Yesterday I apologized to Sunita for my poorly worded response to a comment in her blog.
I didn’t mean to offend, but my words did cause offense, and so I apologized. Was the apology necessary, once I explained myself a bit better?
Yes, it was.
Because we shouldn’t only apologize for what we mean to say or do.
We should apologize for the harm we cause when we are thoughtless and rash.
And we should never, never, do the asshole “well, it’s not my fault you took offense” thing.
Like, say, Bethany House, publisher of For Such A Time (background through this post)
I’m using an Internet Archive link, because I refuse to give the company any more hits, but here’s a screencap:
Let me quote the very first line:
Bethany House Publisher is saddened by the offense some have taken at the novel…
Way to blame the victim, Mr Parrish.
Look, it’s all fine and dandy for a publisher to publicly support one of their authors, but seriously?
As far as I can tell, every Jewish person who has been made aware of the content of the book, as well as plenty of people of other faiths, some who have been/are marginalized and discriminated against themselves (in reality, not in right wing fundie style), are offended by the trivialization of genocide, the mischaracterization of historical fact, the appropriation of a religious figure, the hand waving at the suffering and deaths of millions of human beings.
This is not “some people taking offense,” this is a novel being offensive to large groups of people.
How fucking hard is that to understand?
Edited to add: Jackie Barbosa and a number of people who courageously read the book through, react to the publisher’s mealymouthed statement.
Further edited to add: from India Valentin, on twitter, how the ‘good (Nazi) German’ is excused from crimes against humanity.