Mary Zachar in Indiana has posted a very insightful comment to my post Genuine Apologies. I’m reprinting her comment in full below to ensure that it gets the wider circulation it merits:
Accepting responsibility may be lacking even in this earnest attempt to apologize – by framing the content as coming from rural Illinois, so that one “should have known better,” Larry belies true responsibility. Whether the offending remark was generated from a rural source in the heartland or an urban sophisticate, it was inappropriate and intuitively could be recognized as such, not because it came from Illinois, but because it was harmful and hurtful. Seems to me that as long as the blame is outside of one’s self, the self betrayal can be justified. I like Vicki’s sincere apology for our human errors, and how recognizing our own imperfections, we can transform them at the heart level. By placing blame outside of ourself, as in the packaging in which the remark was presented, we are still not accepting full responsibility. Convenient reframing, casting blame as in “I should have known it was offensive,” coming as it was from another group against whom I discriminate – well, another good example of how we need to be mindful, reflect rather than react. Thanks for the full look at this interesting situation.