Sexuality

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity’s Unremitting Hypocrisy and Discrimination

Black Greek Lettered Organizations

(Photo Credit: Mase TV)

On October 28, 2013, Erica Green, a writer for The Baltimore Sun, reported that a Morgan State University undergraduate student, Brian Stewart, asserted that he was rejected membership into Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. because he is openly gay.  When it comes to discrimination based on sexual orientation, Kappa Alpha Psi arguably has the worst record of all Black Greek Lettered Organizations.  Brian Stewart has an impressive academic record and a demonstrated record of service.  Kappa Alpha Psi was founded for the sole purpose of achievement.  Unfortunately, many chapters of the Fraternity are not living up to its founding purpose.

Brian Stewart’s case is not an anomaly—it’s exponentially becoming the norm. 

Many Black undergraduate and graduate males who have outstanding records are being denied membership into Kappa Alpha Psi for bigoted reasons, especially if some Kappas know or suspect that they are gay.  This Fraternity was founded in response to the unsettling racial discrimination experienced by Blacks on the campus of Indiana University in 1911.  Today, many of the organization’s chapters are embracing discrimination and employing it as a tool of oppression to prevent diverse candidates from joining.

While many Kappas claim that they are committed to achievement, they are voting against candidates who have strong records of demonstrated achievement, and they are voting for candidates who have poor academic records and limited community and extracurricular involvement.  Some of the fundamental reasons why these candidates with poor records are being voted into the Fraternity are they agree to be hazed, they are not noticeably or openly gay, they do not have records that make the corrupt members envious, and they represent the type of inadequate achievement that numerous extant members champion.

Many Kappas are devoted to the good of the Fraternity and do not discriminate against any candidate.  They vote based on what the Founders have delineated as the qualities of effective Kappa Alpha Psi members.  Those expressed qualities do not excluded candidates who are gay or who are thought to be gay.  Kappa Alpha Psi has numerous openly and undercover gay and bisexual members.  With this being the reality, why do many members in various chapters across the nation have such hostility toward gay candidates?  Are the heterosexual members of the Fraternity afraid that they will have sexual intercourse with new gay members? Perhaps.

Many current members of Kappa Alpha Psi were rejected for discriminatory reasons, including being openly gay or being suspected as gay, as undergraduates and had to find alumni chapters at other institutions to be admitted into the organization.  By no means does this indicate that alumni chapters do not discriminate—they do.  This means that the only way they became members was they had to locate an alumni chapter that did not discriminate. 

One of the most unacceptable cases of an alumni chapter of the Fraternity discriminating against an exceptional candidate occurred at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  The Madison Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi rejected a candidate who had credentials that were superior to most of the members of this chapter.  Unfortunately, this great candidate is a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in a department with two professors who are members of the alumni chapter and who are also envious of this young man.  They worked tirelessly to sabotage his candidacy for membership by telling blatant lies about him, including that “he is gay,” “a crazy Marxist who will blow the building up,” “does not complete his work,” and “does not do good work.”  One of these two professors told the other that the candidate “was talking bad about him” and told him that the candidate said that “he cannot teach.” 

This lead to the two aforementioned individuals (with the help of another graduate student in the same department who is a Kappa) convincing enough members to reject this young man.  When this young man informed the National Headquarters of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. about what happened, he was told the Fraternity’s leadership would investigate the situation and contact him.  It has been over three years and he has not received a response, although he has contacted the national officers several times each year to follow-up about his case.

Similarly, the alumni chapter at Paine College in Augusta, Georgia rejected an excellent candidate for membership because enough members suspected that he was gay.  This candidate even had recommendation letters from a couple of the leaders of the alumni chapter, but they wrote the recommendation letters only to fool him that they were going to support him and vote for him.  This young man with a fine academic and community involvement record was rejected because he “looks like he’s gay,” “is feminine” and “acts like he’s gay.”

At Albany State University in Albany, Georgia, an undergraduate student with a remarkable record was rejected by the undergraduate chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi because “he’s gay,” “he already thinks he’s a Kappa,” and “he ain’t gonna pledge.”  All of these were assumptions made by some of the undergraduate leaders of the chapter who influenced enough people to reject him.

The aforementioned cases highlight the hypocrisy and discrimination that is taking place in many chapters of Kappa Alpha Psi across the country.  Without higher education administrators intervening to stop discriminatory practices used by many Black Greek Lettered Organizations, including Kappa Alpha Psi, this egregious discrimination will persist.  It’s time for higher education administrators to require that candidates for membership into Black Greek Lettered Organizations be voted on solely by national officers at their respective national headquarters.

