OH, YOU'RE SORRY ALRIGHT

(Part II of That's a Lot of Money to You People tomorrow)

Whenever people get caught on camera or tape saying really racist things, two responses by people who secretly fear that someday the racist things they say with regularity will end up on video are inevitable. One is some sort of half-assed argument about "free speech" indicating a basic but complete lack of understanding of the 1st Amendment. The second is something about how darn Sorry the speaker is. Golly, you could never comprehend the sorriness. It is beyond your experience.

Mark Zachary, 54, pulled his truck into the lot and went inside. Mr. Zachary was a member of the fraternity when he was a student at Oklahoma State University in the late 1970s, and he said he had asked the members if they needed help in moving. They declined his offer, he said.

“These guys messed up real bad, and I think they know they have,” Mr. Zachary said, adding that the house was barren and the students were quiet. “Everybody’s sick to their stomach. The guys that actually did the chanting, trust me, they feel worse than anybody in the country right now.”

Mr. Zachary is not wrong. Those students are indeed sick to their stomachs. They want nothing more than to turn back the clock and change things so that it never happened. They are riddled with guilt and despair.

Over the fact that they got caught, of course.

That is what everyone fails to grasp in situations like this. These young men are indeed devastated right now, because they're thinking about their own futures and how they may have ruined them. They're thinking about some potential future employer googling their name or seeing their Facebook page and realizing that maybe hiring the guy who was in the Klan Frat might not be the best person to represent the company.

But don't cry too hard for them. I'm sure they'll be fine, since 90% of them were going to end up working for their dads anyway.

34 thoughts on “OH, YOU'RE SORRY ALRIGHT”

  • Reminds me of the people who say things like "Haven't they suffered enough? Why do they need prison time?!" When a person negligently allows their child to shoot themselves or someone else. It is a shifting of victimhood from the victimized to the victimizer.

  • Set aside for a moment the question "How big a hammer did you use to crush that cockroach?", I think it's fun to be reminded of the integrity and moral strength, or in this case the lack of it in prospective members of the ruling class. These are just ones who were caught out.

  • I particularly like the "that isn't who I am" explanations. Really? 'Cause it sure looks like you on that video. What's the explanation? Dopplegangers? CIA mind implant chip? A weather balloon being reflected through a swamp gas inversion layer? If that's not you, then who is it?

  • Tim, some dude going to Oklahoma U and on a path to "working for his dad" as Ed puts it, is not part of any ruling class. You're living in the past. The real scions of the ruling class have spent their formative years taking classes in white privilege. They know the right things to say.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    "They're thinking about some potential future employer googling their name or seeing their Facebook page and realizing that maybe hiring the guy who was in the Klan Frat might not be the best person to represent the company."

    Actually, besides their dad's, this might appeal to a lot of bigoted schmucky @$$holes who run companies and make hiring decisions!

    "I see, Son, that you were part of a frat known as 'Wanna Hanga Niggah!'
    What are your salary and benefit requirements?
    I just gotta warn ya, no hoods allowed during office hours!
    What you do on your own time, is your business…"

  • This blows my mind. I was surprised this could still happen with young men at a university, and would have earnestly argued that it didn't had I not seen the video. Call me naïve…I just can't understand it on many levels.

  • Some people are just inherently good. Like young white men, especially ones that play on their college football team. When they commit a minor social transgression such as gang-raping an orphanage full of five-year-old girls, that's just boys will be boys, don't ruin their promising life, they've suffered more than anyone.

    And some people are inherently bad, such as young black men. When they commit a minor social transgression such as being present in your city, you've got to throw the book at them. Violence is the only language those thugs understand, and the harder the better. Lock them up and throw away the key.

    Now that you understand the inherent goodness of some people and inherent badness of others, most reactions to various incidents are easily explained and understood.

  • Oklahoma, amirite?

    This does not surprise me in the slightest. Racism is a problem in frats, racism is a BIG problem in Oklahoma. Dookie's response was disbelief. Mine was, "What- again?" Maybe that's why he's a libertarian and I'm not. We've been trying to tell the libertarians for a long time that they're hopelessly out of touch with reality. Racism is real. All the glibertarian arguments that racism is impossible thanks to the free market? They are, in a word, shit.

    What really burns my ass is all the people who say, "What- you were living in OKLAHOMA and decided to leave? Why ever would you want to do that? The people there are *so nice*!"

