Justice

This Incredibly Racist Post on a Greek Life Forum is Going Viral

The Southern Methodist University (SMU) Greek system came under fire this week after an anonymous thread on Greek life site GreekRank surfaced, arguing that Black girls should not rush "white" sororities. (As of Friday, New York Magazine's the Cut was unable to verify if the post was actually from an SMU sorority member, or not.)

Regardless, the thread (which has since been deleted) went viral on social media, sparking outrage due to the racist nature of the post. The thread argued that Black potential new sorority members (PNMs) going through rush should not be considered for membership. A racist 10-point list followed.

The post was originally published in September, according to USA Today. Prior to being deleted from GreekRank, Layla Gulley student at SMU took screen shots, and posted them to her twitter account:

“As a student I feel unsupported, like my voice isn’t heard, like my tuition dollars are not worth as much as my white counterparts, and more importantly, I’m disappointed,” Gulley explained to USA Today.

Students are using the hashtag #BlackAtSMU in solidarity. Here's the full text of the original post via the Cut:

"This is the south (hence SOUTHERN Methodist University), and a majority of girls are legacies with strong ties to the chapters they join (or will join), and tend to come from old money.

"The reality is is that black pnms are often unqualified for recruitment (low GPA, bad grades, not involved on campus, know nothing about the houses) and are heavily unprepared (no letters of recommendations or letters of support) and generally come from a completely different background (impoverished lower class).

"So going through recruitment is 10x tougher as a black woman, and you will have to work harder than other white, Asian, Hispanic or foreign women.

"I know someone asked about it and this is a hot topic on YY, but it's the truth. people can deny and act like the houses are flooded with black girls, but they aren't."

Followed by the 10-point:

"Reasons black women do not and will not get bids:
"1) Y'all are racist and have your own sororities and fraternities. Y'all created them, so how about utilizing them?

"2) Y'all are aesthetically unpleasing to the eye for both actives and the fraternity men we associate with. No, we don't want to be the house that took "the black" and end up like Gamma Phi, where guys avoid them like the plague. Sorry, but looks matter.

"3) Ya'll never have letters of recommendation or support

"4) Y'all have no in house connections

"5) Y'all go to crappy high schools and generally don't deserve to even be at SMU to begin with

"6) Your personalities suck

"7) Y'all are boring to talk to

"8) Not wealthy

"9) Don't put in any effort, yet expect us to want you

"10) No incentives for bidding you, other than looking diverse.

"Why do black women think they're entitled to joining OUR sororities? Honestly, this puts us off from y'all even more."

It's unclear who wrote the post or whether he/she is associated with SMU, but the university released this statement on Friday:

"The content of these anonymous posts on GreekRank is clearly abhorrent and would not represent standards and values at SMU. GreekRank is an independent site that has no ties with the University. The difficulty with anonymous postings on social media is clearly demonstrated in this case. The postings from what may be one person can easily be amplified to incorrectly represent the opinions of many, even if there is no actual affiliation with the group they purport to represent nor truth in what they post. The GreekRank postings have created a widespread response from members of our campus community who are actively rejecting and criticizing these comments now that they have surfaced."

Naturally, many were offended by the GreekRank post, which does not help Greek life's reputation for lacking and even eschewing diversity at times, and some like Gulley were disappointed in the response from SMU.

“I feel like [the university’s statement] completely missed the point,” Gulley told USA Today. “It’s up to the university to say here’s where we went wrong in our policy, and this is how we’re going to fix it."

Teen Vogue writer and former Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority sister Sade Strehlke expressed disappointment over this anonymous post in a recent article:

"While I admire her honesty that houses aren't flooded with black girls, I take personal issue with her reasoning. I am a black girl, and I know many other black girls, and I can tell you that I am not poor, stupid, or ignorant. My black coworker, who sits next to me (and rushed but did not receive a bid at her Midwestern university), is not any of those things either. And, if we were, and rushed your house, I hope you would keep an open mind about us. But given that we're at the same school as you, we almost automatically know that two out of those three things aren't true. (Please, save me the affirmative action arguments.) This generalization and assumption about black people, and black women in particular, is the sad reason that racism still persists. Back to that in a moment, but first let's see what type of responses this girl received."

SMU, of course, is located in the south, which has a fraught racial history. The university also got into hot water this week after a party put together by two fraternities created a racially insensitive invitation asking attendees to “bring out [their] bling, jerseys, and inner thug.”

This isn't the only time the Greek system has run into racial controversies in the south. In 2013, the University of Alabama was accused of exercising racial bias in the sorority recruitment process. More than a dozen former campus leaders teamed up to sign an ad in the student publication Crimson-White with hopes of "publicly encourag[ing] diversity among the University's white and black Greek fraternities and sororities."

The Huffington Post reported in 2013 that University of Alabama President Judy Bonner said race determined certain sorority recruitment decisions at the institution. Multiple sorority women admitted that a highly qualified Black potential new member had been rejected by the system due to her race, even though many people had lobbied for her acceptance.

Here's how people reacted to the SMU posting on social media: