Village rag of ruse
This morning, I came upon a malicious false accusation that was made against a friend on Twitter to the effect that he was allegedly recorded on video assaulting a woman and swearing at her.
On observing the video, it was clear that neither the man assaulting the woman nor the voice of the perpetrator was my friend, the accent was American, his is British-Nigerian. That this video appeared on one of the more odious vehicles of invective and the worst of Nigerian journalistic standards was at first instructive, the text dripped with malice, it could not be overlooked.
As it transpired, Nigeria being a country in the rat race of keeping and settling scores, someone decided to publish this malign atrocity and then continued with commentary that excoriated my friend in the most uncharitable terms before proceeding to church.
Malicious and atrocious
Meanwhile, anyone who had any idea of who my friend was had already seen this hatchet job for what it was, the antecedents of the village rag masquerading as an online newspaper indicated that the act was deliberate to cause injury and harm to the name and reputation of my friend.
Whilst, engagement on Twitter can both be robust and virulent, there are times when even my friend might have exceeded the bounds of decency. In the snake pit of Nigerian commentary, the search for gentlemen can be futile as to be impossible. However, that should not excuse the abuse of platforms and expression to denigrate anyone, that applies to both my friend and anyone else.
Address the issue at hand
I am not here to keep the record of longstanding conflicts between personalities on Social Media, however, I can as occasion allows when I am observing my timeline on Twitter engage in the discourse or the debate as the opportunity comes. This morning presented such an opportunity and for that particular act, I walked in with the clear intention of defending my friend from that particular smear and address all who colluded in propagating the odium.
For some people, they might seek moral equivalences to justify that atrocity, it does not excuse this particular one I decided to address and the forum is open for others to address grievances they might have with other issues they feel so strongly about. The idea that one should help them fly their own flags, whilst understandable is neither a duty nor an obligation.
I have on many occasions called out friend, acquaintance, stranger and worse on general issues, I am nobody’s surrogate, I work as an independent mind on the matters I choose to address and never as a policeman seeking to impute offence at every possible opportunity.
It was a hatchet job
The backlash was fierce and unrelenting, with that came a conditionally grudging apology which some considered a full-hearted apology, I was having none of it. Eventually, the village rag pulled down that rotten hatchet job, which it was and appeared to apologise. The apologies were an apology of an apology in and of themselves.
I say it was a rotten hatchet job, because if it wasn’t, the story would have been edited to address the matter of Violence Against Women, which one of the protagonists tried to use to deflect the opprobrium for his perfidy. It got to a point that I found myself having to write an Idiot’s Guide to Apology and I labelled it Apology 001 because to have given it Apology 101 would have made it impossible for some to understand as a very advanced course in appropriate restitution.
The Idiot’s Guide: Apology 001
The Idiot’s Guide appears below and I have really not seen anything that resembles an apology on the matter. Just because you dislike a person does not mean you cannot stand for right in support of that person, that is what constitutes having a value system and principles. It is left to us to decide if past hurt is an excuse for allowing injustice and worse to thrive in our midst.
Apology 001: A regretful acknowledgement of an offence or failure.
Apology 001: An apology requires first an expression of regret; that expression cannot be conditional.
Apology 001: An expression of regret cannot be prefaced with the conditional if, because that invalidates the acknowledgement of error.
Apology 001: An apology must stand on its own, it must be full, unreserved, sincere, honest and final.
Apology 001: An apology must fully repudiate all the errors and claims that caused offence. For example; I am sorry for falsely accusing ...
Apology 001: If an apology is not grudging and deemed honest, it will be obvious to all and the offended will receive it gracefully.
Apology 001: Until we grasp the fundamentals of giving a good apology, we cannot advance to the Apology 101 course. :)