By now I'm sure we've all seen the pictures of the new AKA's from Texas Southern University in Houston. I blogged about this group last week out of pure curiousity and with hopes that I would acquire more information about their controversial image.
These men have caused quite a negative reaction on college campuses, within the GLBT community, and more famously on the message boards of BET.COM , the homophobic sister site to blackplanet.com .
For the record I do applaud these men and any man who is bold enough to live their life openly and without shame, but I do not condone their lack of creativity and the outright rip off of the real women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc.
Their actions have re-enforced so many awful stereotypes about our community that heterosexuals believe to be true. If they were worried about inclusiveness in traditional fraternities, there's many gay fraternities on campuses all over this country that they could have pledged. So I don't understand why they would choose to disrespect the legacy and image of the women who are rightful members of the real AKA Inc.
I regret that so many people have turned this into a gay issue because it's not. I really think that it's more of a theft issue, if these men were straight and adopted the colors and symbols of AKA they would simply be thieves and out of line.
I actually made an attempt to contact this member of MIAKA in order to get his side of the story but was unsuccessful.
I came across a comment on bet.com left by a real member of AKA that I felt compelled to share with everyone. It's very well written and I think it should be read by every member of MIAKA.
Comment from A proud member of AKA:
I am a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (who is definitely old school - over 40 years of age) and I must say that my e-mail is not filled with hate but with sincere confusion.
I understand your reverence and respect for my organization as it is well founded. Similarly I also understand the need on your part, and others like you, to want to copy what we have created and done in your quest to re-create an established and leading organization where you (as a Gay man) will be able to find acceptance.
My confusion lies with the following....1. In an age where our black men (and race) face many challenges regarding a historical lack of identity (it's been stolen from us from the time our ancestor's feet touched the US shores) this action (creating the MIAKA's and an unofficial and unrecognized chapter/organization) has and will to further set back the "cause" as now some of our males are consciously choosing to identify with a women's organization? Why would you, and others who think like you choose to do this?2. If you are pursuing the further establishment of gay rights why not start a gay male fraternity and/or trans-sexual sorority?3. If you truly respect and think you understand the foundation and principles on which Alpha Kappa Alpha was founded you will remember and honor that it is for women (in addition to other principles) only.
Why are the MIAKA's or these men choosing to disrespect the integrity of what AKA's founders intended by your actions? Our founders would not and their descendants (who are my Sorors) do not approve.4. Historically, in this country, we as a race continue to take a back seat in every area and I am concerned that your group has not considered the far reaching impact that this has to our race and the message that it sends to the establishment. Not to consider the heretofore is irresponsible. Didn't any one think of this? You DO have a responsibility to our race and to other black men.
Now those (in the majority) that are already "confused" and believe what they see and read in the media are REALLY going to think that our black men are confused and in trouble. Whether we chose to admit it or not, our actions to have far reaching implications.5. AKA's have long supported and will continue to support the rights of "all" and remain in service to all mankind, but there is a way to approach inclusion. Was this not considered before hand? What was the thought process that was used?
Alpha Kappa Alpha was and is the first African-American sorority; there is no other like us. Please strongly consider the impact to AKA (nationally), to yourselves and to our race. You do have a responsibility to be responsible. Alpha Kappa Alpha is not to be used as the vehicle for gay social change. Your time, talents and efforts may be better served by the establishment of your own "unique and different" organization that can and would/will be supported by ours (and the rest of the national black pan-hellenic council).
As you strive to create a reputable name for your group please remember your audience, your mission and that all successful organizations were and are "original." If your mission and intentions are sound and intend to "honor" AKA, please cease and desist your activities.
A proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.