Syracuse University Fraternity Says Video Of Racist Initiation Pledge Was Satire

Photo: Jerome Davis/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Getty Images.
The brothers of the Tau chapter of the Theta Tau fraternity at Syracuse University would like you to know that the video of their initiation oath — in which one pledge says he "solemnly swears to always have hatred in my heart for n------, s----, and most importantly the fucking k----" — was just satire and not at all meant to be offensive to literally every decent human being.
In a lengthy apology posted on their website Friday, the fraternity says the video, which was released by the Daily Orange student newspaper, was a roast of one of the other brothers who happens to be a conservative Republican. "It was a satirical sketch of an uneducated, racist, homophobic, misogynist, sexist, ableist and intolerant person," the statement reads. "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. We would like to believe that the new members seen in the video laughing at the horrible things being said were not laughing in concurrence with these beliefs, but in fact the opposite—that racism, sexism and homophobia are so wrong that they are laughable. None of the satire was said or done in malice."
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Despite offering an explanation for the contents of the video, the Theta Tau brothers say there is no excuse for their poor attempt at humor. "The language used in this sketch is disgraceful, and it made the active brothers very uncomfortable. Our organization would never demand, or even ask our new members to recite any of this. We spoke to the new members about their actual beliefs shortly after their parody and we all agreed that those words should never be spoken—in our house, or anywhere," the brothers claim, even though said video was posted on a secret Facebook page by one of the frat's very own members.
On Wednesday, Syracuse University announced the fraternity's suspension in a campus-wide email, but declined to release the video. Students began to protest what they considered an inadequate response by the school's administration to not only this incident but other issues of racism on campus. "The video itself isn’t the issue. It’s bigger than the video, bigger than this one frat — because, believe me, this is not an isolated incident at 'cuse — and it’s honestly bigger than Syracuse University," one former student told Refinery29.
In addition to Theta Tau's indefinite suspension, there are seven other SU student groups that have been suspended, reprimanded, or are currently under investigation this school year.
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