MEDIA MATTERS

Hurricane Irma Exposes Cable News Networks

CNN and other cable news networks found that the worst Hurricane Irma devastation was not in Florida but in a worse place: their credibility.  After convincing the nation that Irma would devour the entire state of Florida, the hurricane fizzled in the Caribbean and left the hysterical media red-faced.  [More] 

IN THE TOILET

Houston Mayor Orders Residents to Flush More

In an executive order that conflicts with conventional wisdom and modern environmental ethics, Houston Mayor orders residents to flush their toilets more to help clear out floodwaters.  [More]

 

RIDE SHARING

The Top Ten Complaints About Uber and Lyft

With more and more people relying on so-called ride sharing provided by powerhouses Uber and Lyft, not all is perfect in the world.  The LBT's resident curmudgeon Charles C. Schultz sounds off on his top ten complaints.  [More]

RIGHTIST TRUMP

The Expert: Rumored Autistic Barron Trump Shakes D.C. To Its Core

Barron Trump, the 11-year-old son of the president, arrived in D.C. wearing a now famous T-shirt bearing the message “The Expert.”  D.C. watchers claim that this message was not a mere accident.  Barron may be bringing a powerful, far-right influence into the West Wing.  [More]

 

Racist SAE Fraternity Members Could Face Death Penalty

University President Seeking Authority To Execute Students Appearing In Racist Fraternity Video

By PETER HARTWIG

Published March 10, 2015

 

 

The University of Oklahoma has severed ties with Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity following the leaking of a video in which fraternity members sing a racist chant.  The closing of their fraternity might be the least of the former members’ woes.  School President David Boren said Monday that he will order the expulsion of all SAE members that were on the bus and, more controversially, will seek authority from the governor of Oklahoma to execute all those students that participated in the chant.

The Saturday night video found its way to the school newspaper which brought the clip to the attention of the authorities.  In the video students on the bus boisterously chant, “There will never be a nigge- [in] SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me.”

Boren, who joined hundreds of students at the Norman campus in a predawn protest, called the students participating in the video “not worthy of life in our beautiful diverse world.”  Boren also tweeted after the protest, “To those who have abused speech in such a unforgivable way, I have a message for you.  You will pay the ultimate price.” 

Boren pledged during a predawn vigil that the school will become “an example to the entire country of how to deal with this issue in a way that shows no limits – the Sooner Way.”   

The former fraternity members have until midnight Tuesday to get their things out of the house, Boren said in a Monday afternoon news conference.  Then they be arraigned and taken to the Cleveland County Jail roughly 20 minutes drive from the university.  Legal experts believe that the initial charges will be public indecency, but more serious charges likely will be raised against those participating in the chant.

“The fraternity house will be closed, and as far as I’m concerned, razed to the ground,” said President Boren. In remarks to CNN's Ron Lemon, Boran said that he was deeply disturbed by what appears in the video.  In fact, Boren is so disheartened by the racist display that he is weighing shutting down the whole university after the current semester.

At a news conference, President Boren said the school was exploring the option of capital punishment, especially against those “who have taken a lead” in the chanting.  While expulsion is a clear option, capital punishment must be “carefully directed” if it’s to pass constitutional muster, said Santa Marina College of Law professor Alan Derbowitz.  “Hatred is a very serious thing, but we are dealing with young people whose minds are more easily corrupted,” he added.  Derbowitz also noted that capital punishment traditionally has been reserved to the judicial system.

Boren emphasized that in “there is no room for racists and bigots” at Oklahoma University.  Indeed, students at the campus seem to be showing solidarity against racism.  One distraught student lit himself on fire in front of the SAE house.  He survived, but suffered third-degree burns and is being hospitalized.  Some are calling him a hero, and he is listed in stable condition.  In a show of support for the LGBA community -- frequently a target of fraternity hatred -- one of the football team's redshirt freshmen offered his body to the LGBA Society’s president on the steps of the fraternity house.  “This is a small price,” he reportedly told onlookers.  He asked that his name not be used.