University of Oklahoma head condemns blackface after post

National / World

FILE – In this Jan. 8, 2008 file photo, Joseph Harroz Jr., of the University of Oklahoma, speaks in Oklahoma City. Harroz Jr., Oklahoma’s interim president, is condemning the use of blackface after a student’s social media post showed a white man with a black substance painted on his face. (AP Photo, File)

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — The new interim president at the University of Oklahoma is condemning the use of blackface after a student’s social media post showed a white man with a black substance painted on his face.

OU President Joe Harroz said in a statement late Sunday that while wearing blackface is racist, free speech protections likely prohibit him from removing the student from campus.

The university newspaper OU Daily reported that the student said he was wearing a charcoal face mask and had no racist intent.

A group of black student leaders notified OU administrators about the post Sunday.

Two students withdrew from OU last year after a video surfaced of a woman in blackface, and the university severed ties with a fraternity in 2015 after a racist chant was caught on video.

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