Yesterday I said I was satisfied by Neil deGrasse Tyson’s response. Today, after reading a flood of comments and counter-arguments, I am convinced that there are many things wrong with it, from thinking that well-meaning explanations of intent after the fact are sufficient amends, to the weird handshake learned from a mysterious Native elder. All I can say is that when someone I have prior sympathy for says “Here’s why I didn’t mean to harm that person”, I should learn to cut through the excuses straight to the operative phrase, “I harmed that person“. OK, now what, Dr Tyson?
Also, an affirmation from someone with prior leanings in your favor is pretty much meaningless. He needs to listen far more to his critics, as do we all, and address their concerns. Most of all, he needs to respect the people he’s harmed, or their numbers will grow.
One last thing: I also looked at the comments of his other defenders. I was horrified to see how many of them are comparing Neil deGrasse Tyson to Brett Kavanaugh — I am not going to be one of them. I hope Dr Tyson is also appalled, and recognizes that this is a sign he’s going in the wrong direction.