Anybody who’s spent time on a college campus will tell you that greek life can be the centerpiece of student life. People, especially black people, take their greek affiliations very seriously. Certain fraternities and sororities hold special places in our community. While I myself am not affiliated with any of the “Divine Nine” or any other greek organization, much of my family is. One thing I have learned is that it’s completely not cool to fake like you’ve been through the intake/pledge process if you haven’t. The process is very integral, important, and unique to each group and not every average Joe is a good fit.
A male co-worker of mine for the last two Fridays (we have casual Friday at my office) has been wearing a T-shirt with the greek letters of a well known Historically Black Fraternity (not revealing the group as a matter of respect). I’m quite familiar with this organization, and the shirt he’s been wearing isn’t to be worn without the wearer’s line name, semester, and intake year on the left sleeve of the shirt. This information is noticeably absent from his. Also, most anybody who is proud enough to boldly wear their letters on their shirt knows without hesitation what chapter and what school they pledged at. When I asked him what chapter, he hesitated and finally gave an answer that didn’t sound right to me. I checked with a friend of mine who works at the organization’s headquarters, and he verified with me that no such chapter exists. Also, when I asked what university or grad chapter he pledged at, he mentioned the chapter encompassed several universities but he couldn’t identify the school that he went to, but he did mention that he pledged during undergrad. Just to make everything clear in my mind, I asked him what their “call” is, and he gave the call of an unaffiliated sorority, not the one that his brothers would greet each other with. *Update–as I was writing this, he told me what college he attended, and I checked on their website, and the fraternity he’s faking to be a part of doesn’t have a chapter there*
I know people lie all the time about their backgrounds, but to lie about something like this is a blatant disrespect to the institution. I understand that he may really like what this particular fraternity represents and what they do in the community, but if that’s the case, then just pledge. If the fraternity finds out that he’s been faking it, it will make it that much more difficult for him to actually be a part of it.
I say all of this because in every aspect of our lives, people try so hard to be something that they’re not and as the saying goes “You can fool some people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time”. People will catch on if you’re not being your genuine self. Faking the funk so to speak does nothing but tire you out because you spend so much time coming up with one lie after another after another. When you have to try and make yourself appear more “important” than you already believe yourself to be by completely fabricating membership in a prestigious organization, you have issues with yourself that you need to work out. Please understand that it’s not the uber prestigious people that solely make the world go round. There are lots of average Joes and Janes out there who are unapologetically who they are every day and they make the world interesting.
When you spend too much time pretending to be someone that you’re not, you end up forgetting how to be the person that everyone really wants to see–you. Take that with you everywhere you go in life.