Disgraced Oklahoma student says 'deeply sorry' about racist song

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 25, 2015 2:04 PM

By Heide Brandes

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - A former University of Oklahoma student seen in a video leading a racist song at a fraternity outing apologized on Wednesday, saying he will carry the shame of his words for the rest of his life.

"I am sorry, deeply sorry," Levi Pettit said after a meeting with civil rights leaders and state Senator Anastasia Pittman, head of Oklahoma's Legislative Black Caucus.

"Although I don't deserve it, I want to ask for your forgiveness," he said.

Pettit said his words on the bus were disgusting, hateful and wrong.

"From this point forward I will be the leader that I should have been on that bus and stand up against racism in any form," he said.

The 10-second video was shot on a bus chartered for a date night by the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and posted online this month. Students are seen and heard chanting in unison, using offensive language referring to black people and vowing never to admit them to the fraternity.

The university shut the SAE chapter at the school and expelled Pettit, 20, and Parker Rice, 19. The two apologized for their actions in written statements.

(Reporting by Heide Brandes; writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Leslie Adler and Bill Trott)