by James Wright
One of the oldest Black Greek letter fraternities is challenging a rash of racist Internet messages posted on a national fraternity/sorority Web site
The Zeta Zeta chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, based on the campus of the University of South Carolina, has been the subject of bigoted and derogatory postings regarding its move to the all-White Greek Village. The area mainly comprises mansion-like houses owned by predominately White fraternities and sororities.
Omega Psi Phi, founded at Howard University in 1911 by three undergraduate students and noted scientist Ernest Just, has more than 100,000 members in 700 chapters in the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.
Prominent members include the Rev. Jesse Jackson, former Virginia governor and present Richmond, Va., Mayor Douglas Wilder, NBA legend Michael Jordan, former Clinton adviser Vernon Jordan, comedian-entrepreneur Bill Cosby and the late Dr. Charles Drew.
The new house is a project of the fraternity's national organization.It will be the first Black Greek organization to have a house in Greek Village and one of the few Black Greek houses in the country located in a predominantly White fraternity/sorority area of a major, state-sponsored university.
Lewis Anderson, director of membership services for Omega, said the fraternity is reserving comment about the messages, but he did say: ''We have made contact with the president of the University of South Carolina and have alerted the local media. We are not going to abandon the project.''
Some postings on the Internet site www.fratty.net
have expressed disdain at having the Omega house or any other Black-owned facility in Greek Village:
*''The spooks, i mean Q-dawgs, are building a house'' (Re: USC Greek village/Reply No. 2 on Oct 24, 6:38 p.m.).
*''There goes the neighborhood'' (Re: USC Greek village/Reply No. 4 on Oct 24, 8:20 p.m.).
*''I propose throwing a cotton picking party for them when they move in. a thousand pounds of cotton in the front yard. sure jesse jackson will be here in a heart beat, but it will be funny as hell watching them pick it up'' (Re: USC Greek village/Reply No. 7 on Oct 24, 11:41 p.m.).
*''That cotton idea is funny as **** and a great way to set the tone for their time here. Hopefully, the house never actually gets built, though. It will only bring loud niggers, even louder n***** b*****, and trashy *** wiggers and white-trash girls around.
But hopefully Darwin was right and these spooks will wind up tearing the house down in a week or two. Much longer than that and we'll have to do it for them. What do you say guys? Heres to ridding the village of our african-american infestation'' (Re: USC Greek village/Reply No. 8 on Oct 25, 1:02 a.m.).
*''I'm going to hang a black dummy out my window when they are ready to move in'' (Re: USC Greek village/Reply No. 9 on Oct 25, 9:26 a.m.).
*''Hah. yall ready for this? nothing but crack viles and broken forty bottles in the street, gunshots in the middle of the night, overgrown plants and weeds on the lawn, niggers walking around with crunk chalices. Pimped-out 95 Accords, and unsanctioned parties at 4 a.m. in the morning on Tuesdays.
I hope the Zetas don't discover jungle fever and hang with them negroids looking for some sex'' (Re: Q-Dawgs in the Village/Reply No. 4 on Oct 23, 10:42 p.m.).
The Web site is based in California and serves as a chat board on Greek organization issues.
Dennis Pruitt, USC's vice president for student affairs, said, ''We are not going to allow students to engage in behavior that threatens or intimidates other students.''
Jerry Brewer, USC director of student life, said that the $2 million facility will contain living spaces for 40 students, plus gathering places and food service for non-resident Omega members and meeting and entertainment spaces.
USC Director of Greek Life Gena Runnion said she hopes the house spurs other organizations into action.
''That Omega Psi Phi has chosen to build a house in the Greek Village means that their organization and alumni believe in their students at the University of South Carolina and are willing to make this kind of investment, financially and otherwise,'' Runnion said. ''My hope is that the construction of this house will spur other historically Black sororities and fraternities to do the same.''