If you want to be angry for the rest of the day, click here to watch a white boy frat boy in a tuxedo lead a chant of “You can hang him from a tree but he can never sign with me / There will never be a n*gger in SAE.”
There’s only one way to make a bigger mess when you’re in a jam. And that’s with a weak apology. Especially when you get expelled for participating in racist chants captured on video like these two clowns. What did these guys offer?
The parents of student Levi Pettit, Brody and Susan Pettit, said of their son, “He made a horrible mistake and will live with the consequences forever.’’
“We were as shocked and saddened by this news as anyone,’’ the Pettit family statement said. “Of course, we are sad for our son, but more importantly, we apologize to the community he has hurt. We would also like to apologize to the entire African-American community, University of Oklahoma student body and administration.’’
Parker Rice, 19, a former Dallas prep-school student, offered “my deepest apologies’’ in a statement and said “our family is not able to be in our home because of threatening calls as well as frightening talk on social media.’’
I mean, sure African-American students at your same education level and their families are treated as second class citizens. But on the other hand: this situation has been so hard on the frat bros’ that their families can’t even go on Facebook. Dear me!
Also: Having your mom apologize for you? Weak.
So fellas. Since you have plenty of free time on your hands now that you’re unemployable and crossing your fingers on the University of Phoenix… let’s do some extra curriculars.
Sorry I’m not sorry you need this class. Apology (from the Greek Ἀπολογία or apologia) means “to answer charges.” It comes in five flavors, depending on what’s at stake:
1. The Ellipses Apology: Someone just parked you in. Or they’re standing in the doorway you need to get through in a hurry. Are they doing it on purpose? Maybe. But maybe not. You could pick a fight. Yell. Embarrass them. But probably yourself. Or for half the effort you can let hang the pregnant pause of “Sorry…” and stand there until they move.
2. Pre-Apology: Crowded hallway. Train departing soon. Big suitcase in hand. Apologize as you bump your way through the crowd like you’re filming Episode 2 of “Shit Canadians Say.”
3. Non-Apology: Many of us had a roommate like this in college. Lots of “I’m sorry you’re upset” and “I’m sorry that offended you.” Meanwhile he continues to hang a Confederate flag with an embroidered middle finger from your bunk beds. It takes zero work to sincerely say you’re sorry and an unbelievable amount of man-hours to be an a-hole. This is a person who is taking advantage of your good nature for their own personal staring contest. Spend the rest of your life weeding out these people.
4. Worse-than Apology: “The most hated man in the world” Julien Blanc got snared in a 5-second YouTube clip of his pick-up artist class showing how to push Japanese women’s heads to your crotch. On CNN the interviewer told him, “If you want this to be meaningful in any way: you better own what you’re doing.” He still refused. Dude should have just deleted his twitter and gone camping.
5. Bad Punchline Apology: I hate to go on record for this, but every case of abject racism of recent record (including, dear God, the frat’s near-senile house mom who is now homeless saying the n-word on Vine) is usually a failed attempt at humor. In that case: Don’t filibuster, don’t change the subject, do not lighten the mood with another joke.
Stick to the Triple As of Apology:
Acknowledge what the other person says.
Admit what you did in this situation.
Accept responsibility for the outcome.
The most important reason to apologize is for you to acknowledge that you learned something that day. Or as Muhammad Ali once said: “A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years.”
Good luck on the job hunt, fellas.