The University of Richmond's Kappa Sigma chapter has recently come under fire due to a racist video surfacing from the past. The predominantly white fraternity members recorded a video of themselves singing "Dixie." The song has deep ties to the confederacy and anti-Black sentiment. In the video, the men sang lyrics such as "the South will rise again" and "I want to be a slave owner" while at a house party.
Although university officials only recently became aware of the troubling video last month, it was recorded about two years ago — during the 2019-2020 school year. As a result, the fraternity has been suspended while authorities further investigate the incident. Kevin Haddock, the university president, released a statement on the matter.
"We are in the process of identifying those in the video who are current students," the statement began. "The behavior recorded is shameful and despicable. This is not who we are, not who we aspire to be. We will take appropriate actions based on the findings of our investigation."
Mitchell Wilson, Kappa Sigma's executive director, also addressed the matter.
"The Kappa Sigma fraternity has suspended operations at the University of Richmond. The fraternity strongly condemns the recent video depicting members of the beta-beta chapter as this conduct is contrary to the inclusiveness and principles valued by Kappa Sigma," Wilson wrote.
Despite these statements, many students were largely unsurprised by the overall situation.
"Our administration has this thing that they're so shocked and so surprised when these things happen, and I'm like, these things have been going on for a long time," Katiana Isaac, a University of Richmond sophomore, quipped. "Why are you surprised?"
Simone Reid, a junior, also shared her thoughts on the situation.
"It's hard to imagine that someone could think that's a joke to say that. It's hard to imagine that something that's so traumatic can be something playful and funny for white students," she said. "At this point, it's very clear that the university is very complicit, and you can see it in the way that they run the spaces on campus, and the refusal to change and things like that are implicit approvals of white supremacy," Reid added.