The National Pan-Hellenic Council, informally known as the Divine Nine, is a group of nine predominantly African-American sororities and fraternities. Founded in 1930 at Howard University, these nine Greek organizations bonded over the same principles that traditional sororities were founded over: values, culture and philanthropy. Unfortunately, four of these Greek letter organizations have made headlines for all of the wrong reasons.
Delta Sigma Theta, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sigma Gamma Rho and Zeta Phi Beta are the four sororities that were chosen to take part in VH1’s latest creation known as “Sorority Sisters.” The show follows the lives of members of each of these organizations and their interactions with members of the opposing group.
Needless, to say, the women on the show did not uphold the standards that the founders and heads of these organizations rightfully hoped they would. Every problem or personality clash on the show is immediately attributed to that woman’s organization. One of the Deltas on the show is a Caucasian woman named Shanna, who proudly reps her letters. Unfortunately, one of the snarky AKAs made several comments regarding her race.
To no surprise, Black America was not feeling it. Black Twitter was in an uproar over the show, stating that the show not only defamed the organizations, but the African-American community as a whole. Producer Mona Scott-Young, has come under fire for supporting this production. VH1 has also agreed to stand by the show saying it generated a good conversation. Several major sponsors have decided to pull their ads from the production, one major group being the NBA.
VH1 is a train wreck of reality television that will literally having you saying, “WTF did I just watch?!” We all know VH1 for trash television programming such as “Mob Wives” and “Basketball Wives.” The programming makes light work of reinforcing every stereotype ever imaginable, whether it be about Blacks, Italians, gays, etc. It’s endless.
While it’s great to see a community joining together over the misrepresentation of a group, it’s got me wondering: why is the outrage only called for when Greek letters are involved? Where was this outrage when the “Love and Hip-Hop” or “Basketball Wives” series aired?
I hate to admit it….actually, I love to admit it. I love trash TV. I watch the “Love and Hip-Hop” series almost religiously. For me, it’s just fun to watch people whose lives are undoubtedly more of a mess than mine. However, I understand that individuals on these shows do not represent their entire community. Being a minority, I understand that, oftentimes, we have this mentality that if someone in our community makes a mistake, it is a representation of our community as a whole, but we all need to face the fact that this is simply not true.
I am not outraged or offended by these programs in any way, shape or form. I only have one proposition: If we’re going to be embarrassed by VH1 and other companies bluntly demeaning a group, then let’s be outraged across the board. We can’t pick and choose.