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SGA President Adran Gibbs releases statement following blackface incident, calls for apology

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Adran Gibbs (copy)

OU SGA President Adran Gibbs speaks at the Martin Luther King Jr. choir concert Jan. 21.

SGA president Adran Gibbs said in a statement it is "unfortunate and sickening" that there has been another blackface incident involving an OU student.

According to messages tweeted by the Black Emergency Response Team, OU freshman Matt Robertiello posted a private social media post of himself in a black charcoal face mask with the caption "'another day, another case.'" According to the message, the caption could reference a January blackface incident in which two OU students withdrew from the university for their involvement in a blackface video that used a racial slur.

"It has been less than a year since a similar incident occurred twice last spring. I cannot stress enough that racism is not a joke and should never be taken in jest," Gibbs said in the statement. "We should be clear that when our black community is hurting, we as a community are hurting."

Gibbs said he hopes Robertiello will issue an apology for his actions and think through the consequences of blackface.

"I hope that this student will understand the harm he has caused," Gibbs said. "Further, I hope this student will take the time to understand the racism behind blackface and how it negatively affects the well-being of black people in our country."

Gibbs said this incident should be a reminder that racism "cuts deep and heals slowly," and that SGA will continue to work with the Black Student Association and university administration to ensure student voices are heard.

"While it is hard to preach hope with events like these recurring often, I find refuge in that we, as a community, should use our collective voice in denouncing this hatred," Gibbs said. "Our voice is our greatest asset in combatting racism that seeks to degrade, humiliate, and oppress people of color."

news managing editor

Jordan Miller is a journalism and political science junior serving as The Daily's news managing editor. Previously she served as The Daily's spring 2019 news editor, fall 2018 assistant visual editor and was an SGA beat reporter.

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