Apology

Posted in 2012 on Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 at 4:59 PM 6 Comments

By Wayne Niederhauser
State Senator, District 9

Today @mwbowler tweeted the following:

The answer is no.  Absolutely not.

Holly Richardson and Michael Jolley also commented, and they are right. I was wrong.

At a breakfast meeting today, an attendee referenced the old game show The Dating Game and I responded inappropriately.  It was all meant in fun, but reflected stereotypes that should have no part in our attitudes or discussions.  I also embarrassed a respected colleague.  That was wrong.

I am sorry.  My comments were not representative of the senate or what I want the senate to be.  All people who serve and interact with us should be treated with respect and dignity.

Shortly after the breakfast concluded, I spoke with Senator Henderson and apologized for my actions.

As much as I wish I could undo my mistake this morning, I think I’m also grateful for the chance to learn and think through the problem. It’s an opportunity to grow, as a person, and probably as an institution.

When this kind of thing happens, let’s call it out and have an open dialogue so that we can appropriately change the culture and institutions around us.

Please leave me your comments.  I’m open to a thoughtful conversation to help me, and maybe a few others, to better understand the problem and make changes.

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6 Comments to “Apology”

  1. Thank you, President Niederhauser. I know you to be a kind and caring person and appreciate you making this right. I look forward to ongoing discussions on changing the culture. :-)

    All the best,

    Holly

  2. When I first started For the People at KVNU, I believe my second week in, I made a joke that I still stand by as funny, but understandably upset a good number of listeners. It was really a wake up in how different being a “public figure” is from the way things work in our personal lives where people know us, understand our intentions, or even senses of humor. I call the lessons I’ve learned “Why I Could Never Be An Elected Official, 101.” My biggest takeaway is that we are all, as human beings, capable of both insensitivity and over-sensitivity in our reactions. It’s impossible to be both human and in any form of public spotlight without the occasional case of foot in mouth. I think the best we can offer, and expect of others, is to remember we’re human, and acknowledge those we may have offended. Kudos for doing both.

    And I no matter what anyone tells me, my Sarah Palin joke, while not appropriate for radio and the multitude of sensitivities listening, was still one funny joke.

  3. Sherrie Hall Everett says:

    Thank you for the apology. I think the biggest part of discussion is what we are missing as a state by not encouraging and having more women involved in the Legislature and on Boards. Women have a rich wealth of diverse experience and that experience informs discussions and solutions. When you are missing that perspective, you are missing some critical input that can help us as a state to make more complete, compassionate and prudent decisions. Please start looking for opportunities that invite and include more perspectives from a wide variety of women who represent all of life’s experience. There’s an abundant resource of really smart, really compassionate, really intelligent women from which to draw from.

  4. Bonnie Fernandez says:

    Changing the culture of governmental institutions is a process that must evolve. I believe the very first step is easily explained, but not so easily integrated into established practice. That step is to live, speak, act, and abide by the Golden Rule. incorporate that into your psyche, and you won’t go wrong.

  5. Mr. Niederhauser, I was one who was disappointed in — although not surprised about — what occurred.

    I appreciate your apology. It seems heartfelt.

    What I hope happens is that you make an effort to become sensitive to dismissive behavior exhibited toward women. It is far too common and often unrecognized or ignored.

    In a state that is majority LDS (I am an active LDS women) — where there is much talk ABOUT women, but women have very little authoritative voice — it is something that may be less familiar to many residents.

    It’s time we move on from stereotypes and sexism in the public square and give women the voice — and respect — they deserve.

  6. Keith Kuder says:

    I would like to express my thanks, President Niederhauser. I as well know you as a very nice and courteous person. Your apology means so much for those who look to their Grandmother’s and Mother’s for inspiration and leadership.

    Kind Regards,

    Keith

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