Unfortunately, I’ve spent yet another day allowing myself to be reminded of the existence of Tony Veitch. I should really just stay off Facebook when there is controversial news that annoys me.
However, there is a positive side to all of this. From what I’ve read, the vast majority of responses and comments also seem to wish that Tony would just shut up and sod off. Stuff.co.nz (the biggest competitor to the NZ Herald) posted two separate replies to Tony’s column – one quoting the NZ Women’s Refuge as calling him “self-serving”, and one heartfelt piece from Kristen Dunne-Powell’s father saying Veitch’s apology was anything but. At the very least, Veitch’s column has demonstrated to a lot of people that abusers often don’t feel true remorse for their actions and (despite every opportunity to reflect on their terrible, selfish choices) don’t ever consider anyone’s feelings but their own.
But still, there have been a few voices in comment streams which seem intent on arguing that what Veitch offered was, in fact, an apology and everyone else should just accept it an move on. I think they believe that people are just picking on him and are unable to forgive him because he’s wealthy and successful… or something like that. In any case, I’m still struggling to understand the mental gymnastics required to call Veitch’s column remorseful, and wondering whether those same people would feel satisfied if such an apology were proffered to them by a criminal who assaulted them. I suspect that we’re not the ones blinded by celebrity in this instance.
In any case, I thought I’d help those commentors (and Tony) out by editing one of his non-sorries so that it reads more like an actual sorry. His column is too long (and undoubtedly would create a copyright issue), so let’s tackle the quote from his “apology email” that I posted last night:
Here’s the original:
“Good luck with your future… Again I say with utter sadness how sorry I am for all that happened. That type of behavior was not “us” … not even close… we are much better people than that… I know that in my heart that certainly was not me… How I ever got to that level of life defies belief… but just know I intend never to get back there again.!”
And here’s what I’d offer as a better acknowledgement of his actions:
“Good luck with your future… Again I say
with utter sadness[ed. no one cares about your feelings in this] how sorry I am for all that happenedI did to you. There is no excuse for Tthat type of behavior. was not “us” … not even close… weYou are a much better person, people thanwho did nothing to deserve that… I now know that in my heart that certainly was not mesome very unsettling things about who I am deep down and how I react to anger… How I ever got to that level of life defies beliefis something that I am still working through with my therapist… but just know I intend never to get back there again.!take full responsibility for the choices that I made and the terrible pain that I put you through – and all for no other reason than that I was only thinking about myself. I am so sorry, and I now wish I could change the past or bear your pain for you. I had no right to do what I did, and you deserve so much better.”
… It’s a good thing that I don’t work in PR. But then, who could ever sell their ethics in that way?…