“If You’re Happy and You Know It,” clap your hands.
It’s a very popular song recited by children all across the country, if not the world, every single day.
But I and many of you will probably never think of that song in the same way after one dumb, racist fraternity at Oklahoma University co-opted the melody and replaced it with this:
“There will never be a nigger in SAE. There will never be a nigger in SAE.”
The video went viral over the weekend just as we were all basking in the glow of a very moving tribute to the heroes who risked their lives on the Edmund Pettus Bridge fifty years ago.
The first video showed the backs of the students on a bus; young men in tuxedoes; young women in formal dresses.
Then on Monday a new video from a different angle turned up showing some of the faces of the young men believed to be students from OU and members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
“You can hang them from a tree but there’ll never sign with me. There will never be a nigger in SAE. You can hang them from a tree but they’ll never sign with me, but there’ll never be a nigger in SAE. (clap, clap)”
Oklahoma University President David Boren told me last night on CNN that the young lady who recorded that video and turned it over to university newspaper is receiving protection.
Boren also said the fraternity and its members were no longer welcome on campus and he kicked them off, removed the letters from the fraternity house and said he’d even buy them bus tickets to get out of dodge.
“We’re examining the 1964 Civil Rights Act right now, Title 6 and we’re trying to determine if we have enough evidence and see if we can meet the federal standards to prevail in court. If so we’ll take action.”
That action would probably mean expulsion from the school.
Oklahoma star linebacker Eric Striker told me he feels betrayed.
“These guys, some of them, not all of them that feel this way. After the game they smiling with us and taking pictures with us, shaking our hands, giving us hugs, and the fact that some of them feel that way behind closed doors when we’re not around really, really hurts. It hurts us.”
Striker wants this to be a learning opportunity for, not only for OU, but for the country.
He may be a bigger person than many of us who just want the idiots to be outed and kicked off campus.
If you’re happy and you know that, clap your hands!