Harriet Tubman brought people out of bondage so they could live the dream of freedom. Rosa Parks staged an orchestrated protest against the civil rights abuses of the Jim Crow south. And now, Laurin Compton and Lauren Cofield are continuing the fight for basic human rights by suing Alpha Kappa Alpha for hazing them with taunts like “weak bitches.”
Wait… that doesn’t sound right. Am I reading this right? Am I really looking at a lawsuit where two girls are suing a sorority and Howard University for a D.C. Human Rights violation because they didn’t get into a sorority?
Christ being rolled in Tiananmen Square, after the hazing and ostracism, the two girls ran home and told their mothers about it. And now the mothers are also plaintiffs against AKA and Howard with the standing of “Don’t you say anything bad about my baby” or something….
The Washington City Paper has been all over this lawsuit filed by Compton, Cofield, and their mommies. At the heart of the matter, the would-be sisters allege that since AKA isn’t allowed to formally haze people anymore, they now do it informally. They further allege that Compton and Cofield did not take part in this informal hazing, and were thus not invited to join the club. The Washington City Paper describes the alleged abuses:
Some of the “hazing” rules sound innocuous, if extensive, like being forbidden from wearing the sorority colors of pink and green or any colors that could be blended into pink and green. In one humorous moment, the lawsuit notes that the pledges, who were called the “sweets,” couldn’t even wear white pearls.
Other hazing allegations are more serious. At one point, the pledges were told not to talk to non-sorority members at Howard, according to the suit. “[Alpha Kappa Alpha members] on campus addressed the sweets by calling them weak bitches,” Compton’s mother wrote in a complaint to the sorority.
After Cofield’s mother, also an Alpha Kappa Alpha sister, complained, the two pledges found themselves ostracized in the sorority for being “snitch-friendly” or “snitch-sympathists.”
OH THE HORROR! Watch out commenters, I’m gonna tell my mom on you about all the mean things you say about me… then you’ll really get it.
Look, I’m basically obligated by law at this point to say that hazing is “very, very wrong.” But are we honestly living in a society where asking new “recruits” to stand on one leg and bark like a dog is tantamount to putting young kids in danger? Here are the so-called “more serious” hazing allegations the City Paper dug up:
Sandra Compton also claims that students hoping to join the sorority were forced to, among other things:
Pick up sorority members from the airport.
Buy alcohol for Howard’s Founders Week.
Use different doors than full-fledged sisters.
Not eat in the Punch Out, a Howard hangout.
Line up and address sisters by their sister’s full names.
“If [prospective members] approached a chapter member on the yard, the members would ignore them, embarrass them, and use foul language in front of other people,” Compton writes.
If none of this sounds like a human rights violation to you, you’re right — it’s not. I just thought it was a cold-blooded thing to say to a motherf***er before I popped a cap in his ass.
I’m kidding, though the lawyer for Compton and Cofield, J. Wyndal Gordon, is not a man to be trifled with. He calls himself the “warrior lawyer.” He defended the D.C. Sniper. And he’s basically trying to extend protected class status to legacies in D.C.
The complaint argues that AKA and Howard violated the “human rights” of Compton and Cofield by imposing a “legacy cap” which they applied to those two because, you guessed it, the kids are legacy Alpha Kappa Alphas. I know you are shocked, SHOCKED that it was the legacy kids who thought themselves above picking up a girl from the airport. The legacy issue must be why the mothers think they have standing in this kerfuffle. From the complaint:
Because the legacy status goes to their “familial status,” they’re alleging a D.C. Human Rights violation. From the complaint:
You can read the full complaint on the Huffington Post. The girls allege that but for the arbitrary legacy cap, they should have been admitted to the sorority. And even with the cap, they deserved to be admitted because of their outstanding GPAs.
Now… if I switched the names Compton and Cofield for Higginbottom III and Astor-Richboy, and I said that they wanted entry into a university they deserved to get into, wouldn’t everybody think I was writing about an affirmative-action challenge instead of a potential “human rights violation”? Two kids didn’t get into the little club that their parents did and now they and their parents are pissed off because while they were sleeping the world changed and now you need to do more than look that part.
That analogy tracks right down to the petulant remedies the two have requested:
Yes, what they really want is to just get accepted into this organization… notwithstanding the organization’s alleged violations of human rights. It sounds like they don’t even like the other girls in the sorority or want to be friends with them. BUT THEY WANT TO SAY THEY’RE PART OF ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA, GODDAMN IT! And if they can’t, then NO ONE CAN.
But if Gordon, Compton, and Cofield can all get legacies protected under human rights, well we won’t even need Fisher to eviscerate affirmative action. Pissed off legacies everywhere will just start asserting that they deserve to get whatever their parents got in an attempt to ossify the status quo. So it looks like I did the right thing by putting my boy in this, since there’s nothing that can stop him now:
Seriously though, I think that it would just be easier to tell your kids that it’s okay to pick someone up from the airport and go to the damn liquor store for once in a while when they are pledging to gain entry into an exclusive club. People have had to overcome far worse.
Alleging Human Rights Violations, Howard Students Sue to Get Into Sorority [Washington City Paper]
Laurin Compton And Lauren Cofield Lawsuit: Howard University Students Sue Sorority [Huffington Post]