The Main Stream Media has decided that the most important story in the U.S. today is the revelation that college age males occasionally say mean words. Members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Oklahoma were captured on a 10-second video singing a crass song about wanting to keep blacks out of their fraternity. The song included the dreaded N-word, which some people are allowed to say, but others are not.
The response of the fraternity’s national organization, the university, and the MSM is far more hysterical than if the students had killed someone. The school’s president gleefully boasted about taking action against individual students and unilaterally closed the house where members of the group lived, the college’s athletic coaches showed up to preen for the media, and joyful students sprayed graffiti on the walls, with one person demanding the house be “torn down” [Update: OU President Boren closes fraternity after racist video, may take action against individuals, Tulsa World, March 9, 2015]
The song itself, of course, was indefensible on every level. Jared Taylor would never allow anything remotely like it at the American Renaissance conference (not that he gets any credit for this at all). But it was a song. At a private gathering.
There is something deeply pathetic about the students, faculty, and parasitic “activists” who are gleefully seizing on the story to destroy everyone involved and who are acting as if their showy exercise of institutional power constitutes an act of courage. More importantly, the almost celebratory reaction of the national MSM, and the widespread coverage given to what is essentially a non-event, shows that there is a deeper agenda concealed beneath the surface of what is just another hashtag ready Outrage of the Week.
Fraternities in the US have been under sustained attack for decades, partially because of their reputation as largely white and traditional, but also because they represent the last bastion of campus culture that is not under some form of official control. Other campus organizations, notably multicultural groups and politically Leftist student groups, generally rely on university funding, faculty support, and quasi-official status.
In this case, it was a black student group that calls itself “Unheard” that posted the video. But this apparently silent group now gets to dictate terms and extract new set asides from the college’s goofy President David Boren (email him) a former Democratic Senator and Yale Skull & Bones Alum whose chief claim to fame was working to release Nelson Mandela. (Greatly to his credit, Michael Meyers, the black executive director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition, has condemned Boren’s behavior: Don't expel the University of Oklahoma racists: David Boren and the ACLU forget that the First Amendment protects the right to be bigoted, New York Daily News, March 9, 2015.
Nevertheless, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at Oklahoma University may have handed the Left its first real recent break in its long offensive against its most hated college institutions.
These attacks follow three main patterns.
The most obvious recent example: the jihad launched by Rolling Stone against Phi Kappa Psi at the University of Virginia. To the Left, this was a perfect target because the University of Virginia was perceived as a rich, white, Southern school that exemplified “privilege.”
Unfortunately for Rolling Stone and just about every other MSM outlet in the country, the entire story turned out to be a hoax. (But the Left could take some solace in that even though the “rape” didn’t happen, fraternities at the school were punished anyway.)
Needless to say, these stories aren’t even really about preventing rape or protecting women. When a real rape occurred at Vanderbilt University, perpetrated by mostly non-white athletes, there was almost no national MSM reaction and such coverage as did exist was deliberately distorted. The campus rape hysteria is about attacking the white male enemy, not about safeguarding vulnerable young women.
A recent example: an allegedly “Border Patrol” themed fraternity party at the University of Texas at Austin. This predictably led to a protest by the various multicultural groups working to turn students into the Jose Antonio Vargases and Al Sharptons of the future. The protest even featured students gathered outside the fraternity’s house. Phi Gamma Delta (or FIJI, as they’re known) was also scolded by the Dean of Students and the Multicultural Engagement Center and had to submit to the usual re-education [Protests erupt over “border patrol” themed fraternity party, by Samantha Ketterer and Jackie Wang, The Daily Texan, February 13, 2015].
But the party was actually an “Old West” themed party and the vast majority of attendees wore cowboy hats or other Western attire. Only a few wore sombreros or other Mexican attire, and of those few who did, several had quite innocent intentions. Mexicans, after all, did wear sombreros and lived in the Old West.
Despite some groveling, FIJI largely escaped any real punishment besides finger-wagging, prompting another round of wailing by the Affirmative Action community [U. of Texas fraternity goes unpunished for ‘border patrol’ party, by Alexandra Samuels, USA Today, March 1, 2015].
Thus at nearby Oklahoma State University, student reporters jealous of the multicultural fun taking place at Oklahoma University have managed to create a mini-scandal because one member of that campus’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter had a Confederate flag hanging in his room [In light of OU SAE controversy, photo shows visible confederate [sic] flag hanging from OSU SAE house, by Stetson Payne, O’Colly, March 9, 2015].
Not hanging on a flagpole on the building or even pressed against the window—just hanging on the wall in his room. These days, that’s all it takes.
In the legendary fraternity comedy Animal House, one scene features a character taking a girl to his room and in the background is a Confederate flag. This character is part of the fraternity of “good guys” of Delta house, who are anti-authoritarian rebels that are contrasted to the evil, privileged, and stuffy WASPs of the rival fraternity.
Yet within a generation, the goalposts have been moved so far that Delta would now be put on “double secret probation,” not for having a huge toga party, but because someone put a flag on his wall that made people hyperventilate.
The obvious question: why do each of these trivial incidents become huge news stories when there are so many more pressing issues?
Apart from the general metastasis throughout America of Cultural Marxist totalitarianism, a more mundane reason is—because these feeding frenzies are profitable.
As always in these cases, the only real result of the inevitable candlelight vigils, Twitter campaigns, and passive aggressive protesters will be shoveling more money towards various make-work positions like “Diversity Coordinators.” Today, outrage is a business, and the war on fraternities is a subsidiarity of Offended, Inc. Every one becomes the justification for a new program, resource center, or social conditioning project that guarantees jobs, money, and status for everyone involved. Our campuses have created an entire generation of people who don’t know how to do anything except be OFFENDED.
And the worst part is not that these parasites “won’t be able to get a job.” It’s that they almost certainly will.
We got a glimpse of the end result recently at the University of California Irvine, where the student government voted to ban the American flag because it might “trigger” illegal immigrants [UC Irvine Student: US Flag Banned to Avoid ‘Triggering’ Hurt Feelings Among Illegals, by Adelle Nazarian, Breitbart, March 8, 2015]. The ban was later reversed, but we can expect to see much more of this in the future as students learn new ways to be OFFENDED by a national identity they have been taught to their entire lives is racist and oppressive [Banning the American flag? Why the UC Irvine flap might be glimpse of future, by Mark Sappenfield, Christian Science Monitor, March 8, 2015]
Fraternities must be valued because they are the one escape from creeping campus conformism. And for that reason, it’s hard to take what was, after all, just an offensive joke too seriously. The very people complaining the loudest are part of the most privileged group of people that exists in our society, with massive MSM, state, and financial power guarding their every feeling.
SAE brothers couldn’t use their supposed “White Privilege” to hang on to their own house, but these perpetually-aggrieved received nation-wide sympathy, power, and greenbacks.
Multicultural groups like “Unheard” got their first internship to prepare them for a long career in ginning up outrage for fun and profit.
As immigration policy moves the historic American nation ever closer to losing control of the country it built, that’s what college is now all about.
James Kirkpatrick [Email him] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc.