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Time To Move On

North Korea threatening to shoot a missile toward Hawaii. Iran in the midst of revolution while trying to obtain nukes. Unemployment approaching 10% in the US. A trillion and a half dollar deficit.

Yet, this is what our elected officials choose to devote their time doing:

From the Kansas City Star:

Senate apologizes for slavery

By unanimous consent, the Senate passed a resolution a short time ago apologizing for slavery and racial segregation.

Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, one of the sponsors, said the measure was no "panacea," but could help trigger "reconciliation."

"I am pleased that Congress has officially offered an apology for slavery and it's long overdue," he said. "The formation of my home state of Kansas was centered around slavery and came to be known as 'Bleeding Kansas.' I believe that this official apology will enable our nation to begin healing our racial wounds rooted in the institution of slavery."

Sen. Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat, was the other sponsor.

The passage coincides with Juneteenth, a celebration which commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S.

The measure "apologizes to African-Americans on behalf of the people of the United States, for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow laws."

It also "acknowledges the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality and inhumanity of slavery and Jim Crow laws."

In addition, it "expresses its recommitment to the principle that all people are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and calls on all people of the United States to work toward eliminating racial prejudices, injustices and discrimination from our society."

The apology, which now goes to the House, is not unique. Congress has formally apologized to Native Americans, to Japanese Americans for their internment during World War II, to Hawaiians for overthrowing their king, and for never enacting anti-lynching legislation.

This hollow, political pandering is getting tiresome.

It is bad enough we have a President who goes to foreign countries and trashes the US for its past transgressions.

Everyone with a brain knows slavery was and is wrong. It is a blight on our nation's past. But it is the past. The seemingly endless narrative serves not to help understand and learn from it, but only holds the country in a perpetual state of guilt for that from which we've moved on.

Acknowledgment is one thing. Obsession is another.

These senators would do well to direct their energies toward problems which actually exist, instead of trying to curry favor with people by dredging up terrible periods of our past.


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Comments (27)

The past is never over for ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

The past is never over for the left, Shawn. Every offense that's ever been committed is kept carefully shined up to be used as a reason for perpetual outrage. They can never be remedied, no matter how much money or how many apologies are thrown at the folks complaining about them, because they can't be changed. They're fixed events, and short of developing a time machine they're going to STAY fixed.

A hundred years from now, there's still going to be outrage over slavery, and there's still going to be folks demanding reparations, and there will still be people who think that apologizing will mollify those who are complaining.

Either that, or we're going to see a crash that'll make the Great Depression look like dropping a dollar out of your wallet - and folks won't CARE about that ancient history crap because they're going to be too busy with basic survival.

I would have thought that t... (Below threshold)
MichaelC:

I would have thought that the presence of a black family in the White House might have indicated to those senators that something resembling "reconciliation" has gained a lot of headway already in this country. They are a little late with their ridiculous and empty gesture.

Empty suits always seem to be a day late and an apology short to the onward thrust of history.

I agree. Slavery was a mis... (Below threshold)
I agree:

I agree. Slavery was a mistake -- like accidentially spilling a glass of milk. Are we supposed to keep apologizing for the milk? What about all the work in helping to clean up the mess?

The congress should be working toward helping solve problems like an unfair system of goverment instead of focusing on a few bad apples that arent even alive anymore.

Besides, not all slaves had it so bad. I think this is a big exagerration of the evils of slavery which no one denies. Lets focus on the positives and get with the winning team!

Why is anybody surprised ab... (Below threshold)
The Oregonian:

Why is anybody surprised about this resolution? Since even before Obama was elected into office it's been about African Americans and it's been "all up in your face", the African American style. Stay tune for more people.

Now the left can get on wit... (Below threshold)

Now the left can get on with apologizing for the way they have utterly destroyed the black family in America with welfare that has led to 70% illigitimacy rates (and single-mother 'families' that cannot get ahead since we became a two-income household society), minimum wage laws that have caused black unemployment rates to remain below that of whites each and every year since they were enacted, and their refusal to do anything to help educate black kids living in cities with free-for-all detention centers pretending to be schools besides throw good money after bad, ignore social promotion of illiterate and ignorant (but high self-esteem!) children, and give free passes to colleges they cannot succeed at through affirmative action. Then they can talk about their unethusiastic "support" for civil rights laws, their creation of the KKK, and their backstabbing of MLK for concentrating so vehemently on the color of everyone's skin instead of the content of their character each and every day in each and every way.

Or, you know, they could focus on actually improving the future for everyone. (file under: Odds; Snowball; Hell)

"I Agree" - your snarky cra... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"I Agree" - your snarky crap hit on a bit of truth.

"Are we supposed to keep apologizing for (slavery)? What about all the work in helping to clean up the mess?"

Yes, what ABOUT all the work - does it count for anything?

Apparently not.

My grandparents weren't even born until well after the Civil War. Why are we collectively responsible for what people did over a hundred and fifty years ago?

Got to admit, I'm laughing ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Got to admit, I'm laughing my ass off! A bunch of fools in the US Senate, apologizing for something they didn't do, to people to whom it wasn't done. Reparations anyone?

So, who's going to apologiz... (Below threshold)
Brad:

So, who's going to apologize to the relatives of all the dead white folk who died ending slavery? That I'm even asking this question shows the absurdity of all of this shit. Things like this don't bring reconcilliation; they bring more bitterness. Where will the apologies stop? How 'bout Irish immigrants? How 'bout [fill in the blank]. Goddam whiny crap.

Has anyone stepped forward ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Has anyone stepped forward to accept this apology?

Brad, no one died ending sl... (Below threshold)

Brad, no one died ending slavery. Union soldiers enlisted, or were drafted, in order to preserve the Union. The North was deeply divided over whether to end slavery, and the decision to do so wasn't even taken until January 1865.

I fail to see how the fact that slavery, and Jim Crow, are past means that the nation shouldn't take a few minutes to apologize for that history. It deserves to be said.

OK -- slavery in the past w... (Below threshold)
Patty:

OK -- slavery in the past was a horrible thing. We saw that. We stopped that in this country about 150 years ago. Now it's the other guys' turn. There are many nations where slavery is being practiced NOW. What are they going to do about that?

James, to say nobody died t... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

James, to say nobody died to end slavery is almost as inaccurate as saying that all of the Union casualties died to end slavery.

There were plenty, though by no means a majority, of people that put their lives and livelihoods (often the same thing at the time) to end slavery, and when the war started, many enlisted if they could.

Sorry, gotta start with thi... (Below threshold)
boqueronman:

Sorry, gotta start with this asinine quote "Brad, no one died ending slavery." Permit me a couple of questions. Did anyone die during the Civil War? Was slavery once and for all time ended everywhere within the confines of the USA as a consequence of the Civil War? Would slavery likely have ended prior to the 20th century in the USA without armed conflict? If you think so, please explain. Did you read the previous comments? An apology is only valid if it is offered by those who were responsible for the act itself!

That done, let's move on. Excuse me while I laugh at this sentence, "These senators would do well to direct their energies toward problems which actually exist, instead of trying to curry favor with people by dredging up terrible periods of our past." So what are the problems that actually exist? I would nominate deficit spending, public sector interference in the productive economy, and, of course, excessive government regulation. Now, how do the senators constructively "direct their energies toward problems?" Frankly, by taking a two year, at least, vacation.

In this regard, one of the more interesting investment strategies is to buy into the S&P 500 index when Congress is in recess and withdraw your earnings when they are in session. Such a strategy produces strongly positive results, even with the tax consequences, well in excess of each year's total return. No, the best senator is a... sleeping senator.

Ridiculous to even comment,... (Below threshold)
914:

Ridiculous to even comment, but that has never stopped Me before..

~I apologize to everybody else in the world for every mistake I ever made in My life up to now~

There, I feel way better now.

OK, but who's going to apol... (Below threshold)
Ran:

OK, but who's going to apologize for Sharpton!

"I fail to see how the f... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"I fail to see how the fact that slavery, and Jim Crow, are past means that the nation shouldn't take a few minutes to apologize for that history. It deserves to be said."

That's just it, James - they're PAST. Well in the past. A hundred and fifty years or more in the past - so how many apologies are needed? A hundred? Two hundred? A couple of thousand?

Doesn't it get to a point where an apology is meaningless because it comes from someone who's ancestors may not even have been in the country at the time, and certainly himself had no hand in the process to someone who may (or may not) have had a great-grandparent who was a slave?

I demand an apology on beha... (Below threshold)

I demand an apology on behalf of all my relatives who fought for the Union to END slavery! They didn't own slaves, I never owned slaves...yet an "apology" is issued on OUR BEHALF??

in the words of Billy Joel: I am an INNOCENT MAN!

I have always treated EVERYONE with equal respect, unless and until they showed me that they should be treated differently! I am starting to re-think that policy...and it PISSES ME OFF!

If the goal of Congress and the Al Sharptons of the world is to harden the hearts of innocent Americans like me by continually insulting us, then MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Let's say there are 50 mill... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Let's say there are 50 million folks in the country with histories traced to slavery. If we give them each $ 20,000, that would be $ 100 billion, right? A year ago, that would be a shocking number, but today it isn't.
So, I say, give them $ 20,000. Maybe it will shut them up. More importantly, these reparation payments will outrage every person in the country who doesn't qualify. The GOP would be back in complete control by 2012, with barely a drop in the bucket. Small price to start undoing the damage of 2008. I hope.

By the way, the Civil War came about because of tariffs, not slavery.

The average black person in... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The average black person in the U.S. is about 30% white and if they trace their ancestry they often find that one of their white ancestors was a slave master. So for most Blacks today's apology is on behalf of some of their ancestors to their other ancestors. The ancestors of most of the whites living in the U.S. today were still in Europe at the time of slavery in this nation and really have no part in extending or receiving this apology.

The apology, which now goes to the House, is not unique. Congress has formally apologized to Native Americans, to Japanese Americans for their internment during World War II, to Hawaiians for overthrowing their king, and for never enacting anti-lynching legislation.

What, lynching is legal?

Today the Congressional Bla... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Today the Congressional Black Caucus, caught up in the spirit of the moment, apologized for all the crime, illegitimacy, welfare, illiteracy, gang, and drug problems inflicted on the hard-working citizens of the United States by African-Americans.

By the way, the Ci... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
By the way, the Civil War came about because of tariffs, not slavery.

The first state to secede from the Union was South Carolina which did so on Dec 20, 1860. If you really want to know the reason for the civil war you only need to read South Carolina's Declaration of the Causes of Secession. If you read this historical, and thus, unrevised document you'll see that slavery was the number one reason for the civil war.

Every living American who o... (Below threshold)

Every living American who owned a slave should have to pay every living American who was a slave in America $1,000,000,000,000.

Problem solved!

Justrand -That wor... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Justrand -

That works. It's a bit simplistic, and doesn't involve the requisite mandatory self-immoliations on the altar of political correctness, but it works pretty well for me.

And considering all the trillions promised out over the last few months, I do believe we ought to double, nay TRIPLE that amount.

Of course, the paperwork requirements to CLAIM that are gonna be HUGE.

JLawson...maybe the 600,000... (Below threshold)

JLawson...maybe the 600,000 people Obama's gonna hire (or save) can handle the paperwork!!

I sure hope the Gummint is watching tonight, 'cause we're solvin' their problems for 'em!! :)

Not one red cent for repara... (Below threshold)
Frank Freeman:

Not one red cent for reparations. Millions, however, for repatriation.

Since I've never had a slav... (Below threshold)
Alan:

Since I've never had a slave I don't think I need to apologize.

I did have ancestors, Rebec... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

I did have ancestors, Rebecca and William Boone, who apparently owned at least one slave. Rebecca climbed a picket fence to whip that slave, cut herself, and not long after died of infection. I'd say karma did its job. Should I apologize?




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