In his opening segment on The Daily Show Wednesday night, Jon Stewart asked why it is that the first apology to be issued after the revelation of the video showing the University of Oklahoma chapter of the SAE fraternity members gleefully singing a racist chant came not from the fraternity, but from the football player who took exception to the blatant racism.
Eric Striker, a linebacker on the school’s football team, posted a Snapchat video laced with profanity and obscenity after seeing the video.
Soon after Striker appeared on CNN and apologized for his language, telling Don Lemon:
“I was angered, I was, you know, I was outraged and kind of had a video that just quickly showed my anger but you know, like I said, I apologize for the profanity but I’m not apologizing about how I felt.”
“Oh, I forgot to mention, the first one to apologize for this entire incident, wasn’t the bus full of racist chanters, but the guy who made the mistake of swearing when he reacted to the bus full of racists,” Stewart said. “But don’t worry, those SAE kids deeply regret that someone filmed this.”
“I am deeply sorry for what I did Saturday night,” said Parker Rice, the fraternity brother seen leading the chant. “It was wrong and reckless.”
That apology was emailed by his father to the Associated Press.
Rice went on to excuse his behavior, saying it may have been alcohol that caused him to do it and not accepting responsibility for the underlying racist attitude that led him to lead the chant. A fact that Jon pointed out.
“Oh yeah, may have, may have, although not as much as the racism,” Stewart mocked.
Jon pointed out that this is not just a matter of young irresponsible frat boys without supervision getting out of hand as illustrated by a 2013 video of Beauton Gilbow, SAE’s 78 year-old house-mother, which shows her gleefully chanting the same racist epithet over and over.
Of course there are still those who are attempting to excuse the inexcusable by blaming it on pop culture, and in particular the black hip-hop culture leading Stewart to say:
“How come when conservatives talk about African-Americans they say, ‘these people need to take responsibility for themselves…’ but when white people do something racist they’re all, ‘well you can’t blame them, how can those poor children know wrong from right?'”
Watch the segment in the video below from Comedy Central.