Thursday, 26 July 2007

Apology

On 17 July 2007 I said in a post: “Ah yes for the heady days of the terrorists who called ahead. One did have to evacuate the tube stations, and the train terminals, but at least they called ahead, considerate that way the Irish…”

I meant to be amusing but I thoughtlessly hurt some feelings, most specifically marymary who wrote: UPSET

after she had posted on my comments:

“{Lady mcL:- It was not the Irish who planted bombs in London or elsewhere. It was an illegal organization called the IRA.” 18 July 2007

She left her comment on the 18th and I was by then posting already written messages, as I was ill. Once I had answered the comments of 17 July I did not go back to check if there were more. Even welshcakes was kind enough to leave a comment pointing me to marymary’s blog where she had said the above in her post UPSET.

But I did not see that either. When I was over to james’ blog this night and saw where he had posted marymary’s comments was the first I heard of it. So in addition to being upset with me over my remarks she was justifiably in her view upset at my callous disregard of her feelings.

I have left this message on her site:

“I am here to apologize and I have come right over upon reading your comment. It has taken me this long because I was ill and laid up. I posted the apology over on "nourishing obscurity" as well because you are absolutely correct.

When I am done here I will apologize on my own blog. It was thoughtless and hurtful. I was trying to be amusing, but I did not stop to think that it could hurt people that I like and respect.

I thank you very much for taking the time to comment and tell me how you feel. I very much hope and intend that it will make me THINK before I make another careless remark that could hurt. Again I ask your pardon.”



It took me a while to find the original comment but I have posted it above. It takes courage to stand up and say “that’s wrong” when someone makes a comment that is prejudiced or thoughtless, especially when they are being funny. One takes the chance of being called a prude or over sensitive. I think not. If more people stood up to say, “that’s wrong” perhaps prejudice would die a fast and agonizing death.

I was WRONG. I apologize to marymary and to anyone else who felt slighted or hurt by my words. It was not my intent. As I said to mary I will make this a lesson to myself to THINK lest I am funny at the expense of someone else. Let us hope I am not so slow it will take more reminders but if it does I hope it is someone of marymary’s caliber that has the courage to stand up and say, “you’re wrong”.

67 comments:

nutmeg said...

It wasn't the Irish, but it is awefully nice when they call ahead! I can see how you might have confused it, as we Irish are generally very polite! I'd forgive you just about anything after that fine apology.

Lord Nazh© said...

"“Ah yes for the heady days of the terrorists who called ahead. One did have to evacuate the tube stations, and the train terminals, but at least they called ahead, considerate that way the Irish…”"

What was incorrect in that quote? :)

Yes I'm picking at you.

jmb said...

Well done, Lady Mac. My philosophy is to apologize if I have upset someone regardless if I think I am wrong or not.
The thing is that person is upset because of me, so I must try to heal that breach.
Sometimes we all need to be aware that our words can hurt even when we don't mean to at all.
I'm sure MaryMary appreciates your apology.
regards
jmb

lady macleod said...

nutmeg

Thank you for your support. I appreciate it more than you know.

and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

My Lord,

you cheeky bugger! Thank you for your support. I'll take it any way you care to offer it.

and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

jmb

I can't imagine YOU offending anyone. I appreciate your kind words of support, and I agree with you totally.

and thank you for coming by.

gwen llana said...
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gwen llana said...
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gwen llana said...
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gwen llana said...

Realizing and accepting one's mistake is a sign of genuine maturity. By the way, it's my first time here. I found a review of your blog at http://en.maroc-emotions.com/blog/ so I checked it out. I must say that my visit is truly worthwhile. You have valuable entries!

@themill said...

Great apology - I find the etiquette of blogging quite tricky as intonation cannot be put onto the written word. Well, it probably can, by some clever so and so, but not by me!

I Beatrice said...

Bravo! for having the kindness - and the courage - to admit your mistake and apologise for it so publicly!

We have grown accustomed to hear that it is not all Muslims who are terrorists of course - but perhaps we didn't hear it in the good old/bad old days of the IRA?

It's even possible to feel a vague nostalgia now though, for the days when terrorists took the trouble to call ahead...

Nowadays, we have to rely on what I believe is called 'chatter'. A friendly-sounding name for a thoroughly sinister activity!

Liz said...

well done, you! A gracious apology. I fear my hand also writes before I think - or rather, I think I am being funny and others don't it see it that way.

P.S. I thought what you said was funny!

The Good Woman said...

