By now, most of you have seen or heard at least part of the apology today from Highland Park High School graduate Levi Pettit for his role in a racist chant involving members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Oklahoma earlier this month.
Pettit’s decision to speak out comes more than two weeks after a disturbing video of the chant went viral and sparked outrage around the world. His parents previously apologized on his behalf shortly after Pettit was publicly identified in the video. He and another SAE member, Jesuit alum Parker Rice, were subsequently expelled from OU and the fraternity chapter was closed. The incident sparked protests both on and off the OU campus.
Pettit apologized as part of a press briefing involving religious and civil-rights leaders in Oklahoma, and pledges to work to promote cultural diversity in the future. At first glance, his poise is admirable and his words seem sincere. What do you think? Should Pettit be applauded for his efforts to promote healing, or does it feel like a PR stunt? Watch the apology here if you haven’t already.