Monday, March 9, 2015

The True Gentlemen of Sigma Alpha Epsilon

The true gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety...

The opening words of the True Gentleman's Creed, written by John Walker Wayland as they first appeared in an 1899 edition of the Baltimore Sun. According to Wikipedia, in 1966 Sigma Alpha Epsilon officially adopted the creed as its membership standard and Wayland was posthumously initiated into the fraternity.

John Wayland's brief essay touches on a lot of other stuff. Most of it is quite honorable, although a couple of passages can be interpreted as a bit iffy. Especially the part which says a true gentleman never makes any man conscious of his obscurity, inferiority, or deformity.

Of course, he was living in a different millennium than we are now and so we normally ignore such dated eccentricities, writing them off as products of the age. Hey, you should see what the Declaration of Independence says about Native Americans. Besides, things have changed haven't they?

Well sort of, but obviously not enough. That was proven by a bus load of the true gentlemen from the University of Oklahoma Sigma Alpha Epsilon house. As they were all decked out in tuxes on an unknown date, headed toward some sort of wildly decadent collegiate soiree they broke into a nifty little ditty whose lyrics were:There will never be a n****r in SAE, there will never be a n****r in SAE, You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me,
There will never be a n****r in SAE.

Actually, as of this morning, thanks to university president, David Boren there won't be anyone signing with the Oklahoma chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon ever again. Once he saw the social media posting on Sunday night his first official act was to irrevocably shut down the chapter.

Earlier today he gave the entire membership until midnight tonight to clear their belongings out of the fraternity house. Police were standing by in case of violence. Even as they did at least one wall of the place was vandalized with spray paint by people none to pleased about what went down on the bus.

In a statement to the media, Boren, said he was "sickened" when he first saw the video while thinking to himself the vile clods in it couldn't possibly be OU students. This morning, knowing they were, he addressed them by saying, "You're disgraceful." He also used words like racist, bigots, and reprehensible. He currently has the university legal team looking into what the repercussions would be if he expelled each and every one of the little shits.

The national office of the fraternity has, "suspended" the chapter which is a trifle less than redundant since Boren had already locked down the house and told the membership to get off campus and not come back. The national office also said it would kick offending members out of the frat.

It is being reported an African American group at OU released the video to social media. However, they've been mum on how they got it. What is clear is that someone on the bus took it and it hadn't shown up previously on the net.

The optimist in me likes to think one of the SAE members knew what was happening was terribly wrong and decided not only to record it, but leak the video to the organization who put it out there. If that is what happened, then, other than Boren's swift actions, it would be the only hopeful thing found in this hateful episode.

The bad news is it's painfully obvious the clowns on that bus are far too stupid to have come up with the lyrics and melody of what they were singing. Trust me, that tune has been sung in the halls of the ol' SAE house in Norman for generations and most likely, despite what the national fraternity says, it isn't just confined to OU's chapter.

Every now and then a conservative will tell me he, or she is tired of "the blacks" and liberals playing the race card. More often than not that person will say racism is either dead, or nearly so and it is used as a cheap excuse in arguments.

Ironically, Barack H. Obama and the men of the Oklahoma chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon have one thing in common. Both have proven those who spout such right wing nonsense are either congenital liars, or they're as stupid as dusty bricks.

sic vita est


1 comment:

  1. Psalm 15 in the Holy Bible. Thomas Jefferson said it was the picture of a "True Gentleman."