Editorial Article – Opinion
by Jim Lantern
Independent Political Journalist and Science Fiction Author.
Independent voter, Centrist in politics. Spiritual Universalist in religion.
Born in Wichita, Kansas, 5 March 1956. Moved to Norman, Oklahoma, 3 May 2008 – living 2 blocks east of O.U. football stadium.
I’ve returned to Timeglass Journal to do this special posting.
10:30 a.m. CT Monday 9 March 2015
UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA SIGMA ALPHA EPSILON FRATERNITY RACIST VIDEO SHOULD BE A CAPITAL CRIME, HATE CRIME
- Sigma Alpha Epsilon shuts down U. of Oklahoma chapter after racist video – CNN – 9 March 2015
- A fraternity fraught with scandal quickly shut down a chapter in Oklahoma when a video surfaced that showed members singing a racist chant that used the n-word.
- The video shows a group of young white students chanting the n-word loudly and boisterously while riding on a bus.
- Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s national chapter shut down the chapter Sunday night, suspended all of the chapter’s members and threatened to remove those responsible from the fraternity for life.
- In the video, the students are heard chanting, “There will never be a ni**** in SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me.”
- “SAE” stands for Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. “Sign with” means join the fraternity.
- “I was not only shocked and disappointed but disgusted by the outright display of racism displayed in the video,” SAE National President Bradley Cohen said in a statement.
- A black student organization, Unheard, posted the video online Sunday with the comment, “Racism is alive at The University of Oklahoma.” It was addressed @President_Boren.
- That’s the University of Oklahoma’s president, David Boren.
- He took less than an hour to tweet back his disgust.
- “If the video is indeed of OU students, this behavior will not be tolerated and is contrary to all of our values. We are investigating.” He threatened to throw the fraternity off the campus, if the allegations were true.
My opinion: Racism is a hate crime. All hate crimes should be capital crimes, federal crimes, in all 50 U.S. states.
I believe there are only two ways to put an end to racism, other kinds of hate crimes, and illegal discrimination…
- Extermination. Execution – give the death penalty to all who are found guilty.
- Removal. Banishment – those who are found guilty lose their U.S. citizenship and are deported.
There should be Zero Tolerance. This kind of abuse of people usually includes a bully mentality, and can include abuse of power by people in positions of authority. To some extent this is also about difference of income, and upper class blue book social snobs who believe they are better than everyone else.
I’m opposed to warehousing criminals long-term in jails and prisons at the expense of the taxpayers. The exception are those who have been charged with a crime, are being held for trial, and have not yet been found guilty. Those who are convicted and sent to jail or prison should be required to work within those locations to earn money to pay for shelter, food, clothing, health care, and other basic human needs. Such as perhaps manufacturing jobs.
I like the basic idea of permanent banishment as presented in the 1940 short story “Coventry” by Robert A. Heinlein, included in the “Revolt in 2100” novel. A more recent example is the 1981 “Escape from New York” movie, and the 1996 “Escape from L.A.” sequel.
I’ve been a fan of the “Babylon 5” TV series (1993-1998) and movies.
A person of this planet does not need to travel to a distant planet to find alien concepts. “We have found the aliens, and they are us!” That of course is a figure of speech I’ve created for my own novel “Once Upon Another Timeline” (free to read here). My words are based on a different older quote, “We have met the enemy and he is us!”
Click on the following link to the Wikipedia article to read about that older quote and its source…
This is not to say there are aliens on Earth, or that we are aliens, but meaning some people are so different, it is as if they are like aliens from another planet. What is considered to be unusual and unacceptable in one culture or community, may be considered perfectly normal and acceptable in another culture or community. Just look at what is exposed at night under the light of the full moon as it goes around planet Earth!
As is, Earth humans have trouble accepting their own differences. What will happen when we finally do encounter people from another planet? Will we declare war on them because of cultural differences, or engage in peaceful trade with them? Consider their perspective. Will they declare war on us or accept us? I believe peaceful trade is more profitable.
I believe in each to their own way of life. I don’t need to be one of them in order to accept their way of life. It is acceptable to me what others do to each other as long as they don’t ever force it upon me. For example, straight males (heterosexuals) like me do not need to participate in the gay males (homosexuals) way of life in order to accept them and let them live the way they want to. It’s not right for me, but it does not bother me that it’s right for them. As a science fiction writer, I maintain an open mind to all kinds of unusual ways of life. That’s my liberal-minded side, anchored in science fiction. My conservative-minded side is anchored in science.
[Update Note – 11:45 a.m. CT Monday 9 March 2015: Stats show interest in this posting – readers are about 10% in Oklahoma, about 80% in other states, and about 10% in other countries.]
I have encountered a new kind of discrimination here in Norman, Oklahoma, against people seeking to rent apartments. A new rule. Income must be 3 times higher than the apartment rent – so if apartment rent is $500 per month then your income must be at least $1500 per month. I have reason to believe this new rule has been pushed by Chief Kieth Humphrey of the Norman Police Department, who has an extreme hatred of high-density housing and the people who live in those places, because of the apparent high crime rate at those locations. (By the way, Kieth L. Humphrey is an African-American and is a registered Democrat.) He has taken other steps to try to get low-income tenants and suspected criminals evicted from apartments in Norman. Where does he expect them to live? The income discrimination shuts out students working part-time and need of an affordable apartment to live in, adults working part-time, retired senior citizens barely surviving on Social Security Retirement benefits, and people with disabilities barely surviving on Social Security Disability benefits. A lot of good people are going to be shut out and caused to become homeless because of the wrong way the local police are trying to solve the problem. Make no mistake about it – it’s very racial too – but not limited to blacks – includes low-income whites, as well as other minorities – Asians and Hispanics. Ray Apartments is the first I discovered doing that. Some of my neighbors have run into the problem at other apartment complexes here in Norman. I agree crime is a problem in high density housing, including Public Housing and Section 8 Housing of HUD, but discriminating against income to further separate rich from poor is not an acceptable and effective solution. It wrongfully implies that all poor – low-income people – are criminals.
Barely surviving on Social Security Disability now at age 59, I’m having difficulty saving money for a necessary move at the end of my lease. Out of $851 disability I pay $585 rent (includes all utilities plus Cox basic cable TV and Internet), which only leaves $266 to live on. Maybe I can find a roommate deal to make my money go further and afford a better place to live. I no longer have the physical strength to complete another move without help. I’m having trouble seeing a way to survive this disaster. Now I’m simply trying to enjoy the time I have left, doing the things I enjoy most – especially writing – as I’m able to do so.
~ Jim Lantern, Norman, Oklahoma
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