A University of Georgia fraternity has been suspended following a viral video showing members whipping a fellow member, using a racial slur, and referring to cotton picking.
“Tau Kappa Epsilon is disgusted, appalled and angered by the remarks shown in a video of four expelled members,” the national fraternity said via a statement. “TKE will not tolerate any actions such as these that would be defined as racist, discriminatory and/or offensive.”
“Since 1899, our fraternity has taken much pride in the diversity and uniqueness of our membership,” added the statement. “Tau Kappa Epsilon has never had an exclusionary clause in our membership. Our founders believed, as we do today, in the personal worth and character of the individual, not his wealth, rank, or honor.”
UGA’s chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon expelled four members following the incident, while itself being suspended by the national chapter of the frat.
The video shows several members of the fraternity in a private room, as one begins hitting another with a belt, saying “Pick my cotton, b____.” The person being stuck responds by saying, “I’m not black.”
A third person responds, saying, “You’re not using the right words,” after which the member with the belt states, “Pick my cotton, n_____.”
The local chapter has said that the video was racist and offensive, but also noted that it did not take place at an official function nor at their chapter headquarters.
The school itself has spoken out about the event, saying, “The University of Georgia condemns racism in the strongest terms. Racism has no place on our campus. We will continue our efforts to promote a welcoming and supportive learning environment for our students, faculty and staff.”
“The fraternity has been suspended by its national organization,” the school added. “Whenever we receive complaints of racist or discriminatory conduct, we refer such matters to our Equal Opportunity Office in accordance with applicable laws and policies.”
— Tau Kappa Epsilon (@TKE_Fraternity) March 23, 2019
The University of Georgia condemns racism in the strongest terms. Racism has no place on our campus. We will continue our efforts to promote a welcoming and supportive learning environment for our students, faculty and staff.
— UGA (@universityofga) March 23, 2019
Image via screen capture from video source.
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