How The Dog Could Have His Day
Wednesday - November 14, 2007
If there is anyone out there still defending Dog, please consider this. Yes, he apologized. And he can be forgiven if he is truly remorseful for the right reasons. But his words cannot and should not ever be forgotten.
The fact that Duane Chapman said he was sorry has to be taken with a lump - not a grain - of salt. His disgusting diatribe to his son consisted of threats, racial slurs, justification for using the N-word and his determination to continue using the N-word.
His rant clearly showed he knew it was wrong. He knew it was wrong enough to ruin his reputation should his ugly secret ever get out. He knew what was at stake.
A wiser man would have said, “Son, I understand why your girlfriend (who is African American) would be offended by my use of the word, so I really will try to clean up my act.”
Nope. He essentially said, “I am going to continue using the word but I want to keep it secret - so you and your f-****** n***** girlfriend had better shut up.”
What disturbs me about this is that people who should know better are willing to give him a pass based on his TV image.
Well, that’s all it is, folks: an image. Easy to manipulate. And as we’ve seen, easy to shatter.
Those of us who’ve been in the public eye know the difference between our public personas and private lives. The further your TV image gets from your true personality, the easier it is to trip up and fall. In the end, reality always finds a way to trump deception.
We should forgive Chapman, especially if he changes his heart and his life. I believe people can change for the better. That’s what aging and wisdom are all about.
But why should we let him off the hook easily?
He deserves to lose his advertisers and his show and the goodwill of most decent Americans. He should expect to pay for promoting hatred and ignorance. If he is genuinely sorry he will accept all this and more with humility.
There is a way Dog could turn it around. He could make it his life’s work to educate people, including his most rabid supporters, about prejudice. He could talk to schoolkids about the roots of racism. He could become an advocate for a true color-blind society. And most important, he could do it without the expectation of reclaiming his wounded career.
If he is sincere, he will do it quietly, without benefit, publicity or fanfare, because it’s the right thing to do.
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