A fraternity at the University of Georgia has been suspended after video showing some of its members mocking slavery and using racial slurs circulated on social media over the weekend.
The video appears to show one student slapping another with a belt, as if it were a whip, and ordering him to “pick my cotton, n—-r!” UGA’s Student Government Association released a letter to the student body Friday saying it was aware of the racist video.
“We have been notified that the chapter is currently suspended, and we can confirm that there’s an investigation underway regarding the students involved in the video,” the letter read.
Social media users identified the students in the video as members of the university’s Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. A spokesman for the organization’s national organization said it is “disgusted, appalled and angered” by the students’ actions and has expelled four members as a result.
“Tau Kappa Epsilon won’t tolerate any actions such as these that would be defined as racist, discriminatory and/or offensive,” the frat said in a statement posted to Twitter. “After being alerted to the incident [Friday], Tau Kappa Epsilon’s professional staff and members of the Xi-Lambda chapter at the University of Georgia immediately began a thorough investigation into the actions of these four men.”
Fraternity officials said the incident did not take place during a TKE event or on chapter premises.
“These four individuals acted outside the expectations of our membership and their chapter and therefore were removed from both,” the statement continues.
UGA also responded to the incident, saying it “condemns racism in the strongest terms.”
“Racism has no place on our campus,” the university said. “We will continue our efforts to promote a welcoming and supportive learning environment for our students, faculty, and staff.”
The organization’s national body has since suspended the group, meaning the frat must cease all operations, including social activities and candidate events on campus. According to student newspaper The Red & Black, Tau Kappa is the second UGA frat to be suspended in less than three months.