The video appears to show Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) members participating in a racist chant. The fraternity is investigating the footage, which reportedly shows students from the University of Oklahoma (OU) chanting about lynching and using racist language against black people. SAE has said it is embarrassed and disgusted, according to The Guardian.
The OU branch has been closed and its members suspended in light of the revelations. For its part, SAE has issued a statement on the matter: “We apologise for the unacceptable and racist behaviour of the individuals in the video, and we are disgusted that any member would act in such a way.”
A black student group at OU, known as Unheard, was the first to post the video online on Sunday, and it was subsequently reported by the Oklahoma Daily, a student newspaper. The video shows a group of students on a bus, using language offensive to African-Americans and pledging never to let any into the fraternity.
“This video contains language that is offensive, disrespectful, and unacceptable,” Unheard said in a statement posted with the video. “Even after 50 years after the events that occurred in Selma, Alabama, we still have a reason to march. We as a people have indeed come a long way, but yet still have so far to go.”
SAE: “zero tolerance for racism”
Unheard focuses on the lack of representation and support for black students at OU, and will be holding a demonstration on Monday morning. Members of the Kappa chapter at OU were identified by SAE leadership.
“I was not only shocked and disappointed but disgusted by the outright display of racism displayed in the video,” said Brad Cohen, national president of the fraternity, before stating that “SAE is a diverse organisation, and we have zero tolerance for racism”.
OU president David Boren said that the university administration was carrying out its own investigation of the video. “If OU students are involved, this behaviour will not be tolerated and will be addressed very quickly,” he said. “This behaviour is reprehensible and contrary to all of our values.”