OU Students, Athletes Express Outrage Over Racist Fraternity Video
NORMAN, Oklahoma - The racist chant has gone viral on social media causing many reactions from students and athletes on campus.
On the side of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity building in black spray paint, the words “Tear It Down” is just a visual manifestation of the anger that's boiling under the surface in the minds of Sooner students, faculty, athletes and alumni.
Locked arm-in-arm, Football Coach Bob Stoops and OU football players were dressed in black and walked side-by-side in response to the racist video that's caused so much controversy.
The video shows what appears to be multiple members of SAE that has sparked so much negative attention that the fraternity is packing up and moving out of their house as their chapter is suspended.
OU SAE chapter members remained silent as other Greek students on campus weighed in on the insensitive cheer.
“I have personal friends who are in the SAE house and they are good guys, genuinely, and I love them to death. So definitely it was a matter of not thinking right, you know? They didn't make smart decisions. Somebody should have stood up and said, ‘Hey, we should not say this,'” Interfraternity Councilmember JD Baker.
All of the members of SAE have a midnight deadline to be out of their former house. And all afternoon those members could be seen packing up all their belongings and moving out.
Moving with haste, several SAE members used boxes and bins to get everything they owned out of a place they once called home.
With the help of friends and family, they moved things in trucks and U-Hauls and kept quiet. The racist video involving the fraternity made for a scathing front page headline on the campus paper, The Oklahoma Daily.
Professor in African American history at OU for 20 years, Dr. Ben Keppel, told News 9 the chant was far more than a joke.
"Stuff they think is funny, but I have a very hard time understanding how that can be true because the references are very, historically specific. When you talk about, ‘On a tree?' Come on, we all know what that is," said Dr. Ben Keppel, OU history professor.
"I am unheard. I shouldn't be scared to be on my campus.”
That's the message one freshman student wrote on a post it along with hundreds of OU students for Monday morning's protest.
“I feel scared because obviously this has been going on for a while so clearly these people have something against the African American race. So I personally feel scared to be around those people because I don't know what they're going to do," said one freshman student at OU.
With posters taking a stand against SAE's racist video, crowds of students made their voices heard.
It's not the first time the SAE fraternity has been in hot water. Various chapters nationwide have been fined in the past for black face parties. Oklahoma State's chapter had a confederate flag visibly hanging from inside its house.
But OU Greeks are standing together, saying “Not on our campus.”
“Definitely disgusted and ashamed that anything like that has happened on our campus and they absolutely need to take action," said one fraternity member who did not wish to be identified.
The future is uncertain where these members of SAE members will live now.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin also released a statement regarding the video:
“The racist words chanted by the students in this video do not represent OU values or Oklahoma values. As the outrage among Oklahomans has demonstrated, we are a state that does not tolerate that kind of disrespectful behavior. I appreciate President Boren as well as OU's faculty, staff and students for quickly condemning these hurtful words and demonstrating the true nature of our Oklahoma community, which is diverse, compassionate and respectful.”