University Of Oklahoma student expelled from sorority after viral blackface video

A student at the University of Oklahoma seen in a video in blackface has been expelled from her sorority over the incident.

“The behavior documented in the video is abhorrent and is in no way consistent with Tri Delta's ideals. To those students directly impacted by this senseless act of racism, we are deeply sorry, and we know that is not enough,” London Moore, president of the OU chapter of Delta Delta Delta sorority said in a statement Saturday. 

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by OKLAHOMA ☆ TRI DELTA (@outridelta) on

ADVERTISEMENT

A video posted to Snapchat this week shows a white female student applying black paint to her face while talking to the camera.

The student is heard possibly saying a racial slur while holding up her hands, also covered in black paint, though the audio is not entirely clear. Another student is seen laughing next to her while it is filmed.

It is unclear which of the three students was kicked out of the sorority.

“The woman who participated in, filmed and posted the video is no longer a member of our organization,” Moore said. “We, as a chapter, are committed to working alongside the Panhellenic and OU community to continue an open and honest dialogue and make strides towards change.”

University of Oklahoma President James Gallogly also released a letter Friday condemning the students’ behavior.

“We are saddened and offended that even on the eve of such an important holiday for our nation we are reminded how far we have yet to come in the conversation about treating everyone with respect and dignity,” Gallogly wrote, referring to Martin Luther King Day.

“The University of Oklahoma abhors such conduct and condemns the students’ actions and behavior in the strongest terms possible. While students have the freedom of expression, the negative impact of such conduct cannot be underestimated. The students have offered to apologize in order to reflect their regret.”

He did not mention any disciplinary action against the students.

The video sparked widespread backlash among the University of Oklahoma student body. 

“There is a violent and painful history concerning the usage of blackface and reducing black people to racist caricatures. It is unfortunate for us to be in 2019 and this is still happening,” the University of Oklahoma Black Student Association said in a statement, adding that it is demanding the university add a zero-tolerance policy to hate speech and holding a “Rally to Stop Racism” on Tuesday.

“I could never imagine being so insensitive especially in a time when it's obviously not okay,” Sofia Olivas, a sophomore at OU, told KFOR.

This is not the first time a Greek organization at the University of Oklahoma has been criticized for racism. The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house was shut down and two students expelled in 2015 after a video went viral of the fraternity members singing a racist chant about disallowing Black students from joining.