You know, sometimes, people like to play the victim. They like to make you feel like everyone in the world is out to get them. The reason someone gets called to standards every week is because the president hates her big. The reason she’s failing biology is because she wouldn’t make out with her TA. The reason she’s not getting along with people is because they’re all conspiring against her. Generally, it’s just not true. People who won’t take ownership for their actions are the worst kinds of people. And fraternities and sororities are far too often accused of this.
We’re told we’re playing the victim. We think the administration, the media, or even our city is out to get us. The reaction is usually, “Boo hoo. Poor rich kids. People in the real world aren’t wiping your ass for you, and all you know how to do is whine about it.” But, honestly, when we’re wrong, we admit it. Some sorority or fraternity in this country is apologizing for something–something that wasn’t that bad to begin with–every single week in this country. We do take ownership for our actions. But we’re also not wrong in saying that people are out to get us.
Photos from a “border patrol” party at Texas Tech leaked this week, and the writers at Gawker carelessly implemented both Zeta Tau Alpha and Kappa Kappa Gamma. ZTA was identified to Gawker via a tipster, and it was told the Kappas were involved, because, “Duh! They’re doing the Kappa hand symbol in the photo above!” Except that’s not the Kappa hand symbol. They’re dressed as BORDER PATROL and they are making FINGER PISTOLS. Because cops carry guns. Idiots. Gawker eventually admitted that no one actually knew who hosted the party, but no apology was issued. No one tried to clear anyone’s name. Instead, the publication put the following call to action out on its site:
We’re searching for the most racist fraternities and sororities in the nation, and we need your help.
This is an official call for anything you see at your school or other universities: party invitations, Instagrams, Facebook photos, whatever. Screenshot it all and send it…For big-ticket items involving famous people or the sons and daughters of famous people, we might even pay.
I’m sorry, what?! The publication is literally begging its readers to send in incriminating photos of people just so it can expose them. But not all people! Just those who are Greek. It would obviously be impossible for non-Greeks to throw a “racist rager” and/or a costume party at which one young person, who’s probably too inexperienced to know better, unknowingly dresses up as something that this outrage culture will somehow construe as offensive.
JK. Non-Greeks do it, too. But “Random Group Of Friends Throws Racist Rager” is not as good a headline. Gawker went on to make a little competition of how fucked we’re going to be.
As we collect the data, we’ll tally up which national sororities and fraternities are responsible for the highest number of racist events. Is your frat the most racist in America? Check back and see.
My money’s on Sigma Chi, but it’s early.
Is this a joke to you, Gawker? Look. I get that Greeks are supposed to be the “villains” here, but this isn’t a movie. You’re fucking with people’s lives, and you’re fucking with organizations that really, truly, and deeply mean something to a lot of people. And you’re doing it for fun.
Not to mention that in bittersweet irony, you are taking a whole group of people and passing judgment on them based on stereotypes. Kidding–only Greeks can be racist.
So my call to you, Greeks, is this: be careful. Don’t throw any parties that could be in any way construed as offensive. It’s not worth it. It’s not worth your reputation. It’s not worth your charter. It’s not worth your future. No “Around The World” parties. No “First Thanksgiving” parties. No country assignments to Beer Olympics. Don’t dress up as a border-hopper for Halloween. Don’t dress as a flamenco dancer. Don’t dress as a geisha girl. Don’t even fucking dress up as the Village People. It’s a buzz kill, and it SUCKS. But people really are just sitting there, waiting for you to fuck up. And it may cost you your membership in your organization, or it may cost you your charter. And it’s not worth it.