With any news concerning NPHC Greek community, word gets around faster than a snitch who leaked a new line. I am assuming if you’ve read the title of this article, you already know about Mona Scott and her tentative project “Sorority Sisters”. If you haven’t, here is the gist of her new development and the recent feedback:
Mona Scott, mastermind producer behind the popular reality shows such as “Love and Hip Hop”, is venturing into sacred territory within the Black community: Sorority Life. VH1 has decided to release a new reality show, “Sorority Sisters”, spotlighting women of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta and Sigma Gamma Rho. Not soon after the release of the show’s trailer (which has now been removed), NPHC members took to the internet in droves to voice their disdain for the show .
Fellow Greeks have even gone so far as to start a petition. One petition listed on Moveon.org states the following:
Stop the spread of ignorance and stereotyping of our beloved Black Greek letter organizations. Our founders amongst EVERY organization worked extremely hard to allow us to unite and flourish not only on college campuses, but as a people well beyond our college days, and Mona Scott-Young now threatens to demolish those aims and goals we all abide by.
The petition currently has 39,451 signatures. And rightly so. “Chrissy & Mr.Jones”, “The Gossip Game” and the “The Love and Hip Hop” franchise has garnered many views and retweets over the past few years. It has also experienced backlash for the misrepresentation of black women, black relationships and black professionals on television. Between the name-calling, porn controversies, flagrant infidelity and numerous violent altercations, it is hard to see what good can come out of any of her reality shows.
Many blogs and news sources have already discussed this in detail in regards to the vast opposition from fellow BGLO members. However, we haven’t seen anyone ask the this underlying question:
Why are we attacking Mona Scott for irresponsible actions that the cast members are displaying?
Based on her previous works, I can only assume that the footage highlights grown women getting into fights, arguing, cursing, and so on & so forth. With this assumption, I can’t help but assume the women who chose to be a part of this project were familiar with her work as well. They knowingly agreed to be portrayed in a certain light. They agreed to open up NPHC Greek life to the masses. They also agreed to showcase themselves in a non-flattering way that neither benefits or compliments any of the Divine Nine sororities. I also can’t help but to wonder why the same amount of backlash isn’t given towards our own organizations when stories such as intense hazing and disorderly conduct surface. Those incidents tend to be swept under the rug. Granted, I understand these sensitive matters are handled on a case by case basis. But the increased exposure to our internal issues calls into question, are we, as a council, doing enough to protect our members?
Are our repercussions strict enough concerning detrimental hazing practices? Are we being the best mentors we can be to our undergraduate students? How are we holding each other accountable? Are we teaching and withholding the principles our Founders set for us on a daily basis? What are we currently doing to debunk any negative stereotypes of NPHC that exist today? How are we counteracting the NPHC misfits who are giving our organizations a bad name? What criteria are we using to properly vet aspirants who wish to be apart of our organizations? How are we addressing these tough issues? Are we addressing these tough issues with enough fervor or are we leaving our dirty laundry in the washroom unattended?
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc, has already started to address these questions with their Finer Women Don’t Haze campaign. This movement goes beyond their bylaws and encourages members to speak up about hazing practices. They have strengthened their efforts by teaming up with their Fraternity Brothers , Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc, to help move the cause forward.
“Hazing paralyzes all of us,” said Mary B. Wright, International President of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. “Our families envision education as a pathway to a brighter future and the enhancement of our family. Our sons and daughters are not pursuing higher education to experience hazing. It is our responsibility as community-service organizations to safeguard the future of our students and the history of our organizations. We stand in solidarity with our brothers of Phi Beta Sigma in this major effort to stop the culture of hazing.”
There are other NPHC organizations who have also take initiative to rid hazing practices. Stricter disciplinary actions have been implemented. Policies have been revised. And public statements have been made…as individuals. But if we took a public united stand as a council, think of what an impact we could make.
It is easy to demonize a Non-Greek member for manipulating the image of our long established organizations by spotlighting a small percentage of our members. It is okay to be upset. It is even okay to petition. It’s warranted. It is also necessary that we do not neglect our own responsibility in the matter. Looking at our internal processes and taking a hands on approach to mentor our members will help us lessen the likelihood of our participation in these kinds of shows in the future. And hopefully, end the destructive acts as a whole.