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One author's response to the racist controversy at OU

These are just my opinions.

Editor's Note: While these are the thoughts of St. Sooner on this matter, it is important to note that as the editor of Crimson And Cream Machine I share the same sentiments and opinion. There is no place left in this world for racism, regardless of whether it is passed off as a joke or as downright hateful action. The gentlemen on that bus do not represent the University of Oklahoma nor the fine state in which the institution resides. Rather, they represent an idiotic mindset that is no longer applicable to the world that we live in. Please consider your comments before you post because there will be no tolerance for distasteful words.

I went to bed early last night without checking the internet after a long day.

I awoke to news that made my blood boil.

The man in the picture above is Jim Thorpe.  He is considered by many to have been the greatest American athlete of the 20th century.  He was born in Oklahoma, of a mix of European and Native American ancestry.

Thorpe's story is one that has been told through many lenses, but at least two things are plain to say: 1) Jim Thorpe was an amazing athlete, and 2) Jim Thorpe's heritage is not 100% European.

The chants that were gleefully joined aboard the SAE bus that has brought OU such national fame today cannot be ignored.  To ignore them would be hiding.  OU President David Boren laid it out that Sooners are above that.

I had been gonna provide a link to the above, but if you're reading this far, you've already read it.

Because you already know.

  • You already know that the chant made on that bus weren't right.  You already know that "Hang 'em from a tree" means something.  Whatever your race.
  • You already know that there are reasons that a bus full of white kids in tuxedos chanting -- proudly -- about excluding and lynching people isn't the kind of thing that would make a gifted chemist, engineer, or poet decide to come to OU.  Whatever their race.
  • You already know that coach Lon Kruger said "It's not about athletics. It's not about anything other than everyone being affected by this."
  • You already know that, if you went to OU, you worked side-by side with people whose backgrounds were different from yours.  In classrooms, in language studies, in the gym, in plays, in everything our great university has to offer.
  • You already know that you have probably walked through the Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher gardens ( on the way to class, and know what that means.
  • You already known that Bob Stoops said, ""I was here to be with my guys. We all work with beautiful young men and women of all races. It's just -- very little gets me choked up. But that hurt."
  • You already know that the statue of George Lynn Cross on the North Oval bears the inscription, "The University of Oklahoma exists for the students. but the Universary cannot give you an education -- it can only help you acquire one for yourselves."
  • You know, as Sooners, that this is wrong.  It is a shame upon our house.  And though we did not bring it, we must address it.
At 7:30 this morning, hundreds of students -- many of whom not accustomed to being anywhere at 7:30 -- gathered on campus to unite in one solid voice of denouncement.

The University of Oklahoma has chosen to be a part of the 21st century, rather than the 19th.