John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and random topics. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to jemcintyre@gmail.com, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. The original site, http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/mcintyre/blog/, at www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/, and now at https://www.baltimoresun.com/opinion/columnists/mcintyre/

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

No apologies necessary

Someone shared a white-people-whining post on Facebook that I thought to examine.

I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE FOR BEING CAUCASIAN

Not that anyone has actually asked you to do that. What you have been asked to do is acknowledge that, even if you are not prosperous, the color of your skin has given you some unearned advantages in our society. For example, if a police officer stops you for a defective taillight and you do not worry that you might wind up in jail, or perhaps be shot, then you enjoy white privilege.

But extra credit for using Caucasian, even though it is a made-up racial identifier. It at least shows that you have learned not to shout "White power!" in public.

I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE FOR SUPPORTING GOOD COPS

It doesn't require strenuous effort to approve of people who do their jobs properly. The question is what you're prepared to do about the number of police officers increasingly demonstrated to be abusing their powers and killing unarmed people who have committed little or no offense.

I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE FOR LOVING MY ASIAN, NATIVE AMERICAN, BLACK AMERICAN & HISPANIC FRIENDS

This is a refreshing twist on the "Some of my best friends are ..." cliche, even though the original was never convincing either.

I WILL NOT BEND MY KNEE FOR ANYONE BUT THE LORD 

Did anyone ask you to?

I WILL NOT BE BRAINWASHED BY THE MEDIA 

There are lots of media, not just one. Which are you watching? The ones that present facts or the ones that just tell you things you would like to hear?

I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE FOR BELIEVING IN THE SECOND AMENDMENT

I'm not sure how this one became more important than all the others. The 21st is nice.

Oh wait, this is the one that says you have to have guns for when the Black people and the brown people swarm out of the cities into the suburbs and countryside to rape and pillage.

Had you heard that the Supreme Court has affirmed that the states can legitimately impose restrictions on the acquisition and use of classes of firearms?

I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE FOR BEING A GOD FEARING AMERICAN

Left the hyphen out of that one.

But you've discovered that there's another amendment to the Constitution, the First, which is still in force, giving you freedom to worship as it suits you. But not, you understand, to use the power of the state to compel other people to conform to your beliefs.

There you go. Take your imagined grievances with you and shut the door behind you.