OSU Prez Boren Confirms SAE’s Racist Chant Goes Way Back

OSU Prez Boren Confirms SAE’s Racist Chant Goes Way Back


“The chant was learned and brought back to the local chapter … Over time … [the chant] was formalized in the local SAE chapter and was taught to pledges as part of a formal and informal pledgeship process.”

University of Oklahoma President David Boren, released the findings of an investigation into Sigma Alpha Epsilon members caught singing a racist chant that was recorded and went viral.

The students involved were expelled from the University of Oklahoma and two publicly apologized.  But the results of Boren’s investigation yielded what many suspected:  That the racist chant goes back a long way was taught to new pledges, not unlike how many bigoted traditions survive over the years.

Two students who were expelled from the University of Oklahoma for their involvement in the incident, Parker Rice, 19, and Levi Pettit, 20, apologized in writing.  Rice’s apology included the following line:

“I admit it likely was fueled by alcohol consumed at the house before the bus trip, but that’s not an excuse. Yes, the song was taught to us, but that too doesn’t work as an explanation. It’s more important to acknowledge what I did and what I didn’t do.”



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Lauren Victoria Burke
Twitter: @LVBurke / Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist who analyses politics and justice reform. She created Crewof42.com, a blog that covers the work of African American members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke has also been a staffer for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and Director of Communications for Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN). She has had a very diverse career in politics and media and appears weekly on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin. She has also appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Politics Nation with Al Sharpton and Up with Steve Kornacki on MSNBC. She is also a contributing writer for NBCNews.com and TheRoot.com Ms. Burke was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up on Long Island. She holds a B.A. in History from The American University. E-mail: LBurke007@gmail.com. Instagram: LVB325.


  1. “…the racist chant goes back a long way”

    4 years is not a long way. Too long still, yes. But you make it seem like generations or decades. It was around their fraternity for 4 years.