Racist Frat Boy is Sorry and Still Racist

 

 

I tweeted this with the expectation that an apology was forthcoming. Because that’s what crisis managers, publicists, and other Olivia Pope-types tell the subjects of shame to do when their shame goes viral.

So when Levi Pettit stood center stage while the Oklahoma City Black Establishment nodded encouragingly, I wasn’t the least bit surprised. He’s “sorry.” He’s seen the error of his ways. The magical Black seraphs from the Good Ole Days took this lost, downtrodden, impressionable kid and made him a beacon of racial harmony.

Except, I’m not buying it. He’s not sorry he used a racial slur and subsequently traumatized Black bodies across the country. He’s sorry that he, himself, is associated with this viral racist scandal. He’s sorry that he got expelled, and is facing the consequences of his actions. He’s sorry that he’s now a stained pariah, and his future is a little bit bleaker.

His non-apology is riddled with a lack of personal responsibility. He called his actions “thoughtless,” and unreflective of who he truly is. That’s bullshit. You don’t occupy white skin, and throw out racial slurs without years of social and political conditioning which tricks you into believing such actions are acceptable. He was in his comfort zone as he merrily sang — he was in a familiar element, with likeminded individuals who all belong to a frat that’s fostered such behavior for decades. He sang with great pride, and the true shame is that he’s now pressured to stand alongside people he doesn’t respect, and deny his inherent racist programming and heritage.

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But okay, we all can change and grow past our ignorance. And maybe he will.

He says, in talks with Black leadership, he understands what racism is now. But does he really? In just a few weeks, is he now a seasoned racial analyst and critical race theorist able to diagnose the complexity of institutional racism, or does his knowledge extend no further than the n-word?

My guess is no.

He says that he’ll now step up and be the leader he’s supposed to be. That’s a coveted position to be in, especially because he, despite his public shame, still holds power through his white privilege. Will he publicly denounce the words of Joe Scarborough and Bill Kristol when they blamed his racism on hip hop? Will he impugn the disbanded local SAE to not file a lawsuit, especially while represented by the lawyer of the racist Timothy McVeigh?

Again, my guess is no.

So what are we left with? He says he’ll continue to work with the OK City Black leadership to do …. something.

Which leads to the crux of my ire. Black folk taking up the burden of educating our oppressors. Sometimes, we do it with a smile. Other times we do it with a sigh. I don’t do it at all, because my precious emotional, physical, and spiritual labor is best spent with my People.

But in this specific case, these Black seraphs identify as Christian, and in that religious qualifier do they believe their work is justified and righteous. Turn the other cheek. Forgiveness. Unconditional love in the face of brutality. But when we examine how and why Christianity was intentionally drilled into Black bodies, these abstract moral pinnacles look a little less holy, and a little more daft. Christianity was a white supremacist tool to keep slaves psychologically, culturally, and politically controlled.

Go through hell now, get to heaven later. 

I don’t denounce Christianity as a basic framework, but I do denounce it as a form of guised social and mental conditioning. Where on the spectrum these Black folk lay, I’m unsure. But in their presence, in their reaffirmation of white supremacy, do I ache. Seeing Black bodies applaud centered whiteness scares me.

I often say that Black folk love deeply, often at the expense of ourselves. In our love, we welcome all despite their flaws and shortcomings, and in our ability to embrace others do we forget to embrace ourselves. And then we’re erased, and the love we showed others is hardly — if ever — reciprocated.

Of course we can love beyond our racial boundaries, but the barrier to entry needs to be a little more rigid. This racist kid would’ve NEVER reached out to these Black folk had he not been in public trouble. He needed Black respectable props to help deliver his thin redemption message.

I look at the smiling State Senator Anastasia Pittman, a Democrat who represents Oklahoma City, an impoverished area where Blacks and Latinos make up 30% and 29% of the state’s poor, and I think how the time and energy she put into a college educated racist could’ve been spent lifting folks out of poverty.

So, I don’t accept the non-apology. The trauma is still there, the pain is too real, and I don’t see a believable roadmap to sustainable racial equity. Miss me.

*Feature Image Credit: www.abcnews.go.com.

Black Millennials, Inc., is an organization devoted to the cultural empowerment of Black and Brown 20somethings. We are entirely funded through readers and supporters. Consider making a donation to help us continue our work.

Donate Button with Credit Cards

photo 1Arielle Newton, Founder/Editor-in-Chief. Get at me @arielle_newton. Get at us @BlkMillennials.

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6 responses to “Racist Frat Boy is Sorry and Still Racist

  1. I’m not even mad at him but the ridiculous Black people standing with this racist, people he does not know at all, validating his bullshit apology. We need to stop aiding our own oppression. Let’s stop being so willing to forgive those who have a LONG history of terrorizing and insulting us.

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    • oh my goodness I thought the same thing. You can’t have a white man apologize for racist behavior without a black hype man in the back. I don’t know what pisses me off more; his actions or ours!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. He have to wait a few years with no job, no future, nothing to then say an appropriate and honest… I’m sorry speech with real tears consisting on “I can’t get a job to pay, or get something to eat and have a roof under my head. I’m sorry, for being an asshole and a racist jerk on video the other night.” But in the meantime, all he does is trying to save his skin.

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  3. I’m so glad to see that someone else blogged about this. I agreed with you on so many levels. “The magical Black seraphs from the Good Ole Days took this lost, downtrodden, impressionable kid and made him a beacon of racial harmony. – and it only took them a month! SMH…I don’t know what irritates me more. The injury or the insult behind the injury. And the diversity plans that they create to suddenly put things into “reverse” – a joke. You’ve got to read my post – you’ll love it as much as I love yours. Its called: Unlearning Racism Over the Weekend. Can’t wait to start following you! http://mindjobusiness.com/2015/03/26/unlearning-racism-over-the-weekend/

    Like

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