O U like N***** Chants, too?

As one of the few contributors to Tha Well that has zero affiliation with the state of Oklahoma, I bask in the glory of looking at another state’s embarrassment as it deflects from some of the horrifying folly going on around our country (I’m looking at you, Missouri and Kansas).

In case you missed it, members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter at the University of Oklahoma were recorded chanting “There Will Never Be a N****** in SAE”. A nine second clip of one enthusiastic lad, backed up by a chorus of robust, unseen voices, really get into this catchy tune.

Shock and outrage quickly saturated social media and online media sites. Shock much. Outrage many. Everyone mad.

Let’s all calm down here. Afterall, it was pretty catchy diddy (take that, take that, take that).

See, what we have here is a profound misunderstanding of not only the national Panhellenic system (not to be confused with the national Pan-Hellenic system), but even with the song itself. So let me break it down to you.

1. Nothing says unity like a chant. No one can deny that where one or more or gathered, a chant is certain to abound. Or is that Jesus? Either way, people LOVE to sing out. Just last night, I went to a Sporting KC game to watch fútbol, and ended up becoming a member of the largest chorus in Kansas City. Singing brings people together! It makes them happy and feel good! It says “Hey! You and I are in this moment, and we want to mark the occasion with a short, repetitive verse sung without instrumentation!” If you really think about it, we chant for almost anything… labor union protests, hot-dog eating contests…

2. Strong, definitive statements make goals clear. Look, no matter where you stand on the issue, you gotta give credit to an organization that articulates such goals as “There will never be…”. When was the last time Congress made such a declaration? These boys came together in the form of song, and outlined a goal: There will never be a person of color in our fraternity. Then they documented and shared it with the world. I bet they’ll meet that goal, too.

3. Saying “N*****” is just riotously fun. I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care what anyone says…N***** (and derivatives of) is simply a fun word to say. It’s so fun, we put it in every hip hop song ever because it virtually rhymes with everything (including the word Oklahoma…sorta). Can you blame a group of young, white men pursuing higher education in post-racial America for succumbing to what is inherently in all of us–the need to say N*****? Well, yes you can blame them. But don’t! It’s a d**n fun word!

4. Moxy. Not only did these dweebs young men see fit to make a goal, but they made sure to attach the signature of their fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, at the end. There is no mistaking who they were, and what they were about. Many closeted racist tend to hide behind Facebook comments and anonymity when slinging beliefs around, but these kids? They had balls. They had moxy. They had someone recording an overzealous frat brother who found more joy in those words than he ever has with a woman. NO RAGRETS, right guys? I mean, it’s no big deal to completely tarnish the reputation of a fraternity established in the Antebellum South. You do you. *fist bump*

As you see, the members of SAE did absolutely nothing the rest of us wouldn’t do, or dream of doing. Cut them some slack, ok? It’s just a chant, and I bet you’ve chanted, too.

-Cristin (@artofbeingblunt)

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The quintessential Missouri native.

1 Comment

    • ruth jeremiah
      March 9, 2015

      I love this post, right down to all the dripping sarcasm. As a native Oklahoman, I’m a bit embarrassed by this foolishness but like Erik said this isn’t new. I’m not surprised. Great post.


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