Do we need to apologize? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Sunday while heading home, my wife and I heard a story on the radio. It involved a 14 year-old who won a prize for best poem. When I heard what he was saying, I was aghast. It was so horrifying to think that someone was already living with this kind of idea. You can read about the story here.
I will quote what the cite has as well from the “poem.”
“Dear women, I’m sorry. Dear black people, I’m sorry. Dear Asian-Americans, dear Native Americans, dear immigrants who came here seeking a better life, I’m sorry,” Royce recited. “Dear everyone who isn’t a middle or upper-class white boy, I’m sorry. I have started life on the top of the ladder while you were born on the first rung.”
“When I was born I had a success story already written for me. You — you were given a pen and no paper,” he continued. “I know it wasn’t us 8th-grade white boys who created this system, but we profit from it every day.
“Dear white boys: I’m not sorry,” Royce declared. “I don’t care if you think the feminists are taking over the world, that the Black Lives Matter movement has gotten a little too strong, because that’s bulls—. I get that change can be scary, but equality shouldn’t be. Hey white boys: It’s time to act like a woman. To be strong and make a difference. It’s time to let go of that fear. It’s time to take that ladder and turn it into a bridge.”
“I know it wasn’t us eighth grade white boys who created this system, but we profit from it every day. We don’t notice these privileges though, because they don’t come in the form of things we gain, but rather the lack of injustices that we endure.”
Seeing all of this, it got me to want to give my own apology as well.
To Royce Mann,
I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you have bought into a lie about our great American country. I’m sorry that you think that if you are being successful, it’s not because of the work of you or one of your ancestors, but because you had to be privileged in some way. I’m sorry that you don’t realize that even before the passing of the Civil Rights Act, that the black community was working and growing and building themselves up.
I’m sorry that you think you have to apologize for your existence. You have done nothing wrong. Even if you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, that is not wrong. You could use your wealth then to benefit others which is a fine usage of wealth.
I’m sorry that you don’t realize that in this country, you can work and be a success. Even if it’s harder for you, you can do it. My wife and I both have Aspergers, but I sure don’t plan to let that hold me back. If anything, it’s something I want to embrace because it’s part of the uniqueness of who we are.
I’m sorry that you have been lied to by the school district. I see that you have to take a class called “race, class, and gender.” I’m sorry to hear that. I’m sorry to hear the schools are moving away from subjects of reading, writing, and arithmetic. I’m sorry that they’re more interested in producing people that think like them instead of people that think.
I’m sorry that your parents aren’t doing anything to stop you from thinking you need to apologize for your existence. You don’t. You do not need to suffer guilt for how or where you were born. What you can do is to decide how you’re going to make the best of it for everyone else.
I’m sorry that you don’t realize you’re in turn being condescending. You’re saying that you have everything you need for success but minority groups don’t so you need to give them sympathy. Why? Are you saying they’re incapable of working hard and succeeding? If so, why would you think that?
I’m also sorry that you did not truly get a reward. Oh I know you took first place, but it wasn’t for you. It was for your judges. They wanted to celebrate that they are so awesome that they produced someone who can say that like you. They see you as a success of their “teaching” instead of someone who is thinking originally.
I’m sorry you have not familiarized yourself with the great poets of the past. You could greatly benefit by reading them. Go back several centuries and read what is there.
I’m sorry you have a problem with being a man as well. Why should a man act like a woman? Your society has sought to feminize you. That’s why we have things like sports games with no winners and look at any act of aggression as one of the worst sins ever. I’m sorry you’ve been a victim of that.
What I’m not sorry about though is that this is America. You can learn from this. You can grow from this. You can study and work hard. I recommend you take advantage of a place called a library. Go and read history about race relations and such. Read about the original women’s suffrage movement here in America.
You should also realize that success is not a crime. In the past, people who were successes would be held up as examples for everyone to follow. Today, it’s still hard to work to be a success, so we usually prefer pulling other people down. We prefer to look for ways that they cheated the system rather than do the hard work ourselves.
It’s understandable really. My work is in apologetics. There are many times I would rather be doing some other things for myself. Of course, we have to take time for play and relaxation, but we can take too much at times. I like to read, but at the same time I sometimes have to work to get myself to read. You know what though? It’s worth it. It’s worth it when I realize that when push comes to shove that I can contribute and that I can be looked up to and admired. It’s worth it when I get to have the chance to get to talk to some of the greatest scholars out there regularly for my show.
Royce. I can tell you that when I was getting ready to go to college, I was told to not go into ministry. You know why? Because I could not handle public speaking. It would be too difficult for me. I should go into engineering or something like that. Nothing against engineering, but I had no passion there. What happened? I went into ministry.
You know what? When I was a senior in Bible College, I gave a senior sermon. That was preached to about 1,000 people. I had no problem with it. Even a year later people were still complimenting me on that sermon. I wish my detractors had been there to see it.
I would also sometimes speak at the Sunday night services. Normally, we were to speak for 15-20 minutes. I spoke for 45 and no one ever complained. Students stayed afterwards even to talk about the Bible.
I have also done a number of debates and I look forward to my next one not knowing when and where it will be. At some other churches I have preached and taught lessons. It’s always a joy. I even spoke at a church once after having my gallbladder removed. I had to have a friend drive me there and to sit the whole time since I couldn’t stand, but it was worth it because I love teaching.
It would be easy to make excuses Royce, but excuses don’t make anything except more failure. It would be easy to blame others, but it won’t change them and it will only make me bitter. In fact, I could say that maybe I do have some natural talents, like a natural inclination towards intelligence, but that doesn’t change the fact that I have to work with that intelligence still.
You see Royce, you do have to work ultimately to be a success. This comes in everything you do in life. I am married right now and I love my wife, but sometimes it is work. You know why? Because my natural inclination is to be a selfish individual that focuses mainly on myself. Being married reminds me of that constantly. I have to learn to die to myself. I have to learn to put my wants aside especially when it comes to my wife’s needs. You know what? It’s worth it. It is so very worth it. My wife is an absolute treasure to me and I really have no mercy on those who hurt her. The worst thing anyone can do to me is to hurt my wife.
As I sit here, I’m surrounded by books. Most of them I have read. I regularly go to the library and read books. For my podcast, I get in touch with major publishers and read the books that they send me and get the authors on my show. That takes time, but it is worth it.
And you know what? You can do the same thing. If you want to make the world a better place, well that’s wonderful, but you’re not going to do it by tearing yourself down. Build others up, and you won’t do that by having them keep think they’re victims of birth. Show them not by an apology but by living a life of success. You don’t benefit anyone by refusing to use the gifts you have to the best of your ability. You don’t benefit anyone either by trying to get them to think that the reason they’re not succeeding in America is because the system is rigged against them.
Stop the apology tour. It helps no one. Start living a life of success. I will be striving to do the same all the more. The best way you can help others is not by having them think they’re victims. It’s by encouraging them to see themselves as successes in the making. Which one are you doing?