Two University of Oklahoma students have left the school after facing outrage over a blackface video that was posted to social media.
In the video, originally posted to Snapchat and then distributed to Twitter last Friday, a young woman is shown slathering black paint on her face and hands while laughing and saying racial slurs. The second woman, who was kicked out of her sorority after the video began to go viral, filmed the incident while also laughing.
OU President James Gallogly said the students were not expelled and that the recording was made off-campus.
Some girls that attend OU thought it would be funny (especially Olivia Urban and Francis Ford) to put black paint on their face and say “I am a nigger” @UofOklahoma #whatareyougoingtodo ???? pic.twitter.com/ccWGnG4L7N— gabby (@GabbyHahaa) January 18, 2019
“Those students will not return to campus,” he announced. “This type of behavior is not welcome here and is condemned in the strongest terms by me and by our university.”
Though Gallogly added that he was “saddened” about the incident, he cited free speech and neglected to mention whether any disciplinary action would be taken.
“We expect all of our students, staff and faculty to respect the diversity and cultural backgrounds of others,” Gallogly said. “While students have the freedom of expression, the negative impact of such conduct cannot be underestimated.”
The Tri Delta sorority issued a statement condemning “the racist, offensive and disgraceful conduct of the two women involved in the video.” Chapter president London Moore announced that “the woman who participated in, filmed and posted the video is no longer a member of our organization.”
According to NBC News, Gallogly told reporters on Monday that the two students “decided on their own to withdraw,” adding that “I think they’re very surprised by the reaction. Simply put, this type of racist video has no place here or any place else.”
The video has faced severe blowback from the university’s students and alumni, as did the “inadequate” response from OU administration.
@UoOklahoma : Your pinned tweet states: "The Sooner spirit believes in a little magic and a lot of passion, working hard to change the world, to love each other, and to do it all as one." If you mean it, expel the 2 girls in the racist video. I am an OU alumna.— Melinda Morris (@MelindaLMorris) January 18, 2019
Are you really “saddened” and “offended”?????? When the only thing given is a bs apology? DO BETTER. It’s embarrassing to be a Sooner today.— Kimberly Estrada (@_peachykim) January 18, 2019
That’s unacceptable. As an alumni I will not be donating any money to the University as long as this is treated so casually. I’m incredibly disappointed in this weak and inadequate response.— Matthew Jefferson (@mattdj2002) January 18, 2019
The majority of our football team is african american. What does this say about you when you’re not cheering for them? Did you only cheer because they bring in money? We. Want. Actual. Consequences.— elaine marie ♡ (@elainemarierab) January 19, 2019
Oh, they offered to apologize? I’m sure it’s going to be super genuine too.— Sharece Blakney (@SKBlakney) January 18, 2019
Back in 2015, the University of Oklahoma shut down its Sigma Alpha Epsilon house after video emerged of fraternity members chanting the n-word making fun of lynching. NBC News reports that the school’s Black Student Association is not surprised by the blackface video, and that “It is unfortunate to us to be in 2019 and this is still happening.”