Ohio State University president Gordon Gee made a highly offensive comment in front of a large audience in Columbus last Wednesday. During a speech in which he told his audience about the problems he faced trying to coordinate the school’s 18 different divisions, he compared the confusion and lack of organization to that of Polish people.
“When we had these 18 colleges all kind of floating around, they were kind of like PT Boats, they were shooting each other,” Gee said. “It was kind of like the Polish army or something.”
Immediately realizing the gaffe after what seemed like hours of nervous laughter from the crowd, Gee backtracked.
“Fucking autocorrect!” Gee yelled into the microphone from behind the podium, to an audience of thousands of Ohio State students and faculty members. “What I meant to say was, the academic departments were poorly organized and it took a lot of hard work and from the administration to fix it.”
The crowd sat in silence, perplexed.
“Hehe, man. Don’t you hate autocorrect? I was trying to tell my friend one time I was at Taco Bell, but then it came out as ‘Taxi Bell.’ Isn’t that so silly??” Gee asked to a chorus of chirping crickets.
Unfortunately for the president, a mass of boos erupted from the crowd, followed by complaints and statements from the Polish American community, particularly a Chicago-based group that represents at least 10 million Americans of Polish descent.
“We are appalled at the bigoted remark made by Ohio State president Gordon Gee,” said Polish American Congress president Josef Dobroslaw. “As an iPhone user, I admittedly do understand the horrors of autocorrect miscommunications.”
“But it’s no excuse to be racist during a live speech,” Dobroslaw concluded.
Gee has recently written a letter of apology to the Polish community, stating, “I am extremely soapy for my offensive comments towards to Poledancing community. Please accept my humble apophlegmatism.”