OKLAHOMA CITY – One of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members, who was expelled from the University of Oklahoma for being seen on a viral video singing a racist chant, scheduled a press conference Wednesday to apologize publicly for the first time.
Oklahoma Senator Anastasia Pittman (D-District 48), the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus Chair, said Levi Pettit called her last week and held a private meeting with her and his parents.
Why did he call Pittman?
“Redemption. Forgiveness,” she said.
When asked if he received that, Pittman said, “Not yet.”
Pettit and another student, Parker Rice, were expelled from OU after they were both recorded taking part in the chant earlier this month.
OU President David Boren shut down SAE and scheduled a mandatory meeting with all campus fraternity members on Wednesday.
Pittman said the press conference with Pettit is not about her.
“It’s about putting him in front of the people that resonate with the pain,” she said.
When asked if she thought Pettit was a racist, Pittman said ‘no.’
“I believe his actions were racist,” she said. “He’s the one that came forward. He’s the only student that called me. So I think that takes great courage.”
“He was part of a group that was doing it and peer pressure was there,” she added. “He had an opportunity to stop a chant and he didn’t, and so he’s taking full responsibility for his actions, which is commendable.”
Pittman, select students, civic leaders and local pastors were scheduled to meet privately with Pettit at the Fairview Baptist Church prior to the press conference.