Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dear Justin Timberlake (Part 2)

For this letter to make sense, please read the first one here.

Dear Justin Timberlake (again),


Wait, I get it now.

I read your apology letter and was disgusted because the apology didn't fit the situation being apologized for.

I failed to take into account that you probably thought that it did.

I did my reading and research to find out what was going on, and what I found warranted a much more serious, thoughtful apology than you delivered.  I was frustrated to find that your open letter seemed more interested in defending than apologizing.

Now it's all clicked, and I realize that you may have come across as defensive because you felt defensive.  You may have written such a weak apology because you didn't feel very apologetic.

You don't understand what our problem is.

You don't understand why we're so disgusted by that video or that it was used as a joke at a celebrity's European wedding festivities.

You don't get it.

Wow.  I'm sorry, I assumed that it would be obvious.  Isn't it obvious?  Or maybe you do get it; maybe you just feel defensive at having to explain yourself.  Maybe you want to enjoy your happy moment of newly wedded bliss without being disturbed by petty complaints about some video some "knucklehead" friend of yours made.  Maybe you're just resentful that word reached the press and the public and ruined your good time.

Maybe you saw the video and understand the complaints, but just don't see it as that big of a deal.  So some homeless people were mocked.  So your friends sat around and had a good laugh at the idea of you voluntarily associating with people down on their luck.  What's the problem?  God, you can't even tell a joke anymore without the PC police making a huge deal of everything.

Your letter took 12 paragraphs to say "I'm sorry" and even then wasn't very convincing, given all of the ways you found to explain that it wasn't that bad to begin with.  We got quotations from your grandfather and some "everyone's equal" down-home Tennessee wisdom, but your harshest words against the video were, "I agree with the overall consensus."  Scathing!

About that Tennesse wisdom:
As a matter of fact, growing up in Tennessee, I was always taught that we as people, no matter what your race, sex, or stature may be, are equal.
You can't honestly believe that Tennessee is some egalitarian wonderland where everyone's treated equally.  There's no racism in Tennessee?  There's no sexism in Tennessee?  (Hey, good news, Aunt B.!)

Maybe you do honestly believe that everyone in Tennessee is treated exactly the same.  That everyone there has all of the same experiences and opportunities in life as you.

And maybe you really do believe that such a cruel, disgusting video was an innocent joke, unfortunately misunderstood.

That says a lot about you.

The world has been kind to you, Justin.

Please learn to be kind in return.

With love,
Frank Lee

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