Kansas Sorority Chapter Feigns Surprise After Members Caught on Tape Making Racist Comments

Illustration for article titled Kansas Sorority Chapter Feigns Surprise After Members Caught on Tape Making Racist Comments
Screenshot: Instagram

Shockingly, a sorority founded in Virginia in the late 1800s seems to house some openly racist members in Kansas in 2020: Who could have seen that one coming?

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According to a local NBC affiliate, Jackie Hitt and Maddie Hissong of the Kansas University chapter of Kappa Delta were caught on tape speaking disparagingly against Asian people. The video, which was recorded in February, appears to capture part of a private conversation about anti-Asian racism, fueled, at the time, by reports of the coronavirus first appearing in Wuhan, China. One woman can be heard saying, “What if she came from fucking Beijing? I don’t know where the fuck she just came from but I’m nervous as shit.” Another mocks her former dentist who was Asian.

Hitt, who was chapter president until last week, apologized for what she said in the video, the Kansan reports. Hitt wrote to her chapter sisters, “I want to immediately come out and say that I own the things I said; I will not deny that I said them and I am sorry. Hitt was removed from her position as president and according to an Instagram post by Kappa Delta, is no longer a member of the sorority.

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Kappa Delta shills the idea of “empowered women empower women” in its well-produced recruitment videos, which frame the organization as a champion of diversity and feature women who have deafness, are Black, Latinx, and Asian. In one video, a woman who is a member of KD explains how negative portrayals of sororities in the media originally discouraged her from pledging, but after meeting her future sisters she chose to undergo the process. Perhaps she should have followed her initial gut reaction.

On Tuesday, the KU chapter of Kappa Delta released a statement on Instagram reporting that, as a result of the video, three members of Kappa Delta had been stripped of their letters, a mere seven months after the video was filmed. The statement claims that the advisory board of Kappa Delta only became aware of this video when it was shared on a Greek life watchdog account focused on calling out racism in organizations, @stripyourletters, last Saturday, which supposedly explained why they had not acted on it in February when it was filmed.

The timing on this is, to put it lightly, malarkey. The video was filmed in Snapchat and the recorder even took a moment to write “hmm” across the recording—making it clear she heard what was being said. The video was also reportedly taken from inside the KD house. Word travels quickly, but somehow no one reported the video to the sorority advisory board, allowing these women to continue holding leadership positions for months.

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Either way, racists gonna racist and if sororities are tired of being misrepresented in the media then perhaps its time to stop doing stupid shit.

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DISCUSSION

proudhamerican
ProudHamerican

My aunt gave me really good advice when I was applying for college--she told me to look into the Greek life stats and avoid colleges that had them altogether OR choose a school where they weren’t a big presence on campus. I didn’t, but in hindsight, my aunt was right. I can name a whole bunch of schools without Greeks that would have been a better fit for me.