What’s more peculiar: the viral video of BLGO members stepping with their entire butts out or the community’s response to it?
What am I talking about?
I’m talking about the recent video floating around social media of an unidentified chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity stepping with their asses out.
You can watch the “shocking” video here:
According to the Philadelphia Tribune, the video has thus far racked up 6 million views between Facebook and Youtube. And as you can imagine most of the responses have not been flattering.
And that includes the response from Antonio F. Knox Sr., the Grand Basileus for Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., who told the paper “It was sad, and it was disgusting,” He also added, “While I understand young people having a party and doing things, this is not what Omega does or condones.”
As Knox tells the Tribune, he has been inundated with telephone calls and text messages about the videos since Saturday. And at this time, the only information he has about the origins, is that it was recorded in Florida, sometime in 2009.
However the organization has launched a full inquiry into the matter and those involved will face “consequences” for their actions [note: a longer version of their statement is available on its Facebook page, which you can read here].
I think having their butt-naked asses dragged across social media – seven years later – is a punishment in itself – that’s if anything more needs to be said or done at all.
Listen, I get the need for the organization to make a statement. The interest from the public alone – both Greek and non-affiliated – is enough to warrant some level of public relations intervention.
But an inquiry with a promise of consequences feels a bit like overkill.
To be honest, nothing in the video appears out of the ordinary for a fraternity who is known to revel in both hyper-masculinity and -sexuality. I mean, they are not called “nasty” for nothing. And without going into too many details, I have seen “Que Dawgs” do much worse.
Likewise, I don’t recall much public outcry – or a public statement from the fraternity – when video surfaced of a shirtless and damn-near pant-less Omega, dry-humping a stage during a George Clinton concert:
Or when this particularly nasty man decided to announce on camera his love for cunnilingus:
But a video of men dancing in the company of mostly other men with their asses out is caused for public scrutiny?
It would seem to me that what these men are being dragged for – and might ultimately be getting punished for – is the unforgivable act of “looking gay.” And for violating the arbitrary rules, which define how a “real man” is supposed to behave.
Granted there is nothing really “gay” about what is happening in the video. No one is having sex. Hell, they are not even touching one another.
And quite frankly, even if they are “acting gay,” so what?
Gay Black men do exist and some of them are members of the organization. Therefore, if Omega men can parade their sexuality for the alleged female gaze without fear of retribution, there honestly shouldn’t be much cause for concern if they decide to peacock around for the same sex.
But I am not as naïve enough to believe we all see it that way.
And I don’t want to make light of men’s complex internal battles with masculinity. As stated by many, many times before: patriarchy effects us all. And in a culture that values dominance and control, any inclination of perceived “weakness” can easily turn a man into a second-class citizen.
Still, the narrowly defined boxes of masculinity we like to put men in, are both damaging and dangerous.
The same rules, which makes us look at men funny for being nude in their own presence, or for wearing two earrings in their ears, or even for ordering whipped cream on their pancakes (true story), are also some of the reasons why so many men feel they can’t be vulnerable, smile, cry or even hug their own male children without discomfort.
So while I understand the need for the organization to say something, I really wish it would have taken a sentence or two (or several) to speak to the anti-LGBTQ hate which moves beneath the surface of most of this outrage. I wish they would have reminded folks that in addition to being pillars of the community, Omega Psi Phi, Inc is a brotherhood of all kinds of Black men.
And while it does not condone or excuse the behavior of the butt-naked men in the video, it also does not condone nor excuse the behavior of frat brothers who have been acting “owt” in the company of women for decades.
Seriously, it is hard to grab pearls and claim respectability, when you’ve got members around acting like this: