Group offended: Arab-Americans
Sample offense: Benjamin Emanuel, Rahm's father, told an Israeli newspaper in 2008 that his son would influence President Obama to take pro-Israeli positions. "Why wouldn't he? What is he, an Arab?" the elder Emanuel asked. "He's not going to be mopping floors at the White House."
Sample apology: At the request of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Rahm Emanuel apologized for his father's remarks. Mary Rose Oakar, the president of ADC at the time, found his apology "humble and very sincere."
How to apologize: Sara Najjar-Wilson, the current ADC president, can be reached at email@example.com. If one apology won't suffice, you can also try Arab-American Institute President James J. Zogby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to say: You'd be happy to meet with Arab-American leaders to prove that your contrition is genuine.
Group offended: Catholics
Sample offense: When a woman emailed Wal-Mart in 2005 to complain that the phrase "Happy Holidays" had replaced "Merry Christmas," a customer-service representative responded, in part, that Christmas "is an ancient tradition that has its roots in Siberian shamanism." Catholic League president Bill Donohue announced a boycott of the discount chain.
Sample apology: Wal-Mart fired the customer-service rep, apologized for offending Christians, and changed its website so that the search term "Christmas" was not rerouted to "Holidays." Donohue called off the dogs.
How to apologize: Call the Catholic League at 212-371-3191.
What to say: Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.