March 9

The March 10 blog for those who have not been to this site before:

Yesterday’s post was written in haste, because I had limited internet capability and not much time to write. In addition, I do have other things weighing on my mind. And while I in no way condone what the SAEs at Oklahoma did, my gut instinct was to say, take a step back, breathe, and remember that we are talking about young people who aren’t always the best at making decisions. Remember that. I was in ABSOLUTELY NO WAY condoning racism. And for someone to call me a white woman who doesn’t understand racism is absurd.

I was coming at it from the role of  a mother. Erma Bombeck once said that being a mother means that you wear your heart on the outside for the rest of your life.  A mother’s job is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Those males have mothers (biological and/or those who serve in mother roles) and I know some of those mothers (and fathers, too. I am not discounting them, but as I said, I was writing it from the perspective of a mother) are this morning wondering what they did and what they could have done differently. They are hurting for their children. It would be easy to call them racists, too, to make it easier for all involved. They are all racists. End of story. Close the book. I cannot take that route.

In raising children, it is important to admonish the deed, but to reassure the child that he/she is loved. Some of the best life lessons come from the most difficult of circumstances. That was where I was coming from. It’s not a popular stance, as most other people are making them, the now ex-SAEs, out to be horrible monsters who have no place in society. I hope those involved will grow from this awful experience.

In addition, a Maryland university has been posting my blog posts on their website without giving credit to me. I asked them to stop it several times. Yesterday, it caused them some angst, so hopefully that problem is now solved. These opinions are mine and mine only. I, in no way, condone what the Oklahoma SAEs did and likely would not have mentioned it except for my resolution to acknowledge Founders’ Days. I was unavailable all day and saw the commotion on their webpage when I finally returned to the computer late at night. However because I am not affiliated with the institution, I could not post anything there. Just as an entire fraternity system should not  be judged by the actions of one chapter, neither should my blog be judged on one post. There are more than 500 posts on the history of all fraternities and sororities.


The March 9 blog post

Three organizations, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Kappa Phi Lambda, and Lambda Phi Delta were all founded on March 9. The foundings of the first one and the last two are separated by about 140 years.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon was founded on March 9, 1856 at the University of Alabama. Kappa Phi Lambda was founded in 1995 and Lambda Phi Delta in 1997.

I had hoped to talk about the beautiful Headquarters of SAE in Evanston, Illinois. It does not seem appropriate today after hearing about the exploits of the SAE chapter at the University of Oklahoma. In the “what in the world were you thinking, guys” file, the men, no make that boys, of the Oklahoma chapter, on the way to a Founders’ Day event, sang a most inappropriate song. As the mother of two sons, and knowing that those men have mothers, too, I want to believe that the boys all knew better, and that no one, but no one on that bus, was thinking. 

In that one moment, the lives of the men in that chapter have changed. The chapter is no longer recognized by the university or the fraternity. The men have had to move out of the chapter house. There is talk the house will be vandalized (because vandalizing places seems to be an acceptable response when someone does something somebody doesn’t agree with!!!! – see UVA Rolling Stone story aftermath for examples).  What should have been a teachable moment has come to a day of reckoning for all involved.

As a mother, I feel the pain that all those families are going through. Yes, what the men did was wrong, very wrong. Their lives are forever changed. Certainly, their college careers are changed. Remember please that they are not monsters. They are young men whose lives are forever changed. Remember that no one is beyond redemption.

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