The Problem Of Apology (Part 2)

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

I'm not so much sorry that I'm a racist fuck, as I'm sorry I made the mistake of informing you that I'm a racist fuck:

Newscoma posted details of a racist email sent from Sherri Goforth, legislative aid for Sen. Diane Black (R-Gallatin). The email depicts the Presidents of the United States with President Barack Obama as a pair of eyes in a black background.

I spoke with Sherri Goforth minutes ago to confirm she sent this email. She confirmed she had sent it and also said she had received a letter of reprimand from her superiors but said she will stay on the job.

When I asked her if she understood the controversial nature of the photo, Goforth would only say she felt very bad about accidentally sending it to the wrong list. When I gave her a second chance to address the controversial nature of the email, she again repeated that she only felt bad about sending it to the wrong list of people.

"I went on the wrong email and I inadvertently hit the wrong button," Goforth told NIT. "I'm very sick about it, and it's one of those things I can't change or take back."

On another note, I just got a good letter from a cat in South Carolina, who noted that a lot of Southern whites are so sick and embarrassed by this sort of thing. He added that the guilt from their image as a racist backwater affects a kind of paralysis. He wanted to assure me that these fools don't represent the South.

Seems fair to me. I know white Southerners, and the GOP gets tired of being tarred with the racist tag. That said, it's worth considering that black people get tired of being the targets of people who are tired of being tarred with the racist tag.

Seriously folks. In terms of diplomacy between white and black, the South Sides, the Harlems and the West Baltimores of the world can't do much better than the Obamas. Whenever I see this sort of thing I just wonder what they'd say we'd sent them Sharpton.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2009/06/the-problem-of-apology-part-2/19422/