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Formally Bug Drivel; now Freedom Lover USA ~ 2003 - 2016 : All Rights Reserved ~

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

House Apologizes for Slavery

I agree with apologizing to the Japanese-American's for the time they were held in the detention camps during World War II... especially to those who had nothing to do with the war. There still needed to be some form of detention because we were suddenly at war with Japan and didn't know who to trust. I read today that 60,000 of these detainees were alive during the time of the apology and each received $20,000 from the government. I don't know if that was a necessary step because money, although nice to have, doesn't really make for an apology... it seems more like a bribe to me.

Today the House of Representatives passed a resolution apologizing to African-Americans for slavery. It did not go into details about reparations but turns out that some people are asking for cash payments to descendants of slaves to compensate for the suffering caused by slavery.

Does anyone else see a difference? Slavery was abolished in the United States in 1865. There is no doubt that there were residual affects from slavery and it took time for things to straighten out and for people to accept the change. The difference is that those detained during World War II were still alive when the apology was given... those in slavery have long moved on to Heaven and I dont see how their descendents should receive money from the government. Only a very few people owned slaves (about 8%) and those were very rich... and not all slaves were black. We also had indentured servitude... the main difference was that an indentured servant was under a signed contract for a period of time in exchange for food, clothing, lodging, etc.

The catch was that most of them ended up in so much debt with their employer that they could never leave because they would have their debt forgiven in exchange for an extension on the period of the contract. This could and would go on continuously. They were subject to violence, abuse and other forms of mistreatment.

I have mixed feelings about this apology. Are we purposely going through our entire history and apologizing one by one to all of the individuals who were ever hurt by any one? I don't know the history of all of our apologies... have we said sorry to the Chinese and the Welsh and the Irish?

And what about all of the free blacks who owned slaves? Most schools teach that white men owned black men and women but never really mention that there were slaves of other nationality and that some American Indians and free American Blacks owned slaves as well. Can we go back and demand that the descendants of those individuals come forward and apologize?

It seems to me that America is being pin-pointed as the evil slave owning jerks of the world. From the 16th to the 19th centuries, 12 million black Africans were shipped to the Americas and about 5 1/2% landed in the United States. Most were shipped to Brazil.

Maybe Brazil is the evil slave owning country of the world... perhaps they should apologize to us for letting us take all the blame.

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May we each take the moment necessary out of this day and any day we feel the need to remember those who have gone before us in defense of our freedoms. Without them... we would not be "here"... we would be in chains. ~Bug~