Gov. Bentley criticizes UA greek segregation

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley spoke out against sorority segregation on The University of Alabama campus in response to The Crimson White’s article The Final Barrier in an interview with Birmingham’s Fox 6 WBRC-TV on Thursday.

In the article, members of several UA Panhellenic sorority chapters spoke with The Crimson White detailing alumnae interference in sorority rush with discriminatory intentions. At least two black potential new members in this year’s recruitment process were not accepted by any of the 16 Panhellenic sororities.

“The students are all for that. They are for selecting the best person, and I am too,” Bentley said. “I think it’s absurd that you don’t select the best person and that you would ever discriminate against anyone because of the color of their skin. So I feel the way the students do, and I believe that they should chose people on their qualities.

“The way I read it—and I asked my wife about it last night—not students, it’s the alumni. The alumni support the fraternities and sororities — not the students — and she says that’s where it’s coming from. Personally, I think they need to change their attitude.”

Bentley also urged the University to take action against racially discriminatory actions on campus.

“These are private organizations and the University only allows them to lease space on the campus,” he said. “I think the University could put pressure on it, yes. I can speak out against it, and I just believe you choose someone on their character, on their qualities and not on the color of their skin.”

  • DrumminD21311

    Wow, it must be the end times.

  • 1Pascual_Arroyo

    Huge Banner : 50 years of Desegregation at UA !….

    Small print: By the way, Sororities and Fraternities STILL Discriminate in 2013.
    By the number of comments here, does Alabama even notice racism? This is in the New York Times now!!

  • brandib329

    The news on this topic is absurd. Because 2 African American females did not get into the sororities they wanted, UA’s Greek system is being branded as racist? Come on. These 2 girls were judged the same as the rest of the rush group, and along with many Caucasian girls, they simply did not get accepted into the private groups of their choice. The End. Everyone is rejected every day is some form or another and we learn coping skills and perseverance through these lessons. This has nothing to do with racism. It just so happens that one of these two females has a father in politics….hmmm, enough said.

    • Wyman K. Wannamaker

      So you’re saying that the multiple reports of alumnae advisors dropping candidates on account of their race, including one that named an advisor/alumnae by name, are all wrong and that those claims are spurious accusations trumped up by a politician seeking to reap political capital – as well as the reporters and editorial board of the CW – in this situation? I sure hope you’re not a PR major…

      • brandib329

        I am saying that the rushee that did not get in the sorority she wanted is assuming it is because of her race, not any other reasons, and of course cannot deal with rejection. In what paragraph did I say anything related to a politician seeking to reap capital??? Regardless, it is a private group, and if the rushees do not like it, then don’t try out. They know what they are getting themselves into going into it. No reason to complain, get over it and do something different if you don’t like it. Did these 2 attend black rush???? If not, then why? Hope you are not a PR major either ;)

        • Cordyceps

          But it wasn’t the two rushees who spoke up about it. It was Motz and various other sisters who questioned their alumnae as to why these women, whom almost everyone else had agreed were qualified and advantageous new members, were dropped. Was it not the sisters themselves who (although anonymously) revealed that their sorority was using discriminatory practices? I cannot conceive of many reasons why sorority members would take actions that deliberately bring negative attention to the factions they belong (and the whole Greek system) unless there was truly something abominable going on.

          Besides, I don’t think the reason people are getting agitated is simply because they were dropped. Rather, these women were qualified, the other sisters wanted them in, but their bid was blocked by a handful of senior sisters who declared them “contrary to the image their sisterhood wishes to portray” or in another case “too likely to cause social alienation and retaliation from the other organizations”.

          • Wyman K. Wannamaker

            “too likely to cause social alienation and retaliation from the other organizations” – in other words, this will lower our chances for casual sex with some guy sporting Bama bangs.

        • Wyman K. Wannamaker

          So long as the houses stand on state-owned land, are financed by the people of the state of Alabama, are subsidized by the people of the state of Alabama with below-market value leases, and are chartered student organizations at a university funded by the state of Alabama, they are not “private group(s)” who can tell someone “don’t try out” simply because of the color of their skin. If they want to buy their own land, off campus, and forfeit their status as a recognized student organization, yes, they can be as racist as they want to be.

          And to answer you question: 1) you only used one paragraph, so that’s an absurd question; 2) you said that in the last sentence: “It just so happens that one of these two females has a father in politics….hmmm, enough said.”

      • Bruce Weinstein

        Wyman when you have facts from the those who have not commented, and they are by far a vast majority in this instance, that concur with those publicly stated then I will be all for corrective actions. You going to biatch and moan when a male attempts to get rushed and he/it won’t be allowed in? Where does it stop? Are you on some kind of a Trayvon Martin justice crusade, has the anniversary of the Civil Rights crusade stirred your loins or what the he_ _ is it that has you wanting everyone to partake of the same pot? It does not work that way, unless you enjoy eating rice, wearing Chinese clothing and marching to the same da_n beat or carrying your prayer rug so you can face Mecca.

