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AIDS Activist Kicked Out of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Why?

Emmy Award winning AIDS activist Rae Lewis-Thornton talks about why she was kicked out of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.  What in the heck is going on here?  If a woman is sick and possibly dying, does she deserve this kind of treatment?

 

Rae Lewis-Thornton BIOGRAPHY

Emmy Award Winning AIDS Activist Rae Lewis-Thornton rose to national acclaim when she told her story of living with AIDS in a cover story for Essence Magazine. She has been living with HIV for twenty-seven years and AIDS for seventeen years. Despite her HIV status, Rae has spent the last fifteen years traveling worldwide in an unending crusade challenging stereotypes and myths around HIV/AIDS. In addition to the December 1994 cover story for Essence magazine, Rae has been featured in many other magazines and newspapers including Ebony, Jet, Emerge, O, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, WOW, Poz, Lifelines and HIV Plus magazines, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Washington Post and Dayton Daily News newspapers, to name just a few.

As a contributing editor for WBBM-TV, a CBS-owned and operated television station, Rae won the coveted Emmy Award for an ongoing series of first-person reports on living with AIDS. Rae has also been featured on several national television documentaries, news shows, and television specials, such as, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dateline, CNN, Black Entertainment Television, (BET), and the Montel Williams Show. She was featured on NIGHTLINE with Ted Koppel numerous times in news stories entitled, Rae’s Story: AIDS The Next Wave and AIDS At Twenty Years.

Prior to Rae’s motivational speaking career, she was on her way to a promising political organizing career. Having served as Senator Carol Mosley Braun’s 1992 Senatorial Campaign Advance Coordinator, Illinois State Youth Coordinator for the 1988 Dukakis Presidential Campaign and National Youth Director for Jesse Jackson’s 1984 and 1988 Presidential Campaigns, Rae was forced to retire in 1993 as a result of her health.

Rae Lewis-Thornton was licensed as a Baptist minister in July 2000 at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois by the Rev. Clay Evans. She received a Master of Divinitydegree from McCormick Theological Seminary in June 2003 and was the recipient of the Arthur Hays Fellowship in Church History. Rae Lewis-Thornton is currently a PhD student at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Northeastern Illinois University. In November 2002, Ebony Magazine named Rae Lewis-Thornton one of America’s 57 Most Intriguing people of 2002. She has received literally hundreds of awards for her work in HIV/AIDS in the last fifteen years. Rae is currently working on her anticipated life story, Unprotected, A Memoir.

In January 2009, Rae launched RLT Collection, a line of fashion bracelets designed and handcrafted by Rae. Her bracelets can be seen on fabulous women such as actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, Judge Glenda Hatchett and actress Suzzanne Douglas. RLT Collection is becoming a fast favorite in fashion jewelry and Rae Lewis-Thornton is one of America’s rising jewelry designers. Rae Lewis-Thornton has shown the world that one can persevere against all odds, with determination and hard work.

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  5. I’m a member of DST and I think this should have been handled in a different manner…DST has to better…I mean she is only fighting for her life!!!!

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  15. First, I’m a white-Hispanic, early 20-something year old man.
    Second, I’m a part of a traditionally white fraternity called Phi Mu Alpha (maybe you’ve heard of us), and we had our first all-black chapter at Howard University in the middle of the 20th century. No, we’re not an honor society or a professional organization, we are a social fraternity made of men of the highest type.
    Ms Lewis-Thorton being expelled from Delta Sigma Theta is sad indeed, BUT she had photos of her and other honorary members in CEREMONIAL ROBES on her PUBLIC web page. As a member of a Greek organization, I’m appalled at her lack of secrecy to her vows and ritual. I can’t imagine why she’d make any of that public, let alone cop an attitude to nationals. Sorry, but you were asking to be expelled.

    • I agree. I myself am a member of a sorority and will not say which, but respect and secrecy to the Oath you take is of upmost importance. All Greeks regardless of council can agree on this. Rae is an important leader in her community, but she could have avoided this. That’s why you must always be careful of what you say and do, especially on the Internet!

    • I also agree. And she still has pictures up on her website with the other ladies in ceremonial robes – you can see some other Deltas in the background that weren’t posing but their faces are clearly visible. I was wondering if this was a privacy issue for those non-honorary DSTs in the background. That is, publicizing their attendance and posting their photo at a private “membership-only” event on a public blog site that they may/may not agree with?

  16. Girl Bye. You have better things to worry about than an honorary membership being taken back. You didn’t go through the bs they put real members through to get your sisterhood. Maybe you’d understand the reason they were so upset. And better yet why be associated with a group that would carry on like you said they did?

    • RLT’s membership was correctly revoked. I am a Delta – pledged in the 80s. I believed she crossed the line with making the initial issue and the aftermath public, and she continue to publicly criticize a sorority that she claimed to love. I am glad she is no longer part of the organization. I respect the public service she rendered and continue to do re. AIDs awareness. I am confident that she will continue to have supporters for her efforts, and will continue to make a difference in other people’s lives. However, DST is organization with certain protocols and expectations for its members. Membership is not mandatory. It is a privilege for those willing to follow its rules (both explicit and implied). She broke the rules and knowingly continued to break them through continued public rants. She deserved the revocation, maybe even asked for it by being so “publicly” disrespectful to our traditions of secrecy and resolving conflicts privately – something she well understood and agreed to do when she took the Oath. She does have the right to talk openly about anything that affects her life. And Delta has every right to throw her out of our organization if she does something it disagrees with. And as others have asked, how is it that she could not commit to a time frame for taking down the pictures, but could so quickly turn to another electronic media to rant and rave publicly about conversations she had with a Delta official? I wish her well in health and career pursuits, but I am glad that she is no longer a Delta!

