Monday, December 23, 2013

Justine Sacco Apologizes for Tweet

The communications executive fired for tweeting really ignorant and racist remarks as she flew to Africa mentioned in my last post has now apologized.  I offer this as an update.

Justine Sacco, formerly a PR executive for the Internet giant InterActive Corp., which owns popular websites like,, and Vimeo, was fired over a tweet that came from her account on Friday that read: "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!"
Here is her apology:

"Words cannot express how sorry I am, and how necessary it is for me to apologize to the people of South Africa, who I have offended due to a needless and careless tweet," Sacco said. "There is an AIDS crisis taking place in this country, that we read about in America, but do not live with or face on a continuous basis. Unfortunately, it is terribly easy to be cavalier about an epidemic that one has never witnessed firsthand."For being insensitive to this crisis -- which does not discriminate by race, gender or sexual orientation, but which terrifies us all uniformly -- and to the millions of people living with the virus, I am ashamed."This is my father's country, and I was born here. I cherish my ties to South Africa and my frequent visits, but I am in anguish knowing that my remarks have caused pain to so many people here; my family, friends and fellow South Africans. I am very sorry for the pain I caused." 

Did you see that?  Her father is South African and she was born there.  Wow. That adds a whole new level of disgusting depth to the remarks.

I give her this, though.  She issued a real apology.  It seems apologizing is a lost art today.  How many times have we seen an apology that consisted of the words "I'm sorry is anyone was offended"?  That is not an apology.  That is someone caught in a dumb remark and acting as though he/she recognizes it was a mistake.  

It would be far more honest to admit remorse for being caught.

So, kudos to this woman for doing a decent apology that at least sounds as though some thought was put into her words.  It seems heartfelt.

She is a communications specialist, though, so we can only hope it is sincere.

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