Opinion: University of Oklahoma student apology not enough

Lauren Gump

A video that went viral Saturday night of University of Oklahoma students singing a racist chant sent people reeling. Parker Rice, one of the two students expelled for leading a racist chant, offered a public apology for his actions.

In his apology, Rice said, “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.”

Rice also mentioned that alcohol may have played a part in his behavior but that is still not an excuse.

The video shows several people on a bus participating in a song that included a racial slur, referenced lynching and indicated black students would never be admitted into OU’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

The students’ expulsion was announced in a statement earlier Tuesday by President David Boren. “They will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action,” Boren said.

He later banished the fraternity from campus. The students were likely expelled for violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination.

While this video has shocked many, I’m not shocked at all. People are careless towards others and don’t care what is said or how others will react. This video was an act of selflessness and they should be very embarrassed. Racism has been around for years and there’s proof every day that it still surrounds us.

Even though this doesn’t shock me, it does anger me because people don’t care. Why were they singing that chant in the first place? What brought it up? Why would someone video tape it anyways? Feelings are hurt and Oklahoma suffered from this incident.

This video, unfortunately, proves that racism is still alive. It also proves that some people just don’t have respect for others feelings and well-being. Why were there only two students expelled? I understand that they were the “leaders” but if more students were singing the chant, shouldn’t more be expelled? I think that everyone needs to be taught a lesson in this case. 

Even if you had alcohol in your system, you should still be mindful of the people around you. People don’t think, and I think that’s what frustrates me the most.  

Lauren Gump is a freshman journalism major. Contact her at [email protected].