      • You DST’s are wrong the way you handled the situation with Rae-Thorton, it wasn’t what she supposedly had posted but the stigma associated with HIVAIDS.
        She can still leave you in the dust.
        That was tired and shameful the way it was handled.
        She was an honorary member who really shouldn’t know your secrets
        Shame -your going to make the comment I’m glad she’s gone
        Why? Mistakes happen all the time with people period.
        YOU are jealous-your comment wasn’t needed
        That’s your sister before DELTA show it, be about it.
        If she had to go have ethics that’s what you claimed she didn’t have
        Question : When you came to DC for your 200th anniversary or 3 why y’all old girls so fat-you’re going to get hit with a weight stigma-obesity probably kills more people than aids-diabetes- strokes-high blood pressure to name a few.

      • You DST’s are wrong the way you handled the situation with Rae-Thorton, it wasn’t what she supposedly had posted but the stigma associated with HIVAIDS.
        She can still leave you in the dust.
        That was tired and shameful the way it was handled.
        She was an honorary member who really shouldn’t know your secrets
        Shame -your going to make the comment I’m glad she’s gone
        Why? Mistakes happen all the time with people period.
        YOU are jealous-your comment wasn’t needed
        That’s your sister before DELTA show it, be about it.
        If she had to go have ethics that’s what you claimed she didn’t have
        Question : When you came to DC for your 200th anniversary or 3 why y’all old girls so fat-you’re going to get hit with a weight stigma-obesity probably kills more people than aids-diabetes- strokes-high blood pressure to name a few.

  17. Who puts pictures of their fraternity or sorority on their business website? Sounds like some overcompensating going on. Honorary members aren’t held in the same light as someone who went through things in school (Hint Hint). How about doing like a fraternity founded in Bloomington Indiana. Just don’t have honorary members!

  18. I am a delta who uphold the highest respect for Rae. All I have to say is “HAS DELTAL LOST THEIR MIND!!!!!!

  19. Much Love Rae…
    I really hate to see you cry over that!
    The Lord said he will make your enemies your footstool.

  20. I also agree it is not a good comment.

  21. Excuse the mistake in my previous comment. I meant to say. “Not Good”

  22. If Delta Sigma Theta, can leave Alpha Kappa Alpha, they sure as hell will leave you..It is a sorority founded on the principles of division, non-loyalty, and confusion. If you can’t be loyal to the pledges, oaths, and rituals of one organization, you can’t expect that organization to be loyal to you…Don’t forget the founding members of Delta Sigma Theta were once members of ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA, SORORITY INC.

  23. Michael Harriot, Thank you so much for your intelligent response !!!!!!!!

  24. Michael Harriot

    Taking the sorority out of it for a minute, this woman sounds like so many Black women and men that I encounter today.

    One of the BIGGEST problems we have is that everyone thinks they are special, and want to excuse themselves for the consequence of their actions. Let’s say this lady wasn’t a national figure, and this wasn’t a sorority, but she worked in a factory or office.

    If someone at her company called her asking about rules she had broken, and her response was to hang up.

    If she disparaged her company on the internet or on Twitter

    She would be asked to leave.

    She sounds like she is a whiny, spoiled, self-important pseudo-celebrity who is not used to being treated like a regular person.

    You can’t say “I don’t care who you are, or what you do to me, you won’t talk to me that way…” and then cry about what they do to you.

    P.S. If you are an honorary member, you don’t get any special treatment or tone that a regular, dues-paying, pledging, hard-working member gets. If fact, you might deserve less.

  25. You guys should not judge a sorority based on a story told my a visibly upset individual. How do you really know if this was/is an ongoing investigation concerning her actions past or present concerning protocol? Did the events on the telephone really take place the way she is commenting? I am not calling her a liar, but interpretations of conversations held are just that, and are most often one sided. There are over 250,000 ladies in DST and I am sure that there have been problems from time to time, just like in any organization. However, just like most of us are taught as children, have some loyalty and choose the correct method for solving in house problems. This 50 year old woman chose to share her sorority business with the world. The elected officials did not. They called her privately good or bad. No one knows what their organization would have done in a situation like this because it did not happen to them. Their private business was not exploited on a social network.

  26. Whether she was a Delta or not, the person who told her to take those pictures down in the manner in which she spoke to her, should’ve been the better and bigger person to say “can we meet after your meeting, it is important.” It was a matter of respect, not just who they both were. I mean, women need to respect one another. It seems that this is the problem many women have when they are given a title. It is sad but it seems that it is always “black” women who treat one another this way, and why? If this person who raised her voice at her was a Delta, then this shows this person should not have been given that title. She did not respect her own Soror. What does this say about the whole Soror???

