Ideas

I'm Sorry: The Art and Artifice of the Apology

Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologizes to residential school survivors. Bill Clinton says he's sorry for sexual transgressions. Whether apologies come from the political elite or your next door neighbour, we are awash in a sea of "I'm sorry". Josh Bloch examines when an apology is effective and whose interests it serves.
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Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologizes to residential school survivors. Bill Clinton says he's sorry for sexual transgressions. Whether apologies come from the political elite or your next door neighbour, we are awash in a sea of "I'm sorry". Josh Bloch examines when an apology is effective and whose interests it serves. **This episode originally aired October 27, 2014.

I said, I'm one of the guys who shot your family. And I started crying immediately and the mother said, stop, stop crying. – Lu Lobello

Some people say: but you can't be human to someone who's done terrible deeds. People say this all the time. And, having worked with people who have forgiven perpetrators who've expressed remorse, we rise up, we rise up to our true humanity. – Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela


Guests in this episode:

  • Pumla Gobodo Madikizela – psychologist, senior research professor at the University of Free State and served on South African's Truth and Reconciliation Commission as coordinator of victims public hearings in Western Cape.

  • Lu Lobello – A veteran of United States marines and founder of  the charitable organization Squadbay.

  • Edward Metatawabin – survivor of St Anne's Residential School.

  • Richard Weisman – author of Showing Remorse Law and the Social Control of Emotion, and professor in department of social science at York University.

  • Christopher Lehane – political consultant and crisis expert and co-author of Masters of Disaster: Ten Commandments of Damage Control.


Further Reading

  • Up Ghost River by Edmund Metatawabin, published by Knopf Canada, 2014.

  • Showing Remorse: Law and the Social Control of Emotion by Richard Weisman, published by Ashgate Press, 2014.

  • Masters of Disaster: the Ten Commandments of Damage Control by Christopher Lehane , Mark Fabiani, Bill Guttentag, published by Palgrave Macmillan Trade, Reprint edition (Dec 11, 2012).
     
  • A Human Being Died That Night: A South African Story of Forgiveness by Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2003. 

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