Frances Ford and Olivia Urban are former Oklahoma University students who withdrew from school and issued an apology after they were seen in a racist video.
The video posted to Twitter was recorded by Ford and shows Urban wearing blackface and using a racial slur.
Urban is seen putting black paint on her skin and appears to say the N-word.
Oklahoma University President James Gallogly said at a press conference Monday that the two sophomores will not be returning to the campus, The Norman Transcript reported.
The students have issued an apology.
“On the night of January 18th, I made the most regrettable decision of my life,” Urban said in the letter, addressed to the OU community. “There is no excuse for this behavior, in private or in public. My intent was not to hurt, diminish or degrade anybody inside or outside the OU community.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Frances Ford’s Video Shows Olivia Urban in Blackface Saying the N-Word
A video shot by Ford and posted to Snapchat showed Urban in blackface.
“Stop (inaudible) you have too much…. That’s paint, not (face paint),” an unidentified female student is heard saying in the video.
Urban is seen holding up her painted hands and appears to say the N-word.
The video was later shared on Twitter.
2. Ford & Urban Issued an Apology: ‘Most Regrettable Decision of My Life’
Ford and Urban issued public apologies in a letter dated January 19.
“On behalf of the OU community and all diverse communities, I sincerely apologize for my actions,” Ford wrote. “Although insensitive and irresponsible, it was never my intention to hurt or humiliate anyone. I am truly heartbroken over this mistake and deeply regret any adverse reactions.”
“On the night of January 18th, I made the most regrettable decision of my life,” Urban wrote. “I went against my common knowledge and disrespected a community I love. I’m deeply sorry to the individuals, families, and communities that I hurt. My heart hurts to see the traumatic impact my words and actions have had on those who have been hurt on my behalf.
“There is no excuse for this behavior, in private or in public. My intent was not to hurt, diminish or degrade anybody inside or outside the OU community,” she continued. “I understand that actions like mine are an ongoing struggle within the black community and I hope to not only better educate myself from this but to make a difference in this ignorant behavior in the future. There is no acceptable excuse for my actions, I am deeply sorry and hope to learn from my mistake.”
3. Ford & Urban Have Withdrawn From Oklahoma University
After the video was posted, Ford, 20, was expelled from the college’s Delta Delta Delta sorority, Tulsa World reported.
University President James Gallogly told the outlet that both students withdrew from the university.
“They decided to withdraw on their own under the circumstances,” he said. “They can see that our culture rejects this kind of activity, in no uncertain terms.
“I think it became very clear to them that this type of behavior is not only local news, but state news and national news,” he added. “I think they are very surprised by the reaction; but simply put, this type of racist video has no place here or any place else.”
“This video signals to me that we have much more to do to create an environment of equity and respect,” Gallogly said in a separate statement reported by CNN. “We must be purposeful to create authentic measures to address and abolish racist experiences for our students, faculty and staff.”
He said he spent “considerable time with multicultural leaders, leaders from our student government association, student athletes and others who were personally and emotionally impacted by the very demeaning video and other events that occur because of their identity.”
“In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I ask you to hold his ideals high as we work toward a new more inclusive and caring future for our University,” he said.
4. The School’s President Says a Third Person is Under Investigation
Gallogly said that a third student may be involved in the video and the university is investigating, Tulsa World reported.
Adran Gibbs Jr., the president of the university’s student government association, issued a statement condemning the video and called on school officials to take more action.
“Further, it is my hope that appropriate steps are taken by the University and any affiliated organizations to ensure that these two students know their words and actions are hurtful, degrading, and hateful towards the entire OU community, especially the black community,” he said.
5. Oklahoma Students Held a ‘Rally to Stop Racism’
The Norman Transcript reported that students at the school held a “Rally to Stop Racism” on campus Tuesday.
Students condemned the students in the video.
“I could never imagine being so insensitive especially in a time when it’s obviously not okay,” OU sophomore Sofia Olivas told KFOR. “You’re an adult, you know right from wrong.”
Student Taylor Stephenson said the video was “hate speech and that’s not what we promote here at the University of Oklahoma.”
The University of Oklahoma Black Student Association said they were not surprised by the video.
“There is a violent and painful history concerning the usage of blackface and reducing black people to racist caricatures. It is unfortunate for us to be in 2019 and this is still happening,” the group said in a statement.