So my state’s capital finally apologized for having been involved in slavery: my question is, “Does it matter?”
I know that for the people who were enslaved, it matters. I know that if an apology came from slave owners, that would matter.
Does an apology that’s 143 years too late lose it’s meaning when it’s coming from people who weren’t even alive during the period? In the article below, it doesn’t even seem as if they went out of their way to track down any slave descendants.
While I agree that an apology is long overdue, I also get the feeling that this merely a token gesture. I’m torn on whether this is actually something meaningful and worthwhile, or just another scheme someone came up with to win favor w/ their constituency.
To take this to it’s logical extreme, I’d LOVE to have seen the government round up some former slave owner’s descendants and have them personally apologize to a group of slave descendants.
Apologies lose their effectiveness when they’re insincere.
City apologizes for slavery – baltimoresun.com:
By Nia Henderson
Originally published May 16, 2007
Annapolis has joined a handful of jurisdictions across the country to officially apologize for its role in the American slave trade.
The City Council passed a resolution unanimously Monday, with aldermen Michael Christman and Julie Stankivic abstaining.
Sponsored by aldermen Richard Israel and Sam Shropshire, the measure went through substantial revisions, with the final version, drafted by Israel, expressing “profound regret” and recommending that the last week in October be a week for studying slavery.
“The citizens can be proud that Annapolis is the first municipal body to apologize for its past support of slavery and segregation,” Shropshire said.
Annapolis was one of the Chesapeake region’s earliest slave ports, yet had a large class of free blacks. Slavery was abolished in Maryland in 1864.