If this is not who you are, then how could this happen?

I wrote about Aaron Schlossberg, the lawyer who was captured on video when he went on a racist tirade against workers at a fast food restaurant in New York City who were speaking Spanish and said that he would call ICE on them and that he was paying for their welfare. He was quickly identified and received a great deal of notoriety, with public shaming that consisted of mixtures of condemnations and ridicule, one element of the latter being a Spanish-themed street party in front of his apartment, complete with tacos and a mariachi band.

He has now issued an apology for his behavior via Twitter, denying that he is a racist. What struck me was his use of the increasingly popular phrasing that what the video showed “is not the person I am” and that “what the video did not convey is the real me”.

This formulation, that suggests that aliens had invaded his body and caused him to behave in a manner wholly contrary to what “the real me” would do, is becoming increasingly popular. But it is false. How he behaved is clearly who he is. It may be accurate to say that he has other aspects of his personality that were not shown in the video but to deny that it showed one aspect of it is ridiculous. In his case, it is especially disingenuous because other incidents have surfaced showing him abusing total strangers. As Willie Morris, whom Schlossberg called an “ugly fucking foreigner” after bumping into him on a sidewalk, said, “If it’s once, maybe you can pawn it off as someone having a bad day, but this is not. This is like an ongoing thing for this person.”

So yes, Schlossberg, the video shows the person you are. You may want to be seen as a better person but the first step towards that goal is to admit that.


  1. says

    I can say it’s not me because not once in my life have I started shouting at strangers because of the way they look or speak. If you do this even once, then yes, it is you. And if you keep getting caught doing it, then allow me to slap you for this ridiculously disingenuous attempt at an apology.

  2. lanir says

    What he means is that’s so much a part of who he is that he’s allowed it to be casually ingrained into everything he does. It’s so much a part of everything he is that when it’s isolated it looks foreign to him. When he’s not having his attention called to it, it’ll blend into everything. Once it has a spotlight on it, it’s unrecognizable. For the rest of us what this wording choice does is tell us that he’s an unredeemable scumbag.

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