While watching a Daily Show clip regarding the recent SAE University of Oklahoma fraternity chant scandal, I was in awe when I saw some of the media's reactions. A video was recently leaked of a chant that SAE fraternity members at University of Oklahoma were singing. The chant describes their rush policy, and goes, "You can hang them from a tree, but they will never sign with me. There will never be a n***** SAE."
The chant was so shocking to me; it brings into question just how far we really have come from the racism that existed about 100 years ago. The chanters refer to the atrocious, primitive times of racial terror lynchings that went on, saying you "can hang them from a tree." I found this word "can" to be a particularly unpleasant. The chant is implying that you (as a white male SAE member) are not only capable, but are being permitted to hang a black person. This chant is unbelievably backwards.
While some media coverage has called the video "racist" and "disgusting," there are a lot of commenters who think otherwise. USA Today broadcasters blamed the situation on "hip-hop," since the listeners hear this word over and over, will obviously start repeating it. Not true. This is one of the most naive and ignorant conclusions to draw, that racism today is a product of the music we listen to... Here's a clip of John Stewart's reaction to this.
There is just no excuse for the racism that is going on here. When the leader of the chant finally apologized for the incident, he said that "alcohol" had something to do with his decision-making that night, which I still feel is an entirely unreasonable excuse. The chant wasn't made up on the spot. So whether or not alcohol was hindering the chanter's judgement, these racist words existed before the incident, but this was the first time it was brought to the public's attention.
This whole situation is also relating to what we've been talking about regarding who is "allowed" to say the "N" word, and I think it was certainly inappropriate in this case because not only are the chanters saying this word, but the actual intent and message they're getting across is that they will never allow black people to join SAE, and that they condone the atrocities that occurred during the racial terror lynchings. And the media making excuses for this indisputable racism is only furthering the problem. This is the kind of backwards thinking that is pushing America in the opposite direction it needs to be going.