OU Students Hold Event To 'Break Bread' And Have Open Discussion Following Blackface Videos
NORMAN, Oklahoma - After six intense days on the University of Oklahoma Campus, Thursday students planned a moment of peace. Organizers called it an opportunity to “break bread” and openly discuss issues.
This, after two separate videos captured different individuals in blackface near campus.
One of the students who helped organize the event said this started out as a rally to support President James Gallogly. It turned into an event to support all faculty.
“We saw a Twitter post about an event supporting Gallogly. Me and some other students noticed that maybe this event wasn’t the most sensitive thing for the time, considering what’s been going on. The event of supporting Gallogly wasn’t a rally or march, it was more of a group of people gathering together a to eat cake and break bread,” said Jordan Cosby.
Cosby said the blackface videos are disgusting, without question. He hoped the event would provide free speech and open discussion into how the campus can move forward.
“I think everyone should have their opinions heard. I think maybe at the other rally with having designated speakers and having specific people to talk might create a different format for who’s allowed to speak,” said Cosby.
The student who organized of the event, Chris Glenn, told the OU Daily that students are unfairly blaming Presidently Gallogly for the blackface videos.
But some students of color who came to the event said this attempt seemed insincere.
Because they said they’ve been the target of threats and violence, News 9 concealed their identities.
“These are a group of students who are very angry with what happened at the initial march a couple days ago. This is them responding and being reactionary. They are covering it up with cake to make it seem like it’s a Kumbaya moment. When in reality, we are facing a harsh reality as marginalized people on this campus.”
Another student pointed out there were not that many black people in attendance.
“This is an optics. This is a show. The fact that this is supposed to be a breaking bread moment, but there is nobody to facilitate, no conversation...”
Cosby said he supports both President Gallogly and Suzette Grillot.
Grillot is a former dean who recent publicly called for Gallogly’s resignation.
It’s unclear what’s next at OU, but students agree something must be done.
“I think there’s a lot of covering up going on. Please people trying to last-minute order a cake that spelled presidents name wrong,” said one student.
“I do personally think that Gallogly does deserve the time to make changes at OU,” said Cosby.
President Gallogly did write an open letter in response to the actions on campus.
The Black Student Association also supplied their recommendations on how to improve the school. It includes: A zero-tolerance policy for hate speech, an enhanced 4-year curriculum for education on social and cultural competency, increase in the number of multicultural faculty and staff increased financial support of multicultural students and programs.