Featured image: AP Photo/The Oklahoman, Steve Sisney
A few weeks ago, a fraternity (SAE) at the University of Oklahoma came under fire for a video (click here) that surfaced online depicting some members reciting racist chants on a bus. At a time in which nearly everyone has a phone with recording capabilities, it’s astounding that the students caught would not think before acting in such a way.
Upon the release of the video, news sources and members of the university were quick to respond. A large majority (rightfully, might I add) criticized the students for their remarks. At a time when racial tension in the US is at a peak, this video has only served to further the issues that have arisen in the past months. Both students identified in the video were subsequently expelled from the university, and it didn’t take long for them to make statements regarding the video’s release. While most people (myself included) doubt that their intentions in repeating the chant were malicious, it still must be said that the behavior they exhibited is utterly unacceptable. Though their words and actions were without question reprehensible, many people have shown their support for the students and have chided the university for expelling them both, arguing that the kids simply made a mistake (albeit a huge one), as all people do.
With regard to the University of Oklahoma’s decision to expel the students, it’s a double-edged sword. No matter their final choice, they would face backlash from one side or another regarding the expulsion or retention of the students. There is very little ambiguity surrounding this issue, so it’s really up to each person to decide for him or herself what they think of the university’s decision.
One would hope that race relations in the US would have improved in the recent years as the country has become more tolerant of all people, but this scandal has only proven that there’s still a long way to go.