There is a classic Happy Days episode in which The Fonz (or maybe by then he was called Fonzie, the softened up nickname he was given when he became part of the Cunningham family) tries to admit a mistake, and apologize for being wrong. And try as he might, he can't get it out.
"I was wrrrr... I was wrrrooo... I was wrrroouuugh..."
It was a funny episode. And sort of true to human nature, in many ways. The only thing we hate more than admitting mistakes to ourselves is admitting them publicly. Just ask The Fonz. Or Bill Clinton. Or the current Commander In Chief.
Yesterday, when John Karr admitted he killed JonBenet Ramsey ten years ago, I realized I have been wrong. For a decade.
And I apologize.
Like many folks, I had my doubts that an intruder murdered JonBenet. I suspected a family member, to be honest. And I made this judgment based on little more than the media reports of the event, the family's odd and quirky behavior and the opinions of some talking heads who are too often passed off as credible journalist.
We do that in America these days, don't we? Make judgments too quickly, and based on too few facts. Sometimes that suspicion is right (read Scott Peterson), which reinforces our skepticism and suspicion, and lets us feel comfortable drawing quick conclusions in subsequent cases or circumstance.
It's wrong. And we are wrong as a society every time we do it.
I've never been as cool as The Fonz. In fact, I'm a bit more like Potsie. But Potsie could more easily admit his mistakes, and ask for forgiveness. I'm certain the Ramsey family doesn't read the electronic ramblings of some goof who likes movies and pop culture, so I won't pretend to be apologizing to them. But I regret that I allowed myself to form conclusions about such a tragedy without being fully informed.
I am sorry. I was wrong.