Some might call it harassment. Protesters aligned with a Dallas-based group called Next Generation Action Network probably see it as payback. The group, whose website is adorned with a drawing of a fist raised in the “black power salute,” is targeting the home of a University of Oklahoma student who was expelled for playing a leading role in a racist chant caught on video last weekend.
Protesters have assembled outside Parker Rice’s family’s home, demanding a better apology and further punishment for the 19-year-old, whose family is already living elsewhere until events die down.
According to local news reports, several dozen protesters are staging a vigil outside the Rice home in Dallas. Some of the protesters appear to have been motivated by the belief that Rice must have acquired racist attitudes from his parents. A sign left in front of the family home declared “Racism is taught.”
Sign in front OU SAE Parker Rice’s house in Dallas pic.twitter.com/OIBHtXCUl7
— Matthew Haag (@matthewhaag) March 11, 2015
Several of the protesters were reported as chanting, “Make Parker Rice pay the price!” Given that Rice has already been kicked out of school and subjected to national ridicule, it’s unclear what further price he has left to pay, short of a criminal conviction … or violence.
Rice family neighbor Mike Grimm said protesters also attacked the neighborhood in general as racist. Grimm told CBS Dallas:
I heard some of them saying the neighborhood is racist, which is totally incorrect. It’s painting it with a broad brush.
Grimm also defended the Rices and said they’d be able to move on from the controversy. Said Grimm: “It’s a tough situation and they’ll [the Rice family] deal with it. They’re good people.”
One female protester harassed a black police officer, asking why he was helping protect the Rice’s home. According to WFAA News, the woman said:
You are a brother! They talk about killing you and you’re standing on his property? How can you do that? You’re a brother!
The officer reportedly moved away to avoid an escalation.
It’s unlikely the family actually saw the protesters. In an apology released Tuesday, Parker wrote that “sadly, at this moment our family is not able to be in our home because of threatening calls as well as frightening talk on social media.”
That apology, protesters say, was insufficient.
“It wasn’t enough. You can write anything. We don’t know if he wrote that. You get me?” Dominique Alexander, president of the Next Generation Action Network, told CBS Dallas.
Instead, protesters want Rice and fellow student Levi Pettit (who was also expelled) to appear in person to apologize.
This report, by Blake Neff, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.