Target: Wilbur Ross, Grand Swipe of the Kappa Beta Phi fraternity
Goal: Expose exclusive fraternity’s offensive practices and values
The notion that global finance is controlled by some secret society isn’t as far-fetched as it might seem. Many of Wall Street’s wealthiest bankers, investors and executives belong to an exclusive fraternity known as Kappa Beta Phi, said to indoctrinate up-and-coming elites in how to speak to the press (among other things). For eighty years the society functioned in secret, with outsiders forbidden from attending the annual dinner when new members are brought into the fold.
But a brave reporter named Kevin Roose recently infiltrated Kappa Beta Phi, revealing disturbing details about the group’s practices and values. At the annual dinner, the fraternity’s overwhelmingly male recruits all dressed in women’s clothing, and performed skits in poor taste: everything from sexist jokes about Hillary Clinton, to making fun of liberals as dirty and pathetic. One new member wore a hat emblazoned with the Confederate flag. The evening ended with the newest members singing in chorus: “I believe that God has a plan for all of us. I believe my plan involves a seven-figure bonus.”
Clearly the fraternity has no issue with the way its own members helped tank the global economy — while raking in a handsome profit. Don’t let Kappa Beta Phi get away with this behavior. The society’s power rests largely in keeping out of the headlines. Expose the group’s disgraceful homophobic, sexist, and classist values.
Dear Mr. Ross,
After journalist Kevin Roose infiltrated Kappa Beta Phi and revealed the goings-on at the fraternity’s annual dinner, public outrage has been understandable. The insistence on dressing new, male recruits in women’s clothing as some sort of humiliation; the offensive skits and self-righteous attitude about making massive bonuses even as the Recession continues to affect millions of Americans; are behaviors that cannot be justified.
It is no secret that wealthy investment bankers and financial executives contributed to the global financial collapse. Given this fact, it is baffling that the elite members of Kappa Beta Phi would be so blind as to the fallout from their behavior. As Mr. Roose said of the gathered group, “Here were executives who had strong ideas about politics, society, and the work of their colleagues, but who would never have the courage to voice those opinions in a public setting.”
At the members’ annual dinner, you yourself called a rival fraternity’s logo a “tacit confession of homosexuality.” I am grateful to Mr. Roose for breaking the silence with his investigation, and condemn you and Kappa Beta Phi in general for the group’s homophobic, sexist and classist values. Now the world knows the truth about how some elites, like you, behave when they think no one is watching.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Udo J. Keppler via the United States Library of Congress