This practice of taking every comment, slur, slip that someone has made in their lifetime as evidence of some greater, deeper issue is absurd to me. Every human being at one point in their lifetime has lost their cool and said some colorful, hurtful even racist comments, but so what. Words are just words, they don’t define us, what should define us is our actions and how we live our lives. That’s the real testament to someones character. Throughout the day, I say all sorts of things not all of them I even mean, or remember, but if you look at how I conduct myself, the issues that are important to me, who I choose to associate with then you can get a better, truer understanding of my charcter. I’m not obsolving him or anyone of their accountability for things he’s done, words he’s spoken etc. I’m just allowing for, or maybe hoping for, that youtful stupidity has grown into a thoughtful, culturally aware adult with a more broadened and appropriate views about race.
Youth by definition are prone to wild idealism and can easily be swept up in a wave of belonging and purpose — those things are very enticing to young people on the verge of breaking from their parents ethos and forming their own views. Having view points and growing out of the views is just natural maturation of person confronting their own identity and what that means in the greater context of living in a diverse couuntry, etc. Whatever viewpoint he had in the past are in the past, he grew up, matured and became culturally awake, not to mention owned his involvement and apologized. While I will never condone racism, and we are right to call it out when we see it but that should be tempered with relevancy. I also am not seeking to villafy every person who has used the n word or have held viewpoints that are hateful, it seems very witchhunty to get swept up in public furor without having some udnerstanding of context. Lets deal with the racism/marginalization that exists today and the active racists today, instead of post-judging people on words and language used in the past under circumstances that dont exist now, lets start judging people on their behavior/actions because in the end thats who you are.