The columnist Larry Elder has posed a fascinating — and quite appropriate — notion about political apologies.
He notes that Second Amendment firebrand Ted Nugent, the rocker who sort of apologized for calling President Obama a “subhuman mongrel” — was correct in offering up at least that tepid statement of regret. Although the one-time rock star didn’t actually apologize, he’s gotten his share of deserved media criticism over his many remarks about the president of the United States.
Elder then wonders whether it’s now time others on the left to say they’re sorry for the things they’ve said over the years.
He mentions film director Spike Lee — who, like Elder, is an African-American.
Elder ticks off a list of some of Lee’s outrageous statements.
* Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader, was right to suggest that the George W. Bush administration deliberately blew up the levees and caused New Orleans to flood in 2005, affecting tens of thousands of African-American residents of that city.
* Someone should shoot National Rifle Association chairman Charlton Heston.
* Former U.S. Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., is a “card-carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan” because he said some kind things about one-time segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond.
You know, Elder is spot on with his analysis of the political climate these days. In fact, I think a whole round of apologies would be in order in an effort to clear the air, let bygones be bygones and perhaps enable all sides to get back to discussing intelligently the pertinent issues of the day.
The tone of these comments — and I’ll include Nugent’s among them — disgrace the right of free speech. Yes, the Constitution gives citizens the right to speak their minds.
With that right, though, ought to come some sense that citizens are contributing constructively to whatever debate we’re having.
Well, Mr. Lee, how about an apology? It’ll be good for your soul. Besides, it might start a cleansing process.