NORMAN, Okla. – University of Oklahoma officials say they are looking into an off-campus incident this week involving students and allegations, posted on Facebook, that a man used offensive language to describe black people.
In a Facebook post, posted shortly before 3:30 Thursday morning, a man said he was leaving a Campus Corner bar and stopped a fight. In the post — which includes two photos — the man said another man pictured in the photos was outside a campus pizza joint, allegedly screaming, “Colored people are poor” and that he was rich and better than everyone because he’s in a fraternity.
It’s been more than three years since OU and fraternity members found themselves embroiled in a racism scandal. The university suffered nationwide embarrassment after multiple Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members were caught on video singing a racist chant in 2015. The chapter has been banned from the university.
In this incident, News 4 is not identifying the man in the photo as there are no criminal charges connected with the alleged incident, first reported by The Oklahoma Daily. Multiple attempts to contact the man who posted the photos and allegations were unsuccessful. The post has garnered thousands of comments and shares.
News 4 did speak with the man named in the Facebook post by phone Friday evening.
“These allegations made about me are patently untrue,” he said. “And I deny these allegations made in a late night Facebook post by someone I have never met.”
The man went on to say he loves Norman and the entire OU community.
However, the man’s fraternity has suspended him, pending an internal investigation.
“We have become aware of certain Facebook postings which describe actions by one of our members earlier this week that are not in line with the values of our organization,” said Gamma Phi chapter of Beta Theta Pi President Lane Prado in a statement Friday. “This behavior, if true, is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated by our chapter or the rest of our members.”
Prado said the chapter would take appropriate disciplinary action, and possible expulsion, depending on the findings of the fraternity’s own internal investigation.
“To any members of the community that may have been hurt by the harmful rhetoric reported as being used by one of our members we offer our deepest sympathies. Any such behavior does not represent the values of our organization or the rest of our membership.”
The university, telling News 4 in a statement Thursday that “The University of Oklahoma values and supports all of our students irrespective of their ethnic backgrounds or social economic status. The university is looking into the incident via appropriate university protocol.”