Racial slurs, “slave chants” and threats of being hanged were just a few examples of racial hazing cited in the lawsuit filed by a former Middle Tennessee State University student against a fraternity. Per WKRN News 2, the plaintiff said he and the only other Black pledge were subjected to these cruel and unusual practices by members of Kappa Sigma.
The lawsuit names 10 members of the Kappa Iota chapter of Kappa Sigma Fraternity at MTSU. The plaintiff alleged they faced racial discrimination during the “rush” period. Racial discrimination is putting it lightly. Their experiences were likened to the crimes of the Jim Crow era. The plaintiff cited being called the N-word by white frat brothers, being threatened with kidnapping or hanging and having things thrown at them. They also alleged slave music chants were played around them and talks about the KKK.
“You know what type of frat you joined,” one of the plaintiffs recalled being told. “Respect our culture.” Um…what culture? Maybe they meant cult.
Some Black students have their own reservations as to why they choose to rush a white fraternity. However, racist hazing seems like it would come with the territory, no? This doesn’t mean they deserved the vile treatment they received. Though, Black people formed their own fraternities and sororities precisely for the reason of avoiding racist nonsense like this.
Luckily, the fraternity chapter got punished accordingly. Yet, these complaints deserve a thorough investigation.
Read more about the case from WKRN:
This lawsuit comes seven months after the Kappa Iota chapter was permanently expelled from the MTSU campus. The chapter was punished by the National Kappa Sigma Office for violations of “the Kappa Sigma Fraternity Code of Conduct including hazing, underage drinking and conduct unbecoming,” according to the MTSU website.
According to the lawsuit, as a result of the alleged abuse, the plaintiff “suffered emotional distress, mental anguish, anxiety, fear, degradation, humiliation and depression,” which forced him to leave the university and the state as well.
The plaintiff is looking for $15,000,000 in compensation from the defendants.