I today came across an excellent post by Tyrone Speller, the black President of Phi Delta Theta at Oklahoma University. No, it isn't a black fraternity, it is racially mixed, just as our cities, our churches, our clubs, and our places of work. Let's see what someone who is actually there has to say, rather than relying on National Media interested in ratings and "a story."
Our news is now full of racism. We have all watched a 3-4 second clip, of terrible, inappropriate behavior, by young men who, based upon their upbringing and high school backgrounds, would probably be voted least likely to do such a thing. But they did, and they are being punished.
University President (and former Governor, former US Senator) David Boren acted decisively in the face of such an incident, showing the strong leadership for which he is well known in Oklahoma. His actions, of closing the fraternity and expelling the students, will be a separate controversy, relating to due process. But it was decisive action and may well have meant safety for these students to get them off campus.
But there seems to be more. One unfortunate incident seems to set the stage for tragedy after tragedy.
Now Oklahoma University is labeled racist. Demonstrations and violence. Graffiti and vandalism, not just of the SAE house (the offending fraternity) but of other fraternity houses. Rumors of tires cut if your car has any fraternity or sorority sticker.
Not everyone agrees that OU is racist. In fact, not all blacks agree that OU is racist.
I have attached an open letter by Tyronne Speller, President of OU's Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Tyrone is black. This is not a black fraternity, not a white fraternity, it is an OU fraternity. Mr. Speller expresses a positive attitude, and talks honestly about his love of OU, his life in a fraternity, and his experience as a black student.
He says "In my experience, the majority of the OU Greek community is inclusive of all minorities, and it saddens me to see our Greek community being painted as “racist” according to the media and even fellow OU students."
It is worth reading someone who is actually there, rather than those, both black and white, who are only important, or are only paid more and get higher ratings, if there is a "story" to cover.
Read Mr. Speller's short but compelling letter. Tyrone Speller Letter