REFORM Kappa Alpha Order - Denounce Robert E. Lee & Confederate Ideals

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The practical founder of Kappa ­Alpha Order wrote in 1922 that the fraternity and the Ku Klux Klan “were reactions to the same evils.” One organization sought to instill fear, while the other sought to indoctrinate the hearts and minds of young men. Although a simple internet search reveals stories about KA’s racist past and present, many men continue to join the fraternity without knowledge of its reverence of Robert E. Lee and the Confederacy in general. The fraternity’s reputation, tied to this history, is reaching a breaking point in terms of acceptance in modern-day America.

As a result, on Monday, July 13th, Xi Chapter, located in Georgetown, Texas, published the following statement to its social media accounts:

"Xi Chapter prides itself on its diverse membership and stands firm against bigotry in any form. While we have been making internal efforts to distance ourselves from Robert E. Lee and the Confederacy in general, we realize anything short of a public denouncement of Robert E. Lee and Confederate ideals works against our morals and doesn’t allow us to engage our community in the way that it deserves us to. 

We, Xi Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity, take this opportunity to formally denounce Robert E. Lee and the Confederacy. 

It is of utmost importance to us that we engage with our community in order to learn what pain we have caused and how we can remedy it. By acknowledging our history and educating ourselves, we pledge to make proactive efforts to begin mending wounds our organization has inflicted and ignored for too long. 

Xi Chapter calls for the Kappa Alpha Order national organization to cut all ties with Robert E. Lee, and any figures or ideals which serve to absolve or romanticize the Confederacy, and will continue to do so until this change is achieved. KA nationally has a deeply troubling history that active chapters can no longer cry ignorance to; our chapter has a duty to step up and force changes that will produce more compassionate and well-rounded young men.” 

Within an hour of releasing that statement, KA’s Executive Director suspended the chapter. In effect, the suspension silenced Xi by forcing the chapter to remove the posts and take down its social media accounts. It also jeopardized the chapter’s ability to organize and call for reforms of KA from within, rather than as outsiders.

On July 15th, the chapter filed a formal appeal with the Executive Director. In it, the chapter stands by its previous message and calls for other chapters, along with KA’s national organization, to publicly denounce Robert E. Lee and the Confederate ideals for which he fought.

Now, Xi needs your help. Like so many traditionally racist organizations, KA wants to keep this quiet and out of the spotlight, and as long as they do, they’ll have an advantage. Showing Southwestern University that the public supports Xi Chapter’s stand against racism would bolster its ability to negotiate for changes within KA, as would reminding KA's national organization that silencing a chapter for calling for long-overdue reforms is unacceptable.