You know how it goes. Someone says or does something utterly stupid and offensive, and as soon as they’re called out for their foolishness (or it affects their bottom-line) they rush to “apologize” IF they offended anyone.
In my mind, half-hearted apologies are just as offensive and vile as the initial act. If you don’t mean it, don’t fake it just to try to make yourself look better in the process. In the end, you still look like an asshole.
Don’t believe me?
See: Belvedere Vodka’s “I’m sorry if you were offended” apology after it posted a rapey ad that poked fun at a woman being sexually assaulted. Or Geraldo Rivera’s apology after blaming Trayvon Martin’s death on his clothing choices. Or perhaps all of Chris Brown’s I’m-sorry-I-flipped-out-again-but-damn-will-y’all-let-me-live apologies.
Fake apologies are a dime a dozen, but despite how awful they make the wrong-doer look, folks keep on doling them out.
Like this guy. After a video surfaced about why black men choose to date white girls, J. Wade–the black guy in the video who agreed with the racist foolishness–issued several “apology” videos.
But in his latest confessional (in which he claims will be his last on the subject), he admits that he only made the video to get exposure for his YouTube page…you know, so people can leave him thousands of angry comments, or in his words, to “see what he’s all about.” Mission accomplished.
This fellow, J. Wade, also employed another tactic fake apologizers use: blame it on a mistake.
Although his video was BEYOND offensive to black women, J. Wade claims the majority of his video are about “uplifting” black people and he made his “Why Black Guys Date White Girls” video to counteract the “ratchet” videos he sees on the web.
Whether his intentions are in the right place is not my concern. What he and others who have said and done offensive things, and then attempted to take them back, don’t seem to realize is that initial intentions don’t matter. If my intention is to help you get in shape, but I spend my days calling you fat, ugly, and useless, you aren’t going to care that I really just want you to be healthy. I’ve hurt you and I need to truly acknowledge it.
While forgiveness is an essential part of our lives, it isn’t something that we should feel compelled to give out lightly. If someone is truly sorry for offending or hurting another person, then yes, they are (perhaps) worthy of being forgiven. But if they are merely trying to save face and protect their personal or professional reputation? Then they can save their words for when they really matter.
What do you think about faux apologies?