A mistake among the digital team

The Times, annoyingly, says in the headline that Romero “apologized” for re-writing Ruth Bader Ginsburg. No he didn’t.

That’s not what happened.

Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said Monday that he regretted that a tweet sent out recently by his organization altered the words of a well-known quote by the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Yes he regretted it, but he didn’t apologize. Regretting something isn’t the same as apologizing for it. You can regret forgetting to get coffee at the store without apologizing for it.

The tweet by the A.C.L.U. occasioned mockery and some anger on social media from feminists and others.

Some anger? Lots of anger. White-hot anger.

“We won’t be altering people’s quotes,” Mr. Romero said in an interview on Monday evening. “It was a mistake among the digital team. Changing quotes is not something we ever did.”

Again – not an apology.

Mr. Romero has spoken recently of the cacophony of liberal and left views that now and then spills into the A.C.L.U.’s social media feeds and sometimes requires correction. While he vowed that the A.C.L.U. would not repeat this error, he insisted it “was not a mistake without a thought.” There are people who are pregnant and who seek abortions, he said, who do not identify as women.

“My colleagues do a fantastic job of trying to understand a reality that people who seek abortions are not only women,” he said. “That reality exists.”

The A.C.L.U., he said, could have touched on this emerging reality, one that involves identity, gender and language, without tampering with Justice Ginsburg’s quote. “In today’s America,’’ he said, “language sometimes needs to be rethought.”

None of that is an apology. It’s Romero wishing that tweet hadn’t been tweeted, it’s not Romero apologizing to women or to Ruth Bader Ginsburg or to members of the ACLU.

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