If I Offended Anyone, Then, I`m Sorry …

During the last decade I`ve noticed an emerging trend that I will call the `non-apology` (excuse my making up words). The non-apology not only lacks the sincerity of a true apology, it doesn`t even make an effort to look like the real thing. And oddly, it seems to be used most often by those who without question should be sorry.

Celebrities and public figures are among those that are most often guilty of the `non-apology`. I could site many examples from Janet Jackson`s `nipple-gate`to Mel Gibson`s drunken anti-Semitic rant and let us not forget Michael Richards` (aka `Kramer`from Seinfeld) whose graphic racist `comedy act` could have possibly shocked even the staunchest Klan member.

The behaviour of these people was wrong by the accepted social standards of the communities that we and they live in. They did offend many people. And they knew it. And for that reason only, their PR people and handlers rushed to develop strategies to manage the resulting crisis.

If they obviously offended the Black community, the strategy seems to be three pronged: 1. call Jessie Jackson; 2. if you can`t get Jessie, call Al Sharpton; 3. if numbers 1 & 2 fail, just get a Black Baptist Minister who is willing to appear on television with your offender (sorry, `client`).

If the faux-pas doesn`t fit into the above description, then it`s all about rehab! These days a person can be rehabilitated for just about anything. From what I`ve seen, all it takes is roughly a month to be cured by therapists seemingly qualified in areas neither I nor anyone else recalls seeing in the syllabus of any recognized university.

The final part of all strategies (after the religious or medical intervention) is the television apology. I imagine this should be the most important part of the plan as its aim is to directly connect with the offended parties. Unfortunately, for me this is the point where everything falls apart. This is the point where the truth comes out:

“… and if I offended anyone, then, I`m sorry …“

A small fortune and several hours were spent because a lot of people people were upset by the behaviour or actions in question. However, the `if` and `then` of the statement are what make the apology an insult to those offended. Hence, the `non-apology`.

So, why not just apologize and at least pretend to mean it?

– Mantha

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2 Responses to “If I Offended Anyone, Then, I`m Sorry …”

  1. If I Offended Anyone, Then, I`m Sorry ?…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

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