Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Apologies

Ah, another hollow piece of legislation that has ended up causing a big stir. Virginia is/was apparently looking at formally apologizing for slavery, which prompted one lawmaker to comment. He said that blacks should "get over" slavery. He also asked if the Jews should apologize for crucifying Christ.

First, who was Virginia going to apologize to? U.S. slavery has been abolished for too long to have any former slaves to apologize to. And who were they apologizing on behalf of? The slaveholders lives are long over, as well. Those sponsoring the bill admit it is symbolic, though they claim it is because "Virginia's success was built on the backs of slaves." One could argue, though, that Virginia's current economic success has absolutely nothing to do with slavery, since it had to be rebuilt without slaves, has grown well without slavery, and promotes equality today. Of course, we aren't to argue that, nor are we to point out that there are more important matters for lawmakers to discuss. Otherwise, we are culturally insensitive. (Don't ask which culture, because it is, of course, slave culture we are insensitive to. Also, don't mind the fact that this brings us full-circle back to the question of why we're worrying about something that hasn't existed for well over a century.) This was another one of those white guilt moves that only serve to tell whites to hate themselves.

As for the comment about "getting over" slavery, from what I've seen, most blacks are pretty much over it. After all, slavery's not affecting them now.

Was it right of Hargrove to say that blacks should get over slavery? I can't say. Was it in bad taste? Quite possibly. Does he have the right to say it? Yes. Do the voters have the right not to re-elect him because of it? Yes.

As for his comments about asking Jews to apologize for crucifying Jesus, see the previous paragraph. Yeah, it may seem religiously insensitive, but he was trying to make his point (however ill-advised his comments may have been). Does it look likely that the Jewish religion will formally apologize? No, and he wasn't asking for that. He was pointing out the absurdity of such an apology and comparing it to the apology Virginian lawmakers were proposing.




On an unrelated note, note the quote in the Fox News article from Del. Dwight C. Jones: "When somebody tells me I should just get over slavery, I can only express my emotion by projecting that I am appalled, absolutely appalled." Without worrying about the content of his statement, guess which party he's from. The Dems apparently keep the same levels of emotion at all levels, not just federal offices. I can only express my emotion by projecting that I am amused, moderately amused.

Please note that I mean no disrespect to anyone's ancestors, be they slaves or slaveholders. It was terrible if your ancestors were slaves, but there's nothing that can actually fix it now. My ancestors were white and too poor to hold slaves, as were the ancestors of many of the whites who might apologize for slavery, so we should really cut back on these apologies.

No comments: