Ritual of Shame

After ensuring your name will permanently be associated with “nigger” and lynching, I guess the only thing you can do is to get on your knees (metaphorically) and beg for forgiveness.

Levi Pettit, one of the two Sigma Alpha Epsilon members at the center of the fraternity racist chant scandal in Oklahoma, did just that in his nationally-televised press conference where he profusely apologized for his words and vowed to fight against racism for the rest of his life. Pettit was surrounded by Black leaders during his press conference, but they at least patted him on the back while he groveled before him. The Black leaders graciously accepted the now-disgraced SAE brother’s apology, yet he still had the look of the sacrificial victim when he scrambled out of the room.

Prior to him speaking, the leader of Oklahoma’s Legislative Black Caucus used the opportunity to issue demands for her racial community and called for immediate action to execute it. Not only was Levi shamed, so was the entire White community of Oklahoma to do what these Black leaders wanted them to do. It was quite the power dynamic. It was quite the ritual.