Racist, sexist and all-around offensive humor still seems to be a favorite pastime for college kids who love to use the n-word and smear on blackface for fun.
On Tuesday, Syracuse University suspended 15 members of a professional fraternity and banned the frat from the school for life after they appeared in two videos that the school’s chancellor has described as “extremely racist.”
CNN reports that the two videos, first published in April by the Daily Orange, the school’s newspaper, show members of the Theta Tau engineering fraternity using the word “niggers,” simulating rape and making fun of those with intellectual disabilities by using the word “retards.”
After the first video appeared, Syracuse Chancellor Kent Syverud, in a statement to the campus community, called the videos “extremely racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, sexist, and hostile to people with disabilities.”
According to an attorney who represents the students, the 15 have been suspended indefinitely, for one to two years. Another person close to the case told CNN that there will be notations on the young men’s academic transcripts that they were “involuntarily withdrawn” from the university, and all will lose their financial aid benefits while suspended.
The fraternity, of course, apologized in a statement, saying that it wanted to add context to the video. The racist skits were to roast an active brother, who is a conservative Republican.
“The new members roasted him by playing the part of a racist conservative character. It was a satirical sketch of an uneducated, racist, homophobic, misogynist, sexist, ableist and intolerant person,” according to the statement. “The young man playing the part of this character nor the young man being roasted do not hold any of the horrible views espoused as a part of that sketch.
“Anyone of color or of any marginalized group who has seen this video has every right to be angry and upset with the despicable contents of that video,” the fraternity continued. “We cannot apologize enough for the pain, sadness and fear that this has caused.”
Although five of the students sued the school in April, saying that what was depicted was not “unlawful” and that the school has “threatened their academic survival,” it is a well-known precedent that colleges have broad discretion over the regulation of students’ behavior on campuses.
The saddest part about the lawsuit is not the frivolous suit itself but that, of the five who filed it, one is black, another identifies as Indian American and another is a citizen of a Central American country.
According to Karen Felter, the attorney representing the 15 students, the school is not under any obligation to readmit the students once their suspension is over. “It is up to their discretion,” she said.