Should University of Oklahoma student be forgiven?

Student who led racist chant speaks out on 'Hannity'


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 25, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated. 

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome back to "Hannity." Former University of Oklahoma student Levi Pettit, who was expelled for leading a racist chant during a fraternity event -- he spoke out asking for forgiveness earlier today.


LEVI PETTIT, EXPELLED FROM UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA: I'm so sorry for what I've done, who I've hurt and the repercussions that I've brought to the university that I love. I am incredibly ashamed of myself and would beg your forgiveness, as well as the forgiveness of everyone I've hurt with the words that have come from my mouth. It may take me a lifetime to earn it, let alone deserve it, but I'm committed to trying.


HANNITY: Joining me now with reaction, executive director of the Teaparty.net Niger Innis, Fox News political analyst Juan Williams, Fox News contributor Deroy Murdock.

One thing that stood out, Deroy, to me, is he wasn't the only one. Why was it just him? Why was he there? Where are the other kids that were involved in this?

DEROY MURDOCK, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: I don't know where the other ones were. He was one of the guys leading the chant (INAUDIBLE)

HANNITY: Right. One other guy.

MURDOCK: One other guy. I don't know where the other guy is. I will say that I watched most of this -- most of his statement, anyway. And it didn't sound like something written by a lawyer. It wasn't the old, I regret. I mean, I regret that somebody passed away. That doesn't mean I'm sorry because (INAUDIBLE) He just said...


MURDOCK: ... I apologize, I'm deeply sorry. He said it truly, truly...

HANNITY: And he actually said, I beg your forgiveness.

MURDOCK: Correct. And if you're going to apologize and mean it, that's -- you do it like this (INAUDIBLE)

HANNITY: I hate -- I hate when they do, I apologize if I offended you.

MURDOCK: Right. Exactly. You know, or, I regret that something happened.


MURDOCK: You know, I regret that, you know, a ship sank (INAUDIBLE) it's not my fault (INAUDIBLE)

HANNITY: Yes, I mean, the words mean a lot. He said, I'm sorry for what I have done, who I have hurt and the repercussions I've brought to the university. So he's taking responsibility.

MURDOCK: Correct. He sounds deeply remorseful.

HANNITY: Juan, what do you say?

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, I'm all for it. I think this is the season of Lent, so it's a season of penitence. And for me, it's not about, you know, giving him a thousand lashes in public or somehow demonizing him by having him stand up there and say, Mea culpa.

It is about a culture, though, where, as you point out, Sean, he wasn't the only one. And he knew the lyrics to this song. It's something that had been repeated. So there's a culture revealed of young people and some of our smartest young people at the University of Oklahoma, you know, just kind of accepting this racism so easily as part of their upbringing.

And I think we have to think about that for a minute. But I don't want to hold onto...

HANNITY: I'll be honest...

WILLIAMS: ... any kind of anger at him.

HANNITY: This was so -- but -- but Juan, don't you think, Juan, as repugnant and awful as it was -- I don't think most kids are like that. I would not want to publicly start listing every stupid thing that I've done in my life. Especially when you're young and you're 18, 19 years old, you do a lot of dumb things. This is a little bit different. And two things I observed. One was where are the other kids? And the second thing...


HANNITY: ... you know, he on his own had reached out to these members, state legislators and other people in the black community, and went to them, which I'm sure wasn't easy to do -- apparently went to the football team at OU and elsewhere. So that interested me. What'd you think, Niger?

NIGER INNIS, TEAPARTY.NET: Oh, I think this is a day of celebration. I mean, what your viewers may not know is that Senator Pittman, who's the head of the black caucus, is the one who introduced him and actually said that, you know, the kid made a mistake, but his life should not be ruined. This outstanding young man, who's been on Fox, Isaac Hill, who's head of the Oklahoma University Student Union, said we have to fight hate with love.

To me, this is an episode of what real civil rights is about. Real civil rights is about healing. It's about reconciliation. It's about bringing people together, and not this type -- this thing that masquerades itself as civil rights today, when it's used as a political weapon.

So I think this is a moment of celebration. I think Levi made a very good first step. And I think he's going to continue to make up for the injury that he caused.

MURDOCK: I really want to second a lot of what Niger said. I think there's a lot of positive about this. And that is, I look at this as a glass that's 5 percent empty, 95 percent full.

These guys said some awful, hideous, disgusting things. But look at the reaction -- fraternity house shut down, they were kicked off campus immediately, national denunciation. Now, today, this young man came forward and apologized. There was something racist, but the response was complete rejection coast to coast, and that's...

HANNITY: Do you think they believed...


HANNITY: ... people chanting this idiotic, stupid chant. Do you think they actually believe and have that in their heart, or was it something that, oh, we can say that we think, I don't know, we're cool, or you know, we're irreverent. I don't know.


MURDOCK: Maybe this is a response...

HANNITY: have no idea.

MURDOCK: ... to all the PC stuff, perhaps, or maybe they had too much to drink. I don't know. I doubt...

HANNITY: Probably a lot of it, right?


MURDOCK: ... somebody -- probably a lot of it. But it was ugly. This was -- you know, there's ethnic humor that gets a little bit out of control...


HANNITY: There's nothing funny, and I think...

MURDOCK: Nothing funny about lynching.

HANNITY: Nothing funny about it. There was nothing -- and it was -- I think you hit on something, Juan, that really disturbs me about it. It was learned.


HANNITY: These -- this -- who taught this? In other words, you know, obviously...

WILLIAMS: That's the problem.

HANNITY: That's the problem to me.

WILLIAMS: You know, and the song that they're talking about people swinging from trees -- they're talking about a lynching. I mean, it's just -- you know, it's not only that they don't want blacks in their fraternity -- and you just got to think, is this a tradition? That's what I'm saying.

You know, I really appreciate the effort at reconciliation, as I said, penitence on his part. But I think we have to talk about that larger culture and make sure that all of this effort that's going into him also goes in at the university. I think hats off to David Boren, the president of the university...

HANNITY: Yeah, I think Boren handed this well. I agree with you.


INNIS: And I think we should keep in mind the lyrics show us that it's a relic of the past. Blacks don't hang from trees anymore. You know, that's ancient history. And I get the feeling that these lyrics are lyrics that have been embedded within the fraternity and just uttered over and over and over again over the years.

MURDOCK: Right, Niger.

INNIS: So I don't know that it's a manifestation of something happening today. It's a relic of the past, and I think we're moving forward.

HANNITY: And you see universal condemnation. I mean, everybody who hears this has said, What are you, stupid? I mean, what's wrong with you?

MURDOCK: Universal instantaneous condemnation.

HANNITY: Yes. I think that's a good point because that shows the progress.

MURDOCK: Absolutely right.

HANNITY: All right, guys, good to see you all. Thank you.

MURDOCK: Thank you.

INNIS: Thank you.

Content and Programming Copyright 2015 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.