Many have seen the November 10 Saturday Night Live Weekend Update piece where Pete Davidson
apologized to Dan Crenshaw for mocking Crenshaw in an earlier show for wearing a black eye patch. Crenshaw, a highly decorated former Navy Seal, lost his right eye in an IED explosion while on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2012. (Crenshaw got on Davidson’s radar because he was running as a Republican for a House of Representatives seat for a district in Texas; Crenshaw later won that election in the midterms.) The November 10 SNL piece had both Davidson apologizing to Crenshaw, which Crenshaw graciously accepted, and Crenshaw then ribbing Davidson about his appearance and his break-up from singer Ariana Grande.

It’s well worth your time to watch the entire segment, in part because it reminds us that apology and forgiveness are so powerful, especially in this time of division. Rather than engage in a Twitter or social media war, Davidson/SNL quickly realized their mistake and worked to correct it by having Crenshaw on the show where Davidson could give a truly genuine apology. Even more important was Crenshaw’s forgiveness (as I teach in Allyship 101—forgiveness is much more difficult to arrive at) and his words about the lessons of the whole episode: “That Americans can forgive one another. We can remember what brings us together as a country and still see the good in each other.”

It’s so true: almost everyone has good intent and is of good character and spirit. We often lose sight of this.

Two other things: on that Veteran’s Day weekend, Crenshaw asked that we not only thank our vets for their service, but that we also, “Tell a vet, ‘Never forget.’” That we not forget the sacrifices they made and continue to make for our country. I agree with that—from a selfish standpoint, our active duty service members and vets protect my right to be me , Ellie Krug. In many countries of the world, I could be jailed or executed simply for being transgender.

Finally, not many know that Pete Davidson’s father was a New York City firefighter who died when one of the towers collapsed on 9/11. Pete was just seven years old at the time. His emotional scars are in part our collective emotional scars.