Sunday, March 15, 2015

My Take on the Racist Chant at OU

I am a Sooner through and through (sorry aunt Tammi!). I even bleed crimson that's how much I love the school I attended. I am just as appalled as a lot of you are I'm sure. Since there is a chance not all of you have heard about what happened, I'll give you a little background before diving into my opinion.

There was a video posted to someone's Snapchat I believe of some of the SAE brothers shouting out a racist chant on a party bus. President Boren of the University of Oklahoma has since disbanded SAE's connection with OU, and the frat is trying to sue. There have been articles posted from many different angles, but here is mine as a dropout who used to be a part of a sorority at the University of Oklahoma.

I think it is completely abhorrent. I am horrified and disgusted. I am ashamed. But I'm also sad. It is deplorable that someone was so hateful that he/she came up with this chant and then that many brothers decided to keep it alive and well. Are they all racist? I really hope not, but the flip side of that is they are spineless for allowing something so terrible to continue despite their personal beliefs and moral compasses.

I saw the video, and my first thought was, "What idiot would record that?" White privilege is something so ingrained in our society that it pops out in the worst scenarios. It's a good thing it got recorded. I mean, not for the two boys who were expelled for being in leadership positions since their bigotry now gets to follow them around forever, but at least attention has been brought to the fact that racism is STILL an issue today.

However, there has now been talk of the entire Greek system being targeted for one bad egg. Is it possible that other houses have members whose sentiments lie with those SAE brothers? Of course. But it's just as likely that non-Greeks would feel that way, too. Is targeting a group because of stereotypes not the same problem the different races have? Is that not what caused the problem in the first place? I'm one of those hippie chicks that thinks you can't combat hate with more hate. Creating more anger will NEVER solve the problem.

So here's my possible solution. Let's stop labeling. Yes, it is human nature to categorize our surroundings since it is what helps us determine what is dangerous that much faster. Snap judgements and stereotypes were a big part of survival at one point in our past (how relevant they still are is not what I'm discussing at this time). But why does it matter what ethnicity or race we are anyway? Why do we always have to check those boxes on goverment paperwork? Why does it matter?

That's not to say that if we just stop talking about it, it will go away. What I'd rather we try is teaching the next generation to simply not see those divisions of color or religion or orientation or gender because in reality, what does it matter anyway? Are we not all entitled to the same unalienable human rights simply because our cells are those made by the code of human DNA? Maybe I'm a dreamer, and this idea of foregoing the labeling is completely ridiculous. But then again, how awesome would it be to get to decide who you are instead of letting your genetics and environment place you into the little boxes the government so desparately needs?

What are your thoughts on racism and how to stop it? If you are at OU or close to it, what can you tell me of the newest developments?