The video depicts one student playfully slapping another member of the fraternity with a belt. He tells the student, “Pick my cotton, [b*tch.]” Another member, who is filming the incident, can be heard saying, “You’re not saying the right word.” The main student then responds, “Pick my cotton, [N-word.]”
UGA’s Student Government Association, in a letter to the student body released on Friday, read, “The executive officers of the Student Government Association are aware of a video circulating on social media that depicts individuals identified as members of a UGA Greek organization using racist language and engaging in behaviors that mock the suffering of enslaved peoples. We have been notified that the chapter is currently suspended, and we can confirm that there is an investigation underway regarding the students involved in the video.”
Twitter users identified the fraternity as Tau Kappa Epsilon.
Tau Kappa Epsilon released the following statement regarding the incident: “Tau Kappa Epsilon is disgusted, appalled and angered by the remarks shown in the video. TKE does not condone or support any actions by its members that would be defined as racist, discriminatory, and/or offensive. Since 1899, our fraternity has taken much pride in the diversity and uniqueness of our membership. Tau Kappa Epsilon has never had an exclusionary clause in our membership. Our founders believed, as we do today, in the personal worth and character of the individual, not his wealth, rank, or honor.”
TKE went on to say that the four students were removed from both their membership and their chapter.
According to a statement from the University of Georgia, the fraternity has been suspended by its national organization.