Yale Fraternity Party: 'White Girls Only'
Ivy League frat boy to women at door: "No, we're only looking for white girls."
By Sheryl Estrada
Yale University. Photo by Shutterstock.
Sofia Petros-Gouin, a Columbia University freshman, visited friends at Yale University over the weekend. She attended a Halloween party at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity house on Friday and saw a white SAE member standing at the crowded entrance, telling a group of Black and Latino women they couldn't come in.
"He held his hand up to their faces and said, 'No, we're only looking for white girls,'" Petros-Gouin said.
"No one seemed particularly outraged," she told Mic. "I was shocked."
She said none of the other fraternity brothers "censored him or anything."
In a Facebook post the following day, Yale student Neema Githere agreed with Petros-Gouin's claim that non-white females were denied entrance to the party, as she and her friends had a similar experience last year:
I'd just like to take a moment to give a shoutout to the member of Yale's SAE chapter who turned away a group of girls from their party last night, explaining that admittance was on a "White Girls Only" basis; and a belated shoutout to the SAE member who turned me and my friends away for the same reason last year. God Bless the USA.
Additional students at Yale, an Ivy League school, shared similar experiences in the comments section. A Latina student wrote:
Reminds me of the time they asked me and a group of other Latino, predominantly Mexican, friends for our passports when we tried to go to their shi--y party a little over a year ago... So sorry this sh-t is still happening! Can't stand those rich, spoiled and rude brats.
An SAE member spoke anonymously to the Washington Post. He said members of the house let everyone in until a party gets crowded, and they always ask for Yale IDs. He added that no one with a Yale ID was turned away before 11:15 p.m., and after a noise complaint from Yale and New Haven police, they stopped letting people in. He said the SAE member working the door at the time was Black and that a Black woman denied entry yelled at him and accused him of barring her because of her race.
However, Petros-Gouin told the Post a white SAE member denied the Black and Latino women entrance between 10:30 and 11 p.m.
"He pulled a blonde girl up from the bottom of the stairs — over some people — pushed her inside and said, 'We are looking for white girls only, white girls only,'" she recalled.
A male student, who asked to remain anonymous, said around midnight he arrived at the party with a group of female friends. He was "pushed away" by a SAE member who said, "'Who the (expletive) do you think you are — you're clearly gay.'" But the fraternity brother let his friends in. The student said he also heard members saying, "white girls only."
The fraternity denies the allegations. SAE's national spokesperson Brandon Weghorst said the fraternity is investigating and that SAE leadership "has zero tolerance for any behaviors or actions that deviate from our values, mission and creed."
SAE, founded in 1856, has previously been accused of having racist traditions. In March, a video went viral of members of the chapter at the University of Oklahoma taking part in a racist chant, using a slur for Black people and referencing lynching. Two SAE students identified as leaders in the racist chanting video were expelled. Following the incident, the national chapter announced initiatives to deter racist behavior.
Other predominantly white colleges around the country, including SUNY Plattsburgh (71 percent) and the University of Louisville (77 percent), have also recently made headlines for racial discrimination on campus.
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Update: Student Wearing MAGA Hat Standing Face-to-Face With Native American Veteran Releases Statement
"I was not intentionally making faces at the [protester]," said Nick Sandmann.
UPDATE: Monday, Jan. 21, 2019 at 7 a.m.
Nick Sandmann, the Covington Catholic High School Junior who stands in front of Nathan Phillips, an elder with the Omaha tribe and a veteran, in a viral video that has sparked outrage, made a statement through a lawyer and spokesman on Sunday night.
Sandmann said the students decided to raise their voices to drown out the comments against them by four protesters who identify themselves as Black Hebrew Israelites. A video has been released of the incident.
"A student in our group asked one of our teacher chaperones for permission to begin our school spirit chants to counter the hateful things that were being shouted at our group," Sandmann said in his statement. "The chants are commonly used at sporting events. They are all positive in nature and sound like what you would hear at any high school," he said.
Phillips walked up to the students and said he started drumming and singing a song to encourage unity trying to quell the argument.
"There was that moment when I realized I've put myself between beast and prey,'' Phillips told the Detroit Free Press. "These young men were beastly and these old Black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that.''
