To the Contrary

University of Oklahoma has a right to protect reputation

In response to the March 14 commentary by Neel Hollis, “SAE brothers were deprived of their right,” I am wondering if this had been a black or Muslim fraternity singing about hanging a white or Christian man from a tree, would Mr. Hollis be so angered about their First Amendment rights? The Fox News crowd would have been calling for their expulsion, arrest and subsequent incarceration at Gitmo.

I doubt if there would have been such an uproar if the SAEs had only chanted a racial slur. It was the “hanging from a tree” that got them into so much trouble.

When these young men enrolled in the University of Oklahoma and joined an organization that is sanctioned by the university, they gave up some of their rights. Every university has a code of conduct, which has restrictions on what a student can do while attending that university.

Doing anything harmful to the school's reputation is likely among those restrictions. President Boren made the right decision. He has a duty to protect the reputation of the university, and allowing these young men to remain there would have negatively affected future enrollments.

Now they can sing their racist chants all they want. They are no longer representatives of the University of Oklahoma.

They can march through the city streets proclaiming their bigotry and hatred toward any of the usual subjects of right-wing vitriol: blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, Jews, Muslims, atheists, gays, academics, liberals and even Yankees. They have a First Amendment right to do so without being arrested.

For those of you who feel sorry for these men for losing their opportunity to get an education, please don't worry. They are perfect candidates for the Ferguson, Mo., Police Academy.

Tami Maners is a resident of Rock Hill.