In the wake of the University of Oklahoma kicking a fraternity off campus after a video of members singing a racist chant went viral, there was an unintended tragedy that came along with the college’s decision: the frat house’s African American chef lost his job.
According to CBS News, Howard Dixon worked at the frat house for Sigma Alpha Epsilon for 15 years and referred the frat members as his “family.”
“I think that was kind of stupid and selfish for them to do something like that,” Dixon told CBS News, reacting to the video. “And knowing this is an organization, and knowing this is an organization that’s supposed to be about brotherhood. That wasn’t no brotherhood.”
But in what is somewhat of a silver lining to this unfortunate story, one SAE alumni recognized Dixon’s situation and reached out to him.
In an interview with the University’s newspaper the OU Daily, Blake Burkhart said that he set up a fundraising campaign on the website Indiegogo “to make the best of a bad situation and give Howard some financial stability while he is forced to look for a job due to circumstances outside of his control.”
As of this Tuesday morning, the fundraiser had netted more than $36,000 of its goal of $50,000.
“That man is going to walk up to the SAE house tomorrow morning and hear that he no longer has a job,” Burkhart said. “He is going to learn who has been working for. And through some cruel twist of fate, he has to lose the job that he has held for over a decade. He is going to lose his job because of a bus full of racist kids.”
“You know and I know that this isn’t the house we lived in,” Burkhart added, writing on the fundraisers webpage. “I’m positive Howard knows this too.”