Why are people of color expected to automatically forgive a racist who hasn’t proven themselves changed? These apologies always feel so fake and inauthentic. The people apologizing never pause to consider their actions until they are exposed, and even then they’re only doing so because of the fear of losing an endorsement or a job. The apology never matches the original levels of viciousness and creativity people achieve when insulting another’s sexuality or ethnicity. When a child actress is called a vile name by an long-running satire site, a beautiful young singer is labeled a stoner for wearing dreadlocks and a phenomenal 13-year old-female athlete is called a slut, they deserve more than a canned, robotic mea culpa.

But that’s what they get, because the object and focus of the Racial Apology Ritual is the redemption of the white racist, not the healing of the black psyche. It’s taken for granted that people of color are supposed to accept whatever apology they’re given, no matter how nasty the insult, and then things can go back to normal. Back to normal for White America, that is, which means forgetting the incident until the next one occurs.”

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