Sunday, March 4, 2012

Apologies Are Hard And Many Times Unnecessary

 I have always had problems apologizing for my missteps. This problem stems form my belief that I am never in the wrong. Yes kiddies I actually thought like that a long time ago.

With age comes the realization that our imagined infallibility is just a dream we perpetrate upon ourselves. Apologizing does not become easier with age but the realization that one must do it becomes glaringly clear.

After all the build up here I really have nothing to apologize for today anyway. But if I did I would apologize myself for what I did and not for someone else's mistake or misdeeds.

Presidents, and I am not just picking at President Obama here, have a habit of apologizing for the American people. Apologizing for us, in my opinion, is not a Presidents job nor should it be expected of them.

If soldiers accidental burned Korans in Afghanistan then those soldiers should apologize for that act. A blanket apology for all Americans is unnecessary as the deed was localized to a particular group and some Americans, which is their right, may not want an apology issued in their name.

But the Koran burning is a little issue. One that can be over looked. As many of these Presidential apologies are self serving and  pure rhetoric put forth to appease people while they travel the world giving speeches.

"When you realize you've made a mistake, make amends immediately. It's easier to eat crow while it's still warm." ~Dan Heist

The worst apology a President can make is one that is meaningless as the subject of that apology is many generations past. I am sure I will get some hate mail on this but Slavery's apology is long past.

Many Presidents have come close to an apology for slavery but  none have actually made one. But if they did, who would be the recipient of said apology? No American living has experienced slavery from any aspect. So an apology here would be a shallow feel good exercise by someone who has no connection to the misdeed.

If an American President apologizes for American slavery; should every leader of ever country apologize for slavery that took place in their countries many generations ago? Slavery was not an American innovation. In my ancestral home, Italy, slaves were the fuel that kept the engines of Roman society running.

Slavery was the punishment for losing a war where the vanquished found their society sold off as slaves to line the pockets of the victors.

If an American slave still lived today I would personally apologize to them. We all know that is impossible. Giving reparations to someone because they had an ancestor who suffered under slavery does not give peace to those that suffered. It is just another government handout that would hold little meaning beyond what the money could buy.

I chose to talk about slavery here as it is a devise subject but there are many others that could fall under this heading. Internment of the American Japanese during WWII. Eviction of Italian Americans from coastal areas and the loss of their homes and fishing boats during WWII. Governmental mistreatment of Native Americans.

All those could be apologized for, and I believe some have been, but the deeds were done and an apology changed nothing.

Some have had reparations paid. If the reparations were paid to the people that are aggrieved I would support them and this could be possible with misdeeds done in the 20th Century. But no reparations should go to anyone who did not experience the misdeed first hand.

I know my stance may be considered a hard one but we live in very hard economic times that require fiscal responsibility and paying more government handouts  destroys that responsibility.


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