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OSU students stage protest to bring attention to ‘blackface’ photos on social media

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STILLWATER, Okla. - Dressed in black, holding brown cardboard signs, outside of Whitehurst Hall, students of all colors came with a message.

“We want people to understand how serious this is. It’s not an okay issue. That's racist,” said Chance Galloway.

Galloway is talking about a social media post from a fellow student.

Her face is covered in a black face mask.

Galloway said the image is haunting.

“Blackface has been going on for years and years and years. It's demoralizing to our people. It's not okay. It’s not funny,” he said.

And, Tiffany Thurmond said it takes an emotional toll.

“I have students come to me all the time. They went home, and they couldn't sleep. Or, they went home, and maybe they were crying about it,” Thurmond said.

That's why she said it was important to be heard Monday by university administration.

President Burns Hargis met briefly with the group.

“He was very gracious. He invited us in. He listened to our problem. We didn't get a solution, but that doesn't mean that we are going to stop,” said student Risi Karim.

This is the second post of this type to come from an Oklahoma State University student in a week.

In the first case, the university responded by counseling the students on 'the consequences of their actions.'

“That wasn't enough. More needs to be done. We need everyone to understand that, if one race doesn't feel okay here, it's a problem,”  Galloway said.

The university hasn't responded to the recent post, but the student behind the picture issued an apology on her Facebook page, saying, in part:

“I want to apologize with all my heart. I am sorry. I made a mistake. I am owning up to it. I just want everyone to know that I did not intentionally try to offend. I did not intentionally put down blacks.”

We reached out to the student in the photo but have not heard back.

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