There will never be a Nigger in SAE?

There will never be a nigger at SAE
There will never be a nigger at SAE
You can hang him from a tree
But he’ll never sign with me
There will never be a nigger at SAE

-Unknown asshole.

Whats funny is that I can write that. I can say that. I can say it if I mean it, and I can say it just to quote what some other asshole said.

I’m not going to get into a discussion of whether I approve of it or not. (I don’t, but that’s all I’ll say about it). You have the right to be racist. I want that freedom. But, somewhere along the way, we decided that eliminating bad thoughts is more important than freedom.

Like it or not, these kids were expressing a political and social opinion. I do not care if you agree with it or not. They have a First Amendment right to freedom of association – that means they can be in a private club that says “no niggers allowed.” I can’t say that I would want to belong to such a club, but the KKK and the American Nazi Party not only have a right to exist, but serve a valuable function — even if that function is only to serve as a negative example.

Further, they have a right to express themselves — even with views that you might find abhorrent. That’s what freedom is.

Now lets think back to college. You said dumb shit in college. You probably said dumb shit yesterday. So a couple of kids got hopped up on everclear and fried okra and sang a really stupid racist song.

So.

Fucking.

What?

In a rush to punish these bad thoughts, Oklahoma University expelled two of the kids who sang the song.

That’s counterproductive for two reasons: First, it violates the First Amendment. See, e.g., Papish v. Bd. of Curators, 410 U.S. 667 (1973); Healy v. James, 408 U.S. 169 (1972). A public university can not expel a student on the basis of speech it doesn’t like.

Second, it is counterproductive. Do you really think that anyone is closer to racial harmony after such a disgusting display of abuse of power? I really don’t give a shit if some over-privileged victim studies major is offended by the use of the word “nigger” or the lynching imagery in the song. I do give a shit that someone’s First Amendment rights got trampled on in the name of rushing to punish their thoughtcrime.

It really makes champions of the “politically correct” seem quite impotent. Think about it. Are their views really so flimsy and weak that they can not survive when placed into a jar with “There will never be a nigger in SAE?”

That’s what it looks like to me.

56 Responses to There will never be a Nigger in SAE?

  1. Barrister says:

    Thank you for pointing out what everyone else seems to be missing or ignoring. As a Canadian lawyer, I’m not sure our Supreme Court would agree, see Sec. 1 of our Charter of Rights and freedoms, but I hope it would.

  2. blueollie says:

    You are missing the point. Yes, if the expulsions are challenged, the challenge will win.

    But that isn’t the point.

    IMHO, THIS is the point:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/chi-oklahoma-video-football-recruit-20150310-story.html

  3. CPlatt says:

    Some people who have reached puberty but have not yet become entrapped in the career / house / spouse / children mindset tend to say things that are offensive. Why is this surprising? Why does it matter?

  4. […] they expressed ideas that you don’t like. And there may be some legal problems here as well, as Randazza explains. But where I part ways with Randazza is over the “why” of the expulsion. I really […]

  5. digitalsextant says:

    I’m curious what response you think the university should give. Or is it none? The right to say something doesn’t mean one should be free of the consequences of saying it. Fostering an environment of hatred and brutality (and singing lightly of lynching in this era is nothing if not that) can’t be tolerated by right thinking people.

    • Why can’t it be?

      Do we tolerate this? Sure we do. And why not?

      No, I don’t think the University should have any response.

      If I were in the national leadership at SAE, I would certainly have a response. But, the university? No.

    • Oh please. Drunk Frat Boys singing OLD songs is all this was. Yep, some stupid crackers wrote the songs originally and the kids were assholes for singing the stuff, but a lot of stuff is done by drunken assholes. Fostering an environment of hatred and brutality? Really. There’s no difference between this and a few roomates making equivalent racial comments in their dorm room (see 4chan.org – google the word in question). It’s used all the time. But let’s flip this around, when a Rapper sings about killing ‘Niggaz’ – and I love rap but there’s a lot of it about murdering others, including their children, ‘bitches’ and mothers, is that fostering an environment of hate? If you say no, a lot of this is played by people who end up doing the same things that’s happening in the songs. I say it has nothing to do with anything. If the kids chanted this in public it’d be one thing. Iif they kids had POWER it would be another. If this constitutes an environment of hate and brutality, I have to assume you haven’t attended a gender studies class in the last 25 years. I’d also add that in a lot of colleges I know of, there are dorms that are exclusive to certain groups. They, by the hand of the university, disallow people from outside of those groups to live there. That has a much greater impact in terms of exclusion than “There will never be a *** at SAE”

    • stevie g. says:

      Why not? Surely if the logic is faulty it will be rejected in the “marketplace of ideas.” But to suppress the idea means suppressing freedom of expression, no matter how distasteful the message.

