Tuesday, May 11, 2021

AN APOLOGY

Earlier today, someone sent me a link to a new blog that apparently has been designed to publish nasty information about royal writers, including me.  

Nearly 37 years ago, in April 1984 I wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Daily News apparently about an article on Hispanics.  I don't remember writing this because it was 37 years ago.  However, I will make no excuses for not remembering it.   It was wrong and I admit it.

I regret my comments including the statement "that Hispanics do not want to join the mainstream of American life."  It was wrong and I admit it, wholeheartedly.  The person I was 37 years ago is not who I am now.

My views have changed considerably.  How and why is easy to explain.  Like many Americans, I grew up in a bubble.  I voted Republican (which I regret deeply), but as I got older, worked for organizations with a diversified workforce, meeting people outside my bubble, traveling more, talking more, and learning and observing more about injustices in this country and abroad, my views greatly changed.

I deeply regret writing the letter. It happened, and I cannot wish it away.  It says more about the person who used a nom de plume to publish anonymously.

The post ends with  "It is not known if Marlene Eilers Koenig has ever made amends or apologised for her racist remarks!"

I have to say I apologized many times, not always in words, but in deeds and actions.  I must add that my faith guided me away from bigoted thinking to understanding and embracing differences, understanding that we are all one people.  

I wish I could sit down with those who responded to the letter with their thoughts, talk with them, and say I apologize.  

Now, of course, there will be people who say a leopard never changes its spots."  While that might be true for leopards, it is not true for people.  

Unfortunately, there are far too many people still in bubbles unwilling to learn or accept that we cannot all be the same, but in the end, we are all the same -- people created by God, we all have gifts to give and embrace the fact that it is important not to take away the chairs at a table but to build a bigger table.

I am deeply sorry and I regret my words.  The 29-year-old Marlene no longer exists.  This Marlene is nearly 67, a lot wiser, tolerant, and with a mind wide-open. 

Some of my readers may wonder why I chose to post this on Royal Musings.  I cannot respond to the post on the blog.  I expect it is being circulated.  I have no intention of covering it up or making excuses.  There can be no excuses for my comments. 

I hope people will forgive me for those comments.    

Thank you.


26 comments:

Ilana said...

Marlene, if they don't forgive you for something in your past that you now disavow, then no one is allowed to learn and grow. Where you are at 5 is where you are now no matter what you say or do. That is the culture of today, either you have an ivory clean slate or you need to be cancelled. Just reprehensible. Ilana

Matthew Plooster said...

Wow Marlene, this was probably the most honest and sincere post of this sort I've encountered. As an academic researcher, I fall under the epistemology of constructionism/constructivism, where daily interactions continue to shape our worldview (i.e., people change, and they change often based on their environment). I grew up in a similar environment as you and was, for a long time, the product of my experience. I've learned, I've changed. I would hate to be judged today by the choices I made eight or nine years ago, and cannot fathom judging someone on what they said nearly four decades ago without considering how that individual may have grown.

Anyone who reads your blogs or follows you on Twitter could easily see how what you described from 37 years ago is not who you are today. That said, owning one's past is brave and a wonderful example.

Barbara said...

Marlene, I feel for you. We were all young and ignorant once. Life teaches us many things, tolerance, understanding, and you are quite right to day that you are no longer that person. You are so well-known and respected by such a huge worldwide audience.. do not fear that we would change our minds about you.

Jake said...

Now that's a true apology. So different from what we hear from bigshots and celebrities. Thank you, Marlene. People do learn and change.

MAXny said...

Whoever found it necessary to go back 30 pus damn years to circulate this has issues. What is your motivation?? You hide behind fake social media accounts, show yourself, only filthy ass cowards hide behind fake pages. Everybody, in this damn country, has at one point or another has expressed an unpopular opinion or has said something not politically correct. Gimme a break!!! Look at your own actions of yesteryear, and tell me you didn't say something stupid or incorrect. YOU CAN'T because WE are all human. Get a fucking life!!!

Carmen R said...

Thank you for making your apology. I would want everyone to remember that thoughtful people are always evolving and reshaping their beliefs. We should strive to grow into more tolerance, empathy and patience with others and ourselves.

J said...

If someone condemns you for something you said 38 years ago, then that says more about that person than about you. We all grow and evolve, and we all modify our views when we are exposed to new information and experiences. As a South American, I send all my support to you, Marlene. You are a superb source of knowledge and have always been very kind to me :)

Anonymous said...

Seems like heartfelt words....who among us hasn’t said something unkind?

NannyBee said...

Well written and well said. Good for you.

skupachk said...

I will never understand how people think that they can apply the 'societal norms' of today to actions taken in this case decades ago. We cannot expect people to evolve and change but then castigate them for actions many years ago as though they have not changed - this is illogical and frankly ludicrous thinking.

Yes criminal actions should be held to account - if someone rapes/murders/abuses then there should be no stature of limitations to chase these people down. But to hold you to account for thoughts you had nearly 40 years ago without asking you to comment or reply is frankly completely unfair.

Your apology here (I have not seen the post you are referring to, and I don't need to) is thoughtful and approriate. It shows the person you are today, strong enough to acknowledge past errors, inciteful enough to show that you are not the same person who wrote those opinions in the past. Honest enough to stand up and back the person you are now.

Bravo to you Marlene, you are a constantly evolving human being. I follow your blog because you provide intelligent and balanced opinions on a topic you are very knowledgeable on and I appreciate you greatly.

