The University of Georgia’s Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity has been suspended after video featuring members whipping someone while referring to cotton picking drew an online backlash.
ABC News reports, the national chapter suspended the UGA chapter and expelled four members who were featured in the video.
“Since 1899, our fraternity has taken much pride in the diversity and uniqueness of our membership,” the national chapter’s statement read. “Tau Kappa Epsilon has never had an exclusionary clause in our membership. Our founders believed, as we do today, in the personal worth and character of the individual, not his wealth, rank, or honor.”
“TKE does not condone or support any actions by its members that would be defined as racist, discriminatory, and/or offensive.”
In the video, a fraternity member can be seen whipping another student with a belt while shouting “pick my cotton, bitch,” to which the person being whipped responds “I’m not Black.”
Another member in the room then says “You’re not using the right words,” to which the member holding the belt responds, “pick my cotton, nigger.”
All four members involved with the video have reportedly been expelled. The school chapter says the video was not filmed during a frat function.
In addition to the fraternity’s actions, the university says it is conducting an investigation of its own. The members remain enrolled for now.
“Racism has no place on our campus,” the university said. “We will continue our efforts to promote a welcoming and supportive learning environment for our students, faculty and staff.
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