    • Spencer Kravitz says:

      Just once…just once it would be refreshing to see someone in a position of authority (like OU’s President) stand up to the idiocy. How refreshing (and nostalgic) would it have been for him to say, “It is not my job to tell anyone what they can or can’t say. It is a free country.”

      Maybe I will just curl up in a chair and watch the critically acclaimed movie, Django. Or The Wire. Or Richard Pryor. Or listen to any rap song.

      I weep for this country. The hypocrisy and cowardliness is reaching a tipping point.

  6. […] some frat boys from SAE at the University of Oklahoma have disgraced themselves.  It was caught on video and published, and the President of the University, David Boren, has […]

  7. evrenseven says:

    When I signed up for my public school back in the stone ages, I was told there was a conduct code, violation of which could include expulsion. The conduct code included (paraphrasing) “making it difficult for others to learn.” So, first of all, assuming OU has a similar conduct code, the issue rests on whether or not this chant made it difficult for others to learn. I would say no, because it occurred off campus. If they were chanting this at 11 am on a Tuesday in the common area, yes, you’re out. If I heard that on my way to my exam, I would get an F, because there is no way I could possibly concentrate. They have interfered with my ability to learn, and they can take their chants to the mall or the airport (in CA anyway). But have they interfered with my learning while chanting on a bus elsewhere… No. That bus could have been from a boat dock back to the airport in Miami when returning from a cruise over summer break for all intents and purposes.

    Another point- If they challenged, yes they would likely win, the counter argument being “I don’t want to sit in the same class as Parker Rice because he repulses me and I can’t learn” and likely not succeeding (BTW how perfect is it that this guy’s name is “Parker?”). But if they challenged, then they have to be the guys that challenged a university for their right to chant about niggers hanging from trees. It appears from all accounts these guys come from privileged backgrounds, so they will finish off at Oral Roberts (giggity) or Bob Jones and go become VP of hiring at their dad’s companies and there will never be a nigger employee.

    • If they were chanting this at 11 am on a Tuesday in the common area, yes, you’re out. If I heard that on my way to my exam, I would get an F, because there is no way I could possibly concentrate.

      Yes, but the content shouldn’t matter. If they were chanting “I want Pecan Pie!” or they were chanting “Free Nelson Mandela!” you wouldn’t be able to concentrate either, I presume. The content should not matter.

      • evrenseven says:

        I’m gonna have to use the time honored legal argument here: C’MON, MAN! “I want pecan pie” is the same as “niggers hanging from trees?” If I hear “I want pecan pie” or “free nelson mandela” on the way to an important lecture or an exam, I’m not going to spend the entire time fuming about the existence of pecan pie or Nelson Mandela. Oh and I’m *white*. What happens if a black student is on the way to the most important meeting… say… an interview to be accepted by a researcher into a PhD program… and they hear that on the way? That’s the same as pecan pie? I would go so far as to say any black student’s entire educational experience is destroyed, no matter if they’re heading into the exam of their lives or just another throwaway Tuesday lecture. How do you continue at that school even, knowing there are people who want to see you hanging from a tree, and they’re so serious about it, they’ll chant it at 11 am on a Tuesday in the common area? As I write this… I realize those people are everywhere… and I don’t even know what’s more dangerous… the person who WOULD chant that in public, or the one who wont…

        Oh, and re-reading your comment, I meant hearing that *on the way* to your class, and it infuriated you to the point where you can’t concentrate despite not being able to hear it anymore.

        The obvious answer might be “well minorities hear that shit all the time.” Well, we can at least stop that from being heard *on the campus.*

        • stevie g. says:

          Nah,the things that (used to) make America so great were the absence of the thought control police. We are never going to be to stop stupidity (ya can’t fix stupid) but we are slowly but surely losing our civil liberties. All in the name of 911 and PC. We are becoming no better than other countries, including Russia, which suppress free speech. Just because you hear stupid stuff, doesn’t mean you believe it. And yes, if hearing that upsets you to the point that you can’t take an exam, then you are ultra-sensitive.

          Everyday, we have to deal with stupidity, from road rage to bureaucracy. Most normal people don’t let it bother them. Others, go down to the level of the idiots espousing those message, almost always to poor results.

          And just to let you know, racism really goes both ways. Where is the same outrage if blacks threaten to kill or exclude whites? Just don’t see it.

        • Jim48043 says:

          Just what do you want to be when (and if) you grow up? And will you then expect to be excused from performance whenever your feelings are hurt?

        • Eric Jones says:

          WOW!!!!! Well said, Sir. Well said.

        • Well, honestly, if I hear “Pecan Pie” before an exam, that’s going to distract me a lot more than someone singing a racist song.

          If a black student hears a song and can’t function afterward, you know what? They don’t fuckin’ belong there.

        • EH says:

          This seems obvious because you have blinders on.