I don't know of anyone who does not regret a comment or action in their own past. Hold your head up high, you hold no shame in this.

Unknown said...

I think it is time for ALL OF US to move on. Since when were we ordained to be each others judge! Every single person alive has thought, said or acted in ways that were not perfect....most of us grow as we age and experience life. That is call MATURITY! I don't care what color your skin is, or where you were born...we ALL have a set of prejudices that come with our culture. It is way past time to stop slinging the hash in one direction....it's way past time to stop and listen to ALL of us. When any society continues to make one group or another feel responsible for all the worlds ills...we have gone against everything that God wants for us....that is to love each other as individuals. I am sick and tired of being accused of things I have never thought or felt just because my skin in White.

Texshan said...

I don't know why you "deeply regret" voting Republican. There's nothing wrong with that. I've been doing it for nearly 35 years, for the most part.

Also, I'm sick of this culture we're in where busybodies will pore over everything people ever wrote or said in their lives in order to find a "gotcha!" It's immature and petty. Find me someone who has never said or done anything they regret, and I'll show you someone who hasn't lived.

David Lewis said...

Anyone who has followed you and your musings for many years will know that the views you hold now are not the same as you held then. We live, we learn and we grow..

Isabelle said...

A beautiful post, Marlene! We all live and learn. All of us.

Bill said...

Everyone does or says things they regret. You are correct we learn and change all through our lives. Unfortunately in today's world it is easy for others to find those old mistakes and expose them. You have my sympathy.

Joanne Du Plessis said...

I am sorry but this is just utterly ridiculous! You have fallen into the dishonest trap of being an apologist ......and it is deeply dishonest! Why are you apologising for supporting a legal mainstream, conservative party? Are you now trying to appease the woke mob? Urghh.....grow a spine! Until then you have lost all credibility!

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Joanne, The GOP is no longer mainstream but moving toward fascism. My faith lead me out of that more than 30 years ago as I changed party to becoming a Democrat. A very liberal one .. and darn proud of it.

Bobbi L said...

Marlene, you have no need to be forgiven. 1984 America was a way different place than it is today. We have all learned from our mistakes. This was just a few years after "All in the Family" went off the air. Looking at those scripts today, they couldn't make it on TV, because of their racist overtones. As someone who was a Democrat in the '80s and has changed to be a Republican, I think that the people who posted that information need to stop trying to see problems where problems don't exist. I hope that as a Nation, we have grown and now embrace those who are different than us. I know that not all do. I speak as a woman who would never have married an African American in the '80s, because it just wasn't done, or so I thought. My mind changed in the early 2000s. If I can change who I will spend my life with, I know that you have grown from the Marlene you were back then.

Gloria said...

Thank you so much for sharing this person story and for your written apology. It speaks volumes about your character and I respect you even more. Beautifully written!

BlueSaphire70 said...

To paraphrase the Bible, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone". I guess whoever brought this up is "without sin", right? It must be awesome to be perfect like that, never to have said or done anything regrettable. But, since I'm not perfect, I'm with you. Wrong or misguided things said or done decades ago may be bad, but what would be really bad is if an attitude change had not occurred. I really like what you said regarding the leopard's skin, because thank goodness we're not leopards! We can and do change, hopefully for the better as you have clearly done, and I commend you for it.

RealGabo said...

Marlene, sometimes I disagree with opinions I gave hours ago, imagine in almost 40 years!
Our body is in an incessant process of transformation. According to scientists, the human body completely replaces itself, with a new set of cells, every 7 to 10 years.
So it’s very admirable that you give yourself here in this mea culpa for a Marlene that you have completely left behind almost 4 times.
It’s understandable and reasonable for everyone that you are no longer the same, that is why we empathize with the friend who today rereads herself embarrased in that text from the past that she is violently forced to remember and exorcise.
Those who remain the same as the past is because they are dead. Those who make mistakes and humbly correct themselves is because they are happily counted among the living.

Denis said...

Don't worry. There are very few people who can say they ever made a mistake. We are all human and I feel so sad you had to write this on your website. We met a few years back and had a lunch in a pub in Kensington, London. You are an interesting, nice and, importantly, a warm person. Carry that with you and forget any small incidences in the past. Keep well. Denis

Violetta said...

Dear Marlene, what does matter is who you are now and what you do now. Sometimes we do something that we deeply regret. It is perfectly normal because these are stages of our development. If it hadn`t been for 29-year-old Marlene, there wouldn`t 67-year old Marlene. Wish you all the best!

Violetta said...

Dear Marlene, what does matter is who you are now and what you do now. Sometimes we do something that we deeply regret. It is perfectly normal because these are stages of our development. If it hadn`t been for 29-year-old Marlene, there wouldn`t 67-year old Marlene. Wish you all the best!

readsmil said...

I am 76 years old and i know that I have made mistakes but I fully acknowledge any unkindnesses that I have ever committed.The criteria for an adult, kind and aware person is to learn learning from whatever mistakes we have made and trying to ask for and be given forgiveness.
No one on this planet or in this country is prefect.But by our attempts to learn from whatever misdeeds we may have committed and be aware of what we say and honestly wish for our acts to be forgiven and to try to be a better person.
I find no fault in whatever you did or that I did.
Our aim is just to try to be better.
Take care and be safe.
SRR

Andrew said...

I agree Joanne. There's no reason to apologise for opinions you held or hold that are perfectly legal. No need to justify yourself to sanctimonious critics.