By now, you've probably seen or heard about the abysmal racist video that's been making the rounds on the internet for the last few days. A video that outed some members of the University of Oklahoma's Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity as racist, enthusiastically belting out a wildly offensive song centered around an racial slur (yeah, that one) while riding a bus. The frat's since been suspended and students expelled, but the incident has has an impact beyond just its members — the fraternity's cook, who is black, also lost his job, which is possibly the least fair, most upsetting outcome of a bunch of bigoted college kids as it gets.
But, lo and behold, a number of kindhearted people around the country (including former members of Oklahoma's SAE chapter, apparently) are stepping up to help right this wrong. There are currently two crowdfunding campaigns raising money for Howard Dixon, the longtime chef for the fraternity. Obviously, it's important to note that crowdfunding campaigns can be a little opaque, and these don't bear any official verification behind them, but they seem nothing if not heartfelt and earnest. The IndieGoGo page for the cause says that former residents of the SAE house surely "came to love Howard and his infectious smile (if not his chili dogs)."
Today we received the news that some ignorant kids have quickly destroyed something that thousands of men built. Because of these kids' actions, many will be affected. None more so than Howard. Those of you who lived in the house, undoubtedly came to love Howard and his infectious smile (if not his chili dogs). He was always there to chat with you and more importantly, to take care of Mom B.
Well, that man is going to walk up to the SAE house tomorrow morning and hear that he no longer has a job. He is going to learn who has been working for. And through some cruel twist of fate, he has to lose the job that he has held for over a decade. He is going to lose his job because of a bus full of racist kids. You know and I know that this isn't the house we lived in. I'm positive Howard knows this too. I ask you to give some money to make sure he lands on his feet. Thank you.
Whoever wrote that paints a compelling, depressing picture. However bad it must've been for Dixon to lose his job, especially one he'd has for so long, pairing that with the revelation that some of the people he'd served were privately spewing anti-black racism is another thing altogether. The page has already hauled in over $46,000, and is aiming for a $50,000 target by April 7. Considering its only been up for two days, it's fair to guess it'll reach that mark, and far more. Another campaign on GoFundMe is also asking for a target of $50,000, and it's brought in about $13,000 in just a day.
In other words, this is an actually heartening story, however terrible the background circumstances. If you're interested in donating anything to Dixon's cause — obviously, exercise your best judgment when giving to any crowdfunding campaign — you can join with these people and kick some money into the pot. Although, in fairness, it seems like the coffers are filling up pretty well as is.
Images: GoFundMe, Indiegogo