Iran Becton

U.S. Postal carrier Iran Becton was recently on the receiving end of a joke masterminded by University of Chicago’s Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

“About a week after Memorial Day, I had an order to bring 79 of the boxes. I came to the address and explained to the frat member that I would have a lot more supplies. I went back to the truck for the boxes about six or seven times,” Becton told the Chicago Sun-Times.

“After the last trip, one of the frat guys came out and said it was a practical joke. Another guy said that I should read the name backwards and I’ll get the joke.”

The items — all 79 of them — were addressed to “Reggin Toggaf.” Written backward, the first name is a racial slur. The last name is a slur for gay men.

“I was humiliated,” said Becton, an African American.

Becton wants an apology; the Chicago Division Postal Inspection Services is reportedly investigating and mail delivery to the Phi Delt house has been suspended until they issue a written apology to Becton. The Sun-Times notes in addition to the impact on Becton, the prank involved “the abuse and possibly the destruction of postal property,” which is a criminal offense.

A statement from the university calls the incident “deplorable” and says the school is cooperating with the Postal Service investigation.

Ironically the incident happened just days after anti-racism activist and writer Tim Wise spoke to the campus about the ignorance of dominant social groups as a persistent problem in America and the University of Chicago community. Apparently members of Phi Delta Theta missed that talk.

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  • That wasn’t even funny.

  • sixfoota

    I love me some Tim Wise, honey!

    As far as this article, they’re young, white boys. I am not surprised & nothing will happen to them.

    • Lynne

      I love me some Tim, too!

  • Pseudonym

    Ugh! As a Chicagoan, I’ve always had little respect for the UofC institution, but I at least thought/hoped they’d be above this! Disgusting.

    • Lynne

      Why do you have little respect for U of C? I’m asking because I was considering that institution for graduate school.