Today: Jul 17, 2024

OpEd: Ignorance at its best

Jon Burton, Ad Manager-


Ignorant, Webster’s definition says lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated. So, when someone, going by the name of ZTroy1191 on twitter, posts a picture of my fraternity brother and I on twitter asking the question, “Uhmmm don’t you have to be black to be in this frat?? #smh,” I immediately have to assume that he’s ignorant, or really oblivious to the world.
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated is not now, nor have it ever been an exclusive organization. My three founders, Honorable A. Langston Taylor, Honorable Leonard F. Morse, and Honorable Charles I. Brown founded Phi Beta Sigma on the principles of Brotherhood, Scholarship and Service; never was race a deciding factor for membership into my organization.
As stated on PBS1914.org, Sigma’s three founders deeply wished to create an organization that viewed itself as “a part of” the general community rather than “apart from” the general community. They believe that each potential member should be judged by his own merits, rather than his family background or affluence…without regard to race, nationality, skin tone or texture of hair. I would like to draw your attention, ZTroy1191, to the part that states, “without regard to race,” since you are wondering.
I know that your fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon, does not exclude men who are not white from obtaining membership. I know this because I’m not blind, and I see the minority men you have in your fraternity. I don’t get why you assume that you have to be black to be a part of Phi Beta Sigma, when clearly you don’t have to be white to be a member of TKE.
Yes, there are a large number of black men in my fraternity. That is because we are a historical Black Greek Letter Fraternity, founded on the campus of one of the prominent Historical Black Universities, Howard University. Perhaps you should have come to myself or the man’s who picture you took and asked him, before you posted a photo of him on twitter asking such a dumb question. If he had to be black to be in the fraternity do you really think he would have the coat on?
Your ignorance didn’t upset me, instead it inspired me. Unfortunately, you are not the only person who assumes you have to be black to be a Sigma, or any other Black Greek Organization. I am not speaking for other Organizations, but Sigma’s do not discriminate.
We look for the best of the best when it comes to who we allow into our mighty organization, ask my frat brothers former President of the United States Bill Clinton, Louisiana State Representative Juan A. Lafonta, and former Southern Connecticut State University Student Government President, Willie Garcia if they had to be black gain membership? I’m sorry you didn’t know the answer to this question before, I’m sure if you had, you, like many others, would want to be a Sigma.

1 Comment

  1. That’s why not only frats are ignorant, but also discriminative and sexist. Being Asian American and Intersex, their is no Fraternity on campus here that would ever take me in. All the fraternities here tend to be exclusive and exclude those who are not popular or part of the in crowd. The Fraternities here tend to allow those who know someone that is in the fraternity or are connected to Student groups such as RHA or SGA. I even tried to form my Co ed service fraternity, but all I get on campus here is stonewalling and stalling by student life. I generally believe that ignorance, tolerance and respect is lacking on campus.

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