Parker Rice and fellow SAE fraternity member Levi Pettit have been expelled from Oklahoma University. So far, Rice has been the only one to publicly issue an apology.
“I am deeply sorry for what I did Saturday night. It was wrong and reckless. I made a horrible mistake by joining into the singing and encouraging others to do the same. On Monday, I withdrew from the University and sadly, at this moment our family is not able to be in our home because of threatening calls as well as frightening talk on social media.
“I know everyone wants to know why or how this happened. I admit it likely was fueled by alcohol consumed at the house before the bus trip, but that’s not an excuse. Yes, the song was taught to us, but that too doesn’t work as an explanation.
“It’s more important to acknowledge what I did and what I didn’t do. I didn’t say no, and I clearly dismissed an important value I learned at my beloved high school, Dallas Jesuit. We were taught to be ‘Men for Others.’ I failed in that regard, and in this moment, I also completely ignored the core values and ethics I learned from my parents and others.”
“At this point, all I can do is be thoughtful and prayerful about my next steps, but I am also concerned about the fraternity friends still on campus,” his statement said. “Apparently, they are feeling unsafe and some have been harassed by others. Hopefully, the university will protect them.
“For me, this is a devastating lesson and I am seeking guidance on how I can learn from this and make sure it never happens again. My goal for the long-term is to be a man who has the heart and the courage to reject racism whenever I see or experience it in the future.
“Thank you for your consideration of my deepest apologies for what I did.”
Well that apology wasn’t enough for people in Rice’s Texas neighborhood. Dozens of people protested in front of Rice’s home chanting, “Racism is taught,” and, “Racism is a choice.”
Along with the house mom, Rice will forever be branded a racist.