More people who have been discriminated against by Black Greek Lettered Organizations should come forward and share their stories and evidence.  You can fight effectively against this discrimination by promulgating your experiences to higher education administrators and state and national politicians. 

Today, call upon Kappa Alpha Psi and other Black Greek Lettered Organizations to change the way that membership voting takes place.

Contact Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.’s national officers right now.  Let the national officers know that no form of discrimination by any of their chapters and members is acceptable.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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RG3 Sees a “Window” for Gay Athletes to Come Out

Robert Griffin III

(Photo Credit: Giant Life)

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (RG3) may have spent most of the summer rehabbing his surgically repaired right knee, but he grabbed headlines for comments off the field regarding gay athletes.  In an interview with GQ.com, Griffin III said he thought now was the time for gay football players to out.

RG3 stated, “If they’re looking for a window to just come out, I mean, now is the window.”

Some may be surprised to hear that from Griffin III, a devout Christian, who tight end Fred Davis dubbed “Black Jesus,” would come out in support of gay football players.  This isn’t the first piece of news regarding gay athletes in sports this year.  In April, Jason Collins became the first active male professional athlete to come out as gay.

As athletes continue to come out in support of their gay colleagues, RG3’s statement is the latest sign that the sports world could see more openly gay participants.

Gay Players in the NFL

RG3 isn’t the first player to come out in support of gay NFL players.  Veteran Brendon Ayanbadejo has been a highly visible defender of gay rights.  In April, he declared that a handful of NFL players were considering coming out as gay.  He stated, “There are up to four players being talked to right now, and they’re trying to be organized so they can come out on the same day together.”

No NFL players have come out so far, but a unified announcement would be the biggest moment yet for gay athletes in sports.  After conducting a series of interviews with players, Outsports found that an overwhelming majority of players, including Griffin III, would support a gay teammate.

Kerry Rhodes Still Unemployed

After MediaTakeOut released photos of all-pro safety Kerry Rhodes displaying affection toward his assistant, rumors swirled that the former Arizona Cardinal would be one of the first gay NFL players to come out.  Rhodes quickly denied claims that he was gay, but the rumors remain.  The 31-year-old has yet to sign with an NFL team despite a stellar 2012 season in which he intercepted four passes and anchored a strong Cardinals’ secondary.  While it’s possible that Rhodes just isn’t in NFL shape, it stands to reason that NFL owners may be reluctant to bring a player who is associated with these rumors into their locker rooms.  If that’s the case, perhaps the NFL isn’t as forward-thinking a league as some believe.

RG3 in Hot Water?

This wasn’t the only off-the-field headline RG3 made over the summer.  Deadspin reported that the former Heisman winner may be embroiled in a sexting scandal.  Griffin III allegedly sent inappropriate pictures to a Virginia Commonwealth University student the day of his wedding. The story broke in June and nothing has come of it since, but further leaked texts could spell Favre-like doom for one of the most marketable players in the league.  RG3 has talent, charisma and a bright future.  Hopefully, Deadspin, which broke the Manti Te’o story and usually gets things right, got this one wrong.  Griffin III would rather be known for his stellar play and open-minded acceptance of people that aren’t like him.

These stories aren’t going away, but right now players are focused on the young season.  Fans are taking to opportunity to watch every game on multiple platforms, such as NFL cable packages, live webcasts and mobile streaming like the FiOS Verizon packages.  As NFL fans anticipate a great season from RG3 and the potential for gay players to come out, one thing is clear: it’s good to have football back.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Why Are You Not More Transparent Like Don Lemon?

Too many gay Black men hide behind relationships with women—even have sex with them—to avoid shame. They don’t want their family, friends, co-workers, and associates to know that at their core they are gay. I’m not talking about men who are truly bisexual. Authentically bisexual men exist and they men should tell their partners they are bisexual. However, my problem lies with those Black men who know they are gay and would desire nothing more to just be gay, but don’t have the courage to simply be gay, so they just hide their homosexuality behind public facades and dishonest relationships with women. Okay, even if these men are truly bisexual, why won’t they tell these women they are bisexual? Many gay Black men will get married and/or have babies with women just to attempt to conceal their homosexuality.  Don’t the women who are they are having sex with have a right to know they are sleeping with men?

Don Lemon, an African-American male Emmy award-winning news anchor for CNN, recently disclosed on CNN and in his new book, Transparent, that he is gay. He also promulgated that he had been molested as a young child. Although there are many narratives available about men being molested as children and living a homosexual life as adults, what I appreciated most about Don Lemon publically divulging that he is gay is how casual he revealed it and how it’s not such a big deal to him. The comfortable way in which Lemon communicated that he is gay has the potential to unsettle some aspects of the ways in which homosexuality is discussed in the Black community. His verbal and non-verbal communication expressed a powerful message that what he was publically unveiling about his sexuality and sexual orientation is just as common as heterosexuality, and that homosexuality is not something novel, considering you know people who are family members and friends who are gay—if you are not gay yourself.

