The video of white frat boys singing a racist chant last year was shocking but not surprising to many. But an internal Sigma Alpha Epsilon investigation says the incident involving its University of Oklahoma chapter was an uncommon occurrence, Inside Higher Ed reports.
SAE’s national office polled its more than 13,500 collegiate members. Only five additional chapters acknowledged hearing the racist song before the University of Oklahoma chapter was caught on video singing the chant, according to a statement from SAE.
“We provided additional education to those particular chapters on diversity and inclusion to make sure their culture has not deviated from our values and mission,” the organization said.
The video shows the University of Oklahoma chapter members on a bus chanting: “There will never be a ni**** SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me.” Shortly after the video surfaced, SAE’s nation chapter responded to the outrage by suspending the school’s members, CNN reported.
A University of Oklahoma investigation found that the fraternity members learned the racist song during a 2011 SAE leadership gathering. The university also said the incident caught on video was not an isolated event, but a chapter tradition, the Washington Post reported.
According to Inside Higher Ed, the fraternity, with roots in the Confederacy, has a long history of racist incidents. In 1982, for example, the University of Cincinnati suspended its SAE chapter for organizing a racist party around Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. In another incident, the Texas A&M University chapter hosted a party that featured black face and slave hunts.
Following last year’s University of Oklahoma incident, SAE said it provided diversity and cultural awareness training to its collegiate members and hired a director to oversee implementation of its diversity program.
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty