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Congress' slavery apology
How far does saying 'sorry' go toward healing wounds from slavery and Jim Crow?
 

“Sometimes saying ‘sorry’ doesn't cut it,” said the Chicago Sun-Times in an editorial. And the U.S. House of Representatives’ apology last week to African Americans for slavery and Jim Crow is a case in point. Paying reparations is "hardly practical," but lawmakers could show they mean it by investing more in job training and inner-city schools to “improve the lives and opportunities of African Americans.”

Don’t underestimate the power of an apology, said Susan K. Smith in The Washington Post’s On Faith blog. Americans act like “our dirty little secret”—slavery—will go away if we just avoid talking about it. But “slavery and its rootedness in racial hatred and economic greed, were like a Tsunami, and the ripple effects are still being felt.”

It’s easy to be cynical, said Geveryl Robinson in the Savannah Morning News. This measure was introduced by a white congressman, Rep. Steve Cohen, running for re-election against an African-American opponent in a majority black district. “What good is a politically motivated apology for slavery going to do now?”

You’re kidding, right? said Jack Moss in the Macsmind blog. “It’s a set up” to help Barack Obama get elected in November. The first black candidate nominated for president heads into the election after an apology for slavery, and “you can hear the MSM using this theme: ‘America, how could you NOT vote for him; after all are you not sorry for our racist past?’”

 

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