Senate Issues (Overdue) Apology for Slavery

The Senate has unanimously passed a resolution apologizing for slavery and segregation. Lead sponsor Senator Bill Harkin (D – Iowa) explained that he wanted it to be passed in time for Juneteenth, the holiday that commemorates the abolition of slavery.

The House of Representatives issued an apology last year, but the Senate’s resolution addresses the issue of reparations — by shooting it down. The resolution contains a disclaimer which reads:
“Nothing in this resolution– (A) authorizes or supports any claim against the United States; or (B) serves as a settlement of any claim against the United States.”

Senator Rep. Stephen I. Cohen (D-Tenn.), who began pushing for an apology over a decade ago remarked, “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.”

The government’s apology is certainly better than nothing, but it serves as a reminder of how slow society has progressed. After all, the Emancipation Proclamation was issued almost 150 years ago. While some may argue that slavery is in the past, it has undoubtedly left a legacy through Jim Crow laws. Mere decades ago, African Americans had to pay a poll tax or pass a literacy and comprehension test in order to vote. Many experienced segregation, often relegating them to the poorer schools, poorer neighborhoods and inferior public facilities. Many were barred from holding public office or serve on juries. And Oscar Grant, Sean Bell and Rodney King are only a few examples that racism is alive and thriving.

Should African Americans get their forty acres and a mule? While Japanese Americans received $20,000 for being forced into internment camps during World War II, Hawaiians were only granted an apology for the U.S. conquest of their kingdom, as well as Native Americans. Somehow the idea of reparations seems only like a pipe dream.


B. M.
Bette M.7 years ago

The American indian vote hasn't ever been valued as much as those who have kicked up a fuss about what they don't have.

The American indian has always sat on the sidelines waiting & waiting to be recoginized & give what others get for screaming for it.

Out of all the nationalities on this continent the American indian deserve an apology the most.......An apology for having their land ripped away from them, and their very dignity taken from them.

Plant trees for life........ on earth.........

Rosalee R.
Rosalee R.7 years ago

In Our day in age, EVERYBODY WANTS an Apology of the Injustices done to their " RACE" To name a Few: Jewish, Spanish, Japenese, Mexicans, INDIANS!! While we're at APOLOGIES, Let's Keep on Going. How about the Atheist, Right wing, Christian, Catholics, Baptist, & so on.......We all have the privilege to LIVE where we want! WHY, then does, the American Indian STILL Live/and HAS NOT been ABOLISHED, "RESERVATIONS"!! Has There EVER been an APOLOGY for the INHUMAN treatment/and continues support of THESE so called "HOME" reservations!! IF anybody NEEDS/DESERVES an apology, They SHOULD be UP FRONT Runners!! INJUSTICE, Just Look at their "HOMES". Opportunities, Aid, etc. AS everybody knows they have Been here forever. This Was Their Land, If your feeling reconciled, REMEMBER ALL who have been ABUSED!! & continue to this Day to be ABUSED!!! They WANT to see the PROMISED LAND too!! They WANT FREEDOM of CHOICE!! The Same FREEDOMS, that WE so TAKE for GRANTED, SHOULD BELONG to ALL AMERICANS!! This IS the HOME of the FREE?? OPPORTUNITIES should be available to ALL. EVEN the Immigrants, THIS WAS/IS what OUR country WAS/IS !! Who decides who BELONGS?! Who Needs an APOLOGYY?!? Who needs HELP? Who DESERVES what the USA was founded on!!! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!! YES, there is NO PLACE I would rather be a Part of, then these USA!! It is MY HOME, Yes, It Will always have it's share of "BAD" Politics, Laws, People BUT THERE IS NOTHING LIKE this GREAT COUNTRY!! Change is Enevitable, GOD BLES

B. M.
Bette M.7 years ago

Whatever color or your status in life the following is well worth remembering & sharing:

This is the true joy in life,
the being used for a purpose
recognized by yourself
as a mighty one; the being thoroughly
worn out before you are thrown
on the scrap heap; the being a force of
Nature instead of a feverish selfish
little clod of ailments and grievances
complaining that the world will
not devote itself to making you happy.

George Bernard Shaw

Plnt trees for life......On earth.......

B. M.
Bette M.7 years ago

Trees along with bread & water are the main ingrediants to life on this planet.........I prefer living where trees provide oxygen, eat fruit & be shaded from the sun.

Trees offers as much freedom as anything else does. Harsh words & attitude don't cut it.

Plant trees fo life.......On earth.........

jamilah s.
jamilah s.7 years ago

planting trees is not going to get it!

jamilah s.
jamilah s.7 years ago

It appears that in lieu of an apology, an exorcism is more in appropriate.

Yes, I am being sarcastic but very serious and disappointed about the insensitivity and apparent hatred for fellow human beings suffering. The wanting to be hateful. The not wanting to change! It's very, very pitiful!!!

Holly M.
Holly W.7 years ago

I have to say, Terry for someone who feels so personally persecuted, your remarks about indians were RACIST! So you feel it is ok to be racist towards indians and whites and jews, but God forbid anyone be racist towards blacks! YOU are what is wrong with the world today! Everything that BM has said has actually been intelligent and accurate without resorting to childish name calling. Shame on you! My stepmother, who is black, would call you ignorant and I would have to agree with her!

B. M.
Bette M.7 years ago

Thank you Nikolas.

One of the major contributions to the black self pity/image of themselves is what has been taught in the schools about slavery. The courses are so guilt laden & one sided that every black student must think there must not have not been one white in the U.S. who cared or who treated any slave right even under ownership. Not so!!!!!!

Todays blacks forget hundreds of thousands of white & black Union soldiers died for their freedom.

Down through time black family histories & the lessons taught in history courses blacks have been spoon fed a steady diet of pity, sorrow that has for the most part fueled misplaced anger & hatred toward whites. To hear the likes of Al Sharpton & to read those history courses blacks come away thinking every white im America had at one time owned slaves. Not so!

Slavery in all & any form has always been & will always be simply because there are 6.8 billion of us on this planet. Somebody somewhere wants to run other people lives for one simple reason......POWER!!!

Plant trees for life.......

Nikolas Karman
Nikolas K.7 years ago

Africans were slave trading long before the whites turned up and guess what . What you think and do is what you get back even by your silence over what others are doing against the laws of nature makes you an accomplice.

Nikolas Karman
Nikolas K.7 years ago

All people of the world are slaves they just havent woke up to the fact that their lives are controlled by a global self appointed elite under the control of the banksters. As Rothschild stated I don't care what government you have as long as I control your money.
This sentence says it all.