NORMAN, Okla. — As the University of Oklahoma community recovers from the fallout following a racist video that surfaced days ago, a new controversy emerges.
Wednesday afternoon, OU senior Ashonte Winston says she was walking near Campus Corner when she observed a man walking toward the student union in blackface. This is the second blackface incident to occur at OU in less than a week.
"At first I thought he had on a windbreaker mask," said Winston, who recorded the man. "His face was really painted."
OU Police put out an alert announcing they were aware the man but had not located him. At this point it's unknown if the person is a student.
"He just kept walking, didn't say a word," said Winston. "I don't know what his motive was."
University President Jim Gallogly released the following statement:
“Every strong organization faces adversity and challenges. Rising to those challenges is what leads to greatness. Events of the last few days have reinforced how critical it is to focus on ensuring OU creates a positive climate for students, staff and faculty absent racism and disrespect. Together we are charting a course for progress.”
The man was seen near the North Oval and Campus Corner.
The video spread quickly on social media. Tagged in the initial tweet of Winston's video was the same staff member who called for Gallogly's resignation a day earlier, recently demoted dean Dr. Suzette Grillot.
"Once I saw it, I jumped out of my chair," Grillot said. "I think it proves the point that it's a broader point, a deeper point here."
Grillot was recently removed from her position as dean of the College of International Studies, she says it's in retaliation to her being outspoken about the process used to hire Gallogly, and what she describes as subpar diversity efforts carried out by his administration.
Grillot, still a tenured professor, says she doesn't think Gallogly's administration really cares about addressing these racist incidents.
"I've interacted with Jim Gallogly enough to know I don't think much is going to change, not under this leadership," she said. "These aren't isolated incidents, this is a reflection of a broader problem here."
A 'Still Unheard' march has been organized for Thursday at noon on campus. Participants are asked to wear black and be peaceful. There is also a rally planned in support of President Gallogly at 6:30 Thursday evening.