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I’m giving a MAJOR side-eye to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

Yes, I am a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, but this right here? No.

Via the sorority’s official Facebook page:

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY MEMBERS
Dec. 6, 2014
Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. are urged to pay close attention to the following information when participating in marches, rallies and or protest activities until further notice:
1. You may wear our sorority colors, but please refrain from wearing any Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. paraphernalia.
2. Do not make statements that are or can be construed as a position of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
3. Keep in mind our International President is the only spokesperson for our Sorority unless she delegates this authority to someone else, which she has not done with respect to the Divine 9 National Die-In-event.
4. If you choose to engage in the aforementioned event or others similar in nature, you are solely responsible for yourself and your activities. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. disclaims all responsibilities and liability for any injury or damage that may result in your participation.
Please also share this important information with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority members who may not be connected to social media platforms.

We are in the middle of the biggest civil rights movement of this generation, and you send out a message concerning yourself with…protesters wearing paraphernalia? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?

And reminding that Alpha Kappa Alpha isn’t responsible for what happens to members?

Oh, and that the “International President” hasn’t given the all mighty “okay” for the Divine 9 National Die-In?

Honestly, the first line is my biggest problem. I can’t believe an entire message was put out to tell protesters to not wear letters while protesting.

How insulting.

SMH.

{via Twitter}

{featured image}

Updated: December 6, 2014, 3:15pm

I’ve been made aware that this is a message that has gone out to other Divine 9 orgs, and may have stemmed from a protester getting arrested (while protesting) while wearing Delta para.

My feelings are the exact same.

Updated: December 6, 2014, 9:20pm

A member of Delta Sigma Theta sent me this, saying that they believe this is what sparked the memos out to the BGLO’s:

I also read this story, and I am assuming it is the same thing:

Six people were arrested for obstruction of a highway or passageway.

On Thursday, Dallas police briefly closed northbound Interstate 35E near the American Airlines Center when several protesters attempted to walk up an off-ramp.

Officers formed a line to stop the protesters from jumping onto the interstate, and four women and a man were arrested for allegedly trying to break through their barricade.

Now. Let’s be honest. OF COURSE no organization wants to be associated with its members being arrested and breaking the law. No organization wants its letters to be spread across the chest of a member being arrested on the front page of the newspaper.

HOWEVER.

I still disagree with the overall message. Instead of telling members to not wear letters, I believe that the message should be along the lines of showing support for members who are EXERCISING THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT and are PEACEFULLY protesting.  I would think the organizations, who were founded during the time where these types of actions were common, would be proud to have its members being aware and active when fighting against injustice.

Again, I understand not wanting to associate with illegal action and arrests (even though MANY arrests happened back in the day while protesting, etc), but I still feel like this wasn’t handled well.

I’ve had a lawyer tell me that they understand the memo from a legal standpoint. I can see that as well.

Finally, I would like to point out that at the time of writing, I saw the above screenshots publicly shared on Twitter. It was public already and it was being commented on by members AND nonmembers. However, at the time I wasn’t aware that other organizations received the same message, which means the title of this post really could (should?) be “Divine 9” instead of “Alpha Kappa Alpha.”

The bottom line for me, however, is that this movement is so much bigger than wearing (or not wearing) letters.  The memos state that the respective organizations haven’t cosigned any protests/die-ins. Well, my question is, why not?  Why not organize protests/marches/action in the name of _____ _____ _____ Fraternity/Sorority, Incorporated? Why not encourage undergraduate members to exercise their right to protest? Why not show a purposeful effort on the part of prestigious black organizations?

I am not saying that ANY organization has told their members to NOT protest. That is definitely not the message I have gotten from any fraternity or sorority. But. I DO think that our organizations have a HUGE voice, and can most definitely use it to further the movement.

By the way, I just went back and checked, and the message has been removed from the AKA Facebook page.

Update: December 9, 2014, 9:15am

A few things have happened since originally writing this.

First, I was contacted by a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, saying that their members received a message encouraging them to get involved in the protests:

“My sorority Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc, actually sent out a statement encouraging us to get engaged with things like peaceful protests, etc. I agree with your sentiments fully.”

Awesome!

Next, I was contacted by the Delta who is pictured above, Mercedes Fulbright,  with this clarification:

I was the Soror detained in Dallas. Not arrested. No charges for peacefully protesting. Dallas PD chief has given me an apology on behalf of the department and a statement will be released. just wanted to clear that up. Thank you for the post.

Also the highway obstruction in Dallas news piece is not related to any arrest of NPHC members that I am aware of. That piece does not correlate with Friday night’s headline. I watched and read it to be sure, but this conversation is not sparked around that protest in Dallas.

Thank you so much for this clarification, Mercedes!

Also, I just saw this:

And a correction:

^^ Do y’all see what I’m talking about? This is not a good look in the public for our organizations! And again, it is very public knowledge.

Finally, I have been told that there’s a statement that Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated has sent out, prior to this most recent post, stating our position about all of this. You can click here for what I found specifically addressing the lack of indictment of Darren Wilson, and here for a statement on Eric Garner.

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2014-12-09 09.17.43

 

 

 UPDATED: December 9, 2014, 11:05am

Check this out.

Word.

 

 

 

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