Fake apologies ask us to pretend that prejudices are shed as easily as coats
Recently, Charlotte Lucas – co-founder of Lucas Oil, the corporate namesake of the Indianapolis Colts’ football stadium — took to her Facebook account to comment on unchecked minority rule in America. “I’m sick and tired of minorities running our country!” her post began. Perhaps sensing that the phrase “our country” leaves some room for interpretation of proprietorship, Lucas helpfully clarified to whom she believes America does not belong:
“As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think that atheists (minority), muslims (minority) n [sic] or any other minority group has [sic] the right to tell the majority of the people in the United States what they can and cannot do here. Is everyone so scared that they can’t fight back for what is right or wrong with his [sic] country?”
A few days later, Forrest Lucas, co-owner of Lucas Oil and Charlotte’s husband, took out a full-page ad in The Indianapolis Starto again apologize for his wife’s rant. “She has issued an apology with the hope that it will be accepted as sincere,” the open letter stated. “The reality is that the message posted on Charlotte’s Facebook page does not reflect the feelings in her heart.”
And scene. That is to say, at this point, even the least imaginative among us could have scripted this procession of events, so familiar are we with the story arc. With her apology, Lucas joins a less than esteemed – but ever expanding – group of public figures who havemade inflammatory and often straight-up offensive remarks, only to issue apologies within days and, not infrequently, hours.