Students at the University of Oklahoma protest racist comments made by a fraternity on Monday, March 9, 2015 in Norman, Okla. (Steve Sisney/AP)

A particular passage in President Obama’s remarks in Selma yesterday rings powerfully true today. “Of course, a more common mistake is to suggest that Ferguson is an isolated incident; that racism is banished; that the work that drew men and women to Selma is now complete, and that whatever racial tensions remain are a consequence of those seeking to play the “race card” for their own purposes,” he said. “We don’t need the Ferguson report to know that’s not true. We just need to open our eyes, and our ears, and our hearts to know that this nation’s racial history still casts its long shadow upon us.”

Less than 24 hours later, the nation’s eyes, ears and heart are offended by a video allegedly showing members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity at the University of Oklahoma leading a racist chant. Warning: This video contains offensive language.  

There will never be a n—— SAE.

There will never be a n—– SAE.

You can hang ’em from a tree, but it will never start with me

There will never be a n—– SAE.

The words offend, for sure. As does the lynching reference. But what at once curdles the blood and sets it to boil is the enthusiasm with which the racist words are chanted. The person who recorded the 10-second video and made it public deserves applause for exposing such bigotry. That it was on public display seemingly without reservation by millennials, who are supposed to be light years ahead of the rest of us on social issues, shows that too many folks in this country continue to live as if it’s 1965 — or 1865 for that matter.

University of Oklahoma president David Boren wasted no time taking action. He banished SAE from campus and ordered the fraternity house shuttered by midnight Tuesday night. The fraternity’s national headquarters, calling itself “disgusted” and “embarrassed” by the video, suspended the entire Oklahoma university membership and promised to permanently revoke the membership of those responsible for the incident. Boren’s statement on the racist display was blunt. “To those who have misused their free speech in such a reprehensible way, I have a message for you. You are disgraceful,” he said.

I have nothing further to add.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj