April 28, 2018

I'm not getting into the details of what Joy Reid allegedly did, because no one really knows. What we do know is what she said this morning, which was a real and undeniable apology.

"Good morning and welcome to AM Joy," she began.

"A community i support and deeply care about is hurting because of despicable and truly offensive posts being attributed to me. Many of you have seen the blog posts circulating online and social media. Many of them are homophobic and discriminatory and hateful. When a friend found them and sent them to me, I was stunned. Frankly, I couldn't imagine where they came from and whose voice that was.

"I spent a lot of times trying to make sense of the posts. I hired cyber security experts to see if somebody manipulated my words or my former blog and the reality is they have not been able to prove it. But here's what I know. I genuinely do not believe I wrote those hateful things because they are completely alien to me, but I can definitely understand based on things i have tweeted and have written in the past, why some people don't believe me.

"I have not exempt from being cruel or hurtful to the very people I want to advocate for. I own that. I get it. And for that I am truly, truly story. I had a conversation the other day with a friend who's also an advocate in the LGBTQ community in Florida who took me to task for my tweets mocking Ann Coulter using transgender stereotypes. I apologize to my friends and I want to apologize to the trans community and to Ann. Those tweets were wrong and horrible.

"I look back at the ways I talked about people and gender identity and sexual orientation and I wonder who that even was. But the reality is like a lot of people in this country that person was me. I grew up in a household that had conservative views on LGBTQ issues. I had friends -- some of my closest friends, in fact, growing up, who I later learned were gay and kept it secret from me and from everyone else we were close to, because they didn't know what we were say or if we would still be friends or whether we would look at them differently.

"I can remember a friend of mine my freshman year in college telling me he was gay and my knee jerk reaction being that it was so disappointing to the women he could have married. He was so hurt, he didn't speak to me for months. I'm heartbroken that I didn't do better back then.

"The LGBTQ community includes amazing friends and journalists and producers and political operatives and great dads and moms and advocates and regular people, and knowing how hard it must have been for so many of them to come out to their families and to their friends. to just walk around in the world. Especially for trans people, and I feel like I should have known better than to ever write in a way to make fun of or make light of that pain and experience. Even a decade ago when the country was in a very different place, but I cannot take any of that back.

"I can only say that the person I am now is not the person I was then. I like to think I have gotten better as a person over time. That I am still growing. That I'm not the same person I was 10 or 5 or even one year ago, and I know that my goal is to try to be a better person and a better ally.

"Now the reality is, I have to own the things that I have written and tweeted and said and I'm hoping out of all of this there's an opportunity to talk about the ways in which hurtful speech does imperil marginalized communities. These issues matter. Not just theoretically but because we're talking about our friends, our kids, our co-workers, people who deserve better than what I have sometimes given them."

Powerful. Thank you, Joy.

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