  27. Folks,
    As a member of Delta Sigma Theta who pledged in the 80s, I am extremely proud of my organization. I commend Rev. Rae for her activism,; however when we sorors pledged, we agreed to keep Delta Business private. There are many sides to every story. We have not heard the Delta side yet, so I encourage us all to be patient until we hear all sides, and don’t rush to any judgement. Our sorority is not a cult. We are a professional organization of talented women who selflessly volunteer their energy, time, efforts, and talents to our children, adults and society. Please understand that my comments represent me, and not DST.
    Peace

  28. Rae -you accomplished your purpose. You have tarnished the name of the sorority you claim to love with your angry “story.” Was this really the first contact you had with the sorority over these issues? How did the sorority “parade” you around when YOU accepted membership voluntarily? Finally, why did you make this about AIDS/HIV, when this seems to be a personal clash? DELTA knew your status before you were inducted. NOW they are discriminating against you because of it? Really? Don’t people with HIV/AIDS want to treated just like everyone else? Wouldn’t treating you differently because of your status be discrimination? Seems that doesn’t work both ways for you. You are a dynamic, inspirational person, but you should have handled this situation with the integrity that you and your “followers” are demanding from your beloved sorority.

  29. From one sister to another, Rae you are right: No body should disrespect another, in such a way. You are a trail blazer in the work you do, there just are not enough people like you! Seems like this sorority did not deserve your “services”. Just go ahead sister, there are many other Non-Profit and Community Organisations that need your input. You are worth more than any sorority- fact. Dust yourself off, hold your head high and concentrate on getting over this health setback. Remember not many people even know their statuses, including this so called “Chairperson” … That thing called Karma…you will toss your legs in the air and roll in laughter, one of these days! Do what you do!

  30. I aam surprised..I cautiioned my children about the free range sex in campus life..rooms full of irresponsible young adults(?) Engaged in.very risky sex..SMH..

  31. She should have been an AKA. Delta’s are just party people and really are as one post states “..Shady.” Check out those that are on FB, it show the caliber of women they really are.

    There may be others in their organization that have HIV/AIDs that will just stop going to meetings and disappear so not to be treated badly.

    • Please remove the “fair” from your username!! To blast an organizations for the ACTIONS of a few is down right ignorant!! Then to further assert that she should’ve pledge AKA only validates the latter!! WOW!

  32. I am deeply troubled that Rae had to experience such foolery from an organization I belong to! Its sad, damn a sorority whatever happened to humanity! Some of those dainty mother of the church hat wearing women within the sorority sicken me! Mz Rae please accept my apology firstly as a woman, secondly as a human and last as a fellow soror you will always be DST!! To hell with them. I will keep you in my prayers my sista!!

  33. Johnny Katt-Thank You, Thank You, Thank you. In addition, in her anger, she’s making herself look bad, not like the role model that anyone would expect her to be. It’s okay to be angry, but don’t try to pull other people outside of the situation into it.Trying to get people to take sides, always creates a bigger mess than the original mess. Like my mother-in-law always says, “the more you stir mess, the bigger it gets”.Hey, this is what happens when people within cliques fall out. Once they are out, they want to become buddies with people who were never “in”. Sorry, but my cookie doesn’t crumble that way.

  34. You all are talking and criticizing the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority but there is always 2 sides to every story. I feel so for the sister with AIDS but her actions were not good.

    It sounds as if she is still mad; she started off crying and ended up cursing.

  35. I think it’s a complete mess the way DST, handled the situation. In the age of social media, it’s very hard to restrain from airing grievances to the public. Moreover, with Thornton, having a transparent approach to most things, for the last 20+ years, I would imagine, it’s simply in Thornton’s DNA! Though, I don’t fully agree with the way she handled herself, I do understand. But we all have to be careful of what we say and how we react to situations….

  36. I did not see the pictures or the website. However, I totally disagree with this decision.

    Sisterhood comes under question here. No one is perfect. This entire process is shameful and makes me question this investigation. Was the Soror who made the call reprimanded for her behavior in provoking this now former Soror?

    Enough is enough and this is one more reason why our Sorority has so many inactive members. Power and authority has its place but respect for each other trumps position.

    God bless you Rae Lewis Thornton.

  37. It should not matter if she is a spokeswoman or has AIDS, the sorority should have included her in the meetings. And the organization is not worth crying over, better things will come her way.

  38. I AM SO GLAD YOU DO NOT NEED THE GROUP TO DEFINE WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOUR PURPOSE IS. YOU HAVE A HEART….”CAN THEY FEEL THAT”?

  39. I have no love for sorority, and even less for the crying, cussing, licensed Baptist minister,
    Rae Lewis-Thornton – just because her honorary membership was rescinded.
    Keep on cussing Rev or Bishop great role model.

    • Amen!… Short, Sweet and Direct to the Point. Glad my minister (Baptist) doesn’t use this kind of language and praise herself like this….