And that, Lady M, is why I love your blog - it is a discussion, not a dictate. My Irish husband pointed out some of the facts menitoned by Marymary in her post when he read your post. But he wasn't upset by it. I will show him your response.

Mama Zen said...

So sorry to hear that you've been ill!

I agree with @ the mill. Blogging is so immediate that it's easy to forget that the nuances of what you're saying may not be coming across as you like. Humor is especially difficult.

Still, as a regular reader, I know that the last thing on earth you would intend is to belittle a group of people!

jenny said...

There have been many a time when I have put my own foot in my mouth without realizing it. As Hubby likes to say, "Put foot in mouth and chew vigorously."

I try to be aware of people's feelings but it is bound to happen sooner or later. You were very gracious in your apology and I hope all the ruffled feathers are smoothed over now. Please don't feel discouraged and continue to write more amazing posts!

Annie said...

Irish people have often been tarred with the terrorist brush - simply because they present an Irish passport or speak with an Irish brogue at an airport for example. As recently as 5 years ago (long after official IRA ceasefires) I received 'special attention' and not of a good kind, passing through Gatwick with my Irish Passport.

This kind of thing sticks with people and can sometimes make them more sensitive to phrases that they may otherwise gloss over.

I didn't take offense at the original comment on your blog - I noticed it, but ignored it being pretty certain you intended no harm. I can understand why people are sensitive about that kind of thing though.

Lord Straf-Bollinger said...

Yes, what happened here was that there was a strong women's peace movement in Northern Ireland but the menfolk were hell bent on violence. There was a peace train at one point but it came a cropper. You needed to know this, Lady M. All the same, I think Mary didn't see where you were coming form either.

marymaryquitecontrary said...

As far as I am concerned you have very graciously apologised. I have accepted that apology and have already explained that I realised you never meant to upset. I wanted to set the record straight; that you would see my comment and respond as you wished. I am amazed at LIZ and her sense of humour; I pray that she will never have to face the heartache many Irish families did in those horrendous years. I hope those days are over for ever.

Jen said...

Lady M: You have a lot of admiration from my little corner! If everyone would just apologize when they make mistakes things would be so much better in the world.

mutterings and meanderings said...

It takes a big person to be able to apologise.

Good for you Lady M. No one thinks any the less of you.

If more people said sorry when they made a mistake, the world would be a better place...

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I think you are very nice and very brave to apologise here, Lady M. I'm not judging, mind. I can understand why MM was upset but I can also understand why you said what you did.

Sparx said...

Lady M, glad you are better. A very gracious apology indeed as well.

Lord Nazh© said...

Now that the good feelings are in the stream, let me finish what I was going to say :)

I was really asking you what was wrong with your quote. I didn't want to sound like I was making fun of your apology so I added the picking part until another time.

That time is now. In your quote you claim that the Irish were the considerate call-ahead bombers. People got upset becuase it was the IRA and not the Irish and you apologized... bravo.

Who were the IRA? It is my understanding (and correct me please if I am wrong) that they were, well Irish. In which case your statement was a statement of fact. Facts shouldn't ever demand apologies, they are simply facts.

Ok, I understand that some people were upset that it wasn't ALL the Irish, just the IRA that did that, but again, you didn't claim that every Irish was a terrorist (bomber), you simply identified the bombers as Irish.

This is the same phenomena that is happening today with Muslim terrorists. It seems that some (most?) newspapers now will not put muslim before terrorist because not all muslims are terrorists. While true it devalues the fact that the terrorists they are reporting on were indeed muslim.

Like the English 'law' by Brown stating that muslim and terrorist can't be said together. These type of word games will solve no problems and invariably only 'upset' other people who eventually will demand their own apology.

While I salute you heartily for your apology, I still see no need in it.

Andres Carl Sena said...

you ndver need apologize to me, whether you offend me, berate me, chide me, confide in me, entertain me or even maim me. No apologies!

Lord Nazh© said...

Since no one has yet to reply to mine, I'll expand on what I mean.

I may be the only person that thinks the way I do, so it's hard for me to make people understand what I mean.

Lady M didn't offend marymary ... mary was offended by Lady M.

I see a huge difference in those 2 things, that's why I feel the way I do.

I understand people that feel the way that jmb does, but truthfully someone will always be offended no matter what you do, I find it difficult to go through life apologizing for something that is utterly out of my control and up to the feelings that others percieve.

Omega Mum said...

Entertaining discussion, as usual. Well done.

