Greek Life: Don’t Go Where You’re Not Wanted

Greek life is notoriously racist. Although today’s impression of Greek life is one of heavy drinking and date rape, racism is the is the historical underpinning for which these impressions are built. Greek life is a method to further enforce racism, prejudice, and discrimination.

Gawker reports that the student senate at Alabama University killed a “modest proposal” which discouraged racial discrimination in fraternities and sororities. The legislation followed the embarrassing public relations fiasco last year, when an all-white sorority rejected two qualified Black women from joining. The measure failed overwhelmingly in the student senate, thus proving that AU’s white Greek life is not sympathetic to integration and diversity.

When I read the article, I wasn’t surprised. Alabama is one of the most racist states ever, and most of it’s residents aren’t keen on progression and modernity. Residents cling to tradition, and are nostalgic about the “simpler times.” You know… when Blacks were second class citizens only good for picking cotton. NBD.

Kappa Alphas host an annual "Old South" party where men dress as Confederate soldiers, and girls in antebellum ball gowns.

Kappa Alphas host an annual “Old South” party where men dress as Confederate soldiers, and girls in antebellum ball gowns.

Fortunately, the rest of the sane world recognizes that value in diversity and integration, and are making serious strides towards racial inclusion. Nothing’s perfect, but at least there’s intense stigma surrounding segregation and racism. And, from an economic standpoint, denying entrance to a patron based on their ethnic background or lifestyle isn’t good policy. Just ask Arizona.

As an African American woman, I do not feel compelled to force my way through certain doors. I’ll muscle my way to a promising job interview or nice apartment, but there are some troubles that aren’t worth the battle. White Greek life is one of them.

I’ll be honest… in college, when I saw my friends of color pledging in all white frats and/or sororities, it frustrated me. I wondered why they would even go through the motions when they weren’t going to be accepted anyway, no matter how hard they tried. I had two Black friends pledge, and only one of them made it. The one with the lighter shade of skin. She was always highlighted in pictures as a token for diversity, but not for her quality. She dropped out shortly afterwards.

I’m not suggesting that all white Greeks are racist. Of course not. There are some fraternities and sororities that value diversity, and ensure that their organizations represent the multicultural society in which we live. That’s awesome. But there are some white Greeks that want to preserve their all-whiteness. There are some Greeks that want to continue racist legacies. These unfortunate souls don’t deserve the energy and value of integration.

To be a member of an organization is hard work. Lots of community service, mentoring, etc. Dues must be paid. Why contribute and exhaust ones self, if, ultimately, the organization won’t appreciate it anyway? Think of it like a transaction: if I see a big sign over a restaurant saying “No Blacks allowed,” I wouldn’t give them my hard earned dollars because they don’t deserve it. I’ll eat at the restaurant that appreciates my service.

Same goes for Greek life. The amount of time, energy, and money that goes into such organizations is significant. Make sure it’s spent wisely.

After all, its no fun paying for racist friends.

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3 responses to “Greek Life: Don’t Go Where You’re Not Wanted

  1. Great article and thank you for highlighting this issue. It’s sad that we still live in a society where lighter skinned black people are more accepted than darker skinned black people. I worry that this is an issue that is getting worse and severely hope that I am wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Still I have a few questions regarding this issue. If Black college students are being denied at a all-white fraternity, why they didn’t choose another one that can identify and be related with? Are all the fraternities in that university, all-white? And what point they’re proving to the media? I know the South is racist, mine as well live in the North, right? Racism is stronger day by day that sooner or later Americans will have another civil war. I think tolerance and acceptance these days is just words of hypocrisy, under the pretense that Americans as society have evolve. Sadly, we failed at that a long time ago.

    Like

  3. I went saw a lot of that at GA Southern, I didn’t care for any of the frats to be honest…..it just seemed so fake to me, paying all that money to get beat up and pretend people are my brothers so maybe I can get popular at parties and have a job hookup maybe….nah

    Like

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