A Student of History

February 20, 2007

Slavery Issue Still Hot in Va.

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Maass @ 6:02 pm

From today’s Richmond Times Dispatch:

The game plan designed to reach a compromise on the slavery-apology resolution almost got derailed in the Senate Rules Committee yesterday.

The Senate was expected to adopt a tougher resolution expressing the state’s contrition for slavery, while the House of Delegates was expected to adopt a milder version expressing profound regret for slavery. The measure then was expected to go to a conference committee to settle differences between the two bodies.

But the Rules Committee adopted the milder version instead, which would have prevented a conference committee.

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1 Comment »

  1. Were I from Virginia or a member of its State government, I would simply state that I would be willing to ‘apologize’ for slavery only when similar apologies were forthcoming from those Northern colonies (and later states) whose involvement in the infamous ‘Triangle Trade’ (molasses to rum to slaves) brought to the United States those individuals captured and/or sold into slavery by Arabs or ‘black’ Africans as slavery in Africa certainly pre-dated the appearance on that continent by ‘white’ men.

    The fortunes of many a New Englander can be traced directly back to the slave trade and, as has been noted in other places, ships bringing slaves to the New World flew many flags including the Union Jack of the Stars and Stripes – but NOT the Confederate Stars and Bars. Before there can be a ‘condemnation’ of Virginia or any other Southern State, the question must be asked, who involved in the slave trade was most morally egregious – those who purchased slaves or those who made a profit supplying them for purchase? Since the Southern ‘slave holder’ would have had no slaves had not the Northern mariner traded in them, I would say that the blame should be equally divided.

    Finally, as no one living today is or has been involved in slavery – at least in this country – then ‘apologies’ become nothing more than an effort to bring about something other than ‘healing of past wrongs’. It may be that some people are paving the way for a claim for ‘reparations’ by people who were never slaves. It may be that some people have forgotten that black slavery did not originate either in the United States or Europe but was an ongoing institution in Africa itself from which it spread like an evil plague into Europe and the New World. It may be an effort to bolster the political and cultural power of organizations and groups who feel ‘threatened’ by the increasing numbers of other ‘minorities’ in the country. But whatever the reason, calls for ‘apologies’ from people who had nothing to do with the matter in the first place is ridiculous on the face of it.

    Comment by Valerie Protopapas — February 21, 2007 @ 7:18 pm | Reply


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