  40. have you people ever study melanoma cancer….it the cancer of all cancer’s….and it the aid virus…but you got to study…..the t-cell….tell the b-cell to make antibodies but the t-cell is effected so it cannot talk to the b-cell so the b-cell do not know to make antibodies to attack that disease it the body…..now the “cd4″ on the t-cell allow the aid virus to come in the t-cell and this is the only cell that have that cd4 on it……now the virus can be give through sex….especially in the butt…why because this is where your fighter cells are fighter are white blood cell…and only white blood cell have DNA IS NOT IN RED BLOOD CELL LIKE SOME BLACKS MAY THINK…THIS IS WHAT HAPPEN INTENTIONALLY BY WHITE EUROPEAN…”{THEY OWN ALL THEY LAND IN AMERICA}” AFTER THE ON GOING RECESSION IN THE MID AND LATE 1980’S IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY WITH THE DRUG EPIDEMIC BEING FORCE IN PLACE DO TO JOBLESS BLACKS…THE WHITE MEN PUT IN A WEL FARE REFORM THAT SCARED THE SHYT OUT OF THE BLACK WOMEN THEY TOOK AWAY HER INSURANCE TO TAKE CARE OF HER KID SHE WAS STILL HAVING FROM THESE BLACK MEN…so after they got the black women inside the office and on the jobs with them they always had this i will fire you policies in place so the white men would this to use to force the black women…you can either give me sex or I’m going to fire you… than what are you going to do your welfare is gone this…”{this was put in place by you dumb niger black president bill Clinton}” this is where aid come from mostly…”{and every president since Ronald Reagan” and every “{senator aka the real white boys club}” help put this is place to kill and look at the mass murder that whet on in the cities of America….this should have been an act of terrorism…and it’s still on going right now under these white boys club…and they did not care how many white got caught up in this {“project}””{PROJECT}” as long as they was seeing the black population was getting kill…..

  41. I know that other honorary members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority like: Shirley Caesar, Ruby Dee, Aretha Franklin, Nikki Giovanni, Rudolph, Camille Cosby, Bishop Vashti McKenzie, Rev. Dr. JoAnn Browning, Ruby Dee, Nikki Giovanni, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Suzanne Douglas etc. would not have being using profanity toward another Soror or another person. I am sad for Rae Lewis-Thornton but there are ALWAYS two-sides to every story.

    The title of the article “AIDS Activist Kicked Out of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Why?” would make anyone feel sorry for the person but again there are always two-sides to ALL stories. She was not rescinded due to the posting of pictures; her membership was rescinded due to her vents on Twitter and her posting Delta business (private) on a public medium. She also represented herself as a Delta with such vulgarity. People must think about what they’re doing especially when they’re hurt and angry. Ms. Lewis-Thorton is any acknowledgement that her actions were inappropriate. There is a way to HANDLE any situation and putting in a public forum on Twitter and on the web with this video is not it.

    REGARDLESS of what or how Soror McKinney spoke to her, it was inappropriate to start publicly broadcasting her issues with the organization on Twitter, ESPECIALLY given that she is a high-profile person.

    Ms. Lewis-Thorton is in my prayers, I feel her hurt and pain. I still feel that she should have dealt with Rose McKinney and the way the then President spoke to her with privately, not in a public forum.

  42. I listened to her statement of events. She was told to take the pictures down. It is evident that this was important to Delta Officers. It seems true that the caller was agreesively attempting to get a definitive answer as to when the pictures would be removed. There may not have been an escalation if Rae simply said I will have access to a computer tomorrow and I will remove the pictures then unless I get access sooner. Then even if there was a continued escalation in the requests to remove the pictures she should not have publicly voiced her displeasure. Maybe if she had pledged instead of being given membership she would respect and understand the sorority more.

    • What does pledging have to do with one being disrespected? I am a Delta and i know i would have reacted somewhat in the same manner had i been talked to in that manner. You get the relationship that you will put up with! I agree with Rae, she was talked to as if she was a child. She stated that she would take the pictures down but she couldn’t at the moment because she had just gotten off a plane. She had no access to a computer. This situation could have been handled differently but to resend her membership, how petty!!! Good luck Rae and may you forever be blessed!

  43. have you people ever study melanoma cancer….it the cancer of all cancer’s….and it the aid virus…but you got to study…..the t-cell….tell the b-cell to make antibodies but the t-cell is effected so it cannot talk to the b-cell so the b-cell do not know to make antibodies to attack that disease it the body…..now the “cd4″ on the t-cell allow the aid virus to come in the t-cell and this is the only cell that have that cd4 on it……now the virus can be give through sex….especially in the butt…why because this is where your fighter cells are fighter are white blood cell…and only white blood cell have DNA IS NOT IN RED BLOOD CELL LIKE BLACKS MAY THINK…STUDY!!!!!! AND STOP TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU HEAR ON TV

  44. I am so sorry that this happened to you. May the Lord continue to keep and bless you. YID

  45. This is very sad. I understand that organizations have policies, and that taking to Twitter may have not been the best route for Ms. Thornton to take. However, Delta should realize that in following the letter of the law, you can totally miss the spirit. In other words, you might be right on one level, but you’re totally losing your heart, soul and humanity on another. We don’t know how long this survivor — this fighter — has to be on this Earth with us. Why smack her down like that, when she’s been so bravely serving people — in the midst of her own challenges — for so many years?

    The better route would have been dialogue, love and forgiveness. The bigger picture is that this woman has taken what could have been a tragedy and determinedly served humanity with it in the best way she knows how. She deserves all honor and respect, and an organization with true love and compassion would not lose sight of that over something so small, and dishonor her in this way.

  46. What a horrible example of a conversation gone wrong between a public figure and leader of an organization. It is to Delta’s credit to have bestowed the honorary membership to a woman of such distinction and to its shame to have it rescinded in such a petty manner. Asking for the photos to be taken down was a reasonable request as was the initial response. Not to have asked when the action would be accomplished and to wait for that time to follow up is unreasonable to me. The personal comments on both sides were embarrassing.
    My best to Sister Rae as she continues her work with or without the Delta connection.

