The Sigma Phi Epsilon at the University of Memphis is facing backlash after they were accused of using a racial slur during a *KARAOKE* performance at a philanthropy event on Friday, March 16.
According to reports, during an event known as Pi Phi Karaoke, members of the Sigma Phil Epsilon fraternity said the n-word while rapping the song “N***as in Paris” by Jay-Z and Kanye West.
Pi Phi Karaoke raises money for children’s literacy.
“The song that they used was n-word in Paris. That’s actually the name of the song,” Jessika Williams told Fox 19.
via Fox 19:
Williams was offended and said she’s upset the song choice was approved. She said her sorority requires performances be thoroughly vetted by the university before given clearance.
“We don’t allow cursing during our performances, and we do not use the n-word on stage, so for a predominantly white organization or any organization period to use the n-word, it was very disrespectful and very inconsiderate,” Williams said.
“No it wasn’t the most graceful thing to do but I don’t think it’s for say wrong,” a U of M student, who did not want to be identified, said. “It would’ve been better, yes, if they didn’t do it at all, but they were just trying to have fun and there was no ill intent or harsh racism to it, so it shouldn’t be harshly punished.”
Jerica Phillips stopped by the Sigma Phi Epsilon house on Sunday to get their reaction. Eventually, a member of the fraternity opened an upstairs window and said the organization didn’t have a comment about the matter.
The University of Memphis also released a statement regarding the incident:
The University of Memphis was made aware of allegations involving racial and bigoted language exhibited by a fraternity member at a student event. Racism and bigotry will not be tolerated. All allegations are currently being thoroughly investigated, and if found to be accurate, immediate steps will be taken to address the behavior with the individual, local chapter and national organization. The University of Memphis takes seriously all such behavior and has the strongest of commitments to continuing efforts to educate our campus community.
University of Memphis students plan to hold a silent protest on campus from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. today, Monday, March 19, because they sadly have nothing better to do than protest a bunch of frat bros singing the words to a Kanye West song. What a world.
Furthermore, there will be a “campus reflection and community conversation” hosted by the Student Leadership and Involvement office at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 19.