Four white University of Georgia Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity members have been expelled from the organization after a racist video surfaced.
In the grainy video, the four students are shown mocking slavery and using racist slurs.
The first part shows a student jokingly hitting a person under a blanket and saying “Pick my cotton, b****.” The student replies, “I’m not Black.” This elicits laughter and the other young men in the room tell him he’s not using “the right words.”
(Warning: Video contains profanity)
We can not let them push this under the rug! pic.twitter.com/11WuKksiyT
— Nova? (@sukari_xo) March 22, 2019
Then the man with the belt says “Pick my cotton, n*****!” as he hits the person again. Everyone in the room bursts into laughter.
After the video went viral on Friday, the University of Georgia’s chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon was suspended from campus and the four students expelled completely from the organization, though they are reportedly still students at the school. Their names have not been released.
The backlash on social media against the video has been intense, with many alumni voicing their disgust on social media and promising to not give the school any more money until the students are expelled or properly disciplined.
According to statistics, undergraduate diversity at the University of Georgia, one of the state’s most venerable schools, is not strong. The campus is about 70 percent white and only 7.6 percent Black. The demographics of Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, where the college is located, is also majority white by a long shot.
The county is about 65 percent white and about 27.5 percent Black.
Although there are no official statistics of diversity within Tau Kappa Epsilon, their website (ironically with the motto “Better Men For A Better World”) shows mostly young white men in their photos.
The university’s issue with bringing in more minority students is ongoing and longstanding. Although more than one-third of public school students in Georgia are African-American, just one in 12 students at the state’s flagship university are black. This statistic has changed little over decades. Both Georgia State and Kennesaw State have been able to increase their numbers of Black students.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the university hasn’t increased school body diversity because of decades of racial exclusion in the south and not doing enough to recruit high school students from the city of Athens. Couple that with reports of racism from alumni and current students through the years.
This incident with the fraternity is not the first time University of Georgia students have been caught using the n-word.
In October 2018, the university kicked a baseball player off the team after he shouted, “put the n—– in,” during a football game, referring to then-Georgia quarterback Justin Fields.