Editor’s note: The Durango Herald has removed Saturday’s Action Line column from its website and regrets that it was published. It targeted New Mexico visitors and offended many of our readers in the Four Corners. Following is author Mike Smedley’s apology.
Action Line has written some incredibly stupid things over the years. But Monday’s botched attempt at humor was, by far, the worst.
A retraction won’t be sufficient to heal the hurt I caused and to reverse the harm done. And I appreciate The Durango Herald for publishing this retraction and apology today online and in the print edition on Wednesday.
To all the nice folks I wrongly offended, would you please accept my deepest and most sincere apology?
I blew it, plain and simple. No excuses. I am deeply, deeply sorry and ashamed. It was all my fault.
To insult neighbors was – and is – boneheaded, inconsiderate, juvenile, arrogant and uncalled for – anytime, but especially now when we’re all under stress, frightened and isolated.
Reading your letters, emails and hearing your voice messages made it abundantly clear just how awful and hurtful my words were. I wish I could take it all back. The pain and anger expressed was palpable and raw. You are right to be furious at me.
Going forward, I have a promise and a favor to ask.
You have my solemn pledge to treat everyone with respect, dignity and kindness. I failed to do this, for which I am so regretful.
As for the favor, if you have it in your heart to forgive, could you? If not now, maybe down the road?
I’d like to be part of the healing and not part of the division. I hope my deepest and sincerest apologies can be the first step.