The president of the University of Oklahoma condemned a campus fraternity as “disgraceful” on Monday after a video of fraternity members chanting a racial slur went viral. National fraternity officials from the organization, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, had shut down the branch hours earlier.
“To those who have misused their free speech in such a reprehensible way, I have a message for you,” said David Boren in a statement. “You have violated all that we stand for. You should not have the privilege of calling yourselves ‘Sooners.'”
The video, posted to YouTube Sunday by Unheard Movement, a university group that describes its mission as working to “address various grievances aimed towards Black students,” shows fraternity members chanting a slur to refer to black people, referencing lynching and saying that black people will never be admitted to their organization.
“Even after 50 years after the events that occurred in Selma, Alabama we still have a reason to march,” said a statement accompanying the post, referencing the 50th anniversary of the march on Selma. “We as a people have indeed come a long way, but yet still have so far to go.”
National fraternity officials ordered the branch closed almost immediately after the video was uploaded and Boren joined student rallies protesting racism. Fraternity members have been given until the end of Tuesday to remove their belongings from the campus fraternity house, Boren said.
In the aftermath of the video, the SAE fraternity building was reportedly vandalized with the line “tear it down,” according to the Oklahoma Daily student newspaper.
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