Jane Fonda, the time has come.
Many supporters of the legendary actress and fitness expert are calling for a moratorium on her apologies to veterans for the dreaded “Hanoi Jane” incident, and if you look at some of the comments from the veterans themselves, it’s easy to see why.
The latest outburst occurred over the weekend at a speaking engagement in Maryland, where around 50 protesters congregated in opposition to the 1972 incident.
Once again, Jane Fonda apologized, saying she “made a huge, huge mistake that will haunt me to my grave.” How has the anti-“Hanoi Jane” crowd responded on the web?
“Jane, please take a trip to Syria and do a photo shoot with Isis ASAP.. Thx..”
“Jane, please finally shut your mouth.”
“I was born in 1943. Guess what my husband was in the military during the Vietnam War. Do you really think I like you, respect you, or want to know what you are doing. NO. I dislike you, you sold us out. You are dumb and should just go hide.”
“Jane, shut your Man Pleaser.”
Then, there are photos like this one.
You get the point.
It is difficult to blame veterans for being angered at Jane Fonda for what she did.
For a little refresher, Fonda is maligned in military circles for protesting the Vietnam War by kicking back and hanging with the opposition — the group that was actively killing thousands of U.S. soldiers during the unpopular conflict — and taking photos that had all the sense of fun and playfulness of the modern-day selfie.
The most reprehensible photograph for many is the one of her sitting on the anti-aircraft battery and smiling for the camera.
But the reason for giving an apology is to have some sense of closure, to receive forgiveness, and to move on. With groups like “Why We Hate Jane Fonda” and “Jane Fonda – we spit on your grave” popular on Facebook and around the military web, it’s clear forgiveness will not be forthcoming.
Even profuse apologies like this one, from Fonda’s 2005 autobiography, have done little good in quelling the mass of hatred.
“It happened on my last day in Hanoi. I was exhausted and an emotional wreck after the 2-week visit… The translator told me that the soldiers wanted to sing me a song. He translated as they sung. It was a song about the day ‘Uncle Ho’ declared their country’s independence in Hanoi’s Ba Dinh Square. I heard these words: “All men are created equal; they are given certain rights; among these are life, Liberty and Happiness.” These are the words Ho pronounced at the historic ceremony. I began to cry and clap. These young men should not be our enemy. They celebrate the same words Americans do. The soldiers asked me to sing for them in return… I memorized a song called “Day Ma Di”, written by anti-war South Vietnamese students. I knew I was slaughtering it, but everyone seemed delighted that I was making the attempt. I finished. Everyone was laughing and clapping, including me… Here is my best, honest recollection of what happened: someone (I don’t remember who) led me towards the gun, and I sat down, still laughing, still applauding. It all had nothing to do with where I was sitting. I hardly even thought about where I was sitting. The cameras flashed… It is possible that it was a set up, that the Vietnamese had it all planned. I will never know. But if they did I can’t blame them. The buck stops here. If I was used, I allowed it to happen… a two-minute lapse of sanity that will haunt me forever… But the photo exists, delivering its message regardless of what I was doing or feeling. I carry this heavy in my heart. I have apologized numerous times for any pain I may have caused servicemen and their families because of this photograph. It was never my intention to cause harm.”
So what’s a girl to do? The best thing is to let what she’s already said stand and try to separate herself from the forefront of certain causes that make her the center of attention among military circles.
At this point, Fonda can only satisfy her own conscience, and in spite of what she might say, that clearly hasn’t happened or she wouldn’t be in a continual state of addressing it. For her own good, she should stop apologizing and instead contribute to pro-military causes without seeking notoriety or thanksgiving from military personnel.
But what do you think, readers? Has Jane Fonda apologized enough to veterans for the “Hanoi Jane” incident? If not, what else could she do? Sound off in our comments section.