This is one that I imagine there will be as many opinions as there are people.
I was recently asked by a third party, to apologize for expressing opposition to US policies to someone who had been harmed by those policies.
In my view, that did not make any sense, so I did not do it. I said I was very sorry that US policies were harming so many people, which is my sincere opinion and sentiment.
As part of this same incident (BooMan Tribune is the website involved), there was a perception that a troubled individual, the same one, in fact, to whom I had been asked to apologize, may have also been asked to apologize, I am speculating for manner of expression issues, and the individual did so.
I believe that some other individuals may also have been asked to apologize, again, I speculate for manner of expression issues, and I do not know how many did so or did not.
While I could not, in good conscience, apologize for my opposition to US policies to a victim of those policies, I did apologize to the site owner for having posted on his site in the first place.
Now here are my views on all that. I already stated my view regarding apologizng for opposing US policies, but why did I apologize for my presence on the site?
Simply put, it is not a site on which it is appropriate for me to participate, and truth be told, I continued to participate there even though I was aware that it was not appropriate.
So in addition to apologizing to the site's owner, for my inappropriate presence, I also apologized to myself, for failing to comply with my own personal standards of internet activity.
If the troubled individual was indeed asked to apologize to anyone in particular or to any who might read it, I do not believe that was appropriate. In my opinion, troubled individuals should not be asked to apologize. I would consider it appropriate to issue a general apology to any troubled individual to whom I have responded or directed remarks, not realizing that they were troubled, or prior to such a realization.
If anyone else was asked to apologize for manner of expression issues, or any other reason, that is, in my view, a freedom of speech issue. Anyone is free to ask anyone else to apologize, post a link to a photo of a bunch of red grapes, or compose a haiku. And recipient of such a request is free to comply or decline.
Manner of expression is, in my view, a question of personal standards and preferences. For example, I do not respond to personal or "ad hom" remarks, other than to inform the individual that my internet activities do not include that particular behavior.
However, many people do enjoy exchanges of that sort, and it is entirely up to the participants and the site's owner whether he or she wishes to censor or forbid that or any other text.
Site owners, even in the case of US sites, are not bound by the first amendment of the US constitution, any more than any American is bound by that amendment in his or her home. Nor are site owners, or homeowners, or renters in the US required by any law or statute to be fair or impartial regarding any rules or standards of behavior they may have about who or what they will or will not allow in their home or on their website, nor are they required to have any such rules or standards of behavior.
Nor are they required to make sense. Therefore, I believe that the site owner has every right to ask anyone to apologize for any or no reason, regardless of my own opinion about what would be appropriate or not for me.
And that is the basis of my view on apologies. Each person has the option of apologizing or not if he or she believes it would be appropriate to apologize, for any or no reason, to whomever they choose, at any time.
They key is what the individual believes, their own standards of behavior and courtesy, if any, and what degree of compliance, if any, they wish to impose upon themselves.
So that is my view on the question of apologies, troubled individuals, free speech, freedom of association, and personal standards.
What are your views? Is this rant inflammatory enough to please our tour visitors, if any?
Fellow Rantstarters, feel free to post any and all rants on top of this one for the pleasure and delight of our possible guests!