But said at one point, he claims the teenagers started saying "Go back to the reservation'' and broke into chants of "Build that wall.'' He also questioned why chaperones did not get involved.
"I was scared," Phillips told CNN. "I don't like the word 'hate.' I don't like even saying it, but it was hate unbridled. It was like a storm."
Sandmann claims he was "not intentionally making faces at the [protester]. I did smile at one point because I wanted him to know that I was not going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation."
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington in Kentucky is currently investigating the incident.
ORIGINAL STORY Published Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019
Students wearing "Make America Great Again" hats, who attend Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, K.Y., were in Washington, D.C. on Friday for the anti-abortion March for Life rally. In a video, it appears that Nathan Phillips, an elder with the Omaha tribe and a veteran, was being mocked by the students at the Lincoln Memorial.
The incident occurred as the Indigenous Peoples March was ending. Videos showing their behavior went viral on social media on Saturday.
One of the students, standing less than a foot away, appears to be trying to intimidate Phillips by staring him down with a mocking smirk on his face. Phillips was in the midst of drumming and singing a song of unity:
I've seen that look before — on the MAGA boy's face as he taunts a participant from the Indigenous Peoples March. Fueled by ideology and a desire to dehumanize, it frightens me and reminds me of other cruel youth groups from history.
(anyone know original source of video?) pic.twitter.com/Ka6t5HKmCz
— Melissa Chan (@melissakchan) January 19, 2019
Kaya Taitano, who shot the video, told CNN that MAGA hat-wearing-students and four Black teens, who'd been preaching about the Bible nearby, started yelling and calling each other names. That's why Phillips started drumming and singing a song to encourage unity trying to quell the argument.
President Trump, whom the students apparently idolize, posted a tweet last week to mock Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who plans to run for president in the 2020 election.
Trump made fun of the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre in response to a video Warren posted on Instagram.
If Elizabeth Warren, often referred to by me as Pocahontas, did this commercial from Bighorn or Wounded Knee instead of her kitchen, with her husband dressed in full Indian garb, it would have been a smash! pic.twitter.com/D5KWr8EPan
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2019
Phillips, a Vietnam Era veteran who said he served between 1972 and 1976, is in tears as he explains in a video how the incident on Friday made him feel:
"I heard them saying, 'Build that wall, build that wall.' This in indigenous land. You know, we're not supposed to have walls here. We never did …"
He continued, "Before anybody else came here, we never had walls. We never had a prison. We always took care of our elders. We took care of our children. We always provided for them. We taught them right from wrong."
He said he wishes the young men who taunted him would use "that energy to make this country really great."
Thank you to @VinceSchilling of @IndianCountry and many others who identified the proud Native man who is being harassed. He is Mr. Nathan Phillips. I'm reposting this video from “ka_ya11" on IG. This man's words pierce my heart. The grace. The wisdom. The hope. pic.twitter.com/BKOA40SVq5
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) January 19, 2019
Robert "Bob" Rowe is the principal of Covington Catholic High School (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
An investigation is now taking place, and the MAGA teens could be expelled. The Diocese of Covington and the high school issued the following statement on Saturday:
"We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students towards Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in general, Jan. 18, after the March for Life, in Washington, D.C. We extend our deepest apologies to Mr. Phillips. This behavior is opposed to the Church's teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person.
"The matter is being investigated and we will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion.
"We know this incident also has tainted the entire witness of the March for Life and express our most sincere apologies to all those who attended the March and all those who support the pro-life movement."
More than 10,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org demanding changes at the high school.
Many are saying on social media that the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students mimics how whites tried to intimidate Blacks during the civil rights movement:
The MAGA-hat wearing Covington Catholic High School students mocking Elder Nathan Phillips at the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington are direct descendants of the white privilege that empowered white kids to mock Elizabeth Eckford at Little Rock Central High School in 1957. pic.twitter.com/tQroBf6aPb
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) January 19, 2019
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"I am proud to use my voice to unite and represent our country in my hometown of Atlanta," Knight said. There's mixed reactions on social media.
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Kiah Morris resigned from her position because of the harassment, but Vermont's attorney general said he will not file charges against the perpetrators, including Max Misch.