I am sure you all noticed I didn't get very far with the Black History timeline last month. Got stuck on slavery after State Delegate Hargrove of Virginia said in response to a request for an official apology, that Black Americans should, get over slavery. I was trying to figure out if that's possible, so I was doing more reading than writing. I even took a little poll for my own info.
The apology is a controversial issue.
Many Black people don't want no stinkin' apology. There is no tangible benefit, and no sincerity.
Many do feel that taking 100% responsibility for the inhumanity and suffering, and asking for forgiveness without expectation or demand would have healing power, far-reaching and profound for both sides.
Personally, I'd like an apology from my government, with no attempt to dodge responsibility, no attempt to discount or deny the pain and ingrained disease that slavery inflicted on Africans in America, their culture and their descendents. President Clinton came close once, but no cigar.
Others have received not only apologies but reparations for the wrongs inflicted on them. Germany apologized and paid restitution to survivors and descendents of it's WWII atrocities. The USA apologized and paid reparations to Japanese citizens interred in this country during WWII. I'm just saying.
Well, I suppose the Isaah Washington/Tim Hardaway/Micheal Richards, asshole rehab center, or ARC (an Alexandraism), is working fine, because the State of Virginia has passed a resolution that expresses an apology for slavery. How 'bout that.
RICHMOND, Va. (Feb. 25) - Meeting on the grounds of the former Confederate Capitol, the Virginia General Assembly voted unanimously Saturday to express "profound regret" for the state's role in slavery.
The resolution says government-sanctioned slavery "ranks as the most horrendous of all depredations of human rights and violations of our founding ideals in our nation's history."
Sponsors of the resolution say they know of no other state that has apologized for slavery, although Missouri lawmakers are considering such a measure. The resolution does not carry the weight of law but sends an important symbolic message, supporters said.
"This session will be remembered for a lot of things, but 20 years hence I suspect one of those things will be the fact that we came together and passed this resolution," said Delegate A. Donald McEachin, a Democrat who sponsored it in the House of Delegates.
The resolution passed the House 96-0 and cleared the 40-member Senate on a unanimous voice vote. It does not require Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's approval.
The measure also expressed regret for "the exploitation of Native Americans."
It's just a gesture, I know, but I am still waiting for the U.S. Congress or a U.S. President to do the same.