The debate over states crafting resolutions over slavery is heating up. This past February Virginia was the first state in the United States to pass a resolution apologizing for slavery. This was followed by Alabama, Maryland and North Carolina. Missouri has debated the issue on crafting a slave resolution.
I find it interesting that lawmakers can come up with such foolishness rather than give equal parenting to families, expanding educational choices or implementing an aggressive measure to fight crime.
Seeking an apology for slavery will lead to another debate called reparations. Unless you are talking about mental slavery, which a majority of us are still in, slavery ended in 1863 with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Lincoln. We receive reparations today (it's called welfare and social security).
In 2007, should every White person in each state wake up and say to themselves, "I think it's finally time we said sorry"? You'd think the utter transparency of this resolution would cause state governments to restrain themselves from exploiting an intensely emotional issue.
I think we play the blame game because Blacks want to be the victim of circumstance. Present day Whites who live in our communities have never owned a slave nor have condoned or contributed to slavery in any way. It is possible that one of their distant relatives engaged in the abhorrent practice, but that has absolutely no bearing on their morality today. It is wrong to absorb any blame or experience any guilt for something they had no part in just because they are White.
On the flipside, will Blacks apologize to their community for allowing such rampant mass murders, rapings, and theft to occur while we pay taxes to attempt to make our community better? Will we apologize for allowing a failing school system to mis-educate our children and put them in a form of academic inferiority?
The state of race relations in the United States is one of contradictions and confusion.
We are told in our society to be colorblind and at the same time tolerate affirmative action. Every human being is supposed to be a unique, independent thinker and yet candidates campaign for the "Black vote." Diversity is based on the geographic location of one's home and not on intellectual worldview. Racial humor must be dependent on the comedian's skin color, and racially exclusive groups are only prohibited for Whites (there could not be a White Student Union at the University of Michigan). Justin Park languishes in suspension while Chris Rock expounds the differences between "niggers and black people." This inconsistent enforcement and jumping from hypersensitivity to hyper permissiveness hinders progress towards equality.
It is pathetic and tragic that racism still exists in places like Michigan, but such is the case. The effects of slavery -- inescapable cycles of poverty, subtler discrimination -- have hardly diminished with time. An apology is not going to change this. I implore the our state governments to stop seeking votes with phony resolutions and spend meaningful time and money reducing the plight of poor Blacks who never had the equal footing that every person deserves.
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson says it best:
"A slavery apology is pure political pandering. It also opens the door for radical Blacks to come in and demand reparations for slavery. An apology will not solve the anger, nor address the lack of moral character which permeates most of Black culture today.....America has done more than any other nation to atone for slavery and past discrimination. All the slaves are dead as well the slave masters-so get over it and move on!"