  47. There are two sides to ALL stories. We have only been provided with one side. The side of an apparently hurt/disappointed/emotionally charged woman with a serious chronic disease. Which may be a contributing factor for her emotional state. While we may be in the age of advancing communication technology and the rising use of social media, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube etc., are not the correct place to resolve disputes. Unfortunately with the advances in communication technology, human beings are losing valuable verbal communication skills. We all must make an effort to “think twice” before posing anything on social media and certainly, not when emotionally charged with anger, hate,and/or disappointment. Once out there, the comments/statements cannot be recalled. It is there for ever and ever.

  48. Girl, hold your head up! It was just an honorary membership. You are dealing with a mindset of people who are legends in their own mind and nowhere else. Be glad you have been let loose from those small minded women. You are now free to go on about your very important business. Thank you for sharing.

  49. Marilyn Kenoly

    Firstly, let me say this. We have to respect each other as people. It should not matter the title. It should not matter respect me as a person PERIOD.

    It does not matter the sorority she is in. She should have been respected as a person. There is a real issue going on in America with how people are treating each other. Nobody is BETTER than anybody else!! I am very sorry to read this and see this video.

    I hope it can be privately resolved. In this age of social media we need to stop running to the internet with everything. We need to stop all these ridiculous reality shows with black women rippin into each other just to make money! What is really going on???

  50. This is the result of something personal. Jealously has an ugly head…..

  51. Is there a law or bylaw in the Delta protocol/rules/policies handbook that specifically prohibits members from expressing a negative opinion about the sorority or another sorority member? Does this mean that members are only allowed to speak of Delta and other Deltas in a positive manner but not in a negative one? Is this not a violation of the members’ First Amendment right?

    Unfortunately, it seems that the sorority’s primary concern is focused around playing politics, perhaps because of the approaching centennial celebration. One’s vulgarity and exercise of freedom of speech should not be grounds for the rescinding of membership, and this situation serves as evidence of the sorority’s failure to uphold the standards of scholarship, service, and sisterhood that it was founded upon. It is a shame. A real shame.

  52. I’ve had interactions with members of DST across this nation, some of it great and some of it absolutley ridiculous, yet I will never judge them as a whole concerning the things I’ve seen and heard. IMO, rescinding an honorary membership is a sign of disrespect and speaks volumes to others. The word ‘honor’ is smack dab in the middle of that distinction and to take that title away sends a message that she was not an honorable person, at least that is the way I see it. Maybe there was some overreaction and egos got in the way? Sad this happened and I hope there is resolution.

  53. Sometimes we just don’t recognize it when God rescues us from harm. He (God) has probally been nudging at you all along to get out, and when you didn’t He had to force you out so that He can work with you closer without all the unecessary distractions (sorority)…..

    Here’s the evidence:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRJPaPfAn5Y&feature=related If you don’t want to click on the link Google or go to Youtube and type in: Real Talk 1: Black Greek Fraternities – Crossing Over.

  54. How was she able to hop on Twitter so quick and not give a concrete time from removing the pics from Facebook? Don’t you need internet access for both? She said at the end she has herpes. Damn, herpes and AIDS? I admire her strength for dealing with that on a daily basis.
    Anyway, I never understood the desire to join a Greek organization, I am all about Me Phi Me, but I don’t knock those who do join. I hope she doesn’t let this setback affect her health too much and wish her the best of luck.

  55. African American women are dying in unacceptable numbers from HIV/AIDS aroun this country. Our communities are blighted with poverty, mental health issues, unemployment and hunger, AND THIS is what u fight about. It is replayed time & time again In inner city communities through out this country. One Gang leader {DELTA) feels Dised by another member (RAE) and either fights or kills because of feeling disrespectful. The only difference is that this group wears Gucci and has a bank account.
    Rae, you were an honorary member of “NOTHING” ? It was an illusion and if anything you should feel grateful to leave and continue to share your story of HOPE to the hundreds of sisters who hang on your every word. The pettiness and down right hateful behavior should tell you something.! You are the voice of thousands of women who have no voice and refuse to be defined by a symbol, these r your true sisters and we CARE

  56. Really DST? So sad to treat this woman this way. As for Deltapat, if you are a member of DST you are a member of a service organization. As much as you might not want to accept it, respect and support from Non-members is something you should value and public opinion is far from irrelevant. If it were we wouldn’t even be having this conversation, right? Your organization is funded by Members and Non-members alike who in the past, but quite possibly NOT in the future, have supported your organization through contributions of time and interest as well as attending and supporting your fund raising efforts all while being under the impression that your focus was on community service and development. Your elitist statement that anyone’s opinion outside of the DST organization is “irrelevant” is an indication that your motivations for joining DST may not have been what they should be. Maybe your membership should be rescinded.

  57. Talib Muhammad

    It is indicative of the immaturity, divisiveness and elitism that exists in these “greek” lettered organizations. I’m sure that this is not going to go over well with those that have pledged, but I’m not surprised. Rae, they did not make you, they asked you to be apart of their organization when you went viral and you gave them credibility. It is okay to part. These organizations have their own and agenda and you didn’t fit it anymore, so your struggle continues. Keep fighting the good fight sister.

