Monday, May 10, 2010

Tears Of A Clown

I'm pretty much over the standard racism apologies.

Whether it's the perfunctory news conference with a non-apologetic apology to "those who might have been offended" or the tearful kiss the ring deal where blubbering and remorse are plentiful, I'm through with the whole scene. It doesn't move me, it doesn't placate me and it damn sure doesn't convince me.

I've written before about pointless apologies and my feelings remain constant. If you're only sorry because you got reamed out and attacked for your choices, then I really don't care about your apology. If you're only sorry that your actions now have serious consequences for YOU, instead of being worried about the consequences for others, then what do the words "I'm sorry" really mean.

My wife and I had a discussion on this very topic recently, and I promise you it wasn't a pleasant one. I was trying to explain to her that I don't consider "I'm sorry" some sort of magic balm that heals all wounds. The pain and the grievance remain no matter how often you apologize, and there are consequences for causing that pain. However, by saying "I'm sorry" you are at least acknowledging that you are the cause of the pain and your remorse for filling that role. At least that's the hope.

The thing is, some folks don't even mean that when they say "I'm sorry." Many folks see "I'm sorry" as a magic antidote for their eff-ups, almost like life is a giant Etch-A-Sketch and saying "I'm sorry" is like shaking the screen. They think that once they utter those two magic words, everybody should move on with their lives as if nothing happened.

Other folks don't even want to say "I'm sorry." They, rightfully, view an apology as an admission of guilt and since they believe their actions were justified, no matter how heinous they might appear to others, they don't feel they are guilty of anything. Thus they either refuse to apologize, or they issue the sort of apologies that admit to nothing.

You see those types of apologies from politicians, police officers, racists and, honestly, pretty much everybody in the world. Because all of us are guilty of issuing crappy apologies when we are just saying the words to cover our butts. Many of us issue apologies not because we feel remorse, but because we'd rather avoid the consequences of our actions.

That's why I titled this blog "Tears of a Clown." When you shed tears during an apology it should be because you recognize the hurt you've caused others. You recognize the wrong you've done them and your spirit grieves because of that.

You shouldn't be crying because you're worried about just how rough things are going to get for you, and that's the distinct feeling I get from most folks. They aren't worried about how their actions impacted anyone else's life, they're only worried about how they impact their own.




Deacon Blue said...

Too true.

I see it often enough in my own marriage. There are often times I say "I'm sorry" and really mean it, because it hurts me to think that I've hurt my wife with words, action or inaction.

Then there are those occasional times I say it only because it's expected...or, more likely, because I am trying to forestall an argument or end one...and then I have to go on a Tourette's-like stream of invectives in private.

I've never hesitated to apologize when I know I'm wrong (harder when I think I'm right, of course), and it boggles my mind how many people refuse to apologize even when they know they've done wrong. In my book, when you KNOW you're in the wrong, it seems only natural you should feel remorse.

macon d said...

I thought pretty much the same thing about that racist cop's tears. Crocodile tears, basically. The forced tears of a predator. And yes, a clownish one.

Apologies don't automatically work for me. I need some sincerity too, and some evidence of a clear understanding on the perp's part of how they messed up.

LisaMJ said...

I feel you on this one. I'm from the school of, if someone genuinely apologizes, and if they make an effort to change the behavior or make it up somehow, I'm cool. BUt when it is just some old crocodile tears or being sorry for getting caught, I ain't feeling it. That cop is just like that gal from Harvard Law who is now running around saying she is sorry she may have offended people by writing that black people could be intellectually inferior. That witch is only sorry she got caught and she said nothing to demonstrate anything but that. Now if either or both of these folks do some things to make up for what they did, I might feel differntly.

In general though, I, like you, am sick of all of these "I'm sorry if I offended anyone" apologies. You know you offended somone, so either just say Sorry or I'm sorry I DID offend you. Saying "I'm sorry if I offended you" says the person has some kind of caveat to that apology whether they actually state it or not. Folks kill me with some ish they do.

Thordaddy said...

Lil man,

Yet, you fail to see that many of these insincere apologies are for "offenses" of no consequence. These apologies for "racism" are largely just self-flagellation AND THAT IS WHY you don't care.

