Do apologies even matter anymore? As a simple act of contrition in
everyday life, they certainly do. In the national conversation about
political or social issues, though, they have become a weapon. Demanding
someone apologize for a deliberate lie is one thing, but insisting upon
a public apology for a joke or an opinion has become a way of
attempting to shame and silence those with whom we disagree. The end
result satisfies no one; the person from whom the apology is demanded
will either refuse that demand or they will make a bland and insincere mea culpa
that nobody is really buying. Either way, the demanders of the apology are never satisfied, so why bother?
When a conservative – or someone like comedian Roseanne Barr, who played
a conservative on television – says or writes something deemed
offensive, abusive or needlessly insulting, the calls for an apology are
immediate and loud. Even some conservatives will express their disgust
and jump on the ‘you take that back!’ bandwagon. Roseanne publicly
apologized. It did no good. An apology is either accepted or it is not
and the left never accepts apologies from the right. Roseanne lost her
show and likely will never work again in the entertainment industry.
When the ever-spiteful Samantha Bee, who plays a comedian on TV,
recently described Ivanka Trump as a “feckless c**t” and suggested she
sexually seduce her own father, no-one on the left demanded an apology.
On the contrary, many leftists on social media – including celebrities –
expressed their approval of Bee’s comment. The public apology from Bee
was, of course, inevitable but it had no meaning. Everyone on both the
left and the right knows very well that Bee is in no way ashamed of what
she said. She meant every word of it and her apology was made only to
get her network bosses off the hook. Could the same be said of Roseanne
Barr’s apology? To be fair, yes, it probably could.
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