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GoonSquad
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11 Mar 2015, 9:37 am

We talked about this in one of my classes the other day...

Pretty much everyone paid lip service (at least) to the idea that what they did was wrong, but a lot of people balked at any punishment for people at an individual level. Others used the incident as an opportunity to attack the "Greek System" as a whole....

The discussion got pretty heated. In the end, one student, (an older, black female) walked out of class...

I pretty much stayed out of the debate, but I did find the whole thing very informative.

A few observations:

I don't think this is a problem with Frats only. I think it has more to do with any sort of exclusionary social group.
One of the attractions of these groups is that not everyone can get in... that's really the whole point. AND, that is EXACTLY what they were singing about. The whole point of the song is that, while you might be the dumbest, most inbred cr****r there is, you are better than every N****r on the planet because you are a member of the group and they aren't.

Also, I think what we see in that video is a prime example of the ugly, dangerous side of social groups in general--not just Frats...
There seems to be a form of group think happening here. I'm sure that most of those guys would never have sung that song on their own. However, in a highly cohesive group, all it takes is one douche bag with a bad idea and a one or two others who go along to cause a domino-effect. The others simply follow along because of their emotional ties and desire to fit in. That's how social groups work, and why mobs sometimes commit atrocities...

And finally, from the incident in class, I learned one other thing. Being able to discuss racism as an interesting abstract, academic problem is just one more perk of white privilege. Whites can discuss the issue, debate it, condemn it and put it away when we get bored, because it doesn't really affect us. Non-whites cannot do that. They have to live with and deal with racist attitudes everyday, whether they want to or not. They can't put it away when they grow tired of it.

....and even more finally :P ...

What happened--a bunch of white frat boys acting like assholes--might not seem like such a big deal, but I think it is. Here's why. Those kids are going to be in positions of power in a few years. They are going to be doctors, lawyers, business executives, and HR people in the future. They are going to be judges like the one who just resigned in Ferguson Mo. Their biases matter because, collectively, they will affect thousands of lives.

We don't need people like that in charge.

So, what do you guys think?


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Last edited by GoonSquad on 11 Mar 2015, 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

Fnord
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11 Mar 2015, 9:40 am

I think those frat boys have great futures ahead of them as Republicans ...

... or garbage collectors ...

... but I repeat myself.


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11 Mar 2015, 10:18 am

Could someone post a brief primer on the Greek system, for those of us who have not lived in the USA? We don't have such a system here (UK), as far as I am aware. It seems they're connected to the university itself?

I think, from what I've read, that they overreacted to it. Perhaps making the fraternity kick the guys in the video out would be most fitting, especially if some black guys were to join to fill up the empty space...


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GoonSquad
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11 Mar 2015, 10:56 am

^^^

Here's a link to a wiki article...

Basically, a fraternity is a social club for undergrads. They all usually live in a big communal house on or near campus. On the positive side Frats usually have some sort of pet charity that they sponsor and raise money for etc...

On the bad side, frats have a (deserved) reputation of being very cliquish and elitist--most members are "legacies" meaning that a parent was a member and/or they come from rich, influential families.

Frats also have a deserved reputation for having wild parties, raping drunk coeds and doing dumb s**t as seen in the video in question...

Frats are not really part of the university itself. In this case, OU did not actually shut down the Frat, they simply ordered the frat off university campus.

The national administration of SAE are the ones who dissolved the local chapter.

OU did expel two of the song leaders for violating the university's student code of conduct.


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11 Mar 2015, 11:28 am

It is getting way too much attention for it just being a couple drunk fratboys saying something offensive in a 15 second Youtube video. It isn't news to me that warrants a response from the White House and round the clock coverage from CNN/MSNBC but I guess we should all know their agenda by now. They can flame racial tension all day but when it comes to real scandals in government it's "what difference does it make?" It's all playing to an audience, a dumb one.

As for the punishment, shutting down the entire chapter doesn't seem fair since this was just the actions of the few and I generally side against trying to ruin people's lives for speech/thought crime. I know everybody wants to show they are serious about tackling racism but it should have context, it seems the message here is don't say racist or offensive things because you might be punished not because it is morally wrong or tangibly damaging.



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11 Mar 2015, 11:42 am

Jacoby wrote:
It is getting way too much attention for it just being a couple drunk fratboys saying something offensive in a 15 second Youtube video. It isn't news to me that warrants a response from the White House and round the clock coverage from CNN/MSNBC but I guess we should all know their agenda by now. They can flame racial tension all day but when it comes to real scandals in government it's "what difference does it make?" It's all playing to an audience, a dumb one.

