Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Oklahoma University and Inconsistent Intolerance

David Boren, President of Oklahoma University, has expelled two students for their involvement in a SAE fraternity racist video posted to YouTube. Both students have since apologized, but the decision to expel them stands firm.

The SAE house mother, an elderly white lady named Beuton Gilbow, a woman the fraternity brothers affectionately called "Mom B," lost her job and the place she has lived for the past 15 years when Oklahoma University shut down the SAE house as punishment. People began raising money for Mom B in a GoFundMe account until a new video was discovered of Mom B chanting the "n" word herself. After the video of Mom B's singing her song was discovered by OU's student newspaper, the account to raise funds for Mom B was closed.

79-year-old Mom B. was loved by everyone at SAE, including the African-American SAE members. Her late husband was Coach Barry Switzer's college roommate at Arkansas. There's not a racist bone in Mom B's body. Everyone who knows her will tell you this, including Coach Switzer himself.  Of course, those who know Barry Switzer recognize that this man's relationship with African-American college athletes is one of friend, father and mentor. Coach Switzer's relates in his autobiography how being a son of an Arkansas bootlegger created within him a love for poor, disenfranchised and minority athletes.

I believe Oklahoma University has every right to expel the two boys and shut down the SAE house for those foolish video rants that use the "n" word. Unlike some of my libertarian friends who argue that Oklahoma University has surrendered the inviolable principles of personal liberty and free speech, I take the position that any school has every right to establish and enforce university standards of behavior through its "code of conduct." As Dr. David Boren said when punishing those involved with singing the racist song:
"I have a message for those who have misused their freedom of speech in this way. My message to them is: You're disgraceful. You have violated every principle that this university stands for."
Now, I have a couple of questions for Dr. Boren and other Oklahoma University administrators. According to Mom B, when she was filmed chanting the "n" word, she was actually singing along to the Trinidad James' song "All Gold Everything." The song was playing in the SAE frat house (you can hear it in the video). As an option to not listening to the filthy lyrics of "All Gold Everything", you might consider just reading them (caution: extremely explicit).

(1). Does this video "violate every principle that this university stands for"?
(2). If so, will you expel any student who sings the lyrics or plays this song in their car (or bus)?
If there is a code of conduct for the University of Oklahoma, and there is, and if there is going to be an enforcement of punishment for violations of that code of conduct--and this week seems to indicate there will be--then there should be an intolerance for the singing, promotion, and playing of any song which "violates the principles for which the university stands for."
There must be either the advocacy of full liberty and freedom of speech on a university campus, or the consistent enforcement of the university's code of conduct on the basis of principle. Anything less will cause a university or government to begin its gradual descent into tyranny.


Dave Panzera said...

Often in the course of appearing to care the reactions to some things reach "over-reaction" status. Universities are one of the most intolerant and judgmental of places the left of the nation has ever owned. I agree with you, Wade, in the right of the school to expel and for the reason they did so. However, one will always be amazed at the wide swath that the blade they swing to "correct" this flies as often in such cases it cuts off the heads of guilty and innocent alike.
This is precisely why we have a trial, it allows a vetting of the issues prevents the knee-jerk lynching's we get in which an innocent will be trumpeted as guilty (Ferguson Police Officer) and begins the process of correction. When you go after everything in this fashion you engineer hyper-sensitivity where everything is turned into something it is not and the situation becomes even more toxic than the one you were trying to fix. Trust violated in this fashion divides more than anything.

Anonymous said...

The firestorm of the media often fixates on one artical of the story without digging out details that don't fit into their narrative. Unfortunately most of us do not have access to information other than what the media gives us. With the details you have given there is more to consider than just the sensationalized and limited version the so called journalists have given us. If what the media has given us is enough for rational thinking then judgement is in their hands to decide who is right and who is wrong and that is wrong on so many levels. Good article Wade.

Wade Burleson said...

Two excellent comments.

Christiane said...

I see the videos and I see two sides of the same coin . . .

God have mercy on us for our foolish ways. When we no longer see the image of God in another human person and instead only see a 'label',
then we give ourselves permission to attack the label. But we are still attacking another human person, only in our minds the attack is at one remove from directly which allows us to justify the damage we do to the human person when we reduce him or her to a 'label' for which we have contempt.

Without the Gospels of Our Lord there is only the darkness.

Shari England said...

Oh my! That video was just hard to watch without a grimace.

