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National leaders of Sigma Alpha Epsilon are investigating reports that other chapters have used the racist chant sung by University of Oklahoma frat members, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The move comes after a video surfaced online of Oklahoma chapter members chanting the song, which contains lyrics that embrace lynching and excluding black people from its organization. Sparking outrage across the nation, the chapter was shut down and two students, Parker Rice and Levi Pettit, were expelled. Rice confirmed in a statement the chant was taught to him.

The fraternity, which was founded in the South a few years before the Civil War, is now attempting to take a proactive role to limit backlash. The University of Texas said in a statement this week that it’s investigating claims that its SAE chapter had used the chant.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

In a statement, the national SAE headquarters responded to Rice’s remark: “The national fraternity does not teach such a racist, hateful chant, and this chant is not part of any education or training.

“Our investigation has found very likely that the men learned the song from fellow chapter members, which reiterates why Sigma Alpha Epsilon did not hesitate to close the chapter completely because of the culture that may have been fostered in the group,” the SAE statement said.

The culture of insularity that typically shrouds many college fraternities, especially during controversial episodes, makes it difficult to know exactly how widespread the chant is — perhaps even for the fraternity’s national leadership.

We will keep you updated as more details surface.

SOURCE: The Los Angeles Times | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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