The Nobel Prize For Apologies
In the past I have apologized for comments I might make in the future. I try not to offend people, but its a good probability my opinions might clash with others. I have also been critical of celebrities and athletes that do that, "I'm sorry to anyone who might have been offended", apology. My future apology and the famous-person apology now have to take a back seat to the Nobel Prize Winner apology.
Let me explain.
James D. Watson. If you know who that is without a quick Google you're one smart Ritz cracker.
James D. Watson won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material".
In other words, he was responsible for discovering that DNA was really cool and important to all living things. I have his bobble-head doll.
Well, it turns out recently Watson made some comments that were racially insensitive.
Watson said in an article for the Sunday Times Magazine published on October 14, 2007, that he is "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really." He claims to hope that everyone is equal, but he counters that "people who have to deal with black employees find this not true." He says that you should not discriminate on the basis of colour, because "there are many people of colour who are very talented, but don’t promote them when they haven’t succeeded at the lower level."
(Insert Cricket Sounds Here)
What I want to discuss is his reply to the obvious uproar.
(From the Chicago Tribune)
Watson had expressed regret for the remarks earlier Thursday, saying he was "mortified by what had happened." "I cannot understand how I could have said what I am quoted as having said," he said in a statement to the Associated Press. "To all those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologize unreservedly. That is not what I meant. More importantly from my point of view, there is no scientific basis for such a belief."
My man Watson is apologizing by being shocked by what he himself said.
Kinda like he was possessed and an evil doer was making him say things beyond his control. I think I saw an episode of Scooby Do where this happened. Or even better, maybe it was his evil twin. Hanna Montana just had an episode like that, but it was Miley's cousin Luanne who looked just like her and was jealous of her cousin's success.
(I think I've revealed too much.)
I predict you will see Mr. Watson's apology technique being used by many in the future.
Imagine the Maury Povich Show, "I can't figure out how my sperm got connected to her egg!"
In politics, "There is no reason why our soldiers should have been killed!"
In sports, "I'm bewildered by the fact there are drugs, steroids, alcohol, and kitty litter in my urine!"
Just as Mr. Watson's efforts in science changed the world 45 years ago his apology style will change all apologies in the future.