When a group of students at SAE fraternity made racial slurs and displayed their bigotry it could have just been swept under the rug as drunken party talk. It wasn’t. David Boren, University President immediately moved to let the university and the world know that that behavior and those beliefs would not be tolerated at University of Oklahoma.
The president knew what he believed, he made a decision and he took action. President Boren did the right thing for all of his students. He didn’t wait to see what public opinion was. He wasn’t swayed by external forces. He moved swiftly to be accountable to all of the students at the university.
All President Boren was really doing was executing on a decision that he had already made. He had already decided that racist comments are not tolerated at that school. What you tolerate in your space you accept. President Boren made a swift, accountable decision that supported the beliefs and values of the university.
Accountability is keeping your commitments to people. You cannot be an accountable person and only be accountable to some people. Either you are accountable or you are not. Prejudice blocks our ability to be accountable as it causes us to treat people differently.
President Boren knows what he believes and what the university believes. He took actions to defend those beliefs and stood to not tolerate in any manor the behavior those fraternity students exhibited. Do you know what you believe? Does this country know what it believes? Are we willing to stand up, be heard and make the necessary decisions that align with our beliefs? Only if we want to be accountable!