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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A former University of Oklahoma student says he’s sorry for leading a racist chant with Sigma Epsilon Alpha fraternity members. But is that enough?
Wednesday night CBS 11 News got reaction the apology from Highland Park High School graduate Levi Pettit.
It was all quiet at the Highland Park home where Pettit and his family live. Wednesday night a family member told CBS 11 they need their privacy.
Millions have now seen Pettit’s apology and local activists say they’re relieved to hear it but it should be just the start.
At a press conference in Oklahoma City Pettit said, “Let me start by saying I’m sorry, deeply sorry.”
It was a first attempt at redemption for the ex-OU SAE fraternity member. Now Pettit is attempting to heal the wounds he created. “Although I don’t deserve it, I want to ask for your forgiveness,” he said.
Mallory Rouse, with the Next Generation Action Network, said, “I do believe that he is sincere.”
Rouse was one of the many local activists protesting the actions by both Pettit and OU SAE member Parker Rice – both of the young men are from Dallas.
“Forgiveness is a very important piece of healing. And I think it’s important that we do that. So we do forgive Levi Pettit,” Rouse said.
While he wouldn’t go into detail about the chant, Pettit did speak about his future role in the community.
Fairview Baptist Church Reverend J.A. Reed said, “We know that because of this, he can serve as a example on the campus. He can serve as an example here in our city, to help bring about the changes that are needed.”
Oklahoma State Senator Anastasia Pittman echoed the sentiment, but also pointed at all people she serves. “We want to not only embrace him as he changes, we have challenged our own community to eradicate the ‘n’ word and the use of it in the African American community.”
Rouse says she’s eager to see what’s next. “Actions definitely do speak louder than words.”
North Texas civil rights activists who spoke with CBS 11 say they’re attempting to work with nearby Southern Methodist University. They want to reach out to students there in an attempt to prevent what happened at OU from happening there.
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