I am the first to admit that I can be a bit messy, even a little judgemental and hypocritical. However, this matter for the brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi touched my heart two fold.
Morgan State Chapter Suspended
The Alpha Iota chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated at Morgan State University is now on probation until 2015 for allegedly denying membership to a student who was openly homosexual. Our Black Greek letter organizations are clear ties to our past and pillars to our future. Members of Kappa Alpha Psi include: W.E.B. DuBois, Arthur Ashe, Thomas Bradley and even entertainer Montell Jordan to name a few-these men are at the heart of what makes the great great.
Brian Stewart, desired to be a member of Kappa Alpha Psi. Stewart's Pastor, father-figure, mentor in leadership and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity are what made Brian decide that he wanted to become a member of the fraternity.
The day after this former White House intern's interview for membership in the fraternity, he received a letter of rejection from the chapter.
After gaining access to a set of private social media messages that were allegedly between members, Brian decided to persue legal action against the University and Kappa Alpha Psi. The orgin of the messages have been undisclosed. The messages were filled with anti-gay slurs and indicated that they were never going to give him an opportunity to join the fraternity but that they should,
"give him the perception of a fair and equal opportunity."
Brian Stewart filed the charges last October to bring attention to the situation. Morgan State University has held two town hall meetings regarding the situation and to avoid repeating it within other organizations on campus. The Alpha Iota chapter is now suspended from participating in any official campus activities or gather as a group until 2015.
Morgan State University released this statement,
The Alpha Iota chapter of Kappa Alpha has been determined to have violated certain university regulations, procedures and policies. As a result, the chapter has been placed on disciplinary probation until fall 2015. During the probationary period, the chapter cannot register as an official organization or student group with the university. The chapter cannot participate in any university sponsored event or activity, and cannot sponsor or host any event on or off campus.
Kappa Alpha Psi has yet to make a statement.
This story actually breaks my heart as an almost identical situation happened while I was in undergrad. But nobody spoke up for the pledge and he couldn't speak up for himself.
I was already a Delta and I knew that there was a young man who desired to pledge an organization-in fact he did pledge, twice.
He was never permitted to complete his process. Another active, productive and God-fearing man....denied membership. I feel small even writing this because I never felt that it was my place to "say something." This wasn't Delta...I had my own books and chapter to worry about. But I should have said something-to those Greeks who were and still are my friends. They ate my food and helped me move...we even traded wood. Yet, I couldn't even speak up for that same young man who was my friend. I could have just made it uncomfortable to be homophobic in my pressence. But I didn't. I knew what was happening-but I did nothing.
It reminds me of MARTIN NIEMÖLLER:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.
Our organizations came about, in part, due to racial prejudice. Are we recreating that same experience for others? Our organizations are not supposed to crush spirits they were designed to uplift our community! I cannot imagine how it must feel to be called such horrible names to experience such rejection not for your grades, not for your lack of potential but because of your sexual orientation. However, I do know that many have been rejected for membership for other personal reasons as well.
How different is this that not admitting men and women into our organizations who are not of African descent? When does the slippery slope of civil rights begin?
What Say You?
Read More from Black Greek Archives, "Clutch the Pearls!"