The fallout from a video that captured members of the University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter singing a racist chant continued Tuesday as university President David Boren announced that two students have been expelled. Boren said that both students, Parker Rice and Levi Pettit, played “a leadership role” during the party-bus ride’s racist sing-along.
Thank you for your consideration of my deepest apologies for what I did.
At this point, all I can do is be thoughtful and prayerful about my next steps, but I am also concerned about the fraternity friends still on campus. Apparently, they are feeling unsafe, and some have been harassed by others. Hopefully, the university will protect them.
For me, this is a devastating lesson and I am seeking guidance on how I can learn from this and make sure it never happens again. My goal for the long-term is to be a man who has the heart and the courage to reject racism wherever I see or experience it in the future.
Shortly after publishing Rice’s apology, the Morning News received a statement from Pettit’s parents condemning his behavior while explaining that he is a “good boy” and apologizing to those hurt by his words.
“As parents of Levi, we love him and care for him deeply,” read the statement, viewed by the Morning News. “He made a horrible mistake, and will live with the consequences forever. However, we also know the depth of our son’s character. He is a good boy, but what we saw in those videos is disgusting. While it may be difficult for those who only know Levi from the video to understand, we know his heart, and he is not a racist. We raised him to be loving and inclusive and we all remain surrounded by a diverse, close-knit group of friends.”
The statement continues: “We were as shocked and saddened by this news as anyone. Of course, we are sad for our son—but more importantly, we apologize to the community he has hurt. We would also like to apologize to the—entire African-American community, University of Oklahoma student body and administration. Our family has the responsibility to apologize, and also to seek forgiveness and reconciliation. Our words will only go so far—as a family, we commit to following our words with deeds.”
Read more at the Dallas Morning News.