Frat inspired by Robert E. Lee bans Rebel uniforms at “Old South” parties

This April 11, 2002 file photo shows members of the Kappa Alpha Order, dressed in Confederate military uniforms, escorting their dates from the James Dormitory at Centenary College during the Old South event in Shreveport, La. amidst protesting Centenary College students. The college fraternity inspired by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee has banned members around the country from wearing Confederate uniforms to ‘Old South’ parties and parades after years of complaints that the tradition was racially insensitive.…(AP Photo/The Shreveport Times, Charlie Gesell, File)

Associated Press | Apr 22, 2010

by Jay Reeves

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A college fraternity inspired by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee has banned members around the country from wearing Confederate uniforms to “Old South” parties and parades after years of complaints that the tradition was racially insensitive.

The Virginia-based Kappa Alpha Order issued new rules to chapters earlier this year saying members aren’t allowed to wear Rebel uniforms to parties or during their parades, which are a staple on campuses across the South.

The decision, announced in an internal memo posted on the group’s website, followed a flap last year at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where a black sorority complained after a KA parade stopped in front of its house on campus. KA members were dressed in the gray uniforms of Confederate officers, and young women wore hoop skirts.

More than 70 alumnae of the sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, sent a petition to Alabama President Robert Witt complaining about the use of Confederate flags and uniforms on campus.

In the memo to chapters, Kappa Alpha’s national executive director, Larry Wiese, said such displays had to end.

“In today’s climate, the Order can ill afford to offend our host institutions and fend off significant negative national press and remain effective at our core mission, which is to aid young men in becoming better community leaders and citizens,” Wiese wrote.

The KA chapter at Alabama has canceled this year’s Old South parade, which was set for this week. Still, a large Confederate national flag covers the front of its house on campus.

Other KA chapters quit donning Confederate uniforms or holding parades with Old South themes in recent years as criticism grew. The University of Georgia chapter canceled its parade in 2006 after complaints by residents of a black neighborhood. Instead, it switched to a Founder’s Day parade, with members riding horses but ditching Confederate gear.

Auburn University’s chapter ended its Old South parade in 1992 after black students confronted white students with Confederate flags.

Kappa Alphas at Centenary College in Shreveport, La., moved their Old South events off campus in 2002 after drawing protests from the Black Student Alliance and others over the Confederate garb.

On Thursday, the University of Alabama said the decision to call off the parade there was made by the fraternity in consultation with school administrators.

Thomas Wilson, KA’s president at Alabama, said the fraternity supports “an inclusive campus environment, and as an organization we chose not to participate in an activity that we knew other members of the community found offensive.”

“The members of the fraternity understand that when traditions hurt others, even unintentionally, it’s time to change them,” said dean of students Tim Hebson.

An alumna of the black sorority that complained about racial insensitivity at last year’s parade said there are ways for the fraternity to acknowledge its Southern heritage beside dressing up like Confederate soldiers.

“The women of Alpha Kappa Alpha and other racially diverse groups on UA’s campus trust that the men of Kappa Alpha will find ways to commemorate their founders in a spirited and significant manner that simultaneously recognizes the progress that we have made in race relations since the founding of Kappa Alpha and the rich diversity and inclusiveness of our progressive and positive campus,” said Joyce Stallworth, now an associate education dean at Alabama.

Kappa Alpha was founded in 1865 at Washington & Lee University — a school partly named for the Confederate general, and the group calls Lee its “spiritual founder.” It has about 130 chapters nationwide.

6 responses to “Frat inspired by Robert E. Lee bans Rebel uniforms at “Old South” parties

  1. The people of the southern states were not fighting in favor of slavery, they were fighting an opressive federal government. If proof was needed that the feds were out of control and overstepping thier bounds it was given when the confederate states attempted to exercise thier constitutional rights to succeed and the federal government, in violation of the rights of those states declared war.

    That being said, perhaps because of the perception of what the southern rebelion represented ( as opposed to the facts) it would be better to not dress in the uniofrm of the south. Wait, scratch that, how about fuck you if you won’t listen to or try to find out the truth and blindly follow propaganda

  2. Only a small percentage of the southern elite owned slaves while many Northerners also owned slaves including Gen Grant. Lincoln was no lover of blacks, thinking them inferior. Slavery was the last thing on his mind, but it became a convenient tool of political warfare against the South’s movement to secession. So the real cause for the war was Southern rejection of punitive tariffs which sparked the call for secession in the first place. The reason the so-called North (really the Federal Government, ie The Union) invaded and burnt the South to the ground was to first take back possession of the land, resources and economy, and secondarily to punish them for wanting to be free and independent of the Federal Government. Period. Everything else is just lies and propaganda.

    Secession is a right of any people, anywhere, anytime regardless of whether it be deemed constitutional or not and regardless of whether union or confederation was formed voluntarily or not. The right to self-determination for people of like mind is sacred and shall not be infringed.

    See also Uyghuristan, Inner Mongolia and Tibet:

    Mongols, Tibetans and Uyghurs demonstrated on the 60th anniversary of Communist China

    Participants condemned the Chinese rule over the nations of Southern Mongolia, Tibet, and East Turkestan, and also acknowledged the importance of the future cooperation between the three regions. The gathering also received the attention and support from all circles in Japan.

    All peoples yearn to be free and independent, which is a universal urge for all humans from the beginning.

  3. mondocratic

    How sad it is to see Americans no smarter than a pet dog when you say “Fetch!” or “Sit!” Like the man Oversword said above, the south wasn;t fightiing for slavery. In fact, there were less than 5 percent of the population that could afford slaves. Add to that most of today’s Americans grandparents came here from Europe in the early 20th century far after the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln. God people are so stupid. If I had a dollar for every protest that was over propaganda and a lie, I’d be rich. But people are too lazy to research things themselves and if something is presetnted professionally with a couple guys in suits who know how to use big words, they’ll believe it. Just look at the 9-11 Truth Movement and how for the past 9 yrs they’ve kept 1000”s distracted with thermite and FAA failure and missing black boxes, etc. so that they don’t bother researching the important stuff…. who did it and who paid for it. Which is easy to find and many people know. But if you want a career in radio, tv, or the written word, you can’t talk about that.. Just ask Alex Jones. Every guy who got popular is dead. William Cooper, John Todd, Michael Corbin, etc.

  4. Alex Jones is alive and well-fed apparently, given massive bandwidth on the net and air-time on mainstream radio stations, has a huge listening audience internationally, is allowed to stir up fracuses from coast to coast and in Canada, and is even invited on mainstream news occasionally. Do you think the Elite view him as someone dangerous to their agenda, someone like Bill Cooper?

  5. Just a bunch of uptight left-wingers who didn’t get a bid.

  6. David Brereton

    You should be justly proud of your Southern Heritage and be able to wear a Confederate uniform any time you want. It took two sides to fight in the Civil War, and victors are not always right. If the Confederacy had have won the civil war, would they have banned the wearing of Union uniforms 150 years later. So much for Democracy.

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