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Racist Messages from ‘The Cocaine Cowboy’ Could End a Texas Tech Fraternity

Kyle shared his real feelings about illegal immigrants with his fraternity brothers.

Courtney Good

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With the rise of progressivism and equality among the young people in America today, one may predict that fraternity men might also follow this trend. Any hope of this was tarnished for Texas Tech University on June 21 when a conversation full of racial prejudice surfaced in Tau Kappa Epsilon’s GroupMe chat.

One member who’s contact name is “The cocaine cowboy” declared that the US government should build a wall on the Mexican border and sell permits for Americans to hunt the illegal immigrants. The fraternity man essentially persisted that a genocide would be a wise financial decision for this country.  His brothers appeared to support him as one of them responded to his message with, “Kyle run for president in the future please.” Later the true identity of “the cocaine cowboy” was revealed as Kyle Mitchell who was the president of Texas Tech’s Interfraternity Council.

Since the hate messages were released, the Interfraternity Council took swift strides toward eliminating racism in the organization. TTU’s student newspaper revealed that by Friday, June 22, six members of TKE had their membership revoked and Mitchell resigned from his position as IFC president and posted an apology on Twitter. The executive vice president of the Interfraternity Council, Ethan Louis Smith claimed, “The messages shared are not a reflection of the spirit and energy that surrounds so much of Greek life at Texas Tech. The Interfraternity Council is committed to making sure that a thorough investigation into these comments is conducted and that those responsible are held accountable.”

The Texas Tech Interfraternity Council and Texas Tech University are proceeding with a deeper investigation into the prejudice nature of the fraternity. Many students are urging the university to take more serious action to change the lack of equality in Greek life on campus. In 2014, Phi Delta Theta fraternity at Texas Tech faced a scandal when the brothers made a banner condoning rape. The banner read, “No means yes. Yes means anal.” Phi Delta Theta was removed from campus for this sexist offense, and students are insisting that TKE should share an equal punishment.

One Texas Tech University alumnus tweeted, “I attended Texas Tech, and love Texas Tech. Let me tell you, however, that this is not an isolated incident with just a couple drunk frat boys. Hazing, homophobia, sexism, and blatant racism plague several of the houses and organizations.”

Who is to blame for the discriminatory nature of these fraternity men? Is it the current president who has voiced his sexist and racist views on national television? Could it be from classic movies that praise hazing and inequality such as Animal House? Maybe the fault lies with Old Row whose social media platform thrives on fraternity men binge drinking and objectifying women. Regardless of who is to blame for this behavior, these men may be the future leaders of America and they must be held accountable for their unjust actions.

 

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I am a University of Kentucky rising senior English major and journalism minor from upstate New York. The adult world is approaching fast, and I plan to conquer it with a cup of coffee in my hand.

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