OK Pastor Says President Boren Went Too Far, Acted Too Quickly

Tuesday, March 10th 2015, 10:14 pm
By: News 9

One group of black ministers and the NAACP called on OU President David Boren to do more.

They said he needs to launch an investigation into racial discrimination within the Greek system at OU.

“We want students on every campus of this state to know that we are committed to providing support, resources, and whatever is needed to stand against racial problems,” said Pastor John A. Reed, Fairview Baptist Church.

But one clergy member, who is also a former OU football player, stood alone in opposition and said Boren went too far and acted too quickly. 

3/9/2015 Related Story: President Boren: OU Has Zero Tolerance For Racism

Pastor Michael McDaniel stood along with the group “Concerned Clergy of Oklahoma” Tuesday, but stood quiet.

“The things that they want to express are good things, great things. I think sometimes in those conversations, it gets very broad,” said Pastor McDaniel.

McDaniel, now pastor of Northeast Missionary Baptist Church in Forest Park, an OU alum, and former wide receiver, said he thinks President Boren's action against SAE, was a little too swift.

“Maybe there should have been a little more time to gather more information, fact-finding missions, and perhaps some of the consequences wouldn't be so destructive in a sense,” said McDaniel.

And just to be clear, McDaniel said he does not disagree with the punishment handed out.

He said the fraternity members may have just missed a life-changing learning opportunity.

“It is not always the answer to remove them from a situation, but to help them grow in a situation,” said McDaniel. “I'm not saying that suspension is wrong, I'm simply saying, ‘How are you going to rehabilitate? How are we going to help them?” McDaniel explained.

By midnight Wednesday, the SAE house will be vacant, and two members have already been expelled.

But, what if President Boren did not take swift action in dismantling OU's SAE chapter?

“It's a Catch 22, if you will. I think the president did what he felt was best to do,” said McDaniel.

Now, McDaniel said since deconstruction has happened, there has to be reconstruction, and he said that's going to require some real conversations about race.

“Even when it comes to the Civil Rights Movement, there have been times or periods where civil rights workers and leaders met those persons who threw bombs at them, or who said racial slurs,” said McDaniel. “Those are powerful moments. I think we may have missed one.”

McDaniel believes conversations, possibly mediated by administrators would help race relations on campus.