Friday, April 04, 2008

Sincere Apology but Still no Honest Answer

True remorse is never just a regret over consequence; it is a regret over motive.
Mignon McLaughlin
I've noticed many bloggers suggesting today that some of us are being too hard on Mr. Lukiwski. Some suggest that it was a different time in 1991, that people thought differently about gays and AID's back then. They suggest that because it was 16 years ago (a very long time apparently!), that we the public should not take his comments in the context of today's standards.
Well, I don't know where you all lived in 1991, but I can tell you that I certainly didn't know or associate with anyone who used that kind of language, either in jest or seriously.
Some statements I've read seem to be confusing 1991 with the 1970's. By 1991, while things were still not perfect, societal attitudes certainly weren't at the level demonstrated by Lukiwski, at least not in the mainstream. And certainly, the myth's about AID's were be debunked. We were wearing red ribbons as a symbol of the fight against AID's. Magic Johnson had declared that he was HIV positive and began a career to raise awareness and prevention.
So, I'm sorry, I do not buy the allowances being afforded this man. I believe that he was contrite and his apology was heartfelt, but he continues to say that he has never held such views. Well as someone who truly has never held such views, I can promise you that it has never entered my mind to utter such things.
That said, I still think the government is wrong to keep him in his position of Parliamentary Secretary to the government House Leader. Should he be thrown out of caucus? Maybe not.
Perhaps he stays and the people will decide his fate during the next election.
More info. You decide.


Anonymous said...

I would like to believe that all Canadians would accept his apology.
This acceptance however makes Tom no less accountable for his actions.
He should resign.

Steve V said...

In his apology, which did seem sincere, Likiwski said he didn't hold those views at the time. That just makes no sense, because if you didn't hold those views, you don't make those comments. Period. Of course you believed what you said, that's why you said that. Only a homophobe thinks that, it's just that simple.

Can someone remember the last time a political person was caught making derogatory comments, when the didn't apologize? Big deal, it's par for the course, but it doesn't excuse anything, it's called damage control. You can forgive him, but that doesn't really change the facts.

Karen said...

Precisely Steve and what continuously is glossed over is the fact that he was 40 at the time.

I'm past that age and yes I do learn and change my opinions, perhaps every day.

My core beliefs however have not been altered since I was 40. In fact at the risk of drawing the "nuts" out, I don't think my core beliefs have changed since I was in my 20's.

That's not to say that I have not lived and learned, but it is to emphasize that in your 20's you kind of plot your course. You run into arguments that you wern't aware of, but you incorporate them into your overall value system.

Okay. I won't drone on with that, but the bottom line is, you cannot speak what you do not think. His words came effortlessly and if that doesn't tell you what he thought, well, what can I say?

Monkey Loves to Fight said...

If he admitted he was a homophobe in 1991, but has changed, I would be willing to offer forgiveness as even at 40 people's views can still change. My Grand-parents were 40 in the late 50s and early 60s and at the time were still racist in many ways, but today, now in their late 80s are very tolerant so yes change can happen over time. Now granted, the world in 1960 was a lot different than 2008 and 48 years is a much longer period of time.

Karen said...

Miles, while I appreciate the example of your grandparents, I don't think you can equate the social value shift from the 50's and 60's to today, with the kind of non or subtle shift from the 90's to the year 2000 an onward.

The point is, this man did not espouse the view of the times, though many are trying to argue that very point.

He was either ideological in his views, or an ignorant man who at 40 in the 90's, (though he dressed like the 70's/80's) had not taken the time, nor reflection, to understand the reality of the world that he inhabited.

RuralSandi said...

In the 60's (30 years prior to his remarks) there were great changes in our society. We had the civil rights movement, womens' rights movement, Charter of Rights and Freedoms, make love not war, etc.

You can tell me that a man of 40 in 1991 did not know of the changes in our society. I'm about the same age as Tommy boy - I lived through those changes. Was in the backwoods during these times?

He is who he is. Yes, there's still discrimination - but vile statements like his are way over the top for that era. He didn't look that drunk to me either. He didn't slur his words, his balance when standing and walking were good and he looked dead serious to me.

Anonymous said...

Homosexuality is a perversion of sexuality no different than beastiality or incest or pedophilia. Homosexuals are obsessed with putting their genitals where they don't belong. It's a sin.

Right and wrong is NOT determined by popular opinion nor personal opinion. Homosexuality is wrong and that's a universal, immutable, objective truth.

Fabio Van Manly said...

The truth shall set you free!

Anonymous said...

Precisely Steve and what continuously is glossed over is the fact that he was 40 at the time.

I don't understand why some are so eager to forgive.

If I said that "Jews are filthy and spread disease" , there would be an outcry. I see that the midget Jason Cherniak seems to be echoing the Liberal party line to forgive...
Why? It's a comment that reflect who the man is. Coupled with his recent comments about SSM and it's easy to deduce that he has not changed.

I was in high school at the time that the comments were said, and gay "tolerance" (I hate using tolerance) is about the same as now. Saying it was the times is no excuse.

While people's view can and do change, this would be reflected in his recent actions - they still underline an homophobe.

If you don't like homosexuals, then just state it - stop hiding behind some claptrap - I'm really sick of politicians that stand for nothing.

He made derogatory comments because that's what he believed, he has not changed. It's a disgrace that he has not resigned.

One only has to see how David Ahenakew has been treated to see the hypocrisy in this country. And who'd have thought that Ahenakew could act more honourably...