Real Sooners are not racist

The president of the University of Oklahoma posted his statement on Facebook.


To those who have misused their free speech in such a reprehensible way, I have a message for you. You are disgraceful. You have violated all that we stand for. You should not have the privilege of calling yourselves “Sooners.” Real Sooners are not racist. Real Sooners are not bigots. Real Sooners believe in equal opportunity. Real Sooners treat all people with respect. Real Sooners love each other and take care of each other like family members.

Effective immediately, all ties and affiliations between this University and the local SAE chapter are hereby severed. I direct that the house be closed and that members will remove their personal belongings from the house by midnight tomorrow. Those needing to make special arrangements for possessions shall contact the Dean of Students.

All of us will redouble our efforts to create the strongest sense of family and community. We vow that we will be an example to the entire country of how to deal with this issue. There must be zero tolerance for racism everywhere in our nation.

President Boren


I wonder if he would have reacted as strongly as that if it had been sexism or homophobia rather than racism. I’m afraid I doubt it, mostly because frat boys and other brands of sexist boys at universities do talk shit about women and we don’t see their fraternities or football teams being shut down. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely think he should have reacted the way he did, it’s just that I think people should react just as strongly to the sexist or homophobic equivalent.

(The trouble is people think there is no such equivalent, and that talking shit about women or LGBT people isn’t the same as that loathsome ditty on the bus, for complicated subtle historical reasons that they can’t quite explain. So we just have to put up with the sexism, because hey, it’s only women.)



  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    Real Sooners are not racist. Real Sooners are not bigots.

    Yeah, the racists and bigots came from those Yankees who snuck into the Land Rush of 1889 just to give the others there a bad name. Another Liberal False Flag™ operation!

  2. 4ozofreason says

    Still, though, for him to come down that hard on this in Okla-freaking-homa makes me feel a tiny bit less awful about living here.

  3. peterh says

    That 10-second clip was enough to get the frat barred from campus. And not a minute too soon.

  4. chrislawson says

    Strictly speaking, this is a No True Scotsman fallacy — but President Boren gets some credit for trying to make the fallacy come true.

  5. iknklast says

    When Boren became president of OU, people were really angry at him because he insisted on spending money to increase academic quality instead of putting everything into the football team (it was LOSING at the time, Dude! How dare he!) I’m glad he’s willing to stand up on this issue and do the right thing.

  6. says

    Another story has come out showing how systemic the problem is, how defensive they’re getting and covering their behinds:

    To no surprise, on other sites I’ve seen people whine nonsense like, “Would anyone demand a black fraternity be banned if they did this?” If there were ever a case of a black frat doing this, a university might ban them, but we haven’t seen one. They can call me when it does.

    Banning the frat isn’t enough, those involved should be expelled. Unfortunately, the OU president is punishing the frat members about as strenuously as James Madison punished its rapists.

  7. johnthedrunkard says

    In the US, we simultaneously accept hideous racism all over the public sphere, AND practice relentless language policing.

    Reaching for terms like ‘abusing free speech’ is terrible. Demonstrating racial hatred is enough to bring down serious repercussions.

    And yes we police the ‘n-word’ more rigorously that we do the ‘R-ACT.’ Symbols do trump substance, but the reaction, qua the reaction, is not excessive.

  8. Stan Murch says

    Two students have been expelled, in violation of their constitutional rights. I’m looking forward to them winning a fat lawsuit against OU.

  9. Stan Murch says

    OU is a public university, therefore the First Amendment applies, Stone was fired by a private employer. I don’t think she “deserved” it. Do you? But her employer was within its rights, unlike OU, which is trampling on free speech.

  10. Stan Murch says

    “I wish the reaction to sexism were as swift and fierce”

    I wish people valued free speech. Do you believe students be expelled for speech religious people find offensive, or just for speech you find offensive?

  11. Stan Murch says

    Clearly you are. Just because you find certain expression sexist doesn’t mean everyone finds it sexist.

  12. Stan Murch says

    You want students to be unconstitutionally punished for something you can’t even describe coherently.

  13. says

    Excuse me? I wasn’t trying to describe anything in that comment, I was reminding you specifically that sexist is not the same as offensive and vice versa.

  14. says

    Murch obviously doesn’t get it and probably never will. Either that, or he’s just a troll.

    The two are not being prevented from speaking, they’re free to do that anywhere. They’re simply being prevented from creating an unpleasant environment, which they agreed to when they signed OU’s code of conduct upon registration with the university. If they didn’t read it, that’s their failing, not OU’s.

    Conduct policies at colleges, universities workplaces and others only trump free speech within those places, but they do trump free speech within them. You’re free to do and say what you want elsewhere, but not when you’re being seen representing an institution or a workplace. If you don’t agree, you can leave. Or be made to leave.

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