If this is an apology, it doesn’t sound very sincere! The tone seems more like he’s sorry he got caught for his blunder than that he truly understands what was so wrong about it. And I get it if he doesn’t understand why the phrase is so offensive to Native Americans, but I’m not sensing that he has any interest in learning why. Just sounds defensive.
Whatever it meant to him personally, that is still not what the phrase actually represents. Being inaccurate and/or ignorant doesn’t excuse the fact that it was blatantly racist to put that phrase on a shirt with no other context. I’d be more impressed if he took responsibility for the mistake and used it as an opportunity to learn. Too bad that neither he nor the Gap are handling this debacle with much sensitivity or thoughtfulness.
Recently, I have seen a lot of comments and posts about this shirt that was offered in stores and online by the Gap. Designed by Mark McNairy as part of Gap’s limited GQ collection, it generated a lot of controversy and was ultimately pulled from shelves and stores. I learned about it via Facebook over the weekend and it went viral amongst Natives and First Nations members online.
Today I read an article on Salon (link above, my iPad isn’t the best for writing posts) about it all. Between the responses I’ve seen from Gap and the designer, I don’t really feel like they have offered an actual apology. For instance, Gap apologizes to anyone who “might” have been offended. Well, clearly there WERE a lot of people offended! It just sounds like a watered-down PR approach, not like they are particularly sorry or concerned. Disappointing.