        • Wyman K. Wannamaker

          The university has an excellent counselling center that would like to help you address your obvious psychiatric needs. Please let them help you. http://counseling.ua.edu/

          • Bruce Weinstein

            I’ve been, received my meds and am quite late to sign in with my probation officer. So, if you don’t mind, kindly take my next session for me this Sat, after BAMA whips the Rams. Oh, my doctor has enjoyed the last two years you’ve been with him!

    • Anon

      If this was an isolated incident, I would totally understand your opinion since rush at UA is a very selective process that girls of all races get cut from. But white girls, Hispanic girls, Indian girls, and Asian girls have all been given bids more than once. The first and last time a bid was given to a black girl at UA was in 2003 by Gamma Phi Beta. Since then multiple black girls have rushed unsuccessfully at UA.

      Many people are saying that the race card is being pulled. I can understand people getting defensive about that, but this is far, far away from an incident where the race card was pulled. This is straight out discrimination. The original Crimson White article makes it pretty clear that the black girls who were cut were in some instance more qualified than many of the white recruits.

      This can’t be called anything but racism.

      • brandib329

        I am sure you are aware that articles are just that…articles. There is always much more than what they want us to know. Do we know what each sororities qualifications are? I think not unless we are a member. They all have different qualifications, so how would we know that they were in fact more qualified. Again though, not everyone should get on a team just for trying out. If you don’t like it, then go try out for something different.

        • Wyman K. Wannamaker

          Shouldn’t they be allowed to try out before they’re excluded from the team?

        • CamR

          As a member, yes. I will tell you that this is the ONLY reason she was not given a bid. On paper and personality-wise, she was absolutely perfect. Her only “flaw” was that she doesn’t look like the rest.

          And I have always been told to respect my elders (which I assume you are), but how can I value the opinion of someone who is clearly an ignorant bigot?

          • Bruce Weinstein

            And how do you know that her personality or lack of it might be a reason she was denied? You’ve not one shred of a fact.

      • Bruce Weinstein

        You are, therefore, gleaning all your ‘facts’ from CW. Care to interview the ladies who did not comment? Until a broad sampling is documented, none of us knows any facts.

    • MAB

      There’s ample evidence and testimony in the other article stating that they were rejected for their race. What proof do you have that they were judged the same as the rest of the rush group that would counteract that? The first reaction we have to potentially horrible institutionalized racism probably shouldn’t be complete denial, especially given the amount of people who spoke up in the other article.

  • Bruce Weinstein

    It is not amazing to me that so much assumption is placed on the voices of a few. No one, except the members/alumni, knows what the others who have chosen not to speak feel. There is or was such a thing as honor in my active days as a pledge, military servant and adult and I do not doubt there are those members who feel that is not lost and therefore would not divulge anything whatever the facts are. But, as I have stated before, I want the best person available for any facet of life.
    For the Governor to speak to this situation as an official of the State is blatantly wrong and it is not lost on me. I am ‘sure’ he has all the facts.

    • Steve Weinstein

      Breaking a code of silence is not only doing the honorable thing, but it’s also courageous. “I would not divulge anything whatever the facts are.” This isn’t honor, it’s a cowardly unwillingness to go against the status quo.

      • Bruce Weinstein

        Son you do not know or understand honor, so preach your garbage elsewhere. Be da_n glad you were never under my supervision in any military, personal or business endeavor and broke a code. Cowardly? Back yourself away from admiring yourself as a keyboard cowboy and think would you call me that to my face? Now think before you respond.

        • MAB

          To not stand up against segregation and discrimination is cowardly, and I would say that to your face.

    • Retiredusmc

      Bruce so your take is no matter the wrong done you never, you never divulge the facts. Sir spoken like a true COWARD! Honor is what you do not when people are watching, but when no one is watching! To stand silent when harm is done to anyone is Cowardly and if you were a United States Marine you would understand that! SEMPER FIDELIS ALWAYS FAITHFUL!
      Just for the record this post was forwarded to Henderson Hall! If you are a United States Marine you will be receiving a call Mister!

      • Bruce Weinstein

        Ret’d possibly well before you were born. I never stated there was not a wrong done, just as I will not intimate the reverse. In this instance, as in most I am confronted with, I want facts – cold, hard facts before I act. But you have really banged the keys on your keyboard and you have the real guts to call me a coward and you have done your righteous duty and forwarded a post(s) on. Why don’t you tote your measly a_ _ to TTown and make da_n sure that any potential Greek rushed into a house they’d rather not be in, make it a policy that they can pack their shiz up and go make house XYZ take them in. That is the next thing that’s about to come down the pike -> some da_n authoritative person or group telling YOU what you will like and don’t like.
        If you do not want to be the coward here and keep ‘your’ honor, kindly email me at toasale1@gmail.com and I will attempt to make arrangements to meet with you. Then we will see which of us is man enough to pony up to the bar. Ball’s in your court.

        • Retiredusmc

          Look in your email box Sir My phone Number is in it!

          • Retiredusmc

            Sir I am still waiting for a call!

