In May 2009, a North Carolina newspaper reported that U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx wrote a letter of apology to the mother of Matthew Shepard, a gay young man whose name is on a bill adding sexual orientation to federal hate-crimes legislation.
Foxx was interveiwed by WXII, a local television station, after withdrawing the word “hoax”, which she had used in describing Matthew Shepard’s 1998 murder. Foxx added that she sent a handwritten note to Jane Shepard, his mother, saying:
“If I said anything that offended her, I certainly apologize for it and know that she’s hurting, and I would never do anything to add to that.”
My analysis: The word “If” invalidates this apology. If I were to have given her apology even a single star, it would have been revoked with no “ifs, ands, or buts” due to the failure of Rep. Foxx to convey sincerity in her pitiful apology.