Frat Member in Racist Chant Video Speaks Out: "It Was Likely Fueled by Alcohol"
On Tuesday, a student identified as one of the University of Oklahoma Sigma Alpha Epsilon members seen participating in a racist chant video came forward to apologize, claiming alcohol likely fueled his actions.
Parker Rice identified himself as one of the students seen in the racist chant videoproclaiming that no black students would ever be admitted to the OU frat. He released a lengthy statementTuesday, through his father, Bob Rice, to theDallas Morning News:
I am deeply sorry for what I did Saturday night. It was wrong and reckless. I made a horrible mistake by joining into the singing and encouraging others to do the same. On Monday, I withdrew from the university, and sadly, at this moment our family is not able to be in our home because of threatening calls as well as frightening talk on social media.
I know everyone wants to know why or how this happened. I admit it likely was fueled by alcohol consumed at the house before the bus trip, but that's not an excuse. Yes, the song was taught to us, but that too doesn't work as an explanation. It's more important to acknowledge what I did and what I didn't do. I didn't say no, and I clearly dismissed an important value I learned at my beloved high school, Dallas Jesuit. We were taught to be "Men for Others." I failed in that regard, and in those moments, I also completely ignored the core values and ethics I learned from my parents and others.
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.
Thank you for your consideration of my deepest apologies for what I did.
The parents of another frat member also released a statement, telling the public their son "is a good boy" who made a "disgusting" video.
On Tuesday, Brody and Susan Pettit, the parents of Levi Pettit, also released a statement addressing his participation. The Pettits shared their statement to the media through a website called Friends and Family of Levi Pettit:
As parents of Levi, we love him and care for him deeply. 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.
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.
To our friends and family, thank you for your kind comments and prayers. They are very comforting in this difficult time.
We ask that the media and public please respect our family's privacy as we come together to heal and determine next steps.
OU President David Boren expelled two students(who were not publicly identified) from the school Tuesday in the wake of the video, noting that their actions in video created a "hostile learning environment for others." The SAE fraternity was also banned from the school.
Video: Racist Frat Video: Whistle-Blower Talk About Oklahoma’s SAE Tape
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