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The Daily Tar Heel

Opinion: Apologies need to be followed by action

The Department of Housing and Residential Education was called out for a tweet on Thursday furthering ableism on campus. Logan Gin, a candidate for Mr. UNC, called it out saying, "What if you can't take the stairs?"

While the housing tweet was most likely meant without any malice, as the department claimed in a follow-up tweet, it still represents how many people on campus and across popular culture are not aware of ableist sentiments. 

Phrases like "lame" or "crazy" may seem like casual talk given their prevalence in popular conversations, but they still contribute to a stigma. By and large, ableism does not get called out to the degree it deserves, including on this opinion page. 

Apologizing because people took offense is less genuine than apologizing for doing something offensive. 

Apologies are half-hearted when they place half the blame on people who took offense. We should all be purposeful with our language and mindful of how we choose to represent ourselves in light of hurtful incidents, regardless of prior intentions. 

It doesn't matter if the joke you were making wasn't meant to come across as a statement against certain people — if you are called out and willing to apologize to the offended party, do it sincerely.

We can all learn from the first tweet. Earnestly apologizing for past transgressions is a good start, and let's work to actually improve in the future. 

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