          Hopefully you’re not incapable of thinking of something that might upset someone other than a black student:

          “Israelis are murderers, who kill Palestinians”
          “Men are all rapists at heart.”
          “White people–yes, YOU OVER THERE–are responsible for Michael Brown’s death.”
          “I’d like to beat the fucking shit out of everyone who was on that bus.”
          ‘We need violent revolution here. It’s time for the people to take some action.”
          “Abortion is murder, and anyone who condones it will spent an infinity in the worst torment imaginable.”
          “Transwomen and transmen are not “real” women and men; they’re just mentally ill.”

          In terms of “infuriating someone to the point where they can’t concentrate despite not being able to hear it anymore” that should not be too hard to imagine.

          Hopefully that illustrates the problem. If you think you can draft a rule which permits only the “good” ones and stops the “bad” ones, I’d like to hear it. It can’t be done.

    • Cloudbuster says:

      “If I heard that on my way to my exam, I would get an F, because there is no way I could possibly concentrate.”

      Poor, delicate, hot-house flower.

  8. Eric Jones says:

    With this logic, most petty crimes are legal as well.

  9. the o says:

    U don’t seem to understand that even free speech has its limits, specially when it comes to students who represent a school and the school has its rules. If u use this type of language in the school or in the bus (which is school property) u will get expelled and the school will win everytime. There is no arguing this point.

  10. Mr. C-mo says:

    Every person playing offensive rap music in every dorm should be expelled as well. The lyrics are just as offensive.

    • Either that or we should not be expelling anyone on the basis of what songs they sing.

    • Larry K says:

      TOTALLY AGREE. My 8 y.o. daughters intro to (c)rap music was the neighbor across the street’s boom box blaring “come on baby suck my dick” over and over. Disgusting! And until blacks cease using words like nigger there should not be any moratorium on them for the rest of society. Like the song says…”respect yourself “!

  11. Steven says:

    A 9 year old has the right to say ,”Good Pussy”in church or anywhere else, does that mean its ok ? Good night !

  12. […] I’ve seen similar commentary all over the blogosphere. First Amendment badass Mark Randazza: […]

  13. Brs says:

    Can a kid turn to a classmate and call them a racial slur? Tell the prof to fuck off without penalty? The institution cannot have any standards for speech? We’re not talking about criminal prosecution here. Maybe they can.

    But the subtext here is that libertarians need to render racism not a problem because racism has no solution in their idealized model called Magical Libertarian Wonderland. Any problem that can’t be addressed in Magical Libertarian Wonderland isn’t allowed to be problem (even when it is). So they have to spend 10 x as much time worrying about the rights of these little shits as they do on racism writ large, which is 10^100 X the problem.

    When all you have is a hammer….

  14. Pat says:

    AMEN!!! And by the way there are black frats and Jewish frats and LGBT frats for all I know. Who Cares!!!

  15. Municipal D1 says:

    I agree with many that a legal challenge would likely be successful BUT tactically, OU’s move was brilliant– they got out of the news cycle.

    I imagine right now there are a couple OK lawyers trying to think of what a reasonable retainer would be to take on the case– $50k, $100k? Absent the ACLU taking up the case (which I could see as a possibility), nothing is going to happen.

    Meanwhile, OU has performed the best damage control possible.

    Tl;dr– I respond to your motion for “C’mon man” with a writ of “You ain’t right, all of y’all ain’t right.”

  16. Richard says:

    Marc,

    I see the free speech issue and agree that expulsion could be problematic for a public university. (A private school certainly has no issues with kicking “undesireables” out; as you point out a private club can choose who they wish to associate with.)

    However, in anti-harassment training provided by my employer they say that harassment includes creating a hostile work environment. Could the university be liable for creating (or at least not trying to stop) a “hostile learning environment” if they didn’t apply any punishment to these students?

    -Richard

  17. A very intelligent question.

    I think that factually, no, they could not. Why? Because this event took place off campus, on a privately-rented bus.

    But, rather than blow off your question the easy way, lets look at it from another angle. What if they were singing this in front of the student union?

    Then, perhaps, they could find that the campus association of crybabies would likely claim that they could not learn when other people had views like this, and expressed them on campus. I think that would be a closer call, but still I would say that the campus should have to err on the side of the Constitution.

    And, even then, would the university have to expel students who were chanting this on campus? I could see them taking some lesser measure — some time, place, and manner restrictions. But not adverse state action, expelling students, just for their views.

  18. Krae Stu says:

    I get the gist of what you’re saying. But I’m pretty sure freedom of speech just means the government can’t throw you in jail for being racist. There’s nothing that says you can’t experience the consequences in other realms, right? And one of those realms is a place of public education?

    These guys weren’t thrown in jail, right? They were just expelled?

    I find your defense, offensive.

