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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Random Musings on the House of Rep's Apology for Slavery......What Say You?

I suspect that the sentiment displayed in the above Youtube video applies to many Whites that have now become aware of yesterday's official apology for slavery from the House of Representatives. Just for the record, I do not want anyone to think that an apology isn't owed but when it's 150 years too late, is it sincere? For those who are located in the NY tri-state area, you might have noticed that as of late, I have been a frequent caller to The Star and Bucwild radio program.

This morning I chimed in on the subject of the apology and one might not have understood the crux of my argument. I made insurance analogies (does one ever get the value of an injury from a monetary perspective?) and spoke about the debilitating aspects of a slave-victimization mindset but it was all for nought. Has anyone noticed that apologies are infrequently honest when it stems from an intentional act? Does anyone believe that Rev. Jackson was sorry for his comments toward Senator Obama several weeks ago? I think people are sorry when an unintentional wrong has been committed but when it comes to matters of commerce-rarely. The conversation on the program spiraled toward the perception that I believe that people of color should forget this part of our painful history. This couldn't be farthest from the truth.

What I did want to emphasize was that expecting an apology in lieu of moving forward and dealing with the rampant violence and self-defeatism in our communities, can cause a type of socio-political and economic impotence. Although I try to shy away from notions that those of the Jewish faith should be perceived as a model minority-we can still learn from them. I noticed that although Jewish folk never let the power structure forget the atrocities of the Holocaust (and rightfully so), they oftentimes refer to themselves as survivors and not solely as victims. I think it is time for African-Americans to adopt a similar strategy in order for the race and culture to move forward. And if we are going to be fair about full disclosure, why limit litigation and apologies to just North America? Why not expand this to the West African and European nations that were also complicit in the enslavement of African people? Do you see how far this can go? Here's more, courtesy of Allheadlinenews.com:

Washington, D.C (AHN) -- The House of Representatives issued an official apology Tuesday to African-American's for imposing slavery and Jim Crow laws on their ancestors.

The apology, the first in the 140 years since slavery was abolished, was initially introduced by Steve Cohen (D-TN), who represents Memphis, a majority black city.

The unprecedented apology to black American's has been avoided in the past because some in the government were concerned that to admit their wrongs would mean black families who sue for reparations would have a stronger case.

Cohen's resolution said that Africans forced into slavery ''were brutalized, humiliated, dehumanized and subjected to the indignity of being stripped of their names and heritage,'' and that black Americans still suffer from the effects of their families long being segregated, defined as second class citizens, and being denied the same rights and respect as white American's.

Cohen said in the apology, ''Slavery and Jim Crow are stains upon what is the greatest nation on the face of the earth." He added that this apology is a step toward righting the wrongs the government imposed on African-American's for hundreds of years.

Cohen is running for re-election and faces a strong black candidate in next week's primaries.

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