Wisconsin SAE Suspended For Racist And Anti-Semitic Slurs, May Be Getting A Bad Rap As Bigots

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Sigma Alpha Epsilon at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been put on suspension until midway through the fall semester after a member reported several instances of anti-semitism, racism, and anti-gay behavior to school administrators. They will not participate in summer or fall recruitment and must participate in mandatory tolerance training before being reinstated. The alleged incidents leading to the suspension spanned from October 2014 to February of this year according to a timeline provided by the university.

From The Washington Post:

In March, a student complained to the university’s committee on student organizations that there had been a pattern of bigoted incidents at the fraternity over the past year-and-a-half. The first was at a Halloween party in 2014, when, the student, said a fraternity member called him a racial slur and choked him for about five seconds until other members stepped in. Fraternity leaders said that they did not know there was a racial element but that the student, who has since graduated, was disciplined by the chapter.

In March 2015, a fraternity member ran down the street yelling racial slurs; he was expelled from the chapter but continued to hang out there sometimes. In the fall of that year, the student who reported problems to the university said he continued to hear members using racial, anti-Semitic and anti-gay slurs and his objections to other members were ignored. The chapter members had been required to undergo training as part of the national initiative to eliminate racist acts that year. In December, he heard a member yelling a racial slur outside the house; fraternity leaders said they couldn’t identify who it was. In February of this year, he said a member kept repeatedly singing lyrics with a racial slur; the member denied it.

Obviously, images of the Oklahoma SAE bus chant filled your head as soon as you read this title. We are talking about the same national organization that hired a director of diversity and inclusion and now already requires new members to go through a tolerance training program before being fully initiated into the fraternity in response to the video after all. But, no matter how proactive or reactive nationals are in combating this prejudice stigma, people will from here on out associate the letters SAE with racism. Is it fair to the countless other chapters across the country? Of course not. But that’s the reality of the situation.

Now maybe all of the accusations are true. Maybe this member experienced everything he reported to the school, and, if that’s the case, the brothers should be punished for being complete assholes. But maybe — just maybe — there’s another side to this story. Maybe this kid was in bad standing with the chapter and had a “If I’m going down, I’m taking the entire ship down with me” mentality. With those images of Parker Rice chanting “There will never be a N*gger SAE” with a giant shit-eating grin on his face still fresh in our minds, playing the race card wouldn’t be so far-fetched, would it? Cry racism against that very same fraternity and who’s going to doubt you? Exactly. The Wisco chapter was pronounced guilty — whether it’s true or not — the minute it left this kid’s mouth.

[via The Washington Post]

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