I'd really like to make it clear, for anyone who was offended by yesterday's post, that I am sorry. When the comment was made, "Well, you'd best ask for a picture, because for all you know, you're corresponding with an aborigine with a bone in his nose!", very simply, I took it at face value. How I read it was 'If Peter had turned out to be an Aborigine, well, Joann would have married a man with a bone in his nose.' I guess that I'm kind of oblivious like that.
Wasilla Bill is a photojournalist, and a published author, having written "The Gift of the Whale". He works with indigenous peoples of the north, documenting their lives, their customs, the people themselves. Bill's wife is Margie, who is a Navajo. He pointed out (and rightfully so), that "I will admit that I was a little taken back by the "aborigine with the bone in the nose" statement, but then all of us have some gaps in our education, so often in particular when it comes to the indigenous people of the lands that we occupy and live in. At certain points in their lives, I can imagine my parents making comparable comments regarding Native Americans - but not after they got to know my wife and the grandchildren she gave them. "
I've been thinking about that all day, and I have been bothered by it. Bill was right to point this out to me, and I am surprised that I missed it. Peter and Joann are lovely people, and while I do not know them well enough to understand what their feelings are on this topic, I would guess that these are not people who would consciously look down on others. I think that it was just a careless phrase, meant to be a joke. However, if you were an indigenous person reading those words, they might have sounded malicious. I apologize for those words. I believe that they were better left unprinted. Unfortunately, they have been printed. This puts me in an interesting dilemma. I could go back, delete them, and pretend they never existed but that would be a lie. I think that it is better to pull those words out, to look at them directly, to acknowledge them, and to apologize for them.
I have looked at them with new eyes. Again, I apologize for any offense they may have given. Thanks, Bill.