As for the punishment, shutting down the entire chapter doesn't seem fair since this was just the actions of the few and I generally side against trying to ruin people's lives for speech/thought crime. I know everybody wants to show they are serious about tackling racism but it should have context, it seems the message here is don't say racist or offensive things because you might be punished not because it is morally wrong or tangibly damaging.


The initial message it sends is that overt expressions of racism are NOT SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE. What happens after that really depends.

Be that as it may... The reason this is important is because these kids will be wielding real power in the future. That means that their biases do matter.

As I pointed out in the OP... I'd bet money that the scumbag judge who just resigned in Ferguson was the product of a system like this.

That affects us all, and it really does matter.


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11 Mar 2015, 12:04 pm

GoonSquad wrote:
Jacoby wrote:
It is getting way too much attention for it just being a couple drunk fratboys saying something offensive in a 15 second Youtube video. It isn't news to me that warrants a response from the White House and round the clock coverage from CNN/MSNBC but I guess we should all know their agenda by now. They can flame racial tension all day but when it comes to real scandals in government it's "what difference does it make?" It's all playing to an audience, a dumb one.

As for the punishment, shutting down the entire chapter doesn't seem fair since this was just the actions of the few and I generally side against trying to ruin people's lives for speech/thought crime. I know everybody wants to show they are serious about tackling racism but it should have context, it seems the message here is don't say racist or offensive things because you might be punished not because it is morally wrong or tangibly damaging.


The initial message it sends is that overt expressions of racism are NOT SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE. What happens after that really depends.

Be that as it may... The reason this is important is because these kids will be wielding real power in the future. That means that their biases do matter.

As I pointed out in the OP... I'd bet money that the scumbag judge who just resigned in Ferguson was the product of a system like this.

That affects us all, and it really does matter.


I get what you are saying but I'm not sure this really makes a difference in how people think, it just changes how they publically express themselves. I'm not nessasarily ready to crucify these dumb kids based on some Youtube video either, I don't think anybody would want to be held accountable for every thing they've ever said regardless of context.



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11 Mar 2015, 2:16 pm

SAE is just being honest, unlike most white liberals who cry foul on racism, but would never, ever consider living among black people.

I just moved my aunt out of the city she had lived in for thirty years because it was becoming majority black and consequently crime has slowly risen to make it ranked 16 out 100 (100 being the safest) on neighborhood watch. Prior it was a peaceful, low crime white city.

Also, there was a black guy on tv complaining about black people coming from Detroit to live in foreclosed homes. These people were going to ruin his city - he complained.

How many examples of cities being transformed into black ghettos do you need before you say "keep these people out"!



Last edited by LoveNotHate on 11 Mar 2015, 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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11 Mar 2015, 2:26 pm

GoonSquad wrote:
We talked about this in one of my classes the other day...

Pretty much everyone paid lip service (at least) to the idea that what they did was wrong, but a lot of people balked at any punishment for people at an individual level. Others used the incident as an opportunity to attack the "Greek System" as a whole....

The discussion got pretty heated. In the end, one student, (an older, black female) walked out of class...

I pretty much stayed out of the debate, but I did find the whole thing very informative.

A few observations:

I don't think this is a problem with Frats only. I think it has more to do with any sort of exclusionary social group.
One of the attractions of these groups is that not everyone can get in... that's really the whole point. AND, that is EXACTLY what they were singing about. The whole point of the song is that, while you might be the dumbest, most inbred cr****r there is, you are better than every N****r on the planet because you are a member of the group and they aren't.

Also, I think what we see in that video is a prime example of the ugly, dangerous side of social groups in general--not just Frats...
There seems to be a form of group think happening here. I'm sure that most of those guys would never have sung that song on their own. However, in a highly cohesive group, all it takes is one douche bag with a bad idea and a one or two others who go along to cause a domino-effect. The others simply follow along because of their emotional ties and desire to fit in. That's how social groups work, and why mobs sometimes commit atrocities...

And finally, from the incident in class, I learned one other thing. Being able to discuss racism as an interesting abstract, academic problem is just one more perk of white privilege. Whites can discuss the issue, debate it, condemn it and put it away when we get bored, because it doesn't really affect us. Non-whites cannot do that. They have to live with and deal with racist attitudes everyday, whether they want to or not. They can't put it away when they grow tired of it.

....and even more finally :P ...

What happened--a bunch of white frat boys acting like assholes--might not seem like such a big deal, but I think it is. Here's why. Those kids are going to be in positions of power in a few years. They are going to be doctors, lawyers, business executives, and HR people in the future. They are going to be judges like the one who just resigned in Ferguson Mo. Their biases matter because, collectively, they will affect thousands of lives.