    The reality is that random Okies would be nasty to me for no reason at all. I remember I was once shopping for groceries with my wife. I mentioned that we needed a can of chopped tomatoes, and a nearby Okie growled, "Ro-Tel is on sale."

    (For those of you who are not familiar with Ro-Tel, it's a can of shit that vaguely resembles Pico de Gallo, and Okies love it to a nigh-sacramental degree.)

    Obviously you can't make chili out of Ro-Tel, so I picked up a can of Hunt's diced tomatoes. As my wife and I walked off, the Okie started getting nasty with us because we bought Hunt's (actual tomatoes) instead of Ro-Tel (pico.)

    Another time, the faculty got a tour of local agricultural industries. At the dairy, the smiling proprietor offered us all free ice cream. I politely declined, so naturally he snarled at me, "You don't want any? Well, it's FREE."

    And then there's the time one of my fellow (Okie) faculty members accused me in faculty meeting of secretly plotting to destroy the department. Or the other faculty meeting in which one of the (Okie) faculty screamed in my face, because I dared suggest that students take a critical thinking course.

    Bear in mind that I'm white- but I'm also from the non-Oklahoma part of the South. I was told outright that my Okie students hated me simply because I wasn't from Oklahoma or Texas.

    So yeah, an Okie frat chanted the N-word. Dookie is shocked. Dookie, haven't you been paying attention? These people had a panel discussion on religious diversity in the classroom, consisting of four Protestant ministers. "Diversity" means you have Methodists *and* Baptists. (However, inviting a non-Okie would have been beyond the bounds of reason. One might as well invite a Catholic.) A lot of the faculty at these universities have spent their whole lives living in one small town- they were born there, went to high school there, went to college there, went to grad school there, and then got hired as a professor there. This is not rumor or supposition- I know it's true, because I worked there, and when they gave talks they would be introduced with a brief biography.

    A few things to remember:

    * This will not affect their careers at all. They will live all their lives in Oklahoma working for people as racist as themselves. Some of these kids WILL be hired as faculty members at the very same campus where they are now undergrads.

    * Their only concern about this incident is that the frat is (temporarily) getting kicked off campus. That's the one and only reason they are making a show of false contrition- to escape punishment by the university.

    * They are absolutely convinced they are in the right. Remember, Oklahoma has a HUGE persecution complex. They believe that nefarious outside (non-Okie, non-white) forces hate them for being Sooners/Cowboys/whatever, and are seizing on this as a pretext to impose yet another humiliation on Oklahoma.

    I mean, Jesus Christ- one of their Senators landed his plane on a closed runway. It was full of workers- he just bullied them out of the way with his plane. Somebody easily could have gotten killed. But he does that kind of thing because he knows he will win re-election with +90% of the vote regardless of what he does. He's from Oklahoma, he's a good white Protestant conservative Sooner Cowboy, so he can do no wrong.

    My old Boss said it best. "I've finally figured it out. The entire state of Oklahoma is premised on the idea of getting something for nothing." (i.e. the government set aside free land on a first-come, first-serve basis to settlers.) This fits Oklahoma to a T. They have an intense paranoia about the outside world and an intense persecution complex, but it's not like anybody ever did anything bad to them. (At least in Georgia they can point to the burning of Atlanta.) They feel persecuted because they expect to be able to get whatever they want and do whatever they want, without responsibility or repercussions. They are convinced that Oklahoma is always the real victim. If you expect them to work for a grade of A, they're persecuted because that A is theirs by right- because Oklahoma is all about being given stuff for free. If they are punished for racist chants, they're being persecuted.

    As recently as the 1920's the Okies in Tulsa decided to round up and kill all the Black people in town. One of them dropped dynamite from his private plane. The survivor stories are like something out of the Holocaust- some 6-year-old Black kid crawled into the coal cellar of the rubble of his home and hid, stuff like that. Obviously the white Okies are the real victim here- they have a right to do as they please, and if you disapprove of their ethnic cleansing, you must be motivated by anti-Okie bigotry. I mean, the government gave them the whole state of Oklahoma for free- that proves they are the special snowflakes who can do whatever they want. Anything, from killing all the Black people, all the way down to weirdly trivial things like yelling at non-Okies for not buying Ro-Tel.

