Sorry Can’t Erase the Truth

Black and White University of Oklahoma students gather together outside University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house during a rally.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Without fear or favor, African-American News & Issues has existed for nearly twenty as an entity that thrives off of reporting current and historical realities that affect our community. Now, anyone that knows me or has been in my presence is aware of the fact that I don’t bite my tongue; nor do I dress up things that I want to convey to members of our communities or anyone else’s for that matter. With that being stated, I am sick and tired of Black politicians and preachers, “going along to get along.” Especially when if the shoe was on the other foot that same attitude would not be accepted, tolerated or reciprocated by our White counterparts.

Just recently, there was coverage of Levi Pettit at a meeting surrounded by, a number of Black Oklahoma City community leaders, pastors, civil rights activists, State Senator Anastasia Pittman and others. He made an appearance at a Black Baptist Church, with cameras, the press and all; to publicly apologize for the demeaning racist chant he was so passionately repeating on a video twitted on Twitter. After watching these events unfold, I must say that these things angered me because, it sends off the wrong message to our community, the nation and the entire world. When we simply accept apologies from people that truly meant how they felt to begin with, it is like giving them a pass. Addressing the readers ofAfrican-American News&Issues, just imagine if this racist chant was never aired on Twitter by the proactive African-American group, if Levi Pettit was never expelled from school, if the University President David Boren never stood up to dispel the message that was portrayed by the fraternity and barred them from existing on the university; would Pettit still apologized on his own? Some people may say, “you never know how a person truly feels”, but I have determined that he would not have.

Now although I am not, nor have I ever portrayed myself as a Bible quoting, scripture throwing person; you better believe being raised a part of the Catholic faith; I was taught the scriptures at a very early age. For that cause, I know that the Bible teaches according to Jesus that you should forgive a person 70 times seven. However, true repentance consists of an act that you are truly apologetic for and with the motion that there is no intent to repeat the same behavior again. With that being stated, is it safe to suggest that when Levi Pettit gets in the comfort of his own home or amongst other peers and friends that genuinely feel the same way as him; that the same behavior will not be demonstrated again? Absolutely not, because we never know the true contents of a person’s heart. Feelings of racism and prejudice do not just develop overnight. Things such as these are taught and bred into children and they grow up with the same emotions that always manifest themselves in some shape, form or fashion. So that’s why I say, “enough of this crap!!!”

I am sick and tired of people using our Black politicians and preachers for a means to smooth things over within the Black community. I proposed a question some editorials back wondering, “Where are all the Preachers”? That question was raised because I did not feel like Actor Bill Cosby was given the type of support from our Black leaders that I thought he should have. Bill Cosby has always been a respected and iconic figure in the Black community and has actually contributed into the Black community as well. Where were the Black preachers and politicians then to talk about forgiveness? I’m just curious! It’s almost as if we don’t know what or whom to support. People have a problem with the way that I talk, but I am who I am.

However, if you don’t understand my outrage, then don’t take my word for it. I encourage as many readers of African-American News&Issues who will, to go and take a look at the video that has caused this tumultuous controversy. In watching it, you can clearly see that this young man was very passionate about his chant and so were those rooting along with him. The vain repetitions of, There will never be a n—-r at SAE”, can fiercely be heard by the bus load full of college students making representations of their hate and disdain for African-Americans. This is why I am constantly expressing the thought that you can not apologize for feeling something that you really feel.

A person may say they apologize to soothe someone else’s emotions, but deep down inside that still does not change the fact that they really meant the things they said and the actions they displayed. I’m just not fooled by some things and it’s not right for the people that the Black community supports to go out and easily, “go along to get along”.

There is a serious problem going on in these United States. The African-American community is constantly losing Black males at the hands of law enforcement with no regard or justice, there is the ongoing cycle of racial discrimination and profiling in various sectors of the nation, and so many other examples such as these that our culture faces. So we should not just go along with every person that stands up and says, “I’m sorry”. Because the truth is, that is further enabling a problem that is there, but no one wants to admit that it is. Our Black leaders must take a stand, because if the shoe was on the other foot, would one of them or even us be easily forgiven??? Standing and supporting people that really do not mean well; just because they say, “sorry” sends off the wrong message. It’s almost as if anyone of the opposite race can do or say anything in a deragatory, demeaning or hurtful way; then just go rally up some Black leaders and politicians, apologize and everything is supposed to be fine. It just does not sit well with me and I am tired of those who are supposed to be leaders supporting people who do not have the best interest of the Black community in mind. After all, I wonder would Levi Pettit ever cast in a ballot for State Senator Anastasia Pittman or become a member of Pastor Reed’s church? I stated this because they are the two people featured on the front page who are visibly, adamantly supporting him. Now I don’t want anyone to misinterpret my sentiments because I am not degrading Black leaders. However, I am trying to convey that they should be held accountable to the people that supported them into getting where they are!