I am a little torn over the reaction. While there indeed needed to be some kind of punishment, I think expulsion for the two students and closing the fraternity may have been a little knee-jerk, most likely due to the already heightened sensitivity stemming from the Ferguson incident. I have to wonder if these students repeated that song with the same mechanical rote in which I learned "Eeny, meeny, miney mo" as a child. Granted, one would like to think as college students, especially the older ones, they would have used a little more discretion or wisdom, but since when do alcohol and wisdom travel together. I'm sure most all of these students are not racist. It is an unfortunate incident that probably should have been kept within the confines of the university, rather than posted to YouTube. Just hope this does not permanently tarnish the record of these two students in the future who are essentially taking the fall for so many. Racism is not just a "white" issue, (as shown in the reply video by a black student) and this only fortifies the argument that it is, giving Sharpton more arsenal.

All that to say, I think this could have been used as a teachable moment. Just have to wonder if we just threw the baby out with the bathwater.

Anonymous said...

What seems to be ignored is the fact that at a party by and for members of this fraternity there was alcohol being consumed (I do wonder if that is still an offense at any university) by minors. Even though I do not know their actual ages, sophomores are generally under the legal drinking age in Oklahoma (or has this been changed also?).
Not too many years ago alcohol at any function by a campus body was enough to get that body removed from the university's organizations and the offenders arrested.
Joseph Patrick

Rex Ray said...


Fighting for justice is a good cause, but should we start at the bottom or the top?
Iran Letter: 165,000+ Sign Petition to Prosecute GOP Senators for Treason (ABC News)

Maybe this will force Obama to ‘put up or shut up’.

Wade Burleson said...


You make an excellent point.

Wade Burleson said...


Yep. You're right.

Ramesh said...

The Two Oklahoma Students Expelled for Their Racist Chant Have a Strong Free-Speech Defense

Ron said...

I too was raised in the south at a time where the n word was in common use and racism was the normal attitude. I sympathize with the dorm mom and think she is getting a bad deal.
However, even when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s we did not think it was cool to sing songs about hanging African Americans from trees. What were they thinking! It seems that singing this song was a long time custom at this fraternity. They should close the fraternity and expel the students. What would we say if students were singing a song laughing about beheading Christians? Ron West

Anonymous said...

Racism is a "learned" perspective regarding someone else. Most of the time it doesn't come through personal experience that portrays reality.

As a child, my racism toward black Americans was "learned". I had never had any direct association with people of other colors. We lived in a totally segregated society. But I was racist learning from others that I was a member of a superior race and segment of society even though my family was poor, not well educated and with no particularly high position.

Later God called me, my wife and son to live some years in Africa with black Africans where we "experienced" the truth that skin color does not determine the character of anyone. Wealth doesn't either. Neither does education or having a culture like mine.

My African brothers and sisters worked hard to simply survive and provide for their families. They graciously accepted me as they did their own family. They would move out of their mud hut with the grass roof and sleep outside on the ground to accommodate me and my African companions who had come with me to visit their village. They would kill the only chicken that their family owned to honor us with the best they had to offer even with their young children's protruding stomachs and reddish-colored hair due to protein deficiency.

They would visit me when I was sick; pray with me when I hurt; invite me to participate in their most personal family events. They allowed me to give input related to church matters even when my ignorance of African culture must have made them laugh on the inside at some of my "western" culture's suggestions. My wife, son and myself, grew to love them and all of us grieved when we were led to move and serve in other places.

When I returned to the US, just out of Africa, and encountered my old white American friends who had remained racist, my assessment of who actually had a depraved character changed. It pained me to meet them because they mirrored most clearly what "I" had been. Remembering my sins of the past gave me greater appreciation for God's grace because I knew that "He" forgave me.

Ironic that God called me to serve Him in Africa. He always knows what He is doing.

Victorious said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christiane said...

when I was doing geneology while helping my sister who is the family geneologist,
I looked into the archives of the local newspaper in the library of Plymouth, NC.
There, on the microfiche, I came across the discription of a lynching that had taken place in the 1800's in the town where so much of my mother's family history originated.

I cannot tell you how sickening it was, nor can I describe the 'glee' with which it was written up. I tried to sort out why this could be and I have found this, which does help to explain that celebration of horror that shocked me even more than the adjectives of the man's screams and he was burned alive before they hung him:

personally, the boys at the frat house come from a culture and within that culture and within all of us is something that we cannot understand in the depths to which it can lead to callousness over the suffering of another living creature.
God help us. Christ have mercy on us. Our humankind is injured to the core of our depths. We need Christ's healing.

