Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The State House Will Not Apologize for the Sins of Its (Great, Great, Great) Grandfathers

Posted By on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 9:00 AM

So here's a line you don't often get to see in an Associated Press news alert:

The Republican-controlled chamber removed language from the original resolution that sought to offer "profound apologies" for slavery.

Now, now, hold on, before you get all riled up. The state House yesterday voted 97-0 to express "profound regret" for slavery and segregation, and denounce the "fundamental injustice, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery and the discrimination that was slavery's legacy." According to Nashville Rep. Mike Turner, the resolution's sponsor, Tennessee is the last state to do so.

But they simply would not apologize.

And surely you can understand. No doubt they sincerely wish these things had not occurred, but they were not there running the auctions or unleashing the dogs and so, my gawd sir, to apologize for them would be absurd. Unjust, even. Profoundly unjust!

Actually, I'd argue that a real apology is due from the representatives of the state of Tennessee, which had apparently not made any official gesture of remorse until now.

The members of the House and Senate are not just individuals who did not live during the time of slavery. They represent the state, and if the state has not apologized for the state-sanctioned atrocities that happened then, it would be appropriate for them to do so in its name, even if it is just symbolic.

Then again, that'd be splitting hairs.

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