  • Yeah, I don't think anything actually bad will happen to these frat boys. They are just sorry they got caught. They got kicked out of school, whoop-dee-do, they'll either enroll at OSU or go somewhere in Texas. Having worked as one of the few white people in very black neighborhoods for years, I have witnessed vendors, other managers, etc., all be *slightly* racist when speaking to me. It's like they assume I think the same way because I'm white, so they are safe to say dumbass shit to me while I just nod away. I am not surprised that a bunch of frat boys chanted racist stuff, I'm surprised that someone taped it and got it out.

  • Character is who you are when you think nobody's watching.

    We've all heard the joke with the punch line "The African American gentleman who just left the room", right?

  • "Call me naïve" I never call a libertarian anything other than "willfully deluded." "Naive" is a huge step up which I decline to grant.

  • Assistant Professor says:

    bjk, frat boys at OU are still city-, county-, and state-level elites, if not national-level power brokers and "thought leaders."

  • Anonymous, I gather you hate Oklahoma. But you have missed a couple of facts: the two fellows who were the main chanters have been expelled and were from the Dallas area. Now, I know that Oklahomans love them some Texans (although I am not sure the feeling is reciprocal), you can't really say that Dallas is some insular, tiny college town in the middle of tornado country. Which honestly makes those guys' behavior even worse.

    But I'll agree that this will not affect these young men adversely in the future. As cund gulag points out, their behavior is a feature, not a bug. I also imagine they have already received calls from schools in the South, eager to have them on board.

    The only way this will affect these guys is that they will be hyper-conscious of any smartphones being pointed at them in the future.

  • "They will live all their lives in Oklahoma working for people as racist as themselves."

    I think that might be payback enough.

  • My mother's family left Oklahoma around 1920 and I am so glad. None of this surprises me much given that it's the state that produced Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Snowball).

  • I haven't spent a lot of time in Oklahoma. I've laid over in Tulsa exactly once and Oklahoma City exactly once.

    I did spend about a month in Altus for KC-135 instructor upgrade. There's not a whole lot in Altus. It could pass for the Lunar Habitat Training Center. I think the Wal-Mart and Pizza Hut were the main attractions. All I could think was "I need to out of here before my car gets hail damage". Every car looked like it had been hit repeatedly with a ball-peen hammer.

  • Major Kong that wasn't hail, hitting their own vehicles with ball-peen hammers is what they do for fun.

  • So, how about opening up Oklahoma real estate to the Chinese?
    I hear they're quite interested in exporting their population and investing in third world countries, and the Oklahoma landscape seems pretty much like what surrounds Beijing, only with a bit less air pollution.

  • Skepticalist says:

    In parts of upstate NY a little racist chatter wouldn't necessarily create a problem in getting a job. My area is a little to the right of Louis XIV.

    Every now and then I hear of the black woman on the bus using her cell phone to make arrangements to be picked up so she can visit a friend in jail. The thing is that I was on that bus. It doesn't go over well when a white guy explains that she was white, not black or brown.

  • Nebraska's last documented lynching was in 1919:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omaha_Race_Riot_of_1919A

    i grew up in Omaha and remember functional apartheid well into the 1990's.

    When I go back to visit my somewhat multi-cultural family I always wind up running into some former classmates or other folks my age who still say, "Nigger" with total unselfconsciousness. They are also completely certain that the black people (if they call them, "African-American", it's said with a vocal sneer) have nobody but themselves to blame for slavery and prejudice.

    I'm becoming too old to give a fuck about a lot of things but racism still fries my ass.

  • "I wonder if the BSA will have the balls to remove a group's charter?"

    In a heartbeat.

    Umm, if they're teh GAY or atheists.

    "save our land and join the klan"… And I live in Orange County, CA'

    Wasn't a lot of SoCali the destination of a lot of Okies during the "Dust Bowl" years?

  • <>

    Yep, but even before that, the Klan had a presence in Anaheim. In 1922 a Rev. L. C. Myers showed up and started the First Christian Church, which turned out to be nothing more than a front for the KKK. They even managed to get a few of their members on what was then the Anaheim city council. To the city’s credit they didn't last long but I'm sure there was still a very strong anti-anything-but-white sentiment.
    Hell, I'm a 65 yr old white guy who grew up here and I had one person of color in my High School. A lot of Mexican Americans, but they were tolerated for their cheap labor. Sadly, not much has changed over the years…

  • M. Kong: My father flew B52's from Altus AFB back in the 60's. He ranked it as the worst assignment of his AF career and came away from the experience with an intense loathing of Okies and Oklahoma…

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