We don't need people like that in charge.

So, what do you guys think?

To me they sound like a bunch of low class hicks in one of the fraternities that pretty much lets anyone in. Bigots, basically. They don't sound smart enough to be in college considering they let themselves be filmed like that. It's not one of the richer, exclusive fraternities. One thing people in these rich fraternities know, it is money that talks, not a person's race. Money is all that matters. If you got the money, doesn't matter if you are flying and purple and a people eater. So? What matters is you have the money and your family's got it. These kids need to realize that valuable lesson and until they do, they won't get that far in these structured environments.

Yep they can still discriminate against you based on your bank account and would not surprise me in the least the elite in these older, more exclusive fraternities have the same kinds of thoughts, not against any race, just against people without enough money in their bank accounts, or assets of some kind. People who aren't wealthy. But it's okay because it's still acceptable to discriminate based on that!

It's obvious some in the SAE fraternity have not yet learned how to pick and choose battles thus they lost.



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11 Mar 2015, 3:01 pm

LoveNotHate wrote:
SAE is just being honest, unlike most white liberals who cry foul on racism, but would never, ever consider living among black people.

I just moved my aunt out of the city she had lived in for thirty years because it was becoming majority black and consequently crime has slowly risen to make it ranked 16 out 100 (100 being the safest) on neighborhood watch. Prior it was a peaceful, low crime white city.

Also, there was a black guy on tv complaining about black people coming from Detroit to live in foreclosed homes. These people were going to ruin his city - he complained.

How many examples of cities being transformed into black ghettos do you need before you say "keep these people out"!

You sir, have a very ironic screenname......... Did Jim Crow pick it out for ya?



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11 Mar 2015, 3:07 pm

LoveNotHate wrote:
SAE is just being honest, unlike most white liberals who cry foul on racism, but would never, ever consider living among black people.

I just moved my aunt out of the city she had lived in for thirty years because it was becoming majority black and consequently crime has slowly risen to make it ranked 16 out 100 (100 being the safest) on neighborhood watch. Prior it was a peaceful, low crime white city.

Also, there was a black guy on tv complaining about black people coming from Detroit to live in foreclosed homes. These people were going to ruin his city - he complained.

How many examples of cities being transformed into black ghettos do you need before you say "keep these people out"!

The only way to really solve these problems is to work together regardless of race and to see each other as human beings across the board. That is really the only answer because if we elevate ourselves, low behavior will be beneath us and if we see others as elevated we won't wish to harm or exclude them. Respect for ourselves and others is where healing begins.



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11 Mar 2015, 3:47 pm

Frat clubs sound like the cream of the worst. Glad our universities don't have this scum.


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11 Mar 2015, 3:54 pm

Overt racism is everywhere around young people (it tends to be covert with the older folks).

It's the universities' choice to expel them, though it's also a poor choice on their part, as they should know all about free speech and why it's so important.



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11 Mar 2015, 4:05 pm

Many of these social groups are already gender-segregated, right? So why is everyone upset when they use a different form of discrimination? I think people should be free to form associations with whoever they want. Do churches and synagogues need to accept atheists or people of different religion into their fold? The whole idea of social clubs is exclusion, you have just divided the world into members and non-members. Of course the people who sing these racist chants are dickheads, if you disagree with them then don't join their sucky frat club.
Of course the university is free to not support them or not allow them to operate on their campus.



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11 Mar 2015, 5:45 pm

trollcatman wrote:
Many of these social groups are already gender-segregated, right? So why is everyone upset when they use a different form of discrimination? I think people should be free to form associations with whoever they want. Do churches and synagogues need to accept atheists or people of different religion into their fold? The whole idea of social clubs is exclusion, you have just divided the world into members and non-members. Of course the people who sing these racist chants are dickheads, if you disagree with them then don't join their sucky frat club.
Of course the university is free to not support them or not allow them to operate on their campus.

What most do not know about OU is it is pretty much a football school so to get really good football players, they are gonna to make a strong stand here. A lot of the really good players just happen to be black. Why that is, I don't know. They are just better at football and that's why people want to recruit them.

They already lost one of their promising possible recruits because of this scandal so it has already had ripple effects. If the university is known to condone this sort of behavior, football players will go elsewhere and that's what OU is pretty much all about. Football. See the connection?



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11 Mar 2015, 6:04 pm

Fnord wrote:
I think those frat boys have great futures ahead of them as Republicans ...

... or garbage collectors ...

... but I repeat myself.

Sanitation workers are, if my Democratic memory serves me well, unionized aren't they? Hardly frat material. :wink:


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