Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity incited a media hailstorm this week — and once again, it’s for all the wrong reasons.
On Sunday, @OU_Unheard, an equal rights group on campus, posted a video to Twitter, which depicted brothers of the University of Oklahoma chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon chanting a racist refrain.
According to USA TODAY, Levi Pettit and Parker Rice, the two students accused of leading the chant, were expelled on March 10. The fraternity’s headquarters also issued an apology and closed the university chapter, effectively suspending its members.
In a press release, University of Oklahoma President David Boren said: “I have emphasized that there is zero tolerance for this kind of threatening racist behavior at the University of Oklahoma. I hope that the entire nation will join us in having zero tolerance of such racism when it raises its ugly head in other situations across our country.”
In spite of Boren’s ostensible call to action, the go-to angle has been to sensationalize the incident at the university — as if these events occur in a historical, geospatial and institutional vacuum — while masking the pandemic nature of racism.
On Twitter, however, the #NotJustSAE hashtag is working to destabilize the disingenuous post-racial narrative undergirding mainstream coverage; highlight the pervasiveness of these microagressions; and draw connections to broader institutional racism.
Here is a look at the conversation happening on Twitter now:
— kparks (@reKENDALLflames) March 11, 2015
— Deep Toot (@femmeminem) March 11, 2015
— Deshawn McKinney (@_NWArsenal) March 10, 2015
It's #NotJustSAE because I've been told too many times that I am pretty and too smart for a black girl.
— Alynna Wiley (@alynnawiley) March 11, 2015
being called a "nigger bitch" in the middle of my birthday celebration on greek row at a fraternity #NotJustSAE
— lae ✨ (@laelailays) March 11, 2015
— IG Ohhshebajan (@ACaribbeanDream) March 11, 2015
— Jarell (@TheJarell) March 11, 2015
But that's b/c we have never been allowed to have a full range of human emotion as black ppl #NotJustSAE
— Bulaong Ramiz (@bulaong_ramiz) March 11, 2015
#NotJustSAE my supervisors get excited when candidates ask about diversity so they can say they have a black female employee (word for word)
— Sarabi ✊ (@CTRanAway) March 11, 2015
— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) March 11, 2015
Source: Huff Post