Future Leaders of America: SAE (Sad And Embarrassing)
Whether there will ever “be a nigger SAE” does not concern me and it should not concern the African-American community.
What should concern every member of the African-American community is that people with the mindset of the members of the University of Oklahoma’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity (SAE) could one day become the future leaders of corporate America and possibly the leaders of the political sector of America.
The video of members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon chanting that there will “never be a nigger in SAE” is reminiscent of video footage taken at universities like Ole Miss, University of Alabama and throughout the South during the 1960s.
Sure, laws changed that allowed people like James Meredith to enter and graduate from Ole Miss in the summer of 1963, but equal and open laws mean nothing in a society where people do not treat each other with open minds and equality.
Like many other African-Americans, Meredith probably entered into a workforce dominated by people with the same mentality that made his matriculation at Ole Miss a living hell.
Upon graduation, Meredith entered law school at Columbia University where he organized a civil rights march in June 1966 that would begin in Memphis and end in Jackson, Miss.
“The African American Encyclopedia” states that, “As the caravan marched on Route 51 in northern Mississippi, a lone gunman shot Meredith three times with a shotgun. Wounded with nearly seventy shotgun pellets, he was hospitalized in Memphis.”
Despite breaking the racial barrier at Ole Miss, Meredith’s encounters with racism were never over.
The institution that he graduated from and his home state of Mississippi still condoned racial bigotry and violence against African-Americans despite his accomplishments.
Likewise in 2015, although African-American membership in Sigma Alpha Epsilon is unimportant with the accomplishments of predominately African-American fraternities and sororities, those sharing the same sentiments of Sigma Alpha Epsilon members could possibly become the next judge, district attorney, politician, CEO, supervisor or manager, and if they do not want “niggers” in their fraternity, who’s to say that they won’t want them in their boardrooms or businesses.
Who’s to say that they will not be the next D.A. investigating the next George Zimmerman or Michael Dunn?
Who’s to say that they won’t be the next police officer to confront the next Eric Garner?
My fraternity (Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.) brother, attorney Kellen A. Daranda, stated, “The only part about this that has me livid is that when the men in this video go on to their careers this will be swept under the rug or if it is exposed, excused as youthful ignorance. Unlike what happens to minority youth whose youthful mistakes brand them as a thug for the rest of their lives.”
Unfortunately, their mentality could also lead to dire consequences for the African-American community and thankfully the faculty, staff and students at the University of Oklahoma acted quickly and swiftly, suspending the fraternity from its campus.
According to ABC News, University of Oklahoma president David Boren “is immediately severing ‘all ties and affiliations’ between the school and its local Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.”
Hopefully, the consequences that members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon suffered, including expulsion, will discourage them from allowing racism to affect their decision-making in the future.
What the members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon need to realize is that African-Americans do not NECESSARILY want to be accepted into their fraternity.
The country recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday.” Members of predominately Black fraternities like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.), Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy (Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.), Rev. Jesse Jackson (Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.), and future Congressman John Lewis (Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.) led that march or other marches and the entire Civil Rights Movement.
What the aforementioned leaders marched for was equality, not acceptance into their cliques or social clubs.
However, when those views seep from the frat house to houses of Congress and corporate America, it proves why the African-American community will never stop pursuing equality until we are truly judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin.