Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year, same Grand Old Party: Republicans don’t think it’s right to apologize for slavery

Believe it or not, but the Party of Lincoln think it’s OK to not apologize for slavery.

If New Jersey issues a formal apology, then we would be the first northern state to do so. This far, state legislators in Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia have issued formal slavery apologies.

What the heck is the matter with a little “I’m sorry” after 140 years? Several prominent Republicans think it just doesn't matter.

Said Assemblyman Richard Merkt, R-Morris, "Who living today is guilty of slave holding and thus capable of apologizing for the offense…And who living today is a former slave and thus capable of accepting the apology? So how is a real apology even remotely possible, much less meaningful, given the long absence of both oppressor and victim?"

That’s harsh, Merkt.

Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll demanded that the Democratic Party should apologize first----since Republicans historically opposed slavery. He also noted that New Jersey twice voted against Abraham Lincoln.

He continued, "…But, on a current note, if slavery was the price that a modern American's ancestors had to pay in order to make one an American, one should get down on one's knees every single day and thank the Lord that such price was paid.”

So, maybe Carroll wants to offer an opposing resolution thanking the nation for slavery? Just what hallucinogens are these guys taking?

Of course, this the same guy who had time to offer a bill changing the name of Clinton town to “Reagan” during the time of President Clinton’s troubles with Monica Lewinsky ----but no time or good sense to support this legislation.

The resolution would read in part: "…the vestiges of slavery are ever before African-American citizens, from the overt racism of hate groups to the subtle racism encountered when requesting health care, transacting business, buying a home, seeking quality public education and college admission, and enduring pre-textual traffic stops and other indignities."

"This is not too much to ask of the state of New Jersey," said Assemblyman William Payne, who sponsors the bill. "All that is being requested of New Jersey is to say three simple words: We are sorry."

Once again, the NJ Republicans both amuse and amaze as to what they take issue with ---and what they support.

Welcome to 2008.

5 comments:

JDagger said...

Excuse me for being a little Politicly Incorrect but I tend to be a little ruffled under the collar with this. Everyone seems to forget the biggest attrocity committed by the taking of Native American Land by the Pilgrims, not to mention that Native Americans were enslaved also. Poor ole kunta kente, or whoever, If everyone wants to clear their tourtured concience, then let's get eveyone with this "feel good" apology. I want my apology from all the states for my ancestors being made to have to walk the Trail of Tears! or any other dirty underhanded trickery that resulted in the decimation of once-proud Native American popuations. Do it all the way or not at all!!!

Anonymous said...

Well, you are certainly welcome to petition the NJ state legislature with your request. Keep me posted as to your progress.

Joey Novick
NJ Politics Unusual

James said...

I think I can understand those Republicans who simply and honestly think that an apology won't do any good, or who think that an apology needs to come from those who actually committed the deeds (and don't believe that an institution counts).

This isn't that different from the many blacks who think that an apology would be a meaningless symbolic gesture. (To which I can only say that it isn't an empty gesture to all blacks, which is probably the point.)

But I have trouble understanding those Republicans who are so hot under the collar about an apology. I mean those who don't just see it as meaningless, but oppose it so fiercely.

They offer excuses, such as that it takes time away from more important issues. But it hardly takes any time at all, of course, and they aren't out there campaigning against other symbolic actions, ones which they have no ideological problems with.

James

Anonymous said...

I wonder what these same Republicans thought about the apology the Catholic Church offered to Jews for the many years of anti-Semitism and the belief espoused by many Catholics that the Jews were responsible for killing Christ.

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