The University of Oklahoma issued a statement Monday decrying blackface after a student posted a photo of himself in a charcoal face mask on social media. “Any member of the OU community who applies blackface is engaging in racism. While the First Amendment may protect their speech such that they cannot be legally removed from our University, I too have a voice. And I will call it out for what that expression is—it is racist,” interim president Joesph Harroz Jr. said. “We are profoundly clear that OU is a place where racism is not welcome.” The OU Daily reported that the student in question says the photo is being misinterpreted. “That is me, wearing a charcoal face mask, while I was at home with my girlfriend,” the student told the school newspaper in a message. “I did not post the picture with any intention of ‘black face’ as (they’re) claiming I am. I feel as if I’m being framed as racist and I am not.” Two OU students left the school in January after their blackface video was exposed.
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