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Terrible New Essay Further Likens Fraternity Men To Gang Members

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fraternity member gang

Though we have repeatedly been proven ourselves to be nothing more than normal, functioning members of society, fraternity men everywhere are regularly attacked by the uninformed opposition. Some call us misogynists, others stick to the racists card, and the majority just consider us to be assholes. While some chapters have earned these despicable titles by being comprised of one or more terrible individuals, one comparison I have yet to hear until today is that fraternity membership is comparable to that of a gang. Yes, you read that correctly: secret collegiate Greek letter societies are being compared to legitimate street gangs.

After the original essay by Ibram X. Kendi titled “What’s the Difference Between a Frat and a Gang?,” another contributor for The Atlantic and a former fraternity member himself responded to these notions.

From The Atlantic:

Having been a member of a Greek organization myself, I am fully aware of the problems facing fraternities’ ability to be productive organizations on their school campuses. I would even go so far as to say that I am not sure that fraternities necessarily have a place on the modern college campus, at least not in their current design.

I also agree with the underlying argument in Mr. Kendi’s piece, that there is bias and racism in the way that fraternity transgressions are looked at compared with gang member transgressions. There is no doubt that the polo-wearing fraternity member has an easier time garnering sympathy for a hit-and-run DUI, or a date rape, than a poor drug dealer in the inner city. By all means there are many instances where inner city “criminals” facing minor drug-possession charges are viewed as worse than wealthier undergrads accused of far worse crimes. So I am glad to see Kendi focusing on this unfair treatment in his piece.

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Anyone with half a brain would realize that yes, the criminal instances listed above should be persecuted to the full extent of the law — in both regular and “sympathy” court — no matter one’s standing in society. However, when it really comes down to it, fraternity men are nothing more than a group of 18-22 year-old college kids looking to make lifelong memories with their brothers. Unlike in gang culture, where criminal acts like this are the norm, these transgressions are viewed as aberrant in fraternity culture. We don’t embrace them; we shame them just like every other group does (except gang members).

Do we haze? Probably. Do we drink too much? Definitely. But are we among the ranks of the most violent criminal organizations in North America? I would not bank on it.

[via The Atlantic]

Image via Shutterstock

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