When I got a call a few days ago from my mother telling me about what she read in the news paper I was in for a shock. When it comes to the U.S. Greek system, it's a disturbing truth: society is largely segregated by race, money and power.
This all started out with a nine-second YouTube video that reportedly shows members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Oklahoma chanting these chilling lines: "There will never be a ni**** SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me.”
"The students on the bus clap and pump their fists as they boisterously chant," CNN's Eliott C. McLaughlin writes, describing a clip that rocketed around social media, leading OU's president, David Boren, to rightfully shutter and ban that fraternity from the school.(CNN)
The fact that a fraternity could even come up with a chant like that is truly disgusting. Everyone knows that the greek system is mainly a part of upper class American culture which by default includes mostly white people. The underlying racial discrimination however was never put out in the open the way it has now. For Sororities we can see how this points to the ancient white beauty ideal put forward by Blumenbauch. Every sorority wants the nicest looking pledges and since the white ideal exemplifies white beauty why take any non-white students? Even today if you take one of USC’s top sororities and analysed its pledges. You would undoubtedly notice that everyone seems to look very similar.
The reason I wanted to blog about this is because I too was a part of the greek system for sometime. Growing up I had seen tons of American films and read tons of books that depicted the Greek system. So when I came to USC I was extremely excited to finally be a part of it. I knew that it was a HUGE part of American culture and so when my friends warned me that they did not like taking International students much I thought it was fairly warranted. When I got my bid I was so excited. I felt like I was finally truly getting to be a part of American culture. But when the pledge process began I felt left out most of the time as I did not know what everyone was talking about. I later realised it was not for me at all. It wasn’t entirely a bad experience I did make a few really good friends.My point here is that, even if they did try to include us (non-white people) we still can’t fit in entirely. It’s just the way society works. It’s not their fault to some extent. But that does not mean they have to be rude and boisterous and openly discriminate.
On a side note, the post also goes to show the power of social media in today’s world. If it wasn’t for the YouTube video this discrimination would not have been brought to light. This has now become a national crisis with the whole world looking down upon America’s Greek system. My parents back home in India read about it too and called me immediately to find out more. They too were appalled by what the read and even said that they were now questioning their decision to send me to the United States.