The apology thing has been bugging me for awhile. It’s not apologizing per se that is wrong — in fact, we should be doing a whole lot more of it than we do. White men in particular seem to struggle with it; in fact, I don’t think I heard my dad (who was a pretty decent guy) ever utter those words. Growing up that way, it took me many years to get comfortable saying those words myself, stupid as that sounds (it’s not like people don’t recognize that you were wrong just because you didn’t say it — so you look stupid, arrogant and wrong!).
What is wrong is that these dudes didn’t mean it. Saying you’re sorry just to avoid deeper trouble is wrong. Anyone accepting an apology without demanding a change in behavior is wrong. And wouldn’t it be great if some of these guys, like Tom Brokaw in particular, followed up by speaking with Hispanics to gain a better understanding of how he was wrong and how he could help Americans better understand this segment of the population?
Of course the Steve Kings and Aaron Schlossbergs will never be sorry. What’s really wrong is that it’s okay to be racist as long as you don’t self-define as one out loud. What’s really wrong is accepting his apology and not caring that he’s a racist — because those people are racist, too. What’s really wrong is that most of these people won’t even acknowledge to themselves that they’re racist, or make any attempt to be better people. You say that if people are going to be bigots they should at least be honest about it. While there would be something refreshing about that, I would bet most of them really think they aren’t.
I could go on, but I’m just preaching to the choir — you obviously know it all better than I do. Another great article, Ezinne.