UH's SAE frat reacts to University of Oklahoma's chapter's racist chants

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A racist chant casting a shadow on the University of Oklahoma and SAE is forcing the UH chapter of the popular frat to defend itself (KTRK)

The now-infamous song chanted by members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at the University of Oklahoma brought back painful memories for Brian Middleton.

"The chant, the song they were singing, I knew it," says Middleton. "I knew the words to it. So this is nothing new."

Middleton grew up on Ardmore. The SAE house at the University of Houston was right behind his family's home on land now occupied by condos.

"Whenever they had a party, it was like going back in time to the 1950s. Being subjected to people passing by and hurling the n-word at you, shooting the finger at you," he said.

In 1990, Middleton says someone from SAE spray-painted the n-word on his family's driveway. According to an article from the Daily Cougar, it led meetings between neighbors, the fraternity, and administration to ease relations.

Middleton and his neighbor R. Michael Lee say the fraternity was out of control.

"One evening there was a brawl and the president of the fraternity bit off a girl's finger," Lee says.

Lee kept a file of newspaper clips from the early 90's when their band of neighbors led the effort to get the band of brothers known as SAE out of their neighborhood.

"I don't know if it was a cultural thing because of their upbringing, or the university itself, the SAE with the university would allow this sort of behavior to happen. But these guys were malicious," Lee says.

In 1991 the house was torn down, and the chapter was suspended. After more than 20 years off the yard, SAE is back.

Thomas Bolling, who didn't know that part of his chapter's history, says SAE is much different this time around.

"The diversity in the SAE UH is extremely high," Bolling tells Eyewitness News.

Bolling served in Iraq with the US Army. He says he joined SAE when he got to UH because of the brotherhood he observed. He says what's in that OU video is not brotherhood.

"It took me a minute to just sit back and look back at the experience I've had with SAE to not blame SAE but just that chapter. Because I love this fraternity and I love my brothers," he said.

The chapter is in the process of re-chartering and hopes to have a spot at the Greek housing community on campus, Bayou Oaks.

The chapter adviser tells us neither the incidents with the Middletons and the old SAE, or the video from OU, have anything to do with the great things the current gentlemen in the chapter are doing today.
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