Sunday, November 26, 2006

Apology Insufficient. Send Cash.

Remember the old saying,

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”?

Well, forget it.

If we are to believe the lessons of popular culture, weapons such as sticks, stones and birdshot aren’t worthy of mention; however for words, saying “I’m sorry” is not enough.

We teach our children to apologize for the most minimal of transgressions, such as making their sister cry, even if they aren’t really sorry. It is part of the civilizing process.
The offended sibling, in turn, is taught to forgive.
Over and over.

That is how it is supposed to work.

Now, the decision on whether to make or accept an apology seems to depend upon how much equity you can hope to wring out of the occasion. In the case of the man whose face got in the way of Vice-President Cheney’s gun, the shootee ended up apologizing for the ruckus. But for the Michael Richards hecklers, who up until the moment they hired lawyer Gloria Allred were seen as victims, multiple apologies won’t cut it, nor will mountains of public sympathy.

Show them the money.

I would be interested in finding out how those two hooked up with Ms. Allred in the first place. Did they seek out a lawyer, smelling opportunity, or did she swoop in like a latter-day ambulance-chaser? There is surely money to be made for the *victims*, but even selling their story to the National Enquirer would be *taking the high road* compared to a lawsuit. Instead of their role as the recipients of a truly vile, uncalled-for tirade, they now appear to be opportunists of the worst kind, trying to cash in on hundreds of years of collective racial abuse.

What started out as a lesson in how not to behave has become a lesson in how to make lemonade out of lemons; unfortunately these lemons were never fit for human consumption.

Children, take note.

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