'Black Women Who Look Like Me Aren't Lesbians' Politician Apologizes for Making Idiotic Generalization

Illustration for article titled Black Women Who Look Like Me Arent Lesbians Politician Apologizes for Making Idiotic Generalization

Florida's now-infamous lieutenant governor, Jennifer Carroll, has apologized after suggesting last week that women who look the way she does, i.e. a conventionally attractive black woman who wears blazers and earrings, don't engage in lesbian relationships. More than a week after the ensuing internet cyclone of outrage, during which some commenters fairly criticized Carroll for equating sexuality with appearance while others unfairly criticized her for being less attractive than some of their own lesbian acquaintances, Carroll has deemed it necessary to rehabilitate her political persona. So, like a good repentant public figure, she wrote an apology to the Nadine Smith, the head of Equity Florida, a civil rights group that advocates for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Floridians. In her letter, Carroll she explained how wrong it was to hurt other people with words.

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It is wrong and inexcusable to make a comment that hurts people, and that was not my intention. As a Christian, my faith guides me to love and respect all people. The false charges that have been lodged against me are no excuse for what I have said that may have been hurtful to members of your organization and to other Floridians. Please know that I am committed to treating every person with the utmost courtesy, respect and dignity and I hope you will accept my heartfelt apology.

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Smith graciously accepted Carroll's apology and now, hopefully, the world can keep turning for a little while until it's time for Florida to again fill its monthly quota of strange/upsetting/fantastical news.

Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll apologizes for anti-gay remark [Miami-Herald]

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DISCUSSION

silkymouse
silkymouse

That's nice and all, but I don't want her to be sorry just because she hurt some people's feelings, I think she needs to be sorry for saying something homophobic, sexist, and erasing for the apology to mean anything and be indicative of personal growth regarding homophobia and stereotypes. Some people have their feelings hurt when they are called racist, sexist, or homophobic,I don't care. I do care that what they did reinforced oppressive hierarchies.

Framing an apology as being sorry for hurting people's feelings or because/if people were offended shows that the offender probably learned nothing and/or is not sorry for the -ism they perpetuated:

"I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest apologies to anyone I may have offended with my recent comment. It is wrong and inexcusable to make a comment that hurts people, and that was not my intention"

I'm glad she made some public statement and sent it directly to Smith, but it is still an apology to people she "may have offended" and feelings she may have hurt, not one for perpetuating heteronormativity and homophobia as well as dictating what gender expressions and presentations are respective of what sexuality and race.