The bitter jokes, they write themselves: University of Oklahoma President David Boren revealed on Friday that the racist chanters of Sigma Alpha Epsilon learned that chant on a "national leadership cruise" four years ago.

It's becoming fairly clear that the chant at OU isn't an isolated incident: the L.A. Times did some digging earlier this month and pointed out that at least two people on social media, both from Texas, said they'd heard the chant at SAE chapters there.

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On Friday, OU president Boren released the results of their investigation, which you can read in full here via local news channel KFOR, which says that the chant was initially learned by OU members on a national leadership cruise, brought back to Oklahoma and "taught to pledges as part of the formal and informal pledgeship process."

The document adds, "It is clear that in the four years since the chant was brought to the University campus, its existence was known by recent members and it became part of the institutionalized culture of the chapter."

At a news conference on Wednesday, one of the two SAE members expelled for the chant, Levi Pettit, said he was "deeply sorry" for singing it, adding, "There are no excuses for my behavior. I never thought of myself as a racist. I never considered it a possibility, but the bottom line is that the words that were said in that chant were mean, hurtful, and racist." He refused to say where he'd learned it. The Dallas Morning News reports Pettit also attended a closed door meeting with the Fairview Baptist Church in Oklahoma City.

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Oklahoma State Senator Anastasia Pittman, who is black, told, the DMN that Pettit had apologized to her personally, for some reason. "I received an apology from him, and I believe it's sincere," Pittman told the paper. "But I told him it's not about me, and that community leaders would need the same courtesy, so if he's going to apologize to me, I'd rather he apologize to civic leaders, pastors, people who resonate with the pain. So he gets an opportunity to participate in a closed-door round-table discussion prior to the press conference and make sure he understands their struggles, their stories, their African-American experience. If we have an opportunity to use this as an educational tool, that's my goal."

Both Pettit and the other expelled SAE member, Parker Rice, are from the Dallas area (specifically the exceedingly wealthy part). Earlier this month, activists protested outside Rice's parents' home.

Pettit stands with Senator Pittman during his apology press conference. Photo via AP


Contact the author at anna.merlan@jezebel.com.
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