paper bag test for membership in the elite organization - do so to form associations with some of the few Black people on their campus (if the school is a Predominately White Institution - PWI).
In a world dominated by Disingenuous White Liberals (DWL) who comprise the bulk of the college administrators across the nation, the time honored tradition of "hazing" pledges is frowned upon and those fraternities or sororities that practice such draconian and archaic forms of initiation through group humiliation, physical and mental exhaustion or worse, bodily harm are performing acts of most scandalous and scurrilous insubordination.
That is, if the fraternity or sorority is white. Hazing is being vigorously removed from the vocabulary of white organizations on campuses by Gestapo DWLs intent on subduing and pacifying these fraternities and sororities from partaking in rituals that would endanger or humiliate would be members.
However, these same administrators who police white fraternities with a zeal normally reserved for Gulag's look the other way when Black fraternities and sororities are involved, lest they be accused of practicing racial insensitivity:
A Violent Tradition
"The number one problem with Black fraternities is violence," says Richmond. "The Black fraternity pledging always seems to involve more violence -- from branding to beating each other with fists and blunt objects."
In the case of physical beatings, which only involve potential members, college administrators are only likely to hear about the most extreme cases where a pledge dies or is permanently disabled. If a pledge survives and is "made," the beating usually becomes a badge of honor and is unlikely to be reported.
Richmond said that white frats used to beat their pledges a lot more often in the 1970s and 1980s. After a few lawsuits, however, the nationals put a lot of pressure on the chapters to end beatings.
"Unfortunately, that effort seems to have missed the Black fraternities," Richmond says.
There are a variety of structural and psychological reasons why young Black men continue to make physical beatings a part of "crossing the burning sands."
Dr. Antonio McDaniel, a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania, believes that Black fraternity hazing reflects a very profound problem in the way Black men have internalized society's treatment of themselves.
"As a people, we have a long history of being beaten and branded and enslaved. So it is simply a sign of extreme nihilism and alienation when we willingly submit to beating and branding," McDaniel explains. "When you join gangs like the Crips or the Bloods, they beat and brand you. If you're supposed to be The Talented Tenth, show us some leadership in ways that do not remind us that we were slaves."
However, tough hazing has a long tradition with the Black Greeks. Many older members proudly display their paddles and say that having had one broken over your backside is a point of pride. This tradition can make the national's opposition to pledging and hazing come across more like a wink and a nod. As one Alpha official exclaimed, "I was on line for a whole year, now with this new intake process it's like we're just microwaving them."You see, Black fraternities and sororities are governed by an entirely different body than traditionally white organizations. The National Pan-Hellenic Council governs Black organizations with a laxity commonly found in how many Black people deal with law and order. Hazing is a way of life in Black fraternities and sororities, where being branded is but a rite of passage:
A study published in College Student Journal in 2001 found African American students have "more positive beliefs about the purpose of pledging" and are more likely to support and conform to pledging practices. According to the study, African Americans also held a significant belief that hazing processes should be intense, difficult and lengthy. The study also reported that African-American students had more positive perceptions of Greek organizations compared to white and Hispanic students.
Dr. Alvin T. Simpson, a professor of psychology at Alcorn State University and member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., agreed that African-Americans are more likely to engage in or accept hazing as a means of joining fraternities or sororities because they are looking for an identity. He also said that brutal or intense hazing rituals are rooted in the tradition of slavery.Administrators at PWI's constantly turn a blind eye from the transgressions performed by Black organizations during hazing in an all out effort to show how inclusive the campus is to ensure that Black enrollment continues to move upward. Hazing is just a way of life for Black people.
There is no stopping hazing in Black fraternities and sororities as it is firmly integrated into the college experience. Any effort to remove hazing rituals would be greeted with defiance and indifference by Black people who understand the importance of humiliating would-be members of their organizations and beating the individuality out of them until they understand the importance of brotherhood.
Or what it feels like to be a slave:
“One of the girls who was a big sister told me it was supposed to be so you can feel what your ancestors went through in slavery, so you will respect what you came from,” Ms. Howard said.It is unknown which group practices more severe forms of punishment on their pledges, Black men or Black females, though it is widely acknowledged that Stuff Black People Don't Like includes no hazing policies.
Black people live in a culture that places a different level of value on life then others, and it should surprise no one who understands the intricacies of lower-class Black existence that those Black people who make it to college still linger in that same realm, though they dress it up in Greek letters.