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 Posted: Tue Apr 10th, 2007 07:13 am
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Fuller
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"The significance of receiving an apology from the Virginia state legislature is that it brings the hope that other ex-slave states, north and south of the Mason-Dixon, are also ready to seriously assess the impact slavery has had and continues to have on this country."           Remember the 54th
 

"Your argument is really rather silly, if not absurd. One can't possibly contend, on a website called "civilwarinteractive', that the current government and its constituents need only to be concerned with current events." Remember the 54th

54th, We could discuss from here on out how slavery impacted our country in the past.  Everyone on this board has a passion for history and many of us have a passion for preservation.  That's why we are here on this particular board.  I underlined the "continues" in your first quote above to show that we both agree that current issues are of importance.  We would be ignorant to say that if an issue did not derive from slavery then it falls under the "current" events and therefore should be ignored.  Change is what you are after, right?  In my homogeneous way, I give this post with all do respect for your thoughts and respect for those who have successfully made positive advancements for the African American community.

Fuller



 Posted: Tue Apr 10th, 2007 10:49 am
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javal1
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"I'm sure this will be viewed as "inflammatory" by what so far appears to be a rather homogenous board community, but that is of no consequence to me. I feel this needs to be heard, and if you disagree, then why have this forum in the first place?"

We have this board so you can be heard. It's existence is not dependent on whether a majority agree or disagree. If you read the thread from the beginning, pay attention to my posts on the subject, as well as one or two others. You'll see that I agree with you. The fact that 95% of the folks here disagree with us is just the way it is.

"Slavery isn't important or worthy of an apology? The only way one could really believe this, in my opinion, is if they are either a white supremacist, or if they really don't know much about slavery."

With this statement, you come close to showing the same sort of intolerance that you accuse others of holding. Argue the facts (which you do well and eloquently), but don't attempt to characterize other posters.

"I'll assume Mr Joe will remove that post, and most likely, this one, as he probably should."

In the many years we've run a board, I can remember actually removing only 2 posts. Only one person has ever been banned, and that was just last week. I take pride in believing we have one of the most courteous