  58. Regardless of who she is they should have had a meeting with her.

  59. Sisters,
    I am a brother of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, incorporated. We stress our 4 cardinal principles: manhood, scholarship, perserverence and uplift. We strongly stress them all however uplift is essential to the soul. In your hearts you know better. Please don’t be a part of the problem.
    The Warlord’71

  60. Wow! Who did she piss off? That is not a Delta way. The former President Height is making it rain with tears, the way a sister is treated. This calls for a Large Meeting with all Deltas’.

  61. Respect is due to a dog. It doesn’t matter what your position is or was, at the end of the day we are all human and we have feelings. Regardless of how she chose to voice her feelings, they are hers and she can share how she likes. She still have constitutional rights that are above DST or any Divine 9 Org. They did not show her any courtesy and none should be showed to them. Families break up and argue everyday and display ongoing hate and back talk about each other. I feel she has a platform and she should use it. I’m no Honorary member, but a member of a Divine 9, and if I was confronted about a situation and not given the opportunity to rectify it without demands, my feelings will be made know. She has not bought reproach upon her sisters, they know how some of their sisters can be, as I know as well. I wish she was given the opportunity to have the situation rectified before being crucified.
    She was face of HIV/AIDS for DST and has never held her tongue about a battle she endures daily but she is kicked out because she was true to who she is and shared her daily opinions. She can wear the letters and openly expose herself about HIV/AIDS but she can’t share how hurt she was by something she so dearly love-DST.
    I wish her well.

  62. I will keep you in my prayers. You’re a strong woman. forget about that group and continue to do what you do. I know it hurts to be diss this way but it just shows you who your true friends are. she probably won’t have said this to anyone else. The nerve of her taking her frustrations out on you. You told her ass right!!!!

  63. Look…I am ashamed of what happened to her. Her language in NO WAY trumps her work. There is not one thing that any Delta can say in Ms. MCKINNEY’s defense. What I see is a huge amount of hate coming from a group of women who have temporarily lost their minds. It’s a shame and they need to stop it.

  64. There are so many ignorant comments here…so many uninformed responders. How intelligent of some to judge an entire sorority of over a quarter of a million women by a few they may have come in contact with!! Grow up. It’s obvious that she violated a bylaw and resulted in her being dismissed. There is no sympathy statute in manual. It was an honor for her to be chosen because of her work and what she stood for, but when you violate the rules- you must go. You may call it ‘political’ but saying it’s about money? Ha! It’s over and done and all know that actions have repercussions whether -positive or negative.
    It’s so sad that in this day and time, people have back tracked in the communication area. If all computers and smart phones disappeared, most wouldn’t even know how to converse. Private matters are private matters. Private ceremonies and such should be kept prIvate. Stop encouraging cowardness and the dodging of personal accountability.

  65. There are so many ignorant comments here…so many uninformed responders. How intelligent of some to judge an entire sorority of over a quarter of a million women by a few they may have come in contact with!! Grow up. It’s obvious that she violated a bylaw and resulted in her being dismissed. There is no sympathy statute in manual. It was an honor for her to be chosen because of her work and what she stood for, but when you violate the rules- you must go. You may call it ‘political’ but saying it’s about money? Ha! It’s over and done and all know that actions have repercussions whether -positive or negative.
    It’s so sad that in this day and time, people have back tracked in the communication area. If all computers and smart phones disappeared, most wouldn’t even know how to converse. Private matters are private matters. Private ceremonies and such should be kept pr

  66. I don’t believe her membership was rescinded due to the posting of pictures, her membership was rescinded I feel due to her vents on Twitter and her posting Delta business (private) on a public medium. Also representing herself as a Delta with such vulgarity.

    Having said that, I feel like errors were made on both sides. The fact that she is honorary, I assume that she is unaware of protocols and procedures. However as an ordained minister she should know that when you are representing an organization, you should do so in the most positive light. I am saddened and I feel compassion for her because she is very emotional about this. I am kind of shocked at how emotional she is considering she didn’t actually pledge etc.

    I wish her well and hope that she is able to get past this and not let it affect her health any further.

    And lets be honest, Delta has hundreds of thousands of members. Was she expecting routine calls and health checks from officers within the organization

    • I believe some of her emotions are now coming from being sick and enduring those painful medications. She just cant be having that reaction from being kicked out of a sorority… Cause really sorority life is not the end all and be all to life.

  67. P. Witherspoon

    Message to Deltapat:
    I am not only voicing my opinion publicly, but I am also going through the appropriate internal channels and have now heard both sides of the story. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. did not secretly make Soror Rae an Honorary Member. She has been paraded around publicly for years for our benefit. So yes, EVERYONE (Soror or not) is entitled to their opinion and to express it in any forum they so choose. What has happened to Soror Rae could happen to any of us, even you, Soror.

  68. All are reacting to “what they think” occurred as they hear it from one point of view. Membership in DST or any other Greek organization is not managed in the court of public opinion. If you are a member and you disagree with an action of your leaders voice your opinion in the appropriate INTERNAL channels; if you are still left unsatisfied,then exit-you are not a hostage.If NOT a member BUTT OUT your opinon is irrelevant.

    • I wouldn’t be so quick to say their opinions don’t matter. Some people know a lot about how Greek organizations operate and they’ve never been in one. I know people who know almost as much as I know and I am a soror. Our little “secrets” aren’t as secret as we think anyway. Disgruntled sorors or the ones who have renounced their letters put it all in the streets, i.e. handshakes,meanings behind acronyms,answers to certain “confidential” questions,etc.