False racism accusations are now mainstream in an increasingly liberal society. Those that wish to stay in the "good graces" of the liberal hegemony will dutifully self-flagellate AT ALL ACCUSATIONS OF RACISM.

Is it surprising that so many of them seem insincere?

It's because the ACCUSATION is of no real consequence.

macon d said...


Who are you to tell others how they feel? Who, especially, are you as a white person to tell a non-white person how they feel, and how they should feel, about racism? After all, your understanding of that, as a white person, is but relatively small. Like that of a baby, actually, compared to that of an adult.

Black Butterfly said...

Excellent title for an excellent post.

Thordaddy said...

Macon d,

You are the self-flagellating liberal I speak of...

You're just following orders...

Go to sheep, boy... Go to sheep...

Imhotep said...

Big Man, I don't even waste my time listening to these apologies, because nothing changes after the apology. The collective white denial just continues to sail along smoothly. White people don't want to admit that they ARE that cop, that they have a lot more in common with him, than not.

For once, I want to hear a white man say that he is the product of his environment, that he was born into a racist world and every moment of his waking life he is nurtured on white supremacy, to the point where he devalues every one who is not white. That he is trying to do better, but that the racism is hard wired into his subconscious, and it affects everything he does and his interactions with those he comes in contact.

He should then apologize for his racist family members who introduced him to negative stereotype. I believe that most if not all whites, have a family member who freely drops the N-bomb. Apologize for his church that taught him that there were no moral consequences for racist attitudes or behavior. Apologize for the institutions of higher learning not vigorously debunking racism. Apologize for a social order that is driven by race.

Then, finally apologize to all Black people and PoC for for the shit white people have done over the centuries, and that you hope that whites can find their own humanity and apply it in their treatment towards PoC.

Thordaddy said...


You're the kind of black liberationist fool that makes any kind of viable relationship a non-starter.


So what is stopping you???

Or is the white supremacist paradigm universal AND therefore inescapable?

Thordaddy said...

So we have some buttered up white limperals and one radical black liberationist with lil man fluttering in between.

Lil man SAID these apologies DON'T MEAN ANYTHING...

I agree...

We live in a radically liberal society where only two positions prevail. They are embodied in the above entries.

Now, where does that leave NORMAL white people?

We have a choice between some kind of global self-flagellation to a collective "victim" who's only similarity is their anti-whiteness and being like deacon and macon...

For real, lil man... No self-respecting man is forced to take either one of these pathetic paths ESPECIALLY when these anti-white cats HAVE SO MUCH FREEDOM to spew, pray, capitalize and just straight roam...

Just like you lil man...

You don't care for these apologies BECAUSE the "offense" HAD NO EFFECT on you.

But really... You're deprogramming.

Big Man said...


Did you really call yourself "normal"?

My, my, my, that fantasy world must be mighty comfortable...

Thordaddy said...

Lil man,

Are you saying deacon and Macon d represent normal white people?

What does a normal white person look like to you?

Anonymous said...

No point leaving a comment here. Thordaddy is off his thorazine or whatever he's supposed to take, and has once again hijacked another black blogger's post.

Thordaddy said...


Don't be a punk...

What makes you think white boys gotta be gay and flimsy to be cool with the black folk?

You think a black dude like lil man would get more excited lining up across thordaddy or deacon n macon on the gridiron?

Why are there only sorry white boys up on these black blogs?

I mean, you can tell lil man can hardly stand it and yet he has to front on the ONLY dood that makes the spiders crawl AND makes you fools work for them words you spew.


Because he is programmed.

HIS LACK OF REACTION TO incidents of "racism" is his deprogramming...

Man, it isn't hard to see.

Big Man said...

My lack of responses to racism is the result of my growing faith in God.

Why should I get all angry and upset when folks act out? All that's doing is raising my pressure and affecting my quality of life.

My new mission is making certain white folks get all huffy.

You're like my test case.

Thordaddy said...

Lil man,

I like it when you agree with me.

What could be more "deprogramming" than a growing faith in God?

Raving Black Lunatic