Syracuse fraternity apologizes for but tries to explain racist skit

- Two days after Syracuse University's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange published a video of the school's Tau Theta Tau fraternity performing a skit laden with racist, sexist, homophobic, and generally reprehensible language, statements, and behavior, that fraternity released a statement apologizing and attempting to explain the now-viral video.

While their classmates gathered by the hundreds to protest their fraternity's existence, the members of Theta Tau posted a statement on the fraternity's website claiming broken hearts at the pain, sadness, and fear they caused.

The statement describes the "uneducated, racist, homophobic, misogynist, sexist, and ableist" character portrayed in the video posted to a private Theta Tau Facebook page as a "satire" of one of the fraternity's Republican brothers as part of an annual roast of the frat's older members.

"We would like to believe that the new members seen in the video laughing at the horrible things being said were not laughing in concurrence with these beliefs, but in fact the opposite — that racism, sexism, and homophobia are so wrong that they are laughable," the Theta Tau statement reads. "None of the satire was said or done in malice."

The six-minute video shows members of the engineering frat gathered around a brother narrating a skit in which another brother pledges a fictional KKK frat, swears to hate various groups of people, using various derogatory names to describe each group, as part of his induction into that fictional frat and pretends to perform various sex acts.

The school's chancellor suspended the fraternity, called the video "extremely racist," promised a "top-to-bottom review" of the school's Greek life, and plans to institute diversity and inclusion training for students going forward.

The Daily Orange reported that it decided not to post other theta tau videos it received that show more fraternity skits in which members exhibit some of the same discriminatory language and behavior.

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