    • The University of Oklahoma is a state institution. Go back and learn remedial First Amendment law, and then revisit your comment.

      • Krae Stu says:

        I’m from Canada, maybe things are slightly different. If what you’re implying is true, your freedom of speech laws seem to go further than ours. And I don’t think that’s a good thing.

        • Barrister says:

          As a Canadian lawyer, I can tell you the U.S. laws are different, but not necessarily more permissive than Canadian. Although we do have hate speech laws which, in my view, are abominable. You can rarely have such a thing as too much freedom of speech or expression.

      • Krae Stu says:

        “Congress shall make no law” … I don’t think congress has made a law saying these assholes should be expelled, right? I get that the university is a state institution, but the university is not acting on a law. It’s still up to each university to make it’s rules. They are public, but still independent. What am I missing? (legitimate question, i’m still learning the difference between US and CA law).

        • Dan says:

          The basic principle is that the government may not punish you for your speech, except in very narrowly-defined circumstances. “The speech is racist|offensive” is not one of those circumstances. A public school is run by the government, therefore for First Amendment purposes it is the government.

          SAE national is not the government, and can do whatever it wants to this chapter or to the individuals involved. If they were attending a private school, that private school could do whatever it wanted.

        • Barrister says:

          I’ll let the U.S. lawyers explain what the U.S. constitution means, but comparing it any other country isn’t going to help you understand U.S, law better.

          • Krae Stu says:

            What a friendly bit of help you are. So if this same thing happened at the University of Toronto, you’re saying because they are funded (partially) publicly, they couldn’t expel someone for breaking their code of conduct? They’d be protected by free speech laws? Because it’s a “state” institution? I don’t think that’s true, and that’s what I’m trying to clear up.
            Dude, I know what the US constitution “means” and comparing it to the law of other countries would absolutely provide the “context” I’m looking for. If you don’t want to help, why comment?

            • Barrister says:

              Why indeed? As Heinlein said, “Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.”

  19. Larry Kanzia says:

    We should never forget these type words or their origin. But we should NOT TOLERATE their use in “enlightened ” society. Yet people like TERRENCE HOWARD, Kane West and innumerable black “comedians” (Katt Williams. Etc.) want not only to ressurect the word but make it SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE BY PROMOTING ITS USE ON TV and in their shows! And since you advocate the use of the word Mr. HOWARD… NIGGER PLEASE!

    Would tv critic reviews saying “yeah. That Terrence Howard is one talented nigger!” be a compliment?

    I feel that as long as black “talent” freely uses the word nigger and words like it 2 things should happen: 1) people should stop their silly, vain attempt to deny the word by using the phrase “the n word”, or n*****. Just say nigger! And 2) there should be no lawsuits, suspensions or ANY form of punishment for its use by ANYONE! (Think Lindsay Lohan, Michael Richards, etc., ad nauseaum.)

    Lastly, it is NOT O.K. in enlightened society, for blacks to use the word nigger while others are punished for its use. So please, don’t go there.

    For MY part, I’m going back to respecting all peoples, all races and refraining from knowingly using ANY epitaphs. Let’s all try to be less devisive and more inclusive. More friendly. we are different. We are the same. Let’s be at peace with that.

  20. Donna Wannabe says:

    Just a thought. What if this moronic drunken chant is based in the reality of actual discrimination, which is, in fact, illegal? I’m not saying the speech itself should be banned, but if that speech reflects racism (not illegal) in the form of prejudice (not illegal) that surfaces as discriminatory membership or recruiting policies, does the University have the right to act preemptively?

    Frankly, I hope these guys DO sue, and win in a suit that says “I have a right to express racist thoughts”… And I hope they carry the albatross of being the assholes that defended their racism in court for the rest of their lives.

    Truth is, these dickwads will probably live the rest of their silver-spoon lives with no interactions with minorities that they don’t employ, feeling like their rights were trampled by their mean old university…

  21. Larry K says:

    I agree! But we can’t have one segment of society where its ok to use the words like nigger while in another segment of society using words like that make them racist. one rule for all races = FAIR and just.
    In other words, lets punish these college racist singing idiots, the same way we punish all the black performers who sing racist songs (songs laced eith the word nigger) . Make sense?

  22. Larry K says:

    I agree! But we can’t have one segment of society where its ok to use the words like nigger while in another segment of society using words like that make them racist. one rule for all races = FAIR and just.
    In other words, lets punish these college racist singing idiots, the same way we punish all the black performers who sing racist songs (songs laced with the word nigger) . Make sense?

  23. Larry K says:

    Oh, and one more thing. The BEST PUNISHMENT for the racist fraternity sae … replace half the administrative board of sae with black student administrators from black fraternities. Install black students to the fraternity. THEN we’ll see if they want to sing anymore songs!

  24. John Litmen says:

    You degenerate

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