The Difference Between Explaining & Apologizing Redux

To illustrate what I was talking about in my last post, here’s some excerpts from Carl Paladino’s “apology” for making some of the most homophobic comments I’ve heard out loud in a long time. I added my translation right under some of his choicer words.

“I am not perfect…I have made mistakes my whole life…”
I would like to begin by acknowledging my imperfections. It takes a big man to do so. I am such a man.

“I am a simple man…”
I am also not as formally educated as my elite critics. Therefore you should be cheering for me, because I’m clearly the underdog here.

“Yesterday I was handed a script…”
This simple man before you bears no responsibility whatsoever for anything I said. I was simply reading someone else’s words; probably someone with a whole lot more education than me. So if you’re upset (which you shouldn’t be), blame the folks who thought the words up, not me.

“I redacted some comments that were unacceptable…”
I tried, but failed, to temper their awful words.

“I did say some things for which I should have chosen better words.”
I spoke inartfully. That is to say, I meant and stand by what I said; I just should have chosen better words to say it. That’s all. Don’t blame the messenger, especially if he’s 1) a simple man 2) who acknowledges mistakes and 3) is the furthest thing from a bigot there is (see below).

“I said other things that the press misinterpreted and misstated.”
Once again, I am not to blame for any of this. It’s the elites in the media once again picking on a poor, simple, uneducated, working man like me. Again, working folks and those without much formal education, you should be on my side.

I sincerely apologize for any comment that may have offended the Gay and Lesbian Community or their family members.
I apologize, broadly and generously, but only if there was any offense. The legitimacy, validity, veracity, or even reality of any such offense is something which I’m trying to call into question by my use of the subjunctive (you see, I may be simple, but I’m not stupid).

The portrayal of me as anti-gay is inconsistent with my lifelong beliefs and actions and my prior history as an father, employer and friend to many in the gay and lesbian community.
I’ve already told you how pure I am by acknowledging my mistakes and my humble background. As further proof of my virtue (which translates into immunity from criticism, hello-o), let me remind my ignorant detractors what a compassionate and open-minded person I am.

Therefore, if there was any offense (which I still doubt), the problem must lie with the media or the listener, who is clearly in need of a reminder of what a virtuous person I am (hence my explanation – I mean “apology”).

I am a good man. Good people do not say the things you heard me say. Therefore, you heard wrong.

Besides, who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?

“I ask you for forgiveness on my poorly chosen words and the publication by others not involved with our campaign of unredacted script that did not reflect my oral statement or match my personal feelings.”
Please forgive the terrible scriptwriters and those in the media who are exclusively to blame for all the trouble I’m in, for which I once again take absolutely no responsibility for. None.

“Although I am not perfect, I do admit my mistakes.”
And when I make one, I’ll be sure let you know.

Upshot: rather than acknowledge the existence of bigoted beliefs or attitudes, express contrition, or make amends, Carl Paladino reminds us how immune he is from criticism. It’s all about Carl here, not the people he hurt with his remarks, or the climate they create, which has already cost the lives of countless children and youth.


2 thoughts on “The Difference Between Explaining & Apologizing Redux

  1. Yay you. Sadly there was such a timely and profoundly disturbing example for you to use in further explaining your point. :o/

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