ScottShaver said...

Hey Wade:

Ever say anything at age 19 you wish you could take back?

Ramesh said...

A different view: Waka Flocka Flame Didn't Make Anyone Say the N-Word

Ramesh said...

NYT > Expulsion of Two Oklahoma Students Over Video Leads to Free Speech Debate

Ramesh said...

Developing story: SAE Case Will Be Lawyer Stephen Jones' Rematch Against OU President David Boren

Rex Ray said...


I didn’t realize how much cruelty and murder against Blacks by Whites until I read your link.

It’s strange how we seem to think that everyone does or should believe as we do.

As a kid I never knew or asked why the courthouse had different restrooms and drinking fountains for Blacks and Whites.
A small town near us had a sign: “N----- don’t let the sun go down on your head in this town.”

(Years later, my wife told me a town in Oklahoma had the same sign but said, “Whitey”)

I was never around Blacks until we went to an American grade school in Germany for half a year. My brother and I were in the 10th grade but went there because our father and mother were the two school teachers.

It was there I developed a crush on Mary Ann Decab…a Black girl. I was bashful and never talked to her before her father was transferred to Munich. The next year we went to Frankfurt and the seven American High Schools had a track meet in Munich.

As I finished winning the mile race, I saw her waving from the stands. I waved back but lacked the nerve to get any closer.

I said all that to say color made no difference to me. In fact while in the Air Force I told a story to a buddy of mine. I asked why he was laughing.

“Instead of saying ‘sling-shot’ you said “N----- shooter”. (He was Black.)

But now, I get a different feeling when I’m around Blacks. With the help of our President, I feel that I’m living in a period of “Its pay-back time!”

Anonymous said...

The amazing and sad thing to me is how gullible we all are and how easily influenced by the blowing of the winds of opinion in whatever society we live in.

We are so quick to demonize people like ISIS for cutting off heads and burning people alive but then we read the accounts of our own history (like the accounts posted by Christiane's link) and see we are as capable of committing acts just as inhumane.

We can't go back and change our past but I wonder what acts of atrocity and inhumanity are going on in our very own society today in which we are equally guilty of at least turning our head or being indifferent if not personally involved in committing? I have the feeling that future generations will be looking at what we do today and will be sickened in repulsiveness.

Rex Ray said...


You’re so right about future generations looking at us today ‘and will be sickened in repulsiveness.”

My friend, James Tague, from Bonham, TX wrote “LBJ and the Kennedy Killing” in 2013.

I purchased 24 of his books. He was an eyewitness that was injured by a “fourth” bullet.

To keep the number of bullets to 3, the Warren Commission had to invent the “magic bullet”.

Tague died of cancer February 28, 2014. There were only 16 people at his funeral. His book:

was one of many that proved Oswald never fired a shot. The bullets in officer Tippit did not mach Oswald’s gun. Test for gun powder proved he never fired a gun, but this was deleted from the Warren Commission.

The only man alive that admits his part in Kennedy’s death is:

The mastermind of who organized the murder of JFK is answered by who had the most to gain?

RRR, I believe you’re a person that would disagree with: “What difference does it make…they’re all dead?”

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray,

I wonder if it will be like Jimmy Hoffa and we commoners will never know what happened to him.

We "know" that there are some insiders who know the truth behind both Kennedy assassinations. We can only wonder whether there were connections between the two but one finds it hard to believe there wasn't.

Then again, there are the rumors that Edward made the decision "not" to run for The Presidency because of the threat and likelihood that he also would be taken out. I don't know about that but Bobby Kennedy was the Secretary General, I believe, for JFK and he was a real pain the behind of the Mafia during those days and they were no friends of Castro or Nikita K either.

Then there is the astounding assassination of Oswald just days following his arrest by JACK RUBY!

Some people guess that LBJ had something to do with it but I see the Mafia being a more likely possibility.

Whatever it was, whoever it was, they had too much influence and clout for our government, i.e., Warren Commission (including Gerald Ford) to come out with the truth. It could have been that if the American people knew what happened it would have resulted in too many politicians being "outed" for their own corrupt connections with the "Mob" or fear of a 3rd nuclear world war with Russia.

Regardless of the details, I think almost everyone knows that the entire explanation we were fed was nothing but pure and bogus "bunk".

Sorry to go on about it but I think that we're about the only ones still commenting on this post topic so it should be okay.

Rex Ray said...