He considered all of the other aspects of his book to be far more important than the fact that he is gay. He even talked about the fact that he could have taken out revealing that he was gay at any point, but it was recent developments concerning young people and homosexuality that caused him to leave his story about his own sexual abuse and gay identity in the book. You will, therefore, have to give me some stronger arguments and rationales that he just penned this book to publicly disclose that he’s gay to get money.  Even though he didn’t just compose this book to express that he’s gay to get money and/or attention, do you have the courage to do the same?

Speaking of courage, it’s the lack of courage that prevents gay Black men from telling their family, friends, and others that they are gay. While I’m fully aware that there are consequences for promulgating that you are gay to your family, friends, and others, you must remove the veil that you put on about your sexuality if you truly want to be a transparent person at your core. The target audience for my previous two sentences is really those Black men who are involved in relationships with women just to cover up their homosexuality. If you are accomplished and/or successful like Don Lemon, what would keep you from living a life where you are free to enjoy the freedom to live out your sexuality as publically as you live out other aspects about who you are?

Many Black married men are having sex with gay men and are not telling their wives. This lack of transparency threatens the lives of these women. It’s unfair to hide your homosexual affairs from the woman you are married to because she didn’t marry you for you to be loving up on some other man.

I find it quite interesting that supposedly heterosexual men will have sex with gay men and do things after they have sex to try to prove to the gay men that they are not gay. What? Really? Were you not gay when you were having sex with the gay men? You’re gay—face it! If you have sexual intercourse where you penetrate a man in his anus and/or you let a man penetrate you in the anus, you are gay. If you gave and/or received oral sex from a man, you are gay. If you have had sexual intercourse of any kind with a man, you are gay. If you are thinking about doing these things, then you are gay too. Face it!

Stop using these women as trophies to attempt to hide your homosexuality. If you want to be a homosexual, just be a homosexual. No, you don’t have to reveal your sexuality to everyone, but you should disclose it to the women you are involved with, married to, or considering getting involved with or marrying. Do you have the courage to tell them?

If you are transparent with the right people in your life about your sexuality, then you might just find out life is more free and enjoyable. Before just recently, Don Lemon had not told the world that he is gay, but he had let his co-workers and the people close to him know that he is gay. While you may not be gay, are there other aspects about you that you don’t have the courage to unveil to the people close to you? What factors, if any, keep you from living a more transparent life?

To Don Lemon, I salute you for having the courage to “be yourself.” I have been championing the message of “be yourself” all of my life. Don, you have given America an opportunity to wrestle with the importance of being transparent and have given us an opportunity to explore what being transparent really means. Thank you, Don Lemon!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Legalize Prostitution in America

Just how free are we really in America? Of course, there are valid reasons that make it essential to place limitations on freedom to avoid pervasive chaos. However, is forbidding prostitution a truly necessary limitation on our liberty that we need, or is prohibiting prostitution more about moral and religious values of the majority of Americans being imposed on everyone? Now, I’m sure that there will be many people who are not willing to even entertain the idea of legalizing prostitution in America. Although you may not want to become a prostitute, why would you prevent other people who would like to make money from engaging in sexual intercourse with others from seeking this form of self-employment?

What’s really so illegal about prostitution? While many people will argue and have argued that prostitution is immoral, I contend that the real reason why the government has outlawed prostitution is the difficulty with trying to collect taxes off of money earned through sexual intercourse. If this is the dominant reason behind why prostitution is illegal to engage in, then why don’t we just legalize it and require prostitutes to report their earnings? This will stimulate the economy (and stimulate other things), generate significant tax revenue, and help to give the unemployed an additional legal profession to enter. We could help so many prostitutes to come out of the shadows and be substantially integrated into the center of American life. I assert that many more prostitutes will do a better job of protecting themselves if we would legalize prostitution. Prostitutes would not have to meet their clients in unsafe places if we legalized prostitution.

If you don’t like the products and services offered by a company or entrepreneur, you have the freedom in America to go to seek those products and services elsewhere. For those who have no interest in pursuing what a prostitute is offering, then they simply will not purchase any services from prostitutes. However, for those who would like to purchase the services of a prostitute, then they should be allowed to legally make this purchase.

We are unnecessarily denying people the legal right to pursue prostitution as their means of earning an earnest living.

