Apology?

It’s been about a month since I wrote about the local Minuteman group not getting a Fair Shake by the State Human Rights Commission. Commissioner Marc Brenman has responded to the Minutemen’s request that he apologize for the hateful letter he penned for the Everett Herald. I didn’t have a lot of time to compose my thoughts on his response, so I’ll just hit a few points that caught my attention.

First point; if you dissect the lengthy response you will find that he did actually include an apology.

I appreciate your concern and willingness to discuss my recent op-ed published in the Everett Herald on June 15, 2007. I apologize for comparing the Minutemen to Nazis and Tim McVeigh. The Washington State Human Rights Commission looks forward to engaging with you and other Minutemen leaders in order to proactively address your concerns.

Perhaps part of the reason many people connect the Minutemen to unsavory characters and organizations is because people are unaware of, or do not understand, who the Minutemen represent.

I would like to invite you to meet me in the middle. Perhaps meeting on this border would provide us with an opportunity to better understand the other’s position, and to take proactive steps to foster a positive relationship among the diverse populations in Washington State.

So he apologized. He explained how it happened ie. “people are unaware of, or do not understand, who the Minutemen represent.” And he made an offer of future cooperation. Sounds a okay so far.

The second and much lower point is that he used Google hits rather than facts to justify his position on the MCDC.

Unfortunately, over 300,000 links surface on Google when the search term “MINUTEMEN, NAZI” is entered. Over 25,000 links are returned on the search “MINUTEMEN, McVEIGH.” The search returns represent a wide range of organizations and media, including MSNBC.com and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

I would say that unfortunately the hits would show as hits even if all 300,000 links stated that Minutemen are in no way related to Nazi’s nor McVEIGH. This sites gets hits all the time by people Googling “Islam” and yet I sit here not Islamic in the slightest. Google hits do not a person make.

And Islam prings me to another lower point.

In addition, we can also look to holy and sacred texts, as most major religions teach acceptance and diversity.

He goes on to quote from the Bible, the Torah and curiously the Qu’ran. Curious because it is not too often that you hear of Islam as the teachers of acceptance and diversity. Consider the lives of Jews, Christians, homosexuals, children or even women in Islamic nations. I don’t think we need our Human Rights Commission modeling anything after Islam.

And for the much much lower thing we find that Word lists the author of Marc Brenman’s letter as “Kirby, Seth (HUM)” and includes this tracking in the document title.

[[Draft 8/31/07 Kirby, edits 8/31/07 Brenman, corrections by Kirby 09-04-07]]

So I wonder if in fact Marc Brenman himself, actually penned the original letter to the Everett Herald or if it was Kirby, Seth ? But if Mr. Brenman himself had the time and ability to write his own Minuteman blasting letter to the Everett Herald, why couldn’t he take the time to write his own apology? My feeling is that if Marc Brenman were truly sorry, he would write his own apology with his own reasons for his mistake and make his apology as public as the offense.

So perhaps this wasn’t really an apology?? But I can reserve my judgment for a bit and see if this plays out in the media.

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