The oldest black sorority in America, Alpha Kappa Alpha, has been hit with a staggering $100 million lawsuit due to the drowning deaths of two pledges at a California college.
California State University- Los Angeles students Kristin High, 22 and Kenitha Saafir, 24, drowned to death during a ritual on Sept. 9.
The young women were reportedly blindfolded, tied together and led into Dockweiler State Beach during a type of trust-building exercise. A wave swept them into the water, and fellow pledges on the beach tried to rescue them.
Unsuccessful, they contacted the police, who ultimately retrieved the young women’s bodies and attempted CPR. The coroner ruled both deaths to be accidental, stressing that there were no signs of foul play.
High’s family contends that the police and the university are covering for the sorority, and answered with a lawsuit. Unfortunately, this lawsuit is incredibly unfair.
For starters, Cal State Los Angeles does not acknowledge that they ever had an AKA chapter, nor does Alpha Kappa Alpha itself.
Why should Alpha Kappa Alpha be responsible for this perpetration? If anything, the ladies of pink and green should be the most insulted.
This was not a pledging ritual.
This was a case of wannabe Greeks performing illegal activities in the name of a sisterhood that they may or may not have been a part of. Had this been a legitimate chapter, this family would have a point.
But for some reason, both High and Saafir chose to be a part of an unofficial chapter of a sorority, rather than an official chapter.
Furthermore, the belief that any police force in America is going out of their way to cover for a group of black women representing a black sorority is laughable.
Had any real hazing or abuse occurred, one would suspect that the Los Angeles Police Department would be more than happy to expose this group of women.
However, officers have clearly stated that there were no blindfolds or ropes at the scene of the deaths, nor was there any type of force used to lead these women into water.
This lawsuit puts a smear on the already shaky reputation of black Greek letter organizations, and it is completely unwarranted.
Fargas-Strong’s case is equivalent to a Rattler parent suing the Marching 100 for hazing, with neither hazer nor hazee actually being in the band.
Strong may have a case against the women that are responsible for the death of her daughter. She may even have a case against her daughter’s university.
But when it comes to wanting to punish every girl who wore 20 pearls, Strong doesn’t have a leg to stand on.
The women of Alpha Kappa Alpha went through official ceremonies in legitimate chapters to become members. High and Saafir did not.
J. Danielle Daniels for the Editorial Board