  69. I agree with you girl. You must give respect to get it and well they did use you. Unfortunately at times people want but they are not willing to give. Sad really. Anyway I am now convinced it’s more of a cult. Ridiculous! Love you girl and I really hope it gets better and I am so so sorry that happened to you.Thank for your contribution of being willing to speak about a reality that is so hard to deal with. I solute you.

    • “give respect to get it” exactly, what Bible are you reading from? Respect, kindness, love etc are a given.

  70. I have to wholeheartedly agree with Ms. Witherspoon. I will say there is a divide within the black greek organization. Those who join for service and sisterhood and those who join for elitist purposes.

    Yes, Rae’s reaction may be too much for some. But she has always been vocal and opinionated. DST knew what they were doing when they offered her membership.

    I’m just appalled at how folks would put ceremonial pics and their ‘position’ above a sister who is fighting for her life. Come on now.

    They didn’t have a problem with it when she was the ‘cute face of AIDS’ in the 90s when it was a hot topic. So what’s the issue now. And when will the black community stop letting these prideful folks be stuck in their old ways. This is a new age. I’m glad she used social media to expose their lack of compassion.

    It’s refreshing to see members of DST speak out on her behalf. People have to recognize the truth is not always pretty.

  71. Maybe Rae could’ve handled it differently but that is who she is, she hasn’t changed pre-Delta she was transparent then & is transparent now and Delta knew who she was before inducting her. I felt Delta lacked compassion on the way they dealt with the situation, it wasn’t bad enough to rescind her membership. Some people are probably looking at this & saying it’s just a sorority BUT Rae probably built some great relationships in that group and felt part of their family and considering her day to day battle with AIDS, I’m assuming it was an honor and an accomplishment to be recognized by them… I think it was unfortunate & I hope this gets enough press to highlight Rae on her journey.

    • In all honesty, maybe she wasn’t vetted properly. I am not familiar with her website and her personality. Delta should have researched enough to know that her “vulgarity” and how she expresses herself publicly would not be a fit.

      • Remember, Rae said DST only wanted her because of what she stood for and fought for, AIDS Awareness. And at that time, their National Platform focused on that. And she knew later on that she had been used, but she fell in love with DST and what it stood for. Now look at where that got her? Very sad, but she still has love for the organization. Admirable!

      • This is the best response on this topic and also my opinion. It sounds like she should not have been made honorary to begin with. However, now that she is in they probably should/could have done a better job with treating her with respect and dignity that is deserved by ALL women. Deltas or otherwise.

  72. I had my share of Deltas in 2000 when those cheap, taking themselves far too serious heffas came to Chicago and stayed @ the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. Our staff was constantly insulted,offended and delt with constant complaints from them about absolutely nothing! Everytime I looked they had a problem. I can’t tell you how many times I had to speak to them because they had a problem-they got on my nerves!They act as though they were a high class society but they were piled into rooms 4-5 deep without our approval. They constantly nit-picked for freebeeies and was just flat out rude! As a black woman with a diverse staff, my anticipation of these women was high but a couple days into their arrival-THEY WERE EMBARRASING!!! The staff was glad when they made their exit. They were wonderful complainers and horrible tippers! Their rooms were filthy when they left but we were just happy they were gone. They treated my staff like manuer.

    • Well, what can you expect from a spin-off sorority.

      However, you should spell check before you post.

      • Clearly,you understood it.It’s a blog not a college essay- Moron. Is that better?

      • Your comment is totally out of order. Check yourself my sistah !

        • Check yourself as well while you’re at it. Some of the women at the convention that year showed their arses..I am from Chicago and was working at a sports store downtown that year…a Delta came in my store and got in my line and proceeded to give me over 300 plus pennies! I showed my compassion even though she tried to throw her Delta weight around by demanding and talking ish about all the pennies she put on the counter…SHE WASNT EVEN HUMBLE ABOUT IT! While I do know every woman is different..she still represents DST! Some of you all are classy and sweet and the rest are cliquish and down right ratchet! BTW I was 19 and in college..I wanted to pledge another BGLO anyways…and I’d so…it’s really not a big deal!

      • Disappointed Sister

        The situation is unfortunate. But we are only seeing one side of this situation. I really do emphasize with the sister but if we violate certain policies we must suffer the consequences. Also, I am not going to resort to insulting any sororities. That is the problem with many people of color. Instead of lifting each other up we would rather tear each other down. Sometimes we also base our perception of an organization on the actions of a few. It is the same stereotyping that we try so hard to fight against. Wake up people!

  73. P. Witherspoon

    I am a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and am horrified to hear my sorors blaming Soror Rae (and yes she will ALWAYS be Soror Rae to me) for reacting to the disrespectful way she was treated. All of you know good and well that if you were attacked in that manner you probably would have responded in kind. Like it or not this is the age of social media. Delta Inc. knows this and so do you. This is about money and politics. I guarantee you that Soror Roseline would NEVER have treated Bishop Vashti McKenzie, Rev. Dr. JoAnn Browning, Ruby Dee, Nikki Giovanani, etc. in this way. And trust me, I have been around each of these women and they are equally as fire when riled up!!

