Parker Rice Issues An Apology For Sigma Alpha Epsilon's Racist Chant
In a move that will no doubt be deemed too little, too late, Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity member Parker Rice has issued an apology for his role in the racist chant caught on video at the University of Oklahoma. In a statement published by The Dallas Morning News, Rice said, "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." Over the weekend, a damning video showing members of the controversy-prone fraternity singing the hateful and ignorant song came to light, and university President David Boren promised swift retribution. Earlier Tuesday, Rice and another student accused of leading the chant were expelled, and both SAE national and the university independently decided to shutter the chapter.
Rice's apology continued:
Of course, Rice seemed to have little concern for how his actions made an entire group of people feel unsafe over the weekend as he led his brothers on their racist tirade, but now that the tables have turned, he is suddenly overcome with concern for the well-being of others.
He further stated:
While President Boren has promised that SAE will no longer be allowed on campus, it is unclear whether Rice and the other student suspended will attempt to make their way back to OU. As per the expulsion letter administered to Rice, he has until March 13 to issue an appeal to the Equal Opportunity Officers at the University, and would have to schedule a hearing by the 23rd.
The following is the entirety of Rice's 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 those moments, 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. 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 wherever I see or experience it in the future.
Thank you for your consideration of my deepest apologies for what I did.