On White Men Who Don’t Apologize
Because a slap on the wrist is not enough anymore.
Yesterday, the second presidential debate was held at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. Like the first debate, the second had its fair share of Trump’s interruptions and Hillary’s “I’m the best” moments.
But the highlight of the second debate wasn’t Trump’s tax returns, Hillary’s emails or the impending question mark on President Obama’s American citizenship. It was what Trump dared to utter about women 11 years ago, at least in my opinion.
During the debate, moderator Anderson Cooper confronted Trump over a lewd recording that leaked recently, which shows the Republican nominee making disgusting comments about women.
You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.
And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.
Coming from Trump, this isn’t surprising at all. Those comments paint an accurate portrait of Trump; a crass, rude misogynist of a man who frankly doesn’t care for basic human feelings.
But whatever, because everyone makes mistakes, right? The guy did apologize, so we can now move on, right?
Kind of right. And definitely wrong.
Anna Kendrick sums it all up pretty well:
Plus, Trump issued an apology. He didn’t apologize.
An apology is supposed to be sincere. An apology doesn’t come with “buts” attached. An apology doesn’t mention another individual and how that person “said far worse things.” Donald Trump violated all three golden rules when he “apologized” for his comments.
That just tells me Trump is pissed off the tapes got released and he’s only sorry they might ruin his chances of becoming president. Nice try, dude, but the American people are smarter than you think.
This brings me to another insulting episode of a guy who meant to apologize—I think—but didn’t.
As I was watching Trump try to sneak his way around his lewd comments during the debate, apologizing but not really doing so at all, I immediately thought of Fox’s Jesse Watters, who recently got into hot water for his interview segment he conducted in Chinatown.
One of many gripes I have with the segment is the level of rudeness shown when he interviews an elderly lady, who clearly does not speak English. Instead of making the smart choice of leaving that interview out (not airing the segment at all would’ve been smarter), Watters decides to go a step further and include a short clip of a film in which a white lady is seen to be shouting, “Speak! Speak! Why won’t you speak?”
As she quietly stood in place, nodding and smiling, my heart began to hurt. Politeness is a huge part of Asian culture and kids are taught from a young age to be respectful, that’s why the lady just stood there. Because that’s the polite thing to do. That’s the only way she knows how to deal with a random dude who pops out of nowhere and starts speaking to her in a language she doesn’t understand.
As a daughter of immigrant parents and an immigrant myself, I’m insulted. My parents have worked hard to make our family a home in America, and Watters' segment is an insult to their efforts.
But here we have Watters, who seems unable to say a simple sorry.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against white men. I don’t believe at all that white men should apologize for being what they are. That’s almost as funny as asking me to apologize for being a woman of Asian descent. Biology is something beyond our control.
Being a white man is often stigmatized these days, and focusing on the fact that Donald Trump and Jesse Watters are both white gives good white men a bad name. However, it’s an undeniable fact that white men have some sort of an upper hand in our society, which they should be aware of.
Trump doesn’t understand what it’s like to be a woman, and Watters doesn’t understand what it’s like to be an immigrant. I don’t think either understand they’re privileged.
Then at least they should know better than to issue half-assed “apologies.” Both men have kids, for crying out loud. Is this the type of behavior they’d want their kids to take on?
Responsibility is a trait learnt in kindergarten. Saying a sincere apology for your words and actions is a huge part of being a responsible person. I hope Trump and Watters experience an epiphany sometime soon.