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Perhaps my original analogy focused too much on *apologizing* when I’m also trying to say that it doesn’t hurt to listen, to acknowledge, or to say sorry (which doesn’t necessarily involve a mea culpa, but could simply be an expression of sympathy). You mention crocodile tears in another reply, but really, how do you know they are crocodile tears if you don’t first listen to perspective of the crying child? They may be crying for any number of reasons, only some of which are manipulative, and only some of which involve an accusation.

I could expand on how this relates to discussions of race, but I believe John Metta’s “I Racist” (which was linked to in the story that brought about this conversation) is about the best thing I’ve read on the subject and says this all better than I could hope to.