NORMAN, Okla. – A fraternity at the University of Oklahoma was shut down after a video surfaced showing members engaging in a racially insensitive chant.
The chant goes on to say, “you can hang them from a tree, but they’ll never sign with me.”
William Bruce James II, who says he was the last black SAE member at OU, spoke with KFOR’s Linda Cavanaugh about his thoughts on the incident.
James, who pledged to SAE 14 years ago, says he felt shock and disbelief after watching the video.
The SAE alumnus says he never felt like his fraternity brothers were racist.
“I never heard anything like that while I was there,” he said. “My brothers wouldn’t have allowed it…. That song wouldn’t have been sung.”
James says the fact that the current members in the video knew all of the words to the mean-spirited chant shows that this wasn’t a random act.
“This has been going on for some period of time,” he said.
Since the video was released, James says he has seen an outpouring of support from his fraternity brothers.
“They’re helping me be less angry about it,” he said.
Although he has the support from his brothers, James says he still feels like he is grieving.
“I feel like I’ve lost a family member,” James said. “That pure bond of brotherhood, I don’t know if I’ll ever get that back.”