Northern Illinois University. It was a local fraternity, meaning it wasn’t a chapter of a national organization. How I wound up there is its own story, maybe I’ll cover that at the very end, in case you’re still awake.
About half of that fraternity was Jewish guys from Sullivan High School on Chicago’s north side. The other half was a mix of South Siders and guys from farming communities, like Ottawa, IL, where they socialized with sows and guys named Bubba.
Fortunately, the fraternity house was a two-story affair, so those two very disparate groups could separate themselves, spatially. It was on one floor in particular where I had my first encounter with racism in the flesh.
I won’t say on which floor that occurred, you can probably figure that out for yourself. I will tell you that the Jews were on the second floor.
The point here, though is that those racist attitudes did not come down from our national headquarters. There was no national headquarters. They also didn’t come down from the second floor.
Racism, like charity starts at home. Kids live what they learn and when there’s hatred at home, it seems to go off to college with the kids.
If you turn on FOX News, they’ll tell you there is no racism in America. One guest suggested that, “Racism is on its last leg.”
Commenting on a report by the Department of Justice, FOX’s Megyn Kelly defended racist policies in Ferguson, MO. That report revealed that investigators found severely biased policies both within the Ferguson Police Department and its judicial system.
They found blatantly racist emails communicated between high ranking members of both the police department and the judiciary. Police department supervisors and judges.
Kelly rationalized that if those investigators went through the emails of any company in America, they would find racist emails. She looked straight into the camera when she said it, as if it wasn’t the most specious argument anyone’s ever heard, even for FOX News.
Now, Megyn Kelly’s no dummy. Her head may be severely twisted to the right for my tastes, but she’s a cut above the average FOX blonde bombshell. If she thinks a racist police department and racist judges are OK because America is full of racists, she may be missing the point. By a lot.
If those racist emails are as prevalent as Kelly asserts, the problem may be a whole lot bigger than any of us bleeding heart liberals dared surmise. Or maybe she’s just doing business with the wrong companies.
Not only is racism born in the family room, it’s openly fostered by our leaders. Attacks on the President questioning his citizenship, his allegiance and even his ability to conduct the business of this nation are a throwback to the days when Southern “gentlemen” addressed grown black men as “boy.”
Pretending that racism doesn’t exist or is brought on by too many beers is a dangerous form of denial. While the tuxedo-clad white boys are riding around in a bus, chanting racial slurs, Rosa Parks is still riding in the back of the bus.
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