The most telling part of the SAE fraternity chant caught on camera — well, the most telling part aside from the tuxes and gowns, because nothing says “it’s time to do some racist-ass shit” like Tuxedo Junction Groupons — is the fact that this song was perfect. The words, cadence, and rhythm were a perfect fit for “If You’re Happy And You Know It.” This is not something that’s particularly easy to do. It takes some time and thought to find the right words and the right rhyme and have them make creative, grammatical, and structural sense.
This means someone (or, most likely, a group of someones) at some point in time sat down and had a long brainstorming session about this song. There were suggestions, edits, additions, and rewrites. Possibly even an argument or two. A beta version of it was tested before it was made public. Basically, an effort was needed to create it. An effort that was probably fun for them, but a real effort nonetheless.
This — the hidden efforts often involved with doing racist acts — has always fascinated me. I mean, I’m assuming it doesn’t take much effort to just join the Klan. (An online application and word association test, perhaps?) But what about the people in charge of locating and ordering all the material used for the hoods? Or the people in charge of making sure everyone has the right size? (And that the holes are in the right place?) Or the guy who had to make multiple runs to Kinkos for copies of the flyers distributed during the Selma50 march?
Anyway, although the SAE video might have been shocking, I doubt very many people were surprised by it. Especially people who’ve interacted with this particular type of frat boy “bro” before. Of course, most frat boys don’t act like this, but the ones who do all seem to fit the same archetype. They’re all named “Conner” or “Tucker,” they’re all in finance, they all kinda, sorta look like Matthew Stafford, and they’ll all appear to be a Black guy’s best friend if they see him at a bar (“Duuuuuuude. Take a shot!!!!!!!“), but would rather hang him by a tree than let him join SAE.
The frat boy “bro” is just one of the many types of new, enlightened, and educated racists that exist in today’s post-racial (Ha!), new Black (Haha!) world. Here’s a few more.
The hipster racist
Shops at Trader Joes, loves Danny Brown and Childish Gambino, and isn’t even registered to vote, so can’t possibly be racist. Which is what he tells himself at the game night where he and his (all-White) friends totally joke about how the ghetto is nothing but prison gentrification, but it’s totally cool because it’s totally ironic.
The White girl racist
Loves Black people. And by “Black people” I mean “the idea of Black people.” And by “the idea of Black people” I mean “Black men and definitely not Black women.” And by “Black men and definitely not Black women” I mean “Black dick.”
The soccer mom racist
Pats herself on the back for living in a renowned school district that’s been lauded in the newspaper as “increasingly diverse” and a “perfect model for 21st century education.” And practically ate herself out when the story about the Somalian refugees who moved to her suburb was featured on CNN. Remains the nicest woman on Earth until realizing that this increased diversity means some of these Somalian refugee children are going to be on her daughter’s soccer team. Which means her daughter might not play as much. Which means it might be time to call the realtor.
The sports fan racist
Is also definitely not a racist, and the Hines Ward jersey he still wears to every Steeler game proves it. And he loved Hines Ward because he played the game the right way. And by “played the game the right way” I mean “he smiled alot and had no visible tats.” Is pro-union — in fact, is the fucking chairman of his carpenter’s union — but hates that unionized athletes have so much power. Hateshateshates the NBA.