The Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity members of Oklahoma University were seen in the video below chanting derogatory words against African Americans that went viral and created a protest and movement for change within the school. The SAE chapter has since been shut down, and it was reported that 2 members of the fraternity that were seen in the video leading the chants were expelled from the university. Shortly after, both students released statements to publicly apologize for their chants.
Watch the Video below:
The truth of the matter is this – what these kids have done hurts millions of people and should not be tolerated. It is obvious that they have hurt the feelings of so many people especially in the African American community as well as most Americans in general, as the racist chants were full of offensive language and showed an unacceptable level of discrimination. Certainly, they have also broken the hearts of their family members including parents and loved ones.
It is important to applaud President ‘David Boren’ of Oklahoma University for taking a swift approach in condemning these students. As an African American, I am proud that these students are being punished but I don’t think the punishment should be in the form of a judgment that hinders their progress in life, if they are truly repentant of their wrong doings, But, rather, it should be a way for them to become a better human being for the next generation. It seems like the society is in the right direction, however, I believe that we should also be careful not to give them a verdict for an act that they would later regret to have engaged in as a teenager. We have to keep in mind that some of these kids are teenagers, and possibly between 18 and 22, and most often, a lot of people make a lot of mistakes during that period, and giving second chances is definitely a measure to correcting kids in that age group. What they have done is horrible, but like Martin Luther King Jr. said, you have to show love and compassion to actually see true changes.
In my opinion, I think the students, staffs, and leaders at University of Oklahoma, the African Americans community at large should please consider the possibility of giving these kids a ‘second chance’ as most often than not, such kids may have been a victim of peer pressure or association with the wrong crowd. So, as we try to uphold justice in all situations, it is also important to build a corrective structure that will prevent people from passing quick judgments on people, but also consider a path that can mentor and remediate the actions exhibited by these kids, rather than just punish and condemn them for life.
These are my personal views, and I will appreciate others leaving a comment to further express their opinions as well.
Daniel O., a Golden Icons Contributor.
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