‘I’m sorry for all the pain I’ve caused.” Oklahoma frat boy who led racist chant meets with black leaders

Former University of Oklahoma fraternity member Levi Pettit publicly apologized this afternoon for leading a racist chant aboard a bus in a leaked video that shocked the nation.

Pettit, who grew up in a wealthy suburb of Dallas, Texas, started his contrition tour with one of his most vocal critics – state Senator Anastasia Pittman.

Pittman accepted his apology, but said it’s not enough – that he needs to offer contrition to black church leaders and students, as well.

‘Some have wondered why I hadn’t spoken out publicly. The truth is I have had a mix of pain, shame, sorrow and fear over the consequences of my actions,’ said Pettit, whose voice quivered slightly as he spoke. ‘I did not want to apologize to the press or to the whole country until I first came to apologize to those most directly impacted.’

Addressing Senator Pittman directly, the 20-year-old expelled OU student said: ‘You’re a blessing to me, my mom, and my dad. I can’t than you enough for the way you’ve embraced me and opened my eyes to things I had not seen before.’

Pettit then formally apologized for his behavior, which was captured on camera last month, resulting in the disbandment of OU’s chapter of the Sigma Epsilon Alpha fraternity.

‘Let me start by saying that I am sorry, deeply sorry. I’m so sorry for all the pain that I’ve caused an I want you all to know that directly from me,’ Pettit, dressed in a dark suit and red tie, said from a podium, surrounded by black leaders. ‘Although I don’t deserve it, I want to ask for your forgiveness. There are no excuses for my behavior.’

The young Texan said he never considered himself to be a racist and added that he was ‘upset and embarrassed’ that he failed to stop the infamous chant on the bus filled with his fraternity brothers.

‘All the apologies in the world won’t change what I’ve done,’ Pettit said off a podium at an Oklahoma City Baptist church.

When asked by a reporter whether he was aware in the moment that the words he was chanting were racial slurs, Pettit pleaded ignorance.

‘I knew they were wrong, but I never knew how or why they were wrong,’ he insisted. ‘The people I’ve met with…have really opened my eyes to the impact of those words.

‘The truth is what was said in that chant is disgusting … and after meeting with these people I’ve learned these words should never be repeated,’ he stated.

Pettit answered only a few questions from reporters but declined to say who taught him the chant or where he learned it.

Pittman, D-Oklahoma City, said she believes Pettit’s apology is genuine and she has forgiven him.

‘I admire his courage of reaching out to me and saying: “I want to meet with you face to face and apologize to you directly,”‘ Pittman said. ‘I believe he is sincere.’

Going forward, student groups at OU are considering inviting Pettit to participate in panel discussions on race relations at the university – but the events would have to take place off-campus or online because he has been barred from stepping foot on OU grounds after having been expelled.

It comes as the high-power attorney hired by the now-disbanded Oklahoma chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon says no other members of the fraternity will be expelled over the incident.

Source: The DailyMail

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