In My Defense, Nobody Told Me I Was Being Filmed

To start this off, I would like to apologize for letting our fraternity’s distasteful chants be known to the public. Our rituals are sacred and should never be shared with outsiders. I have caused harm to my brothers, the gentlemen of SAE, as well as the larger student body of the University of Oklahoma. Shouting racial epithets is wrong when people hear you shouting them, and I should have recognized that. Although I take responsibility, the burden of blame must not only fall on my brothers and myself. The cameraman must also be held accountable because when I said these things, I did not know I was being filmed.

The University of Oklahoma’s administration and students have a right to be disappointed by my actions. While fraternity culture often includes and even celebrates implicit racism, explicit racism should never be displayed in front of non-members. I should have known better. But it is important to remember that I did not choose to be filmed, so I can’t be held entirely responsible for my actions depicted in the video.

At the time, I couldn’t even conceive that I said would be recorded by a cell phone. Caught up in our traditional chant about racial exclusion and lynching, I didn’t have a care in the world, and also I was really drunk. Plus, I didn’t even think phones were allowed on the bus.

Had I known I was being filmed, events would have transpired very differently. I would have chosen a slightly less offensive chant, a rousing chorus for my fellow gentlemen with a few less slurs. The old fraternity favorite “She Can’t Tell You ‘No’ If She’s Asleep,” probably would have been a better choice. The politically correct types would still have a stick up their asses about any of those chants, but they probably wouldn’t care enough to film it.

If I just could go back in time and change things, I would do it. I would make sure nobody had cameras, or check that Chad’s girlfriend was down with the whole “white power” thing. But I can’t go back in time. It was my lack of awareness that led to the filming of my grossly offensive chant, and I now have to face the consequences, not that I really deserve them.

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