This is getting old. Another person in the spotlight apologizes for something stupid he or she said. It was Mark Wahlberg, this time, for saying he would have done what he does in movies if he had been on one of the planes that were steered into the World Trade Center.
I don’t want him to apologize. I want him to stand up and say, “Well… really, that’s what I would have done. Call me stupid, that’s what I said and I meant it.”
I don’t want the speaker of the Kansas House to apologize as he did for a really stupid e-mail message he sent about Michelle Obama. I want him to stand up and be proud.
You read that right. I’m sick of apologies. I’m especially sick of forced apologies.
Here’s how it goes.
- Folks in public life do, say, and write stupid things.
- The Word Police -- or TMZ -- comes down on them, and
- … after a few days while they wait to see if the storm blows over, they issue a statement saying they are sorry for the offense.
It reminds me of a person I know who always prefaced her statements with, “I don’t want to be rude…” but was, then, invariably, rude.
So, Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal published a cartoon which shows him to be a jerk. It shows him to be insensitive. It shows his subscription to the politics of disdain which run so strongly through the Republican Party (and the Democrat Party when a Republican is president…). It shows some degree of racism. Political wives and husbands have generally been off limits unless something in their activities was newsworthy and certainly Michelle Obama’s hair is not newsworthy.
So, be a big boy, O’Neal. Stand up to the nanny state you hate and say it straight. Yes, I published that cartoon. What of it? It was just a joke. Guys like me have been making jokes like this about people we don’t like forever. I don’t like Obama and I don’t like his wife. I don’t think they deserve respect just because they are in the White House.
Just once I’d like to see one of these guys with enough guts to stand up and say “I did it and I’m proud of it.” Then, of course, it would be clear what they stand for, how they feel, and exactly who they are.