I am Joseph Snell, the father, and I am replying to the article “Greek Tragedy” (6/18). This article is not only about my son and family; it is about all the families that have suffered because of hazing. Even after this article, I know that hazing-related injuries and death will still occur. I pray that people will wake up and stop this archaic and brutal practice.
Let’s set the record straight: Never have we bashed Omega Psi Phi Fraternity or any other black sorority or fraternity. I have family members and friends who are members. These organizations have performed many great services over the years. But this is about the hazing practices within the fraternities. This is about brothers beating brothers (sometimes resulting in death). We do not put up with black-on-black violence in our community, and neither shall we in our schools. I do not stand alone. I commend Ms. Chris Hart-Wright of Zeta Phi Beta and Mr. John C. Berkley of Omega Psi Phi for coming forward and expressing their feelings. They care very much about their organizations and have worked hard to continue the original idea of community involvement.
To Mr. Stephenson: This is not about money; this is about the truth. Everyone involved denied the hazing. All my son wanted was to be vindicated. And he was. The jury awarded my son after hearing the testimonies. You also mentioned the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson. I know these men preached of peace and nonviolence. I know that hazing is violent. Well, I cannot speak for these men, but I would appreciate if the Rev. Jackson and other famous members would share their views on the subject.
To Mr. Martin: The court issued misdemeanor warrants to appear in court or be arrested for failure to appear. I noticed that everyone showed up for court. In your reply, at no time did you state that it never happened. You had your chance to give the other side of the story, but all you did was question my son’s sanity. We never resorted to name-calling of any of the “accused.” One fact you don’t know: During the criminal trial, it was my son who observed a mother of an “accused” crying. He understood that she had not sent her child to school to end up with an arrest record. It was because of this mother’s love that he asked the court for leniency for all of the “accused.” And they all received it. And you say that he has some screws loose. Go figure.
I am very proud of my son, Joseph. He is a wonderful, caring, and intelligent person. He did the right thing when great odds were against him. I give him my love and respect.
via the Internet