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Editorial: Youth of today must carry on fight against racism and bigotry

Published: Sunday, September 22, 2013

Updated: Sunday, September 22, 2013 22:09

When it comes to how far society has come from the day of the Jim Crow Laws, we can easily congratulate ourselves. We’ve eliminated specially designated fountains for the colored, we allow interracial seating on public transportation and have allowed “equal” opportunity for every citizen.

But does segregation still exist? Let’s ask the sorority Alpha Gamma Delta at the University of Alabama.

On September 11, 2013, the Crimson White, the university press at the University of Alabama, published a report stating that the PanHellenic sorority Alpha Gamma Delta denied an applicant based on the color of her skin.

“Are we really not going to talk about the black girl?” said Alpha Gamma Delta member Melanie Gotz at the sorority requirement meeting.

This “black girl” who has requested she and her family remain anonymous for their own safety, graduated second in her high school class, with a 4.3 GPA and is the stepdaughter of a state legislator and step granddaughter of a former State Supreme Court justice and current trustee of the university. She would be the prime candidate for any organization. But she was judged not by her abilities but by the color of her skin.

During the sorority recruitment meeting, current members and alumnae answered Gotz question with silence. Alumni of the chapter sorority stated that they had already made their decisions and agreed on which students will be back for the next round of pledging. The “black girl” was not a part of the next round of pledging, and thus will not be coming back to next round according to the alumnae. This unexpected news to the current sorority members was no surprise to the applicant. The applicant had gone to formal recruitments to 16 Panhellic sororities, all of which denied her.

However, according to the Crimson White, the current sorority members have no issues with accepting a black member. It is the alumnae that do not want to see a black member in their sorority. According to the New York Times, the Crimson White publishes a story about the denial of blacks into an all-white sorority every year. However, this was the first time a sorority member affirmed the accusations with support from other members. No black woman has been accepted into a sorority on campus, since 2003, according to the New York Times.

This controversial example in the South should come as no surprise. Racism still exists, and will continue to exist. However, today’s society is more accepting and this example of repulsive segregation illustrates the mentality between the younger and older generations. We, as the next generation, should continue to be more accepting and reject racist and bigoted behavior.

 

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