When is an apology not an apology? Is it an admission of a mistake, of ignorance, of genuine misjudgment, and asking for forgiveness? Or is it meant merely to conceal one's lifelong convictions in order to protect a public persona, a product or a position in society?
Paula Deen is the latest in a long line of such admissions, contritely attempting to explain her actions toward minorities in her business in past years. Two well-known televangelists, after 9/11, gave testimony that the tragedy was the result of divorce, homosexuality and the influence of gays in American society. After being rebuked by the public at large, they also apologized. And millions believed them.
Since 9/11, innumerable well-known people, after expressing their innermost convictions, have remorsefully apologized for them. Like those before Deen, should we forgive and forget?
James D. Cook