Because I so often write about the dark side of human nature, I thought I’d pass along some good news in America’s fight against racism. It seems that at the University of Alabama, “multiple African American women have accepted bids to join traditionally white sororities. The move ends the last bastion of segregation at the tradition-bound southern university.”
Now, I’ve never understood why anybody would want to be a sorority girl or a frat boy, but that’s not the point. Surely, we can be happy that another pillar of institutionalized racism has been toppled. And I presume that Latina girls are now eligible to wear Greek-lettered sweatshirts in Alabama.
Well, I should have stopped reading the news article there, because in the internet comments section of the story (always a disturbing barometer of what Americans are really thinking), I did not encounter the cheers and upbeat replies that I expected to see.
Instead, I saw a lot of apologists for bigotry. There were the people who said it wasn’t a racial issue, and that the sororities just have high standards, such as the woman who wrote, “I’m as lily-white as they come and had the same chance of getting into a UofA sorority as a black girl.” Well, actually, she had a much better chance, as evidenced by the fact that, according to the article, current “members of the traditionally white sororities said they were pressured by alumnae to keep black women from joining.” Well, if that is not overt discrimination, I don’t know what is.
But many people (and not just that lily-white girl) must have skipped over that line, because I also learned from readers’ comments that the University of Alabama Greek system was not prejudiced. Rather, it was just “the media and everybody else wanting to play the race card,” and those pesky minorities themselves, who keep “cramming [diversity] down our throats [and] keep the pot boiling and that is raging all over the country now.”
There were also the readers who insisted that letting blacks into a formally all-white sorority was a “politically correct situation,” and that minorities should “stop acting like the world owes it to you to be fair.”
And then there were the philosophical bigots, such as the gentleman who insisted that “if we want to reserve the right to not serve or admit a black person, or anyone else for that matter, we should be allowed that freedom.”
But my favorite was the straightforward racist, such as the guy who cracked that the white girls had better “keep an eye on their valuables!”
And at least one commentator saw grim overtones in the concept of black sorority girls, labeling the news as “more White genocide, cheered on by the mainstream media.”
Yes, this was the reaction that this unequivocally positive news story generated. I feel much better about America right now.