Two students responsible for a video portraying one of the women in blackface have issued public apologies after withdrawing from the University of Oklahoma.
“There is no excuse for this behavior, in private or in public,” the woman who appeared in blackface, Olivia Urban, said in her statement. “My intent was not to hurt, diminish, or degrade anybody inside or outside the OU community. I failed to consider at the time that my moment of ignorance disrespected a lifetime of hurt due to actions like mine in the past”
The video, originally posted on Snapchat, was also posted in a tweet and got thousands of views. The student in blackface appears to describe herself using the N-word.
The student who filmed the video, Frances Ford, was expelled from OU’s Delta Delta Delta sorority, according to news reports. Voter registration records indicate Ford, 20, is registered to vote in Tulsa.
“Continuing education and awareness in such matters will ensure my lifelong dedication to racial equality,” Ford said in her apology.
The students identified themselves in their public apologies, which were released by the university Tuesday morning.
Gallogly said the video was recorded off campus in a private setting and was not part of a university activity.
“They decided to withdraw on their own under the circumstances,” he said. “They can see that our culture rejects this kind of activity, in no uncertain terms.
“I think it became very clear to them that this type of behavior is not only local news, but state news and national news. I think they are very surprised by the reaction; but simply put, this type of racist video has no place here or any place else.”
Gallogly said he had heard that a third student might have been involved in the video, and the university is investigating.
This is the second time in about four years that a racially insensitive video posted by a student led to an immediate university response. In spring 2015, when two videos surfaced of OU’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members singing a racist song, then-President David Boren expelled the fraternity from the campus and two of its members withdrew from OU. In all, two dozen fraternity members were disciplined.