By legalizing prostitution, we can enable the oldest profession to become much more professional. Prostitutes could purchase offices and buildings to conduct their services—just as any other legitimate entrepreneur is currently able to do.

For all of you self-righteous people out there, how many of you have had unprotected sex with someone you just met? How many of you have had one-night stands? Be honest. You engaged in just as risky sexual behavior (maybe even more so) as a prostitute does. What makes you any different than the prostitutes? Exactly. You got screwed and they got paid. Now, you’re mad.

I have personal problems with prostitution. However, I don’t want my personal problems with prostitution to bar others from being able to be prostitutes. Let’s begin to examine how we can increase liberty in America, even when increasing certain liberties would not necessarily comport with our personal moral and religious values.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Make Healthy Sexual Choices

Black Gay Men

Too many people are dying because they are having random and casual unprotected sexual intercourse. Too many people are getting sexual transmitted diseases because they are choosing ephemeral pleasure over safe sexual intercourse. Now, I know there may be times when sexual intercourse cannot be planned, but the one thing you can do is make sure you use protection during sexual intercourse. As you know, a condom cannot protect you from everything. A condom cannot be used during every type of sexual act to make every sexual act safer. You will, therefore, have to exercise some control and good judgment. The way that many people are acting it seems that they value a penis or vagina more than they do life itself. In case you did not know, there are real diseases out there you can get that can kill you.

I would like to recommend to student organizations on college campuses that are seriously concerned about students making healthy sexual choices to be more serious and use less entertainment in your approach to students. When you engage in acts that are intentionally over-the-top to get students’ attention, they remember the over-the-top things you did and not the serious messages about good sexual health you are offering. While I do support abstinence only sex education in middle and high school, I do not think that abstinence only sex education is realistic and effective on college campuses. We should make more investments in helping students to make healthy sexual choices and help them to do more things that prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. I do not, however, want student organizations on college campuses telling students about using abortion as an option to terminate unwanted pregnancies.

Although women should not have to worry about if what they are wearing will make them more likely to get raped, the reality is you do have to worry about it. Women, make sure that you dress in a way that is going to make you less likely to be raped when you are out late at night. If you can, try to go out with at least another woman so that you are not traveling alone. Making a healthy sexual choice involves you dressing in a way that is going to make you less likely to be victimized by someone who is not concerned about your sexual health. Mothers, please let your daughters know when they are leaving the house looking like whores. If they get raped, then you will at least have protested them leaving the house looking like whores.

Many people think it is cute to go around and have sex with everyone possible. Please get wiser than this. We live in a time when just one wrong sexual choice can lead you to death. It’s time out for trying to sleep with as many random people as you can. Make a commitment to improving your sexual health by reducing the number of people you have sex with and the number of times you are having risky and unprotected sex.

To men and women, don’t allow random people to ejaculate in your mouths and swallow it. A condom will not prevent you from a potential disease that you may get from engaging in such an act. If you are going to do this, then make sure it is with someone you have had a committed relationship with.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Black Men Masquerading: Part 5

I have decided to end this particular series with this article. I will return to this topic in the future.  The focus of this article is on how many Black males in Black fraternities lie about their sexuality and struggle to hide their problems with Black male sexuality. When it comes to the selection process of who gets into a Black fraternity, there is so much concern expressed by men declaring themselves to be heterosexual about candidates being gay or possibly being gay. These men will do whatever is necessary to try to keep men out of these fraternities if they are gay or they suspect them to be gay. Black fraternities are non-profit organizations that cannot discriminate on the basis of race, sexual orientation, political affiliation, religion, and etc. Unfortunately, they do. The larger question that must be explored is why do they discriminate against people who they think might be gay and/or who are gay. Why is whether or not a Black man is gay or not a serious concern for many of these Black fraternity members?

After giving this much thought, I have resolved that this extreme concern about whether an applicant for membership is gay or not is more about many of these Black fraternity members’ desire to sleep with these men. Why else would they be so concerned about their sexuality then? There is one Black fraternity that is highly suspected of having many gay members, but this is the same fraternity that does the majority of the discriminating against applicants who they think are gay. Many members of this fraternity will say, “I think he suspect,” when they think a person is gay. By saying this, these men begin an evil attempt to make sure that the applicant does not become a member. Why is there such a focus on the sexuality of these applicants? Has the applicants’ sexuality become the most important thing to these Black fraternities?

