A video has surfaced showing some University of Oklahoma students engaged in a deeply evil, racist chant. The students were members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and were headed to a party with several female dates. Here is what they chanted: "There will never be a ni**** SAE. There will never be a ni**** SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me. There will never be a ni**** SAE."
Much fist-pumping and clapping accompanied the chant, which was uttered while the students were on a bus headed to a formal event celebrating their founder's day.
The justified condemnation has been swift. University President David Boren revoked the fraternity's affiliation rights, effectively banning it from campus. The chapter's parent organization took similar steps. All members must vacate the house by Tuesday night, according to CNN:
"All of our ties to that organization on our campus are severed, and I've given them till midnight tomorrow night to get their things out of the fraternity house. After that time, it will be totally closed and they'll have to make special arrangements to even get their belongings out of the house," he told KOKH. "And as they take their belongings out of the house, I hope they reflect on what they've done."
Protests, rallies, and prayer vigils have also commenced. A student group, Unheard, has called for the university to expel all students involved in the chant. SAE NAtional President Brad Cohen also suggested that Oklahoma expel the students.
The conduct of these students is truly despicable, and it will rightly haunt them for a very long time. Unlike many of the other "hate speech" incidents I have covered, there is nothing silly or alarmist here: A bunch of students uttered or cheered a blatantly abhorrent, racist, violent message. But while the desire to expel these students may be more understandable here than it is in other cases, I would still quibble with such an approach. If the goal is to reform or educate away attitudes such as this, don't these students belong in school, where they can interact with people who will help them understand why they were wrong?