On OU and Innocence Lost

I’m not sure what else there is to add to what has already been discussed about the fraternity N-word-laden chant, school dismissal, and subsequent apologies of the guys from the SAE fraternity at OU.
 
Instead, I’ll just say what was in my heart the moment I heard about the incident. I mourned for the students at OU. The students who truly believed that racism was a thing of the past like a relic to be found in the museum or within the pages of an outdated textbook. I mourn for the students who believed that hate only took the shape of what a stereotyped bigot looks like on TV- the scary sort with pointed hoods.
 
For so many students this moment was the end of innocence. Since the I Have A Dream Speech of MLK on the Washington Mall, adults everywhere proclaimed the war against racism was won. When President Obama was elected President, the first time around, many screamed “free at last,” forgetting that same song was sung decades before- and it wasn't quite true.
 
Many college students bought into the hype without realizing that all those assertions of freedom and equality were hope-filled, not filled with reflections of reality. Sadly, many college campuses are not what they appear to be in the brochure. They are, instead, reflections of what the world really is like, except with dining halls and meal cards. Campuses are microcosms of society not Shangri-la.
 
When I heard about the wound inflected by SAE's racist chat, I was sad for the students who were stunned. The truth is out. Bigotry exists in others and it lives within us- even though we are inclined to think not. Now is the time to create change and continue the work to make our MLK hopes- a dream come true.

Though your innocence was lost OH student you have a new charge: challenge bias and hate when you see it, shed light on the truth about inequality, and work diligently for a future that lives up to the school brochure. You did not deserve the hate spewed in that awful video, and it's time for all of us to get to work.