Students’ racist video shows ‘how far we have yet to come,’ University of Okla. says

The George Lynn Cross Hall, Botony, Microbiology building, pictured here, on the University of Oklahoma campus.
The George Lynn Cross Hall, Botony, Microbiology building, pictured here, on the University of Oklahoma campus. The Associated Press

A racist video featuring two University of Oklahoma students is a reminder of “how far we have yet to come in the conversation about treating everyone with respect and dignity,” the university said in a statement posted to Twitter.

The video was posted to Snapchat by an OU student, the OU Daily reported. In the video, one of the students used a racial slur while her face was painted black, according to the college newspaper. That blackface video was recorded and then posted to Twitter, where it began circulating.

The Black Student Association of OU said on Twitter that its members are “not surprised by the actions of the two students in the video.”

“There is a violent and painful history concerning the usage of blackface and reducing black people to racist caricatures,” the BSA tweeted. “It is unfortunate for us to be in 2019 and this is still happening.”

Blackface is a racist tradition dating back to the minstrel shows of the 19th and early 20th centuries, when white comedians would wear black face paint and caricaturize black people as lazy and ignorant,” the San Luis Obispo Tribune previously reported.

In the statement posted to twitter, the university president and interim vice president said they are “saddened and offended that even on the eve of such an important holiday,” a conversation on how far “we have yet to come” was needed. The video was shared a few days before Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The OU chapter of Tri Delta said one of the woman involved with the video was a member of the sorority. The chapter president, London Moore, called the video “racist, offensive and disgraceful” in a statement posted to Instagram.

“Chapter leadership has met and ... the woman who participated in, filmed and posted the video is no longer a member of our organization,” Moore wrote. She said the video is “in no way consistent with Tri Delta’s ideals” and apologized for the “senseless act of racism.”

OU President James Gallogly wrote that the two students “offered to apologize in order to reflect their regret.” It was not clear how they would be apologizing.

Last year, a Cal Poly student apologized for wearing blackface at a fraternity event, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported. He said the face paint had nothing to do “with racism or discrimination.”

In 2016, Kansas State University made a statement after a former student posted a blackface photo to Snapchat, the Kansas City Star reported. In the statement, officials said “there is no place for racism at our university.”