You’ve made my day! Yea, when all commenter’s stop it’s like when the cats away, the mice will play. :)

I hate to mention the “National Examiner”, but on March 23 the front page states: “Mob Hit Man, James Files, Confesses: I killed JFK…Not Oswald! He never fired a shot.”

The TV station, NEWSMAX TV, shows the movie “I killed JFK” from time to time. Right now it’s showing “The Secret KGB JFK Assassination Files” on 3-19-15 at 5 AM and Sunday 3-22-15 at 2:00 PM. It concludes Oswald was a pasty.

Bobby Kennedy was the Attorney General who had enough proof on LBJ to put him in prison. LBJ had received a hundred thousand kickback for getting General Dynamics a 7 billion dollar contract to build the F-111 fighter plane. (I was hired as a machinist to make parts for it.)

Bobby also had facts of kickbacks from Billy Sol Estes and Bobby Baker. That all ‘went away’ when LBJ became President, but what would happen if Bobby replaced LBJ as President?

Well if a ‘pasty’ worked once, why not a second time? On 4-3-12, CNN reported that Michael Martinez and Brad Johnson, lawyers for Sirhan, were trying to reopen his case because his gun held only 8 bullets, but a reporters’ tape recorder had recorded 13 shots.

The shots sounded different on the recorder which proved there were two different guns. Also, some shots were so close together it would be impossible to pull a trigger that fast.

How were there powder burns when Sirhan was never close? Also, three shots hit Bobby from behind but Sirhan was in front. After Sirhan fired twice, bystanders grabbed him and pinned his gun hand on a table but he kept shooting…wounding 5 people.

You’d think the jury could see the difference in the bullets found in Bobby and the bystanders. But that never happened because ‘substitute bullets’ looked the same. Also the jury was denied the autopsy.

Daniel Brown, a professor in psychology at Harvard Medical School has interviewed Sirhan for 60 hours over a three-year period. Sirhan does not remember the assassination, but only being at a gun range and shooting at circular targets. Brown believes Sirhan was programmed to shoot by being hypnotized and was lured to the hotel by a young woman in a polka dot dress.

Curious Thinker said...

As an Afrian American myself, I like to bring my perspective and say I do think it was right that the two students got expelled and the house closed although I feel sorry for those who lost their jobs because of it. I don't know if the two students are racist and neither does anyone else because I don't know what their mindset is. But I think it is a little naive to just say they might not be racist because we don't want to accept that racism is still live today in society. Or rationalize their behavior as just being kids, too much alcohol. There nothing typical about singing about hanging black people from trees, or calling them N word. There was time especially in the deep south where using the N word was the norm, and lynchings on black people was socially acceptable withouth worries of punishment for the offenders, so I do take that a little personally. I don't know what was going on in these students heads but I it would be better to find out, educate them about the racism of the past and maybe help them understand why such behavior is very serious. As for the video, I don't like that type of hip hop music where that have derogatory words about women and black people. If the elderly lady did get fired simpling for seeing along to this song then I don't think it's fair considering the song is sung by a black hip hop band but I don't understand why she would want to sing such a tasteless song. That's my take on all of this. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

So, "Curious Thinker", given that racism has been in this country forever, what do you think could be done to cause it to diminish?

I know, we say, "love, love, love" and "treat everyone as you would want to be treated", and that is true and ideally we, especially Jesus followers, will do that. But I bet you have some ideas about practical measures that could be taken.

President LBJ actually got more legislation passed on civil rights than probably all Presidents combined. His method was to use forced integration of schools, the work place, military and business. He pushed to get the "Civil Rights Act of 1964", all kinds of "Equal Opportunity" measures and much, much more implemented that "injected" people of diverse color into white society.

It did cause times to really change. I was living during that time and it was a major shift. Society was very segregated to that point. I personally didn't like the government being so forceful and was against it but later recognized that it was the only way to get the ball rolling. It propelled African Americans way ahead of where they had ever been. It's really sad that LBJ doesn't get more acclaim for all that he did but that's probably because he was not handsome or charismatic. He did a LOT!

BUT it did not eliminate racism. African Americans continue to be on a lower scale of society's ladder in general terms. We whites continue to suspect African Americans we do not personally know. Our society still favors Caucasians in passing out preferences.

I believe that the only way to diminish the racism is to somehow change the culture so as to cause all African Americans to envision themselves in the upper levels of society and work toward that within an equal playing field. I believe when that happens, whites, in general, will change their attitudes and not perceive African Americans as being "different". But how can that be done?

