Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | Radio jock gives a non-apology apology
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Radio jock gives a non-apology apology

Here’s a story published June 20 from the Toledo Blade in Ohio about a Tower 98.3 DJ “apologizing” for an on-air stunt that sparked protests from Asian Americans. Lucas, a night-time DJ, made a series of mocking calls to Asian-owned businesses while on the air, including a Japanese restaurant where he reportedly told the person at the restaurant, who had an accent, “me love you long time,” “ching, chong chung,” and “Me speakee no English.”

He also called a Chinese Restaurant in May, and when the person on the other end spoke perfect English, made comments on the air that a white person must be working in the restaurant.

I wrote about this flap a couple of weeks ago. Asian organizations organized a petition and protest, and Lucas was suspended without pay this week, and the station’s program director resigned. Here’s the followup story in the Blade.

That’s good news, but I’m bothered by Lucas’ “apology,” which is typical of people who get caught in such stupid racist mistakes. He said:

“Those calls reflected poor judgment on my part and resulted in an outcry from the Asian community who interpreted my statements as derogatory and offensive. For that I apologize, as it was not my intention, in any way, to offend the Asian community, or to mock those of Asian ancestry.”

The key words are “Asian community who interpreted my statements as derogatory and offensive” (“I didn’t say anything wrong, these sensitive Asians took it wrong”) and “it was not my intention… to offend… or to mock those of Asian ancestry.”

OK, so what exactly WAS his intention? To show his solidarity with Asians? To celebrate cultural diversity in the US?

He “apologizes,” but not for his mistake. He apologizes that the Asian community mistinterpreted his terrific sense of humor. He’s saying it’s OUR fault for being too touchy, and for getting him in trouble.

He’s a punk, and doesn’t deserve to have his job back. I’m sure he’ll be back on the air in a week. Personally, I’m sick and tired of this non-apology apology as a tactic to defuse blatant stupidity and barely contained racial hatred.

Frankly, I think this guy’s actions have fanned the flames of racism much more than he can know. I bet at least some — and maybe a lot — of his listeners thought his calls were funny, and agreed with his decision to make those disgusting mocking statements.

And now that Lucas got his hand slapped, I bet those supporters think even less of Asians. I shiver at the thought.