Sorta meh on this:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has apologized to black Americans for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow segregation laws.
The resolution marks the first time Congress has ever formally apologized for America’s past history of enslaving and discriminating against blacks.
“Today represents a milestone in our nation’s efforts to remedy the ills of our past,” said Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
It’s hard to figure out what good this does.
UPDATE: Melissa Harris Lacewell chimes in:
Here is my problem with this apology. It states that “slavery and Jim Crow are stains upon the what is the greatest nation on earth and the greatest government ever conceived by man.” While I appreciate the effort Representative Cohen, that just does not even come close to capturing it.
White supremacy is not a stain on the fabric of the nation, it is the binding thread woven into America’s fabric. Slavery was not an accidental oversight that simply took another few decades to fix; slavery cleared the virgin forests of the South and made them arable land; slavery was the basis of the new nation’s international trade; slavery made profit possible; slavery enriched millions of white Americans through its intergenerational transmission of ill gotten gains. Agricultural bondage through sharecropping kept blacks effectively re-enslaved in the South until the middle of the 20th century. A system of convict leasing turned black men into free labor for Northern industries well into the 1950s, making their massive profits possible. Medical experimentation on black bodies served as the basis for the growth of modern medicine and pharmaceuticals. Slavery, Jim Crow, and white supremacy are what made the greatness of America possible for so many others. It is not the stain on America. It is America.
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