That has to be the first thing on the mind of Kirk Humphreys, David Boren and the rest of the Oklahoma Establishment Ruling Class as calls for Humphreys to resign from the OU Board of Regents intensifies.
If you remember correctly, Humphreys – an OU regent and long-time documented homophobe –essentially said on Flashpoint this past weekend that he finds homosexuality to be an immoral, deviant act, and feels that if you embrace and normalize it as a culture, then you should be consistent and embrace other immoral deviant acts like pedophilia. Basically, he has the typical evangelical conservative Oklahoman viewpoint on homosexuality.
On Monday night, Humphreys backtracked and issued the following half-assed non-apology apology:
I regret that my comments on Flash Point regarding homosexuality were not clear and led some people to believe that I was equating homosexuality with pedophilia. That was not my intention or desire. I apologize for my lack of clarity and realize this has resulted in a strong reaction by some and has hurt people’s feelings.
Holy Corporate PR Non-Speak, Batman! Let me translate it for you:
I fucked up and recently shared my genuine and embarrassingly out-of-touch "beliefs" on homosexuality. Considering those views are behind the times and may cost me my career and reputation, it was obviously not my intention or desire to state them on television. If you need proof, just re-watch the clip and see how I awkwardly stumbled through the discussion. Hopefully this insincere apology will help everyone forget about things and move on. From here on out, I'll keep my true feelings hidden deep inside so I can maintain my status as a key player of the Oklahoma ruling class, and continue to serve on the OU Board of Regents.
That's better, right?
Humphreys also tossed out every conservative's favorite moral excuse card – religion:
For clarification, my moral stance about homosexuality is that it is against the teachings of scripture. Although I know this upsets some people, it is my belief. In America we have the right to believe as we choose and to freely express that belief.
For those that I have hurt, I’m sorry. For those who do not share my beliefs, I will defend your right to have a deeply held belief even if yours is different than mine.”
Come on, Kirk. If you're going to apologize for something, then stick to the script and apologize. Don't use words found in a 2,000 year old book to try to justify your ridiculous "beliefs" and mansplain the fundamentals of free speech.
OU students are not buying the apology. They've crawled out from their safe spaces to protest and demand that Humphreys resign. Although I'm kind of uncomfortable with the overzealous nature of the vigilante social justice warrior movement that tries to curb free speech, I'm in agreement with them on this one. Humphreys should have the right to share his backwards views wherever and whenever he wants, but those views should probably prevent him from serving on an influential board that affects the lives of all OU students, including LGBT ones.
David Boren and others have issued corporate non-speak condemnations of Humphreys, but naturally, they think he should stay on as a regent. Give these wealthy establishment guys credit, they stick up for each other. Here's what David Boren, a man who once held a press conference to reaffirm to the world that he is not gay, had to say:
“Regent Humphreys was speaking as an individual and not on behalf of the university or me," Boren said in the statement. "I do not share his views on this matter."
"The university strongly reaffirms and takes great pride in its commitment to a welcoming, diverse and inclusive community which respects people of all backgrounds. We value and respect all members of our university family.”
That's a shame. This was an opportunity for David Boren to take a strong stance on an important issue, support his students and the LGBT community, and show to the rest of the world that the University of Oklahoman will not tolerate homophobia. It's a shame that a powerful regent is the one who said it and not a busload of frat boys, otherwise that would have probably happened.