KarenO said...

I agree with what Lord Nazh said (and a few others here too!) It's just like the notion that all white South Africans are racists just because they lived in this country during the Apartheid era.

At least we're all open-minded enough to try and understand another person's point of view. (Or are we?)

lady macleod said...

gwen llana

thank you for the kind words, and the link - wow that sure made me feel better!

I hope you will return, and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

@themill

tricky business indeed. thank you for your support, and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

i beatrice

thank you for your support and thank you for coming by. "chatter" indeed.

lady macleod said...

liz

thank you for the kind words, and for you support,

and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

good woman

Oh no! not hubby too. I am glad he was not upset but yes, please have him read the apology. It appears my little quip had a far flung impact.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

mama zen

thank you for your words of support, it is much appreciated.

and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

jenny

I thank you for your words. It appears you know me well as I am thinking perhaps I should not write any more..

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

annie

Thank you, yes humor was my ONLY intent. I appreciate you realizing that - more than you know.

thank you for your comment and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

My Lord

Thank you for making me aware of my mistake. Until I saw where you had published mary's comments on your blog for all to see I had no idea I had offended anyone as that was never my purpose.

I hope that you, mary, and anyone else who took offense knows that now. I am sorry mary did not know I only meant it really as a compliment to the Irish (who are in my genetic line as well), but I am pleased to hear you did not think I was trying to be hurtful.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

marymaryquitecontrary

I am glad you realize I never meant harm and I hope you are feeling better about the offense you took away from the post. thank you for your comments.

lady macleod said...

jen

thank you, admiration is something I shall try to deserve.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

M&M

thank you for the support, I do appreciate it so much.

as always thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

darling welshcakes

what a bastion of support you must be for those who know you in the "real" world! you have been so kind during this upset - trying to point me to mary's post, sending your kind words both here and elsewhere, and just being a brilliant cyber-friend. Thank you for understanding!

and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

sparx

thank you pal, and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

ah My Lord

indeed but timing is everything!

I do agree with your points and they are well made and taken. It is indeed how I meant the clause of the sentence. However - if my words caused Mary so much distress (and over on her blog she said she was in tears) then I need to apologize.

Brown in my thinking has gone right off the edge! When I get stopped in the airports I really want to ask, "So when is the last time a tall redhead with an American passport and a Scottish brogue blew up a bloody aeroplane?!"

I do understand what you mean and it is again so well put, "Lady M didn't offend marymary...mary was offended by Lady M". exactly, and I take responsibility for that because along with our other present day failings in our modern culture is the lack of taking PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. There was just a big article in the NYT that states it is not that pastry you stuffed in your mouth, but your friends that are making you fat! What???

Please come back and comment often!
and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

andres carl sena


and you with that avatar have no apologies to make! ever!

as ever, thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

omega mum

we all LIVE to entertain you my love.
cheeky wench that you are.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

kareno

I hope we are, more I hope I am. I do try. Thank you for your comments and as always, for coming by.

lady macleod said...

apparently the discussion continues. This from marymary:

"Lord Straff Bollinger your comments on Lady MacLeods blog show you know bugger all about the violence in Northern Ireland. I have lived there all my long life and I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I never knew one male terrorist and to the best of my knowledge never met one. This is the ignorance that makes me so angry. Terrorists were hidden in the community as they are today in other countries. I don't want to continue with this subject but please try not to comment on something you obviously do not in any way understand. And by the way the Mississippi trip is off!"

I copied and posted this here since My Lord's comment was here.

debio said...

Such grace, lady m - it's a pity your behaviour is not reflected in many other walks of life.

Hope you haven't re-opened the Irish question though.....could run and run

lady macleod said...

debio

thank you for the kind words. as for the issue.. seems to be.

thank you for coming by.

jmb said...

Well Lord Nazh may never see this but what I meant in my statement which he mentioned was that when I apologize in the circumstances I mentioned, which is exactly as he described, A didn't mean to offend B, but B took offence at what A said. So I, as A, will apologize for offending B but not necessarily for what I, as A, said or did, if that is the case.

