What’s up with demanding that people apologize for things they say? I mean, why is that play #1 in the moral outrage playbook?
Here in Alabama, we recently had a mini-scandal when, during debate over a bill restricting abortion, a black pro-abortion legislator said that the white legislators supporting the bill would make their daughters have an abortion if they were impregnated by a black man.
(As an aside, he says that like he thinks it’s a bad thing, and yet his position on the law is, in effect, fighting to make it easier for people to do just that. So I just want to ask him, “Are you for or against aborting babies with black fathers?” However, I’m sure that just the fact that I want to ask the question makes me a racist somehow, so I won’t get involved.)
Of course, everyone immediately got their shorts in a twist over this and demanded that the guy apologize. And once again, I have no idea what it would accomplish whether he apologizes or not.
A public apology isn’t a sign that the apologizer has changed his position on anything; it’s not even a sign that he believes what he’s saying while he’s apologizing. All it proves is that some overgrown hall monitors have enough political clout and spare time to hound someone into apologizing.
I know activists really see it as a feather in their cap when they can wring a public apology out of their opposition, but I would much rather everyone say exactly what he thinks all the time. Better to know where people stand than scare them into moderating their speech for fear of having to deal with a bunch of professional crybabies pretending to be offended.
When some political leader or celebrity shoots his mouth off, don’t demand an apology; thank him for letting us know exactly who he is. And then mercilessly ridicule him.