Commentary — 06 September 2010

In The Mo’Kelly Report we’ve had extensive discussions on the role and reality of Black Greek Letter Organizations.  From Zeta Phi Beta, to Alpha Kappa Alpha sororities to even Phi Beta Sigma and  Omega Psi Phi fraternities have all served as entry points into the discussion.

In other words, The Mo’Kelly Report hasn’t played any favorites.

Today is Sigma Gama Rho sorority’s turn. Four members of  the San Jose State University chapter of the sorority have been arrested and the national body is being sued for hazing.

(Mind you, this is NOT the same case as the 6 Rutgers members who were arrested earlier this year.  This is ANOTHER case in which members have been jailed and the body sued.  Hence the GANGSTA nickname.  Sigma Gangsta Rho…you’ve earned the moniker.  Refresher HERE.)

However, Howard contends, that the group’s pledge process was far from sisterly. According to her complaint, she and fellow pledges were punched, slapped, kicked, slammed into walls, struck with a wooden spoon and a cane, and had books and coins thrown at them during a series of 16 nighttime initiation sessions. Howard recalled one evening when a sorority sister told her to close her eyes. She was then struck on the buttocks with what she later learned was a kitchen pot. The pledges were also frequently struck with a wooden paddle, Howard said, blows that left her with welts on her buttocks.

Howard reported that pledges were repeatedly warned not to talk with friends and family about the initiation process, since “snitches get stitches.” They were also told that if they failed to participate in certain pledge activities, they would be “jumped out,” a gang term for a beating conducted by all members of the group.

Howard’s complaint names as defendants San Jose State University, Sigma Gamma Rho, and various sorority members, including a quartet of women who, court records show, pleaded no contest earlier this year to misdemeanor hazing charges. The defendants–Princess Odom; Monique Hughes; Joslyn Beard; and Nicole Remble–were each sentenced to 90 days in jail, directed to serve two years of court probation, and barred from involvement with any sorority.


And can Mo’Kelly say it again…”TOLD YOU SO!”  Let’s quote Mo’Kelly…

The argument can be made that as we collectively move further and further away from the principles of brotherhood and sisterhood and closer to big business, these are the inevitabilities.  The deficiencies in our brotherhood and sisterhood quotients have borne themselves out from the top down.

On the undergraduate level you hear more and more how it becomes harder for the lay person to distinguish the fraternities from the gangs, for often times the behavior is just that, indistinguishable. Having nothing to do with our “hand signs,” the stepshow altercations between organizations have increasingly become the rule, not the exception.

Maybe the caliber of membership has decreased relative to the sheer numbers of African-Americans in college, which have also dropped.  Maybe the talent pool is just too shallow or maybe…just maybe, our organizations have become too shallow in and of themselves.

–  Mo’Kelly 7.15.09

Mo’Kelly 7.15.09

The Mo’Kelly Report is an entertainment journal with a political slant; published at The Huffington Post and It is meant to inform, infuse and incite meaningful discourse…as well as entertain. For more Mo’Kelly, Mr. Mo’Kelly can be reached at


About Author


Morris W. O'Kelly (Mo'Kelly) is a columnist, radio and television commentator. Visit for the latest from Mr. Mo'Kelly. He is heard weekends from 6-8pm on KFI AM640 in Los Angeles. The program is available via the iHeartRadio app and for download on iTunes and all podcasting apps. Find him on social media - @mrmokelly (twitter and instagram) Contact Mo'Kelly: @mrmokelly

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