For many years I worked with a hospital pharmacy team of 30 different people, usually 15- 20 at a time, all on top of each other in a space the size of the ground floor of my house. Talk about rats in a maze, all trying to coordinate the work and getting on each other's nerves. So this was a philosophy I honed very carefully there to keep sane and productive.
As to me not offending anyone Lady Mac, I was called a crazy person by another commenter for a comment I left on a blog the other day. Not by the blog author who, if he disagreed, was kind enough not say a word but I certainly incensed someone who didn't even leave a link to follow.
Anyway I think you did the right thing and I admire you for it.
regards
jmb

lady macleod said...

jmb

well I saw it, so you have been 'heard', and well stated as usual. As wonderful as you are, and I do think so, I have a feeling you are NOT someone I would care to make angry:-)

again, thank you for the kind works, I am feeling in need of them just now, and thank you for coming by.

Janejill said...

I am very very pleased by your gracious and totally unambiguous apology Lady M; I have done something similar (well, it felt similar to me!) when talking about visiting India and joking about the slums (reading it later, I was quietly horrified , but I was lucky - no-one seemed to have spotted it!) I am Irish but have lived many more years away than there, so I am distanced from the hard times experienced by the large majority of Northern Irish (both men and women, of course Lord Straf - how could you say such a thing??)
I think many Irish do feel angry at being seen as part of a terrorist movement, though they were totally and absolutely against it; they feel set apart , and maybe forgotten (this is only my view) and this sense of being isolated can be compounded by stupid and lazy remarks by someone such as the self-styled "lord nazh". Does he really think "the terrorists who perpetrated the 7/7 bombs" could be substituted by "the Muslims who perpetrated the 7/7 bombs" without causing some offence to the huge majority of peace-loving and law-abiding Muslims? Or perhaps he just thinks it is reasonable to give offence? (That is up to him of course). Anyway, a good discussion, without causing offence, is always healthy! I think.

Shirl said...

As you have published your email addy on your profile, Lady M, I feel this matter could have been settled privately and you would have apologised, altered your initial post accordingly, and all the fuss need never have happened. Such a shame, as your blog is undoubtedly a professional piece of journalism.

The allusions to anyone else's 'sense of humour' are quite unnecessary.

When did blogging become so personal?

Steve G said...

You are an honorable lady, but not the first to indirectly step on someone's toes. I am guilty as well, and hate it when I do it.

lady macleod said...

janejill

thank you for your support, and your comments. Everyone is always welcome to voice their opinions here.

I agree with you that "a good discussion without causing offence is always health".

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

shirl

thank you for the kind words and your support. I don't know about the "when did blogging become so personal?" I just got here!

thank you for coming by, and taking the time to comment.

lady macleod said...

steve g

Thank you, I try to be honorable in all aspects of my life.

thank you for coming by.

mutleythedog said...

God! Papists are so oversensitive...

lady macleod said...

mutleythedog

hush up you cheeky mutt! ;-)

thank you for coming by.

jenny said...

Ok, Lady M-- Stick that chin back up and stand up straight! Time to shake off your worries and start writing again!! I (and I'm sure everyone else) miss reading your lovely posts-- they make me laugh. Your posts make me think. They teach me things. And finally, I miss YOU.

So one person took offense to what you wrote. You never meant harm in the first place and you apologized. No need to rake yourself over the coals because we cant always please everybody (though we sure try!). Now, start typing again,, PLEASE???

I Beatrice said...

Dear Lady Macleod

I am writing to say goodbye - finding that I no longer have the heart (or the stomach) to continue the novel in this way. I thank you for your wonderful support over the past couple of months, and I wish you well, as always.

I ought to add, by the way, that my husband has pulled me up over my own rather thoughtless contribution to the IRA question - pointing out that they most notably DID NOT call ahead, on many profoundly tragic occasions!

My sincere good wishes to you, and goodbye.
BeatriceX

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Wow! I didn't realise that was you! Lovely apology. I won't say more in case I inadvertantly cause offense. (I'm American. We're new to terrorism on the home front.)

Arthur Clewley said...

Lady Macloed, having lived in the past in an english town where irish terrorists blew up a crowded pub and having seen a family of my close aquaintance bury their son who was killed in Belfast it does have to be said that all those bombs were wrapped in the irish flag with the support of a great many people from that island, north and south. To seperate the IRA from all other things irish seems to be a little bit tricky given what the 'I' stands for.

You can't avoid offending people from time to time and I don't think you said anything you need to apologise for.

lady macleod said...

authur clewley

Thank you for your support, and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

WUASTC

shhhhh, perhaps no one else will notice? Unlikely. thank you for the support and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

i beatrice

you leaving the blogsphere would be a tragedy indeed. Can you not write the book apart and keep us, your loyal fans, abreast? Let me know the moment you publish. Thank you for your support, and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

jenny

Yes mam'.