LBJ tried and made progress, but he failed in empowering African Americans, again, speaking in general terms, to assume a place of equality and acquire the same drive and incentives to progress as non-African Americans.

What's your ideas?

Ramesh said...

NYT > Noam Chomsky on the Roots of American Racism

Rex Ray said...

Thy Peace

Your link was very interesting, but not covered in the discussion of blame were the ones made rich who sold their fellow countryman to America. So who was more at fault the seller or the buyer?

To illustrate further…who’s the most despicable; a person that buys ten year old girls for prostitution or their fathers?

If’ ‘African American’ is correct, why not ‘Irish American’, ‘German American’ etc.? The classification of race used to be Black or Negro.

On the subject of racism, who showed the most in the way of voting for a Black or a White in 2012?
Whites voted 39% Obama…59% Romney.
Blacks voted 93% Obama…6% Romney.

Thy Peace, your link had: “Lyndon Johnson lamented that if we let down our guard, we’ll be at the mercy of “every yellow dwarf with a pocket knife.”

I think from experience he would have been more concerned about a Mafia hit man with a rifle

Ramesh said...

A Black Girl’s History With Southern Frat Racism

Curious Thinker said...

RRR, I don't have all the answers, but for start perhaps is learning about the past. This incident is furthur proof that more white people need to be educated about the history of black people in this country with all the racism, unequalities and struggles many had to endure from the slavery, Jim Crow laws and segregation, lynchings the civil rights movement, black power movement etc. Maybe both black and white folks need to understand these things and not shame white people or remind black people of the atrocities of the past but for them to learn about them and have more enlighted perspective. As for the N word, I think it's important for black youths to understand that the word was invented to demean and degrade their ancestors and why it isn't a good idea to use the word as slang among each other, as for white youths they need to understand that they could never really grasp feeling of pain of hearing that word directed at them no matter how they claim unfair it is that blacks use that word at each other all the time and they can't. Maybe more healthy discussions about race relations between people of diverse racial or ethnic background where they can hear and express their own perspectives. I'm just venting as I said before I don't have all the answers but these suggestions could be a good start.

Rex Ray said...

Curious Thinker

In keeping with you saying “…blacks use that word at each other all the time…” I’d like to relate a story 40 years ago that made my wife (second grade school teacher) bite her lip to keep from smiling.

There was constant trouble between two kids in her class. They delighted in calling each other names. She would call him “wetback”, and he would call her the ‘N’ word.

My wife told them the next time either said those words, they’d be sent to the principal’s office.

At recess the girl said:

“Mrs. Ray, Mrs. Ray, he called me a bad name!”
“What did he call you?”
“I can’t say.”
“Honey, you’ve got to tell me or I won’t know what to do.”
“He called me what I is.”

Anonymous said...

Curious Thinker,

Thank you for sharing your insights. Your formula for making things right might be the best way and everything you say is correct. I'm just not sure it will have an impact on changing people.

I tend to be a "nuts and bolts" type guy. When I consider what changed my attitude about being prejudiced and racist I find that the thing that resulted in the most change was my integrating among those that I had put down and demeaned and considered to be less than me.

The more you get to know people of other cultures and colors the more you learn about them, fear them less, and appreciate that there are good things about them and that they are very much like me.

One thing that really disappoints me today is that churches continue to be basically segregated. Not by force but by choice. It's not right. If you visit a school in my neighborhood you see a VERY diverse, multi-race/cultural group. But look at the churches in the same neighborhood and it's the opposite; all white or all black or all Hispanic. Churches being more intentional in becoming diverse will have an impact on society.

I also believe that the way to diminish racism is by diminishing differences. This means bringing those that are down, up. Not by giving money, welfare, housing, food or enabling them to maintain their current status. That is just cruel enslavement as it maintains their dependency upon others who then have control over them. Instead, free them. Equip them. If you can't change the adults, change the children by giving them nurturing environments while Moms are working or going to school. If possible, give Dads alternative ways to make a living and improve themselves. People of minorities tend to be on a lower playing field than others. elevate their playing field and that diminishes differences between them. That CERTAINLY doesn't mean to lower the playing field of the privileged.

I know it's complex. I do not give up hope. I do believe that there are alternatives not yet widely applied.

Shari England said...

Racism is not a one way street. It appears today, because of political correctness, there is more of a "reverse racism". Yes or No?

Rex Ray said...


Interesting that you should ask about “reverse racism”.

I grew up without racism, but now so much has been done in playing the ‘Race Card’ I feel uncomfortable around Blacks. I think they want me to apologize for being White.