Why Pick On Bama?


In many Facebook comments about the last franklinstoveblog post Bama Sorority Wants to Stay Lily-white  there have been some very defensive attitudes expressed about the University of Alabama’s Greek system.

One commenter said that writers were ignoring the discrimination in their own backyards. One person commented that Alabama has more minorities in its sororities than many other campuses. One person said that the media exploits the South.

At least the Montgomery Advertiser’s Josh Moon gets it. He opined in UA sorority sisters showed courage:

I loathe the indifference for public education. And the way minorities and anyone slightly different from white and rich are treated makes me sick

I would like for those things to change. And so I stay because the powerful play goes on and I may contribute a verse.

Most days, to be quite honest, it does seem as if that verse is being shouted into a vacuum.

When obviously good legislation fails to pass — bills that would remove a food tax or provide health care to 300,000 citizens or stop lenders from gouging the poor — I wonder whether there’s really any hope. When I see the way minorities are still intentionally held down, I wonder whether there’s any interest in being better.

But on other days, there are Melanie Gotz, Yardena Wolf, Katie Smith, Caroline Bechtel and Kirkland Back.

If you don’t know them by name, you should. These are the sorority members at the University of Alabama who spoke out about the racist rush practices taking place in their Greek houses.

In a story appearing in next month’s Marie Claire magazine, Gotz, Wolf, Smith, Bechtel and Back reveal what led them to speak out and what the results were.

It provides a stunning glimpse into the raw intolerance and “blatant racism” that still exists among the state’s most elite.

Don’t be fooled. Simply because this happened on a college campus does not mean that it is a college-kid issue confined to the campus borders. These are the daughters of the state’s most powerful and influential people. These women, and the men from the fraternities with whom they partner, will form a large percentage of the state’s leadership in years and decades to come.

It’s good to see that Josh Moon recognizes the brave efforts of students such as Katie Smith to bring about a little Southern change!


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