I Messed Up and I’m Sorry

by Jason Frerichs

This is probably the hardest piece I’ve ever attempted to write.  That includes the time I shared my coming out story. In a misguided attempt to troll Steve King, I thought it would be funny to try to raise funds to build a statue of MLK Jr in the Congressman’s home town of Kiron, IA. I did not consider that by doing that I was using the struggles of marginalized communities as a prop.  I did not consider the feelings of the people I hurt and offended. It was a poorly thought out attempt to be funny and get under the skin of a white nationalist. 

I screwed up.  Sitting here and reflecting on this makes me sick to my stomach.  I jeopardized a site that has given a voice to the far left.  I jeopardized the hard work of a lot of people. To those who are angry, I ask that you direct your anger towards me.  Not towards Progressive Voices of Iowa and the hard work of a lot of people.  Don’t drag an organization through the mud due to the actions of one idiot (me).  It was 100% my call to run with this.  The righteous indignation should be directed solely at me.  Not towards the owner of the site or towards the other writers/editors. 

I’ve always considered myself a progressive-minded person and aware of the struggles of marginalized communities as I come from a marginalized community myself (LGBTQ). Clearly, this is not the case and I have a lot to learn and reflect upon. I will be stepping away from politics and writing for a while in order to reflect on why I thought this was an appropriate thing to do.  All I can do is apologize and I am truly sorry.  Readers, I ask for your forgiveness. To those of you whose pain is too great to forgive me, I completely understand. I have to live with it.  I realize that I’m going to lose respect and friends and I only have myself to blame. I am prepared for the criticism and blowback I’m going to receive.

Getting to write for this site and the many political opportunities I’ve been given has been a wonderful thing. I now must take back seat, listen more, and talk less. Everyone who grows up in the USA grows up in a racist system and we internalize some of that. I must be better in the future. Good night, readers.     

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