Kathy Lee Apologized...Sort of
Article ID: 12712
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: July 13th. 2008
Times Viewed: 6,220
A few weeks ago I checked in on The Witches’ Voice to read an article concerning a certain daytime TV celebrity that caused a large hiccup in the Pagan community. Kathy Lee called Pagans mean and nasty. This statement was said offhand during a cute little segment on wedding traditions. However, Pagans didn’t think it was so cute.
I decided to Google “Kathy Lee Pagan” and found quite a few responses to her mistake on YouTube. I saw a few emotional responses, one very well thought out reply, and one immature response that was disrespectful to everyone (and embarrassing to fellow Pagans). The basic Bell curve of the Internet. During this sifting through, I saw something that said “KLG apology or whatever you want to call it.”
This was what I was hoping for! Since I was inspired to write to the station, I thought that maybe I was one of the many voices speaking out that made a tiny purposeful change. I actually typed out a letter, signed it, and sealed the envelope.
It took me two hours to make sure I didn’t put a negative spin on what could be simply a lesson to be learned for those who didn’t know what a Pagan was. You see, lately I’ve been contemplating being less solitary.
Despite my tendency to stay at home and hold my style of Circle, I am finding myself wanting to support my fellow Pagans and Witches in my area. Small, I know, but it’s big for me. I’m trying to be not just a good person, but also a good Witch. Help make a change.
A change for good publicity and my first large step outside of my proverbial broom closet. At least, by using my full name in correlation with Paganism to someone I didn’t even know in this letter. This was something I wanted to do to help the community.
Then, I saw Ms. Gifford’s reply.
Here is a link to the YouTube segment for your convenience by kristalbrooke2008.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiGaEYAjGnk and NR=1
If you can’t link to this, she made a joke of the apology. If this was the apology we were hoping for, it was a travesty. She didn’t mention anything about Paganism. She said she should do blanket apologies every three months for the millions and millions of people that were offended by her.
Sarcasm in an apology. Laughter off the camera.
She said it in a sugary sweet tone that showed contempt in her voice for people who would dare be offended by something that she thought harmless. Of course, what she said wasn’t beeped out for vulgar language.
The majority of America is not Pagan. So, why care enough to say, “I apologize for what I said about Pagans” in a straight face? Why take the time to think about what you say before you say it?
For one, this is bad press. For two, and more importantly, it’s the moral thing to do.
Now, I didn’t expect a letter back in apology. I hoped for something sincere, no matter how small somewhere in the media. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step. So what if that step was backward? Maybe this is the catalyst for those of us who are fed up to clear the air.
If we all took one single step forward the possibilities would open up. Maybe working within the Pagan community by volunteering your energy for Circles, Esbats, events, and perhaps donating to your favorite cause in your local Pagan group’s name. Basically, push back with a single step and show the world how moral we are.
Since a great deal of us are Solitaries and prefer to remain unseen so to speak, it can be difficult to say, “Hey, um, Pagans aren’t like that.” Then, you’ll have to figure out an out to that statement. How would you know that? Why start something that could end in an argument? Will my coworker look at me different? If they think I think this is important, will they discover what I am?
These thoughts are brought about by fear. As Frank Herbert quoted in his famous Dune series, “Fear is the mind killer.” For all these people know, you’re just stating a fact, not from personal experience. Say that you’ve met a few people that call themselves Pagan and they’re normal nice folk.
Just be prepared to expect anything from a shrug to a debate. Remember, you have control as to how much you say and whether or not you want to open that can of worms.
These days, you’d be surprised as to how many people actually have a grasp as to what Paganism is. In the flow of conversation, I told one of my bosses I was a Witch the other day. He didn’t frown. He just said “Really?”
I had no clue what he was going to think. Then, he asked me if I knew anyone who did alternative healing and I suggested someone. Sometimes it’s not as hard as you think it would be to just acknowledge who you are. In fact, it’s freeing. You don’t have to hide yourself by what you say or how you say something. Still, I prefer to be subtle.
Back to the apology Kathy Lee coughed up. That apology, despite how upsetting it may be, is only a blip on the screen compared to how we live our lives. If we give that statement power, it will take power from us. I am certain that most non-Pagans didn’t register the comment in their memory.
It is good to stand up for yourself, but learning to let go is just as important. It sounds a little hypocritical after all that I’ve said. It’s just that this battle of wills should be fought through positive action instead of he-said she-said commentary (my essay included). Perhaps the opposite of good isn’t evil, but sheer apathy.
If you care, make a difference.
If you don’t, do nothing.
Maybe next time someone makes a statement like “Pagans are mean” or another prejudiced comment of any sort, we won’t be afraid to take upon ourselves that tiny step toward understanding. If we fall back a step, we must learn to forgive, even those we see on daytime TV.
Frank Herbert "Dune"
YouTube- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiGaEYAjGnk and NR=1 - by kristalbrooke2008
MSNBC.com-Kathy Lee- Wedding Traditions
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