Even White Racists Have Freedom of Speech — But Only If They Use It
by Hadding Scott
A WEEK AGO there was news about the University of Oklahoma’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, because of a video showing members of the fraternity singing a chant that was derogatory of Blacks. This occurred off-campus, on a chartered bus. An anonymous person made a video-recording of the chant and gave it to Unheard, a Black campus organization (formed in response to the recent sensationalist propaganda about events in Ferguson, Missouri), predictably provoking a ruckus, since the agitation over events in Ferguson and the consequent Black yearning for vengeance have yet to subside. Unheard happens to be favored by the university’s president, former U.S. Senator David L. Boren (pictured), whose legislative record includes initiatives unfavorable to White people.
Early reporting indicated that Boren was not certain that students involved in the racist chant could legally be expelled from the university, but advisors were suggesting that it might be possible under the Civil Rights Act. Boren did announce on 10 March the expulsion of Levi Pettit and Parker Rice, the two students who led the chant, using verbiage carefully crafted to resonate with the Civil Rights Act (alleging that the two had created a “hostile educational environment”), but the general consensus seems to be that under the Constitution of the United States what Boren has done is not legal at all.
Eugene Volokh, a professor of law at UCLA, wrote in an essay for the Washington Post:
First, racist speech is constitutionally protected, just as is expression of other contemptible ideas; and universities may not discipline students based on their speech. That has been the unanimous view of courts that have considered campus speech codes and other campus speech restrictions — see here for some citations. The same, of course, is true for fraternity speech, racist or otherwise; see Iota Xi Chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity v. George Mason University (4th Cir. 1993). [Washington Post, 10 March 2015]
Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a professor of law at the University of Tennessee, adds:
Though some ignorant people argue that “hate speech” is unprotected under the First Amendment, that is not the law and never has been. Nor should it be. The test of our commitment to free expression, after all, isn’t our willingness to tolerate speech that everyone likes. If you only support free speech for ideas you agree with, you’re a hack. If you only support free speech for ideas that everyone agrees with, you’re a coward. And if poisonous hateful speech could be banned, communists and the Westboro Baptist Church wouldn’t have won so many First Amendment cases.
Boren’s behavior was not only illegal — and clearly so — it was also a betrayal of the duty of fairness that he, as a university president, owes to every student enrolled in his university. [USA Today, 17 March 2015]
So, where is the outraged response from the aggrieved? Where are the White protestors getting in Boren’s piggish face with all the legally protected free speech that he is trying to suppress? Where is the White free-speech movement?
Moreover, why aren’t the students that Boren says he expelled dragging him and the university into federal court? They are not poor. One of them is from a family that lives in a $650,000 home in the same wealthy Dallas suburb where former president George W. Bush lives.
I think that the answer to this question suggests itself if one considers the typical motive for joining a fraternity like Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and the nature of such an organization.
Students join Sigma Alpha Epsilon not for any idealistic reason, but because they want outward success and wealth. They want that social capital described by Robert Putnam that facilitates career-advancement. Bloomberg News stated a year ago that this particular fraternity was “renowned as a Wall Street pipeline,” with members including “hedge fund managers David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital and Paul Tudor Jones of Tudor Investment Corp,” and “Texas oilman-turned-investor T. Boone Pickens.”
You might notice that there are some Jewish names among SAE’s prominent members. In addition to Einhorn, there is the current national president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Bradley Cohen. It means that however much SAE’s members may enjoy expressions of anti-Black sentiment among themselves, they are not pro-White — since Jews are not White and do not care about the White race, and could be expected to block any serious pro-White tendency in the organization.
Cohen condemned the expression of anti-Black sentiment by members of Oklahoma’s chapter of his organization as some “cancer” that had developed just recently. He knows better than that. In newspaper-archives, I found “racist” controversies like this, relating to various fraternities — especially Sigma Alpha Epsilon — going back more than three decades. In fact, there was such a controversy when Cohen was the president of the SAE chapter at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in 1987, when members of his chapter responded to a recently established federal holiday by staging an off-campus “Martin Luther Coon” party.
Dean of Students Paul Ginsberg, whose office is investigating the incident, said the university could do little to punish the students for an off-campus party. “Our role would be educational, not punitive,” he said. If such a party were held at a fraternity house, the fraternity would be suspended from campus activities, Ginsberg said. …
Cohen said he was irritated by the accusations against fraternities. He said the Greek system was becoming a scapegoat for larger issues of racism at the university. “Obviously, it bothers me very much, because it makes us look like quite a racist establishment,” Cohen said. “We don’t deserve that by any means.” [The Milwaukee Journal, 7 May 1987]
Cohen’s response then as now has been to practice deception, denying racism in the organization, while supporting the view that racism is disreputable. Thus, expressions of disdain for Blacks are kept as a kind of naughty little secret within the fraternity, while White members of the fraternity maintain absolute passivity, or worse, as they observe members of their race outside of the fraternity being corrupted, misled, and oppressed.