    Shame on Soror Roseline. Shame on Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. I am and will always be a Delta, but it is NOT my first love/obsession and I will not sit idly by and allow the actions of a few ignorant sorors to overshadow those of us who show love and respect to ALL of our Honorary Sorors. There is a way to handle things and Soror Roseline handled it poorly. She should know better and if she doesn’t, she should be replaced with a Soror who does!

    For all the good we have done, God bless us. For this black eye on our sorority, God help us.

    • P. Witherspoon Thank you for such a mature, honest and respectful post. Titles and respect are both give. The conversation was apparently disrespectful and maybe venting on a social media site was not the best option if she wanted to silence her opinion. People are hateful and obnoxious towards the president but people are not removed from our nation. Does freedom of speech not hold true in organizations?

  74. Soror, I totally concur with you. Airing her disagreement with Soror McKinney on twitter was an inappropriate way to respond. By doing so, she violated several policies of the sorority. I think that the fact that she broadcast her issues on twitter and the language she used were probably why her “Honorary Membership” was rescinded and not because of the pictures on a website. Honorary Members are held to higher standard that regular members of the sorority.

      • blacktravelqueen

        Black folks still walking around CLAIMING and THINKING you’re GREEK, now that’s the SAD, IGNORANT part! You don’t even know who you are.

    • if honorary members are held to a higher standard, does that mean that honorary members have to do more service and give more money? just what does that mean? does it mean that you have to be famous or of note for what you do? wtf does it mean?

  75. What I hear is a bunch egoic pettiness and it makes me sad all around. I am a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc and to its credit the organization does a LOT of good for the community. At the same time it is made up of human beings and all that does with being human.

    I don’t know that her membership being rescinded has anything to do with her platform, but the result of her choice of actions to the way she was spoken to by the head of the organization. REGARDLESS of what or how Soror McKinney spoke to her, it was inappropriate to start publicly broadcasting her issues with the organization on Twitter, ESPECIALLY given that she is a high-profile person. It kind of reminds me of the Roland Martin incident. In this age of social media, people are learning the hard way that they have to watch what they say and the forums in which they say it, or suffer the consequences. Her issues with Soror Rose McKinney and the way the then President spoke to her should have been dealt with privately, not in a public forum.

    Now why it took a year for them to come to a resolution or WHY she was never brought into the discussion is odd to me, but what I don’t hear from Ms. Lewis-Thorton is any acknowledgement that her actions were inappropriate. There is a way to HANDLE any situation and putting in a public forum on Twitter and on the web with this video is not it.

    • Well you’re right. I was looking for someone with a close opinion to mine. I agree that Soror McKinney was wrong for her treatment of Rae and she needed to be checked. But “grown ass women” (her words) venting their dirty laundry on Twitter is insane. People must think about what they’re doing especially when they’re hurt and angry. I think Rae handled herself well until Twitter. She should’ve handled it with McKinney and if McKinney was still trippin, that’s when you pick up a phone and call your lawyer.

    • Well said Soror. Twitter was not the place. And as a lawyer, I feel there is much more to the story. I commend Ms. Thorton for everything she has contributed to our communities an black women. She deserved a visit from the National President not a phone call. At least that much.

      • Soror:

        I too am a Delta/ Lawyer. I just became aware of the fact that this incident occurred a year ago. Would somebody tell me the approximate date/year when Rev.Rae was asked to remove the photo (s) and the actual date the photo (s) were removed ? I am not defending nor blaming anybody for this unfortunate incident. I need facts…not some facts….all the facts to make an intelligent decision as to where I stand as it relates to Rev. Rae’s expulsion.

    • My complements to you soror. Well said and on point! I am suspicious of the reason for her publicly airing this situation. I am further disturbed by her foul language; not becoming of a woman and certainly not a DELTA sister.

      • I agree with your thoughts about tweeting. She should not have let her anger get the best of her. But to be fair, the use of profanity should have no bearing on what sorority or fraternity you are in. That trait is a human imperfection.

    • This sorority and all of the others care about nothing and nobody but, themselves. They think they are above other women…this is a travisity. She is right, when “AIDS” was hot, the Delta’s wanted her, now they don’t. I remember when my minister said she was ugly in college and no Sorority wanted her, then when she became one of the greatest ministers in the country, all of the sororities wanted her..she said “NO” you didn’t want me then, and you won’t get me now. Rae-Lewis Thornton, is a better woman without them…I don’t even know why she is crying, they are not worth it.

    • To take sides in this matter and defend any of this only further discredits DST. Especially, for those who think not much of these groups. To see Grown Ass Women acting like catty teenagers really does not serve you well and to justify ANY of this MESS only furthers the negativity. To say this organization is about service and to see the gross insensitivity of these women diminishes any level of credibility and respect there may be. Even honorary members should feel dishonored right now!

  76. Delta are shady.

  77. She said the main things so many people seem to forget– and that is that cults OOPS sorities, fraternities even institutionalized churches are suppose to be about SERVICE! But in todays society it is apparent that they are all about deception and MONEY! The incident could have been handled better than it was– that just goes to show what such groups stand for…she did not receive any calls asking her how she was doing or is there a “need” we could help you with but instead they called and emotionally upset her for a picture on a facebook page that could have been corrected with a click of a mouse!..and it took all that? Well she right — IT IS WHAT IT IS! May God continue to bless you and you are better off loving them from a DISTANCE! PEACE

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