Finally, at long last, we have officially apologized for the actions of people we never knew. People that really no one we ever new, new.
Senate Backs Apology for Slavery
Resolution Specifies That It Cannot Be Used in Reparations Cases
Friday, June 19, 2009
The Senate unanimously passed a resolution yesterday apologizing for slavery, making way for a joint congressional resolution and the latest attempt by the federal government to take responsibility for 2 1/2 centuries of slavery.
"You wonder why we didn't do it 100 years ago," Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), lead sponsor of the resolution, said after the unanimous-consent vote. "It is important to have a collective response to a collective injustice."
This recent willingness to deal with the nation's difficult racial history has come about in part because of President Obama's election, said Rep. Stephen I. Cohen (D-Tenn.), who began pushing for an apology more than a decade ago when he was a state senator and pronounced himself "pleased" with the Senate vote.
Still, Cohen said, "there are going to be African Americans who think that [the apology] is not reparations, and it's not action, and there are going to be Caucasians who say, 'Get over it.' . . . I look at it as something that makes people think."
Even among proponents of a congressional apology, reaction to yesterday's vote was mixed. Carol M. Swain, a professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University who had pushed for the Bush administration to issue an apology, called the Democratic-controlled Senate's resolution "meaningless" since the party and federal government are led by a black president and black voters are closely aligned with the Democratic party.
"The Republican Party needed to do it," Swain said. "It would have shed that racist scab on the party."
The full version of the idiocy