The recent actions by some members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon that went viral has sparked outrage.
Watching and listening to students chant racial slurs was disheartening. What’s even more problematic is the fact than an apology was given by the perpetrators and for some reason, we are supposed to accept their apology. Okay, let’s deal with it this way. We can accept their apology but a real problem exists is that an apology would not have been given, if they were not videotaped, caught, and exposed.
Just to pretend that racism doesn’t exist is plain dumb. In addition to that, whenever we focus on the person and not the institution of racism we are neglecting what’s wrong with this country. Pointing fingers at people and somehow overlooking what’s been inherently wrong with this country simply covers up what many people have perpetrated for so long – a lie.
‘No personal responsibility’
In the aftermath of what transpired with the students, the media has strategically placed the blame on rap music. That’s right; whenever there’s violence, it’s easy to blame the music kids listen to. No personal responsibility or accountability – blame it on music. The students who chanted those racial slurs knew exactly what they were doing. I would dare to say that you would never hear these students utter a word against Jews. Why? Because people know consciously and even subconsciously if you say anything negative against Jews you are labelled anti-semitic. But if you say something against Blacks, you are thoughtless and inconsiderate.
As African-Americans we must stand up and proclaim that no one is permitted to say anything against us. Not any race, culture, or ethnicity. Even our own people should not receive a pass to do such an atrocity. We cannot tell other people it’s off limits for them but not for us. Whenever people don’t value who they are, they will allow others to define them which will eventually confine them.
Call to action
Here’s what we must do:
• Take charge of the information that’s being disseminated about us
• Continue to challenge those who don’t look like us to have us represented in discussions about race and racism
• Use social media to promote our ideals. Because social media is influential, we must use it to talk about justice, equality, and fairness
• Become serious about our progress as a people. Diversity is good, but diversity doesn’t mean a thing if we neglect empowering our people
• Own our own businesses. When we control our own businesses, we control the finances and politics of our community
‘Enough is enough’
Think about this underlying thought. Say something negative against Gays – Hate Speech. Say something negative against Latinos – Hate Speech. Say something negative against Jews– Hate Speech. Say something negative against Blacks – Free Speech.
When will we come together and say enough is enough? I leave you with this – the next time someone decides to disrespect the African-American race by a racial slur, let’s make them pay financially.
Dr. Sinclair Grey III is an activist, speaker, writer, author, life coach, and host of The Sinclair Grey Show heard on Mondays at 2 p.m. on WAEC Love 860am (iHeart Radio and Tune In). Contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter @drsinclairgrey.