Saturday, December 5, 2009

An sincere apology to a previous reader, how we can be extremely insensitive without meaning to be and, perhaps, a lesson learnt

I have one follower who has come out and declared herself. You will see a link to her blogs to the right of these words. I also have another follower who is a little more in the shadows, who professes, I can only accept sincerely, to be baffled by the kind of technology which makes a blog such as this possible, and who, thus, does not have his own blog.
Until a few days ago, I did have a third reader, who also declared herself to be a follower, and there was also a link to her blog to the right. It has now, however, disappeared. And I fear I have inadvertently upset her. I shall go on to explain how it might have happened, but before I go any further I shall ask her to forgive me - she will know I am addressing her - and I shall ask her to accept that there might have been a misunderstanding. If I am right and offence was taken, it was not due to oversensitivity on her part. If anything, it was down to a certain tactlessness on mine.
Some readers might know, because I mentioned as much in this blog when I was writing from Ibiza, that while I was on holiday, I came across by chance a copy of A People’s History Of The United States by a very respected historian called Howard Zinn. The purpose of his history was that it should serve as an antidote to other histories of America which told the story of the nation, so to speak, top down. He wanted to tell the history through the stories tribulations of the ordinary man and woman - the indentured servants who were all too often treated as no more than white slaves, the black slaves themselves, the native Americans, the immigrants who were played off against each other to compete for scarce work. I learnt a great deal from that book.
I was aware, in broad outline, of the history of slavery in America, but I did not know much of the detail. And while reading the book I came to realise what a horrifying, unspeakably evil detail it was and is. And I feel - I hope - that perhaps I understand a little better the deep sensitivity of Afro-Americans in matters of colour and their existence, and the reality of their lives both past and present. But it seems that I touched upon that sensitivity rather roughly, although inadvertently, in a previous entry to this blog, and for that I am truly sorry indeed. It was sincerely unintended. I think the reader concerned will know what I am talking about, so I don’t feel there is a need to be more explicit as this entry is almost entirely intended for her eyes only. From what I gathered from looking at this particular reader’s blog, she is wholly or partly of Afro-American descent and from what she writes on her blog very aware of the past lives of her forefathers and foremothers. The chances are that she has already given up on reading this blog, but if she does occasionally take a look, I hope she reads this and accepts my apologies.


  1. I did read that post, i wasnt offended, but i do know from experiance that you are sometimes (crass) without meaning to be. It could be the male thing or your extra dry sense of humor. I also know you well enough to know your don't intentionally hurt anyones feelings. You just like to hear your owns words and jabber on and that is why your a good writer....... I hope this helps in some way. Kate

  2. Patrick,
    Another amazing post as I have commented in past entries you are a brilliant writer and in no way does any part of your blog give reason for anyone to be offended. Truth is knowledge and wisdom is what one has when you accept the truth in past, present or what may come in the future. My ancestors and I have been a part of history in many ways from walking the “trail of tears” to rising from the ashes of “southern yesteryears” and as I try to grasp those long ago times while trying to live in today and building a tomorrow; I remind myself daily, “always remember”. Your posts validate those yesteryears in the lives of many. How can we know where we are going if we do not know where we have been? Any removal of your one of your followers was in no way by intent, as you know in your previous blog being deleted, and not found, this sort of thing happens. Your gracious apology to anyone for any postings is unnecessary. Continue to write your interesting and informative post for everyone to enjoy.

    Best Regards,

  3. AJ Johnson seems to have gotten your alleged faux pas so into perspective that I feel compelled to offer a quote from my ‘snippets reservoir’. I’m not sure where it actually came from - since it should have been from ‘Gypsy’ culture [Romany], not Romanian. The fundamental truth is self-evident:

    "kon mangel te kerel tumendar r.oburen `ci `soxa phenela tumen o `ca`cimos
    pa tumare perintonde": translates from the [?] Romani as, "he who wants to enslave you will never tell you the truth about your forefathers"