Stop Apologizing, You Ain't Sorry

Insincere, politically correct apologies from celebs and others in the spotlight have to stop, Janelle Harris writes in a piece for Ebony.

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Ashton Kutcher (Getty Images)

Insincere, politically correct apologies have to stop, Janelle Harris writes in a piece for Ebony.

Let’s say, hypothetically, that you and I are sitting at adjacent tables in a nice restaurant in Philly or Charlotte or Dallas any city of your choosing ... As I get up from my table to head to the ladies’ room, I breeze easily past you, smile hello, and then, for no clear or easily explicable reason, hoist my foot into the air and very quickly, very intentionally drill it down onto the top of your foot. In my killer stilettos.

As you writhe around in pain and more than likely call me everything but a sweet princess or a child of God, I cover my mouth, aghast at my own actions and eek out, “I am soooo sorry. No seriously. I didn’t mean to do that.” You would think the men in little white coats would need to come outfit me and my crazy tail with a straight jacket, no? Well, you would probably be right. I mean, who does something that requires a malicious state of mind to do, then feigns a sincere apology immediately thereafter to smooth it over? It stands to reason that if you’re angry enough to assault someone, you’re probably not going to be regretful enough to say you’re sorry within nanoseconds. At least when you’re sane.

If that’s so crazy, then why oh why are we always demanding apologies from people who are handing out these egregious cultural faux pas? You can’t be conscious enough to do something that flies in the face of political correctness -- say, for example, dress up in black face and imitate a man of a completely different ethnicity or race (cough, cough Ashton Kutcher and Billy Crystal, so on and so on) -- and then [backpedal] the week, day or hour after you do it like you didn’t know the mess was wrong in the first place.

Read Janelle Harris' entire piece at Ebony.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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Writer and editor Janelle Harris resides in Washington, D.C., frequents Twitter and lives on Facebook.

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