Oklahoma University condemns racist rant, but fails to address issues of violence on its campus

Bryan Eberly and Bryan Eberly

By now, you may have seen, heard about, discussed or ranted on the video of the frat boys from Oklahoma University chanting a racist song on their bus.

It made quite a bit of news in the last few weeks, with a flashy and showy circus on how tolerant OU is supposed to be and how swift their reckoning can fall on students who say the wrong thing.

OU seems to be rectified. They conquered racism and saved face.

But did they? Or was the whole thing just a public relations stunt and both missed a deeper issue and dodged an actual problem at the school?

The deeper issue with the release of this chant video is much worse than just the utterance of a bad word.

While saying the n-led pejorative and boldly, proudly claiming that a person of color will never join one’s fraternity are both certainly bad things, we missed a chance here to discuss the futility and ignorance behind such racist attitudes.

Why are supposedly college-educated individuals still accepting such an attitude of judging membership in their fraternity based on race?

Whereas membership should be based on education, honor, community involvement and what a member will bring to the progress of the house, these students think the color of a person’s skin has anything to do with his quality.

Allow me to twist this story away from the students and toward the school, now. OU, why do your students not only hold such ignorance, but hold it so proudly?

This question has to be asked and the school has to be grilled over this. The simple action of closing down the fraternity chapter and removing the students from campus should not be the final nail in this racist coffin.

Because the racism is still alive inside.

Aside from that, there is another discussion which should be drawn out. While the school was right in taking action and removing the students, the action seems a bit extreme considering OU’s recent glazing over of violence on their campus.

Reason magazine, a libertarian publication, brought this violence to light last week and brought up a good point with it. A football player, Joe Mixon, on the OU team was punished lightly for hitting a woman and breaking her jaw.

As an important aside, if you look into the incident, it has been proven that the woman shoved the player first and the player was defending himself. That is the main reason why the player’s punishment was light.

Regardless of who hit whom how hard and why, a harsh question must be asked to the school: why do your students feel free to go around assaulting each other?

I’m glad for the response from OU regarding the racist speech. Such behavior has no place on a college campus. But does violence? Why hasn’t the original student who committed assault been removed from the campus?

Are we really to believe that a bad word has higher priority than violence? Is that the code OU is going to proceed by?

Don’t say racist words. But it’s OK if you hurt each other, students.

When reflecting on the Oklahoma University incident, keep these two points in mind.

OU fosters an environment where racism is lauded and openly practiced and it is also a campus where speech outweighs violence.

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