    • JimfromBham

      Honor: Doing the harder right, rather than the easier wrong. From the Cadet Prayer at West Point.

      These sorority members who stood up to fight segregation are acting honorably.

      • Bruce Weinstein

        So it is ‘segregation’ already, eh and you have the facts? Present me with a fact(s) that wrong was done, according to organization policies, and I’ll be right with the harmed party. Why don’t you invite me to your residence and I’ll determine, if the toilet seat accommodates me? And if not, you best procure one that does or I’ll attempt to have you legally tossed. Tough? I am all for fairness, but you and all the Obama lovers want a socialistic system and to have every ‘Stop’ sign repainted to show ‘Proceed At Will’. To he_ _ with established procedures. Change them and I’ll fight alongside anyone harmed.

        • JimfromBham

          Bruce:

          Let me try to explain a little history to you. Prior to 1986 or so, the black frats and sororities lived in little shacks on the east end of campus between some nice frats and the rec center. The University allowed each frat or sorority to build whatever building it could afford, but the frats/sororities were required to deed the property over to the University, which would then sign a $1.00 per year lease back to the frat/sorority. The white Greek organizations raised millions of dollars to fund their houses, while the black kids could not raise as much – hence the difference in the shacks vs. castles along racial lines. The University owned all the property and served as the landlord to all of them.

          The University’s ownership of such a divergent set of housing based on race, however, was a problem. A second year law student on Law Review asked the LR advisor for permission to write an article about the potential violations of the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution, various Amendments, the Fair Housing Act, etc. The advisor was very interested, but when he presented the topic to the senior editors (most of whom had been Greeks), they voted the idea down. The advisor, however, had been an interim President of the University and he brought the topic up to the “powers that be” for discussion because it would have been very awkward for the University if someone put the pieces together and filed a lawsuit based on discrimination.

          Apparently, enough of the University leadership agreed that the exposure to unfavorable litigation was a real threat. An Administration building near Rose was vacated, and the first black sorority was moved on to Sorority Row. The Crimson and White reported that white sororities complained that the black girls would play their music too loud and disturb studying, that they would bring crime to the area, etc. There was even a cross burning on the black sorority’s lawn.

          The University carefully planned the move, however, and put the best black sorority in this building. In fact, the Crimson and White published a story that this black sorority ended up with the highest collective GPA of all sororities, black or white. After the first year or so, the world did not come to an end and things settled down. Eventually, the University assisted the remaining black frats/sororities with the acquisition of funding to build some decent houses and this particular problem seemed to go away.

          Moral of the story: If the University still owns all of the housing, the individual black females mentioned in the story could file a lawsuit for the discrimination which occurred. Since the decision to deny a black person admission to a sorority inherently involves a housing decision (now pay attention, Bruce – the sororities live in those nice houses near the stadium), then potential violations of the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution (which you formerly swore an oath to uphold and defend), and other federal laws have occurred.

          Now, let’s see how good you are at guessing: What Army Vietnam Vet do you think was the law student mentioned above, who got this ball rolling in 1986? A certain white conservative male who you are “talking” to through these blog exchanges.

          • Bruce Weinstein

            I appreciate your service to America. I did not know most of the above, even though I was a student in the 60′s and in a frat. I don’t think it will happen, what with Ole Miss’s Greeks ‘integrated’, but what would happen, if wealthy sorority members decided they’d depart the current scene and start anew off campus? You could not stop it, impose your will or anything else Obama-like upon them.
            If I owned my own business, as I used to, and a union, governmental authority figure, employee or anyone else approached me with demands, when employee criteria was already established prior to being hired, there would be zero success on their part. I would close shop so fast there would be a sucking sound. And, under proposed legislation regarding ACA, I would not consider my own facility. I may seem ‘old school’ but, I am from a much more ‘correct school’!

          • JimfromBham

            Bruce:

            Thank you for your civil and thought provoking reply. Sure, the Greek organizations could move off campus and UA would have less control over them. But they would abandon tens of millions of dollars worth of nice houses in the process. And, they still have the contractual requirement from the national Greek organizations not to discriminate, no matter whether they are on or off campus.

          • Bruce Weinstein

            I know we can go round and round with ‘what if’s’ but, one simple fact remains: One cannot be made to like/tolerate another. I would be a short-lifer if, I were disdained/kept off to the side/made to feel an outcast or any other feeling that I don’t belong. This action is simple intrusion and it can easily escalate into a pressurized situation. Contractual requirements? Not, if they merely walk and form an entity entirely new, but that will not occur.
            You going to be quiet as you stand in line like the rest of the herd of people when some agency acting on an edict of Congress tells you that you will have a chip embedded in you?

  • nuclear mike

    People have the right to chose “private” organizations with their own “selected” membership of association…nothing evil nor wrong with that right!

  • Bruce Weinstein

    This piece of camel waste needs to be gutted on the same rack, as a hog would be and at the same time. Maybe their blood mixes and a derivative of whale slime is created.

  • Retiredusmc

    Mazie Bryant Outstanding Job, Carry On!