I’m a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, and while recent history demonstrates there is not much my Sooners can tell Clemson about football, it does give us the opportunity to advise you on how to handle racists on campus.
Last year, we had our own little band of KKK wannabes running loose on the OU campus. Every bit as clever as the fruit-wielding comic geniuses you have at Clemson, our guys liked to get drunk and sing racist songs. As expected, OU students protested these vile people. Just like the Clemson 5 and their supporters, the OU protesters were peaceful and courageous. And just like the Clemson 5, they stood firmly on the moral high-ground.
OU had to decide quickly how to respond to both the vile racists and the courageous protesters. We could have done what Clemson has. We could have arrested the courageous while protecting the vile. We could have lectured, and patronized and issued veiled threats against the courageous. We didn’t do that. Our response was humane, sensible and - one would hope - automatic. Our President, faculty, student senators, coaches and student-athletes joined the courageous protesters. Our President marched WITH them. Meanwhile, the vile got their due process; they pled their case, were convicted of Honor Code violations and expelled. Through it all, we didn’t waver. We didn’t pretend moral gray areas existed, because they didn’t. There is right and there is wrong. How can Clemson’s leaders not see that?