Hundreds of people marched at the University of Alabama to protest racial segregation in the school’s Greek organizations on Sept. 18. The school’s newspaper, the Crimson White, had been the first to expose the issue. But wait a minute, is this really happening? Exactly 50 years after racial segregation had been legally banned?
According to the Crimson White, four traditionally white sororities were involved in this controversial issue–Alpha Gamma Delta, Tri Delta, Chi Omega and Pi Beta Pi. Two members of Tri Delta admitted that they had black females as potential sorority members in mind, but their alumnae would not allow them to pledge.
Although the national headquarters of all four Greek organizations deny any racial discrimination, it is evident that at least some of it still occurs. The University of Alabama’s Greek organizations have not pledged a black woman since 2003, and apparently, the only reason for her acceptance was because of a threatening group called the “Machine,” which allegedly told them that their social calendar would improve if they let in a black woman.
However, a few years before that, a black female named Melody Twiley attempted to rush two years in a row and was rejected both times.
According to the Crimson White, an unidentified Tri Delta member even said that one of the young black women pursuing their sorority had amazing scores, and that “the only thing that kept her back was the color of her skin. She would have been a dog fight between all of the sororities if she was white.”
Really? These people obviously have an old way of thinking. Did they miss the Civil Rights Movement? Rosa Parks? Martin Luther King Jr.? You would think that after all of these hardships America has faced, racism would be gone by now.
It amazes me every day to see how truly unequal we are in an “equal society.” I cannot help but question what should happen to the alumnae who rejected these girls.
There should at least be some sort of punishment for what has been done. Racism should not be tolerated or overlooked. It is a serious matter that, if no one addresses, will possibly continue to be a problem in the future.
After a week of protests, university President Judy Bonner was excited to flaunt the fact that 11 black students and three from other minority groups have received bids or invitations to join the historically white sororities. To my surprise, four black students and two students from the other minority groups have actually accepted these offers.
However, another question rises in my head: are they purposely doing this to look good, or do they really want to create more diversity?