Slavery: Many Apologies, But No Reparations—Yet
by Jared Taylor:
It`s been a brisk season for official apologies.
On February 24th, Virginia
led the pack into the confessional when the
state legislature unanimously passed a bill
expressing "profound contrition" for slavery.
Since then, the Maryland Senate, the North Carolina
Senate, and the Alabama legislature have all voted
beat their breasts over slavery. Even the board
of the University of Virginia marked the birthday of
the university`s founder—Thomas
Jefferson—by apologizing because UVA once used
slave labor. There are similar apologies
brewing in the
Now that four states of the
former Confederacy have eaten crow, it will look
bad if the rest don`t. Expect a torrent.
What`s going on? The black sponsors of statehouse
apologies say they want reconciliation. "Some of
us can`t move into reconciliation until we have an
says Hank Sanders, who backed the Alabama
resolution. The Virginia vote was "part of a
healing process," explains
Delegate A. Donald McEachin.
The chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus of
Maryland says the same thing: "The first step for
healing to take place is for there to be an
acknowledgment," says state senator Nathaniel
Over Md. Role in Slavery| State Senate
Resolution Follows Similar Action in Virginia, By
Ovetta Wiggins Washington Post March 17,
We`re all for healing—who isn`t?—but everyone
knows that has nothing to do with it. Even the white
obediently hung their heads over
something they never did tried to be careful to
draft resolutions that would avoid
raids on the treasury. "Profound regret,"
"profound contrition" were the favorite
formulations that stop short of an outright apology
that might lead to demands for reparations.
There`s good reason to be crafty. In the minds of
blacks, "healing" clearly requires more than
"profound contrition." The Virginia vote was
"a good first step," says Del. McEachin, who
likes to tell reporters his great-grandfather was a
Senator Exum of Maryland says the vote on slavery
was nice, but the state must “recognize
steps we need to do to get rid of the
lingering effects of it." Bruce Gordon,
president of the Virginia NAACP, complained that
words don`t heal anything. He, too, wants to stamp
"Don`t let it end here," said state
senator Larry Shaw after the North Carolina vote.
"There`s plenty of work to be done."
"Work" means money; your money. That is
Charles Bishop was one of seven Alabama state
senators who voted against the resolution. "What
I am is somebody who hates to see lawyers take
advantage of the General Fund of the state of
Alabama and suck it like a leech," he explained.
House, Senate approve slavery apologies,
By Phillip Rawls, Associated Press, April 24,
But these votes of "profound regret" are
far from innocuous, and they have nothing to do with
Stripped of all pretence, what they do is make
whites say to blacks, "Our people have been
very, very, very bad to your people, and we will
never forget it. Please forgive us." And
they make whites say it publicly, officially,
formally, in the name of an entire state.
This is an expression of
naked racial power. It makes it blindingly clear
who are the moral creditors and who are the debtors.
Blacks don`t want “healing"; they want
the moral whip hand. They will never, ever
put slavery behind them so long as they can make
whites feel bad about it. They want every
policy, every conversation, and even every
race in America to start and end with
white guilt and innocent black suffering. They
will milk white contrition for as much and for as
long as whites let them.
A few people recognize a stickup when they see
it. When the idea of apologizing for slavery first
came up in the Virginia General Assembly,
79-year-old Delegate Frank Hargrove was having none
There hasn`t been slavery for 140 years, he said,
and "our black citizens should get over it."
apology measure ignites legislative debate,
By Bob Gibson, Richmond Daily Progress,
January 16, 2007]
all liberaldom descended on Mr. Hargrove, and he
quickly wilted. Not only did he change his mind and
vote for the resolution, he even added an extra bit
of "profound contrition": He
introduced a proposal that Virginia celebrate
19, 1865, when the last slaves got word they were
Blacks will continue this contrition caper
indefinitely—until whites wake up.
Jared Taylor (email
him) is editor of
and the author of
Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race
Relations in Contemporary America.
(For Peter Brimelow`s review, click