Lest anyone assume that someone with such a clearly Jewish name as Cohen couldn’t possibly approve belittlement of Blacks, let it be noted that at the same university just 18 months after the “Martin Luther Coon” party, Zeta Beta Tau, a Jewish fraternity — likely friends of Cohen’s — stirred controversy by holding a “slave auction” with members of the fraternity wearing blackface (Milwaukee Sentinel, 26 October 1988). Jews (at least in many cases) have no special love for Blacks, but pretend that they do, and it seems that initiates to some college fraternities are taught to pretend the same way, looking out for their particular interests while being false toward the rest of the world.
Just how far this kind of dissimulation can go, even among non-Jews, became evident in a case from 1991 involving a fraternity at the University of Idaho, which in some ways parallels the recent case of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at Oklahoma:
Delta Tau Delta chapter President Leonard Plaster publicly apologized for the booklet, which had explicit sexual references to several women on campus as well as references to “niggers” and “spics.” … “We now see very clearly the problem with making these statements, even if they are not public, and they certainly do not reflect our members’ attitudes.”
“I’m appalled by the content, and I’m amazed by their hypocrisy,” said Bruce Pitman, dean of student advisory services.” The fraternity had recently participated in a national campaign condemning sexual harassment, racism, and human rights violations. [AP, 7 May 1991, my emphasis]
There is an indication that the SAE members at Oklahoma also were extreme hypocrites about race. This was stated in a rant by one of the university’s Black football-players, Eric Striker, who complained that members of the fraternity would hug the Black football-players and pretend to love them. Striker subsequently apologized under pressure, but I don’t believe that he should have apologized. I also do not approve of the fratboys’ dishonest double dealing. When they show false friendship to Black football-players, it is not only those Blacks that are being deceived.
In response to the controversy over the fraternity’s racist chant and Pres. Boren’s over-the-top reaction to it, someone has pointed out that one of the University’s Black football-players, Joe Mixon, who had horribly beaten his White girlfriend, smashing bones in her face, received less punishment from the university for breaking a girl’s bones than the frat boys received for singing a Politically Incorrect song.
Quite right. That is certainly a double standard, in terms of tolerating uncivilized behavior. But I would maintain that the frat boys are doing the greater harm — to White people — not with their racist chant but with their hypocrisy. If they really are hugging Black athletes and pretending that they love them — not only suppressing but inverting their real racial views for public consumption — then they are contributing to an atmosphere where White girls are more likely to think that dating a Negro is acceptable. These frat boys, for all their racist chanting and “Martin Luther Coon” parties among themselves, in the rest of the world are no help at all. In fact, they are part of the problem.
It’s not just frat boys either. Since the 1960s, when racial equality became the dominant cant of the United States, glaring hypocrisy has become the key to success. Consequently it’s the White American bourgeoisie in general that behaves this way. You can hear it for example in Sean Hannity, who has expressed emphatic approval of the expulsion of two students for singing a racist song, the Constitution be damned. He also recently expressed his commitment to the idea that all humans have the same potential — science be damned. This cowardly careerism is killing the White race.
So, that seems to be the explanation for what, so far, seems to be a sheep-like submission to not only anti-White but blatantly illegal actions by the president of the University of Oklahoma.
It is really important not to let David L. Boren get away with this. One of the biggest problems that White people have is that we fail to speak up when we should, and a major reason why we do not speak up is that we are not sure just how far our rights extend. The fact that even White racists have freedom of speech must be demonstrated through action. If the cowardly well-to-do White members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon will not openly stand up for their race, nor even for their individual rights, then somebody else, somewhere, sometime, will have to do it, because freedom of speech has to be used in order to be preserved. If the two students expelled by David L. Boren seem guilty, it is only because they are acting guilty by failing to stand up for their rights.
To be unjustly punished for exercising a Constitutional right is not a disgrace; it is a badge of honor. The same could be said if the speech involved explicit assertions of White interests. If I were a student at that university, I would not be able to endure what is going on there without saying something. I would not be amusing myself by singing naughty songs in private for which I would have to act guilty if I got caught. I would be looking at ways to make a lot of noise on that campus so that White people will know that they don’t have to feel intimidated.
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Source: The Occidental Observer