In one particular chapter of the previously referred to Black fraternity, some alumni members of the fraternity try to characterize the undergraduate chapter members in a negative light because they think they are gay. Think about this for a moment: You got old Black men placing their dominant concern on whether or not these younger Black men are gay. This is simply stupid and immature! One alumni member of this same chapter of this same fraternity told me that he would never hire one particular undergraduate member to work for him because he does not like the fact the guy has dreadlocks, and he did not want to hire another undergraduate member because he thought his weight and style of dressing does not positively reflect on the fraternity. This alumni member also told me that he thinks that the president of the alumni chapter is incompetent. I could go on and on about what this alumni member has said about the members of his own organization. What this demonstrates is there is a need for many Black men in these fraternities to be more mature about how they vote on applicants for membership. Let me make it clear that I’m not talking about all Black men in Black fraternities. I am, however, talking about many Black men in Black fraternities.

In these Black fraternities, there are serious divisions between members because some elected to engage in hazing (which is illegal) and some chose not to. Would you please explain to me why these divisions resulting from hazing are so essential? How does this represent true brotherhood? Do you still value true brotherhood? What do you think the founders of your fraternities would say about these stupid divisions within your organizations? What do you get out of beating (hazing) your brother? Could this beating (hazing) be a fetish? I also would like to know what members of these fraternities think about members you voted against while undergraduates, who you thought were gay, who later became members through an alumni chapter.

Many of these Black men in fraternities do not want gay Black men or ones who they or others think are gay to be members of their fraternities because they fear people are going to find out they are gay and/or start thinking they are gay. I want you to know this means you are uncomfortable with your sexuality. What is it that you are hiding? Please tell me. Do you despise the openly gay members of your fraternities or the ones you or others think are gay? What is it about gay men that you dislike so much that you do not want them in your fraternities?

Instead of focusing on who’s gay and who’s not, how about paying your fraternal dues! Lol! Instead of engaging in frivolous discourses and activities, how about creating programs that matter and that produce measurable results. Instead of talking negatively about fellow members of your fraternity behind their backs, how about doing some real community service. Instead of just walking around with your paraphernalia on, how about making serious efforts to ameliorate the progression of the Black male in the postmodern epoch.

Too many Black men are using these fraternities as masking agents to hide their true problems, deceptions, and insecurities. I call for you insecure Black fraternity members to stop hating on candidates who are simply more accomplished than you. One member of a fraternity hates on me because he has his Ph.D. and has no job. It’s not my fault that you did not work to achieve genuine accomplishments while you were in school. I guess you can take some satisfaction in walking around and talking that fake talk like you are doing something important in a fake “lab” making pennies from a fake grant.

Black men, let’s get real so that we can rise up and be the leaders we need to be for such serious and dangerous times like we face in the present.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Black Men Masquerading: Part 4

Black Gay Men

Before I begin with the true purpose of this piece, would any of you like to tell me why you have so much pride in saying, “I’m in deez streets”? This sounds quite ignorant to me. Well, let me get immediately to the focus of this piece: gay Black men who feel they have to be so extreme about how they express their sexuality. Many homosexuals feel like they have to tell the world they are gay. If you feel the need to do this, then I really don’t have a problem with you. I do, however, have problems with those of you who are just being so flamboyant to get attention. When you are being overly flamboyant intentionally, you are not being your true self—you are simply being vain and hiding who you truly are. Some of you gay Black men invest too much time in making sure that people know you are gay and making sure that you get attention. You are robbing yourself of the true fullness life has to offer you. Let me also tell you that just publicly promulgating that you are gay does not mean that you are “real,” that is, not masquerading. While you may be very open and honest about what you elect to do in your bedroom, this does not excuse you from the other areas in your life you are dishonest about.

I have heard too many gay Black men claim degrees they don’t have, claim men they don’t have, claim homes they don’t have, claim jobs they don’t have, claim cars they don’t have, and claim clothes they don’t have. Why do you all do this? It seems that you do this because you are compensating for something you are missing. What is it? What are you missing? Yeah, you are comfortable with your sexuality, but why are you not comfortable in other important areas?

Why do so many gay Black men participate in gay pride parades? I have no problem with you loving the fact that you are gay and that there are other gay folk around you to love. However, don’t gay pride parades amount to nothing more than vain cries for attention? If you are so sure about yourself, why do you have to go to such extremes for recognition and attention? It seems to me, therefore, that gay people in general are going to have to do more examining of their personal deceptions—just as much as they are asking heterosexual people to do. By the way, to those gay Black men who believe all men are gay, I want you to know that all men are not gay so stop saying this.

If gay Black men want to benefit from an America that is more honest, then they need to be more honest themselves. When you are intentionally being overly flamboyant, I want you to stop and think about how you are really being fake. Don’t be so overly flamboyant that you end up sleeping with all of the men it is possible to sleep with. Please have some standards for yourself. HIV/AIDS has no concern with your desire for attention.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison