Saturday, February 24, 2007

Too Little Too Late Or Significant Symbolic Gesture? You Decide

Va. lawmakers pass slavery apology

By LARRY O'DELL

Meeting on the grounds of the former Confederate Capitol, the Virginia General Assembly voted unanimously Saturday to express "profound regret" for the state's role in slavery.

Sponsors of the resolution say they know of no other state that has apologized for slavery, although Missouri lawmakers are considering such a measure. The resolution does not carry the weight of law but sends an important symbolic message, supporters said.

"This session will be remembered for a lot of things, but 20 years hence I suspect one of those things will be the fact that we came together and passed this resolution," said Delegate A. Donald McEachin, a Democrat who sponsored it in the House of Delegates.

The resolution passed the House 96-0 and cleared the 40-member Senate on a unanimous voice vote. It does not require Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's approval.

The measure also expressed regret for "the exploitation of Native Americans."

The resolution was introduced as Virginia begins its celebration of the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, where the first Africans arrived in 1619. Richmond, home to a popular boulevard lined with statues of Confederate heroes, later became another point of arrival for Africans and a slave-trade hub.

The resolution says government-sanctioned slavery "ranks as the most horrendous of all depredations of human rights and violations of our founding ideals in our nation's history, and the abolition of slavery was followed by systematic discrimination, enforced segregation, and other insidious institutions and practices toward Americans of African descent that were rooted in racism, racial bias, and racial misunderstanding."

In Virginia, black voter turnout was suppressed with a poll tax and literacy tests before those practices were struck down by federal courts, and state leaders responded to federally ordered school desegregation with a "Massive Resistance" movement in the 1950s and early '60s. Some communities created exclusive whites-only schools.

The apology is the latest in a series of strides Virginia has made in overcoming its segregationist past. Virginia was the first state to elect a black governor — L. Douglas Wilder in 1989 — and the Legislature took a step toward atoning for Massive Resistance in 2004 by creating a scholarship fund for blacks whose schools were shut down between 1954 and 1964.

Among those voting for the measure was Delegate Frank D. Hargrove, an 80-year-old Republican who infuriated black leaders last month by saying "black citizens should get over" slavery.

After enduring a barrage of criticism, Hargrove successfully co-sponsored a resolution calling on Virginia to celebrate "Juneteenth," a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know this won’t be a popular post among certain people, but the truth in slavery is deeper than the casual reader of history will know. The major perpetrators of slavery were Jewish.

As a black American, I feel that there should be more accounting from the Jewish community for their involvement in slave trade. The Jews were the predominate figures that created the African slave trade. All this is proven fact by such notable Jewish historians and scholars as: Lee M. Friedman, Marcus Arkin, Herbert I. Bloom, Cecil Roth, Wilfred Samuels, Isaac and Susan Emmanuel, Seymour B. Liebman, and Moshe Kahan. You can read about it here: http://www.blacksandjews.com/Jews_and_Slavery.html

To say that the Dutch, British, or Portuguese were responsible for the slave trade is a sugar coating of history. The Talmud, the most holy of Jewish books marked the Blacks as a people to be enslaved. The Talmud goes back a few thousand years before there ever was a British, Dutch, or Portuguese empire. The vast majority of African slaves were sent to Brazil, where literally every single Jewish person owned Black slaves. The same os true for North America and all of the Caribbean islands. Much of the European slave trade was financed by many Jewish banks, such as the Rothshilds.

It's time the Jewish community took their fair share of the responsibility and blame of the Holocaust that was perpetrated against the black population of the world, instead of covering it up through their control of the media.

Brother Spotless said...

I am going to do some investigating into this issue. Post to come in upcoming weeks.