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Racist Video Leads to Rebuke of US University Fraternity

  • VOA News

FILE - David Boren, president of the University of Oklahoma.

FILE - David Boren, president of the University of Oklahoma.

A social fraternity at a major U.S. university is being sharply rebuked after a video emerged showing some of its members singing a raucous, racist chant.

The video showed members of the group at the University of Oklahoma, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, chanting a black racial slur and saying blacks could be hanged from trees, and never would be allowed as members of the fraternity at the school in the central part of the United States.

David Boren, the university's president, joined protesters against the fraternity at a pre-dawn rally Monday.

"These people have acted in a way that's absolutely reprehensible and disgraceful." He said adding that the video "has broken my heart" and was not representative of the school's 30,000 students.

Boren vowed quick discipline against students determined to have participated in the video.

National Sigma Alpha Epsilon officials said they were "embarrassed" by the "unacceptable and racist" chant. They closed the school's chapter of the fraternity, while university officials ordered students living in the fraternity house to find other housing off campus by midnight Tuesday. Boren said the fraternity chapter would not be allowed back on campus while he serves as the university president.

The video emerged Sunday just as Americans were commemorating the 50th anniversary of 1965 civil rights marches in Selma, Alabama in which police clubbed demonstrators as they called for enactment of a national voting rights law. U.S. President Barack Obama, the country's first black president and former president George W. Bush, joined numerous U.S. lawmakers and other officials in Selma to mark the milestone.

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