How not to apologize, 101

HOW NOT TO APOLOGIZE, 101…. Let’s call this another setback for the Republican Party’s outreach to minority communities.

A prominent South Carolina Republican killed his Facebook page Sunday after being caught likening the First Lady to an escaped gorilla.

Commenting on a report posted to Facebook about a gorilla escape at a zoo in Columbia, S.C., Friday, longtime GOP activist Rusty DePass wrote, “I’m sure it’s just one of Michelle’s ancestors — probably harmless.”

Busted by South Carolina political blogger Will Folks, DePass told WIS-TV in Columbia, “I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest.”

Then he added, “The comment was hers, not mine,” claiming Michelle Obama made a recent remark about humans descending from apes. The Daily News could find no such comment.

Now, I’m not inclined to give DePass advice, but as a rule, defending racism with “the comment was hers,” when it wasn’t, is not the right way to express sincere remorse.

What’s more, maybe now would be a good time to remind folks that modern biology says nothing about “humans descending from apes.” The evolutionary model is based on shared ancestry, which isn’t the same thing.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation