University of Oklahoma Fraternity Student, Family Apologize for Racist Chant –

Posted: Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The family of one of the University of Oklahoma fraternity members seen in a video singing a racist chant said in a statement Tuesday night that his behavior is “disgusting” and expressed apologies to the “entire African American community.”

Brody and Susan Pettit said their son, Levi, “is a good boy, but what we saw in those videos is disgusting.” The family said they raised Levi to be “inclusive,” adding, “we know his heart, and he is not a racist.”

But Levi “made a horrible mistake, and will live with the consequences forever,” the statement said. The family offered apologies to the “entire African American community, University of Oklahoma student body and administration.”

The video that surfaced Sunday showing University of Oklahoma Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members chanting a racial slur and referencing lynching prompted the closure of the fraternity and the expulsion of two members, who school officials said played a leadership role in the chanting. The two students who were expelled have not been identified by Oklahoma University.

Another student who was spotted in the video was identified Tuesday as Parker Rice by his alma mater, Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas, according to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. “I am appalled by the actions in the video and extremely hurt by the pain this has caused our community. It is unconscionable and very sad that in 2015 we still live in a society where this type of bigotry and racism takes place,” the private high school’s president, Mike Earsing, said in a statement.

Rice apologized in a statement released Tuesday night, and said he had withdrawn from University of Oklahoma.

“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,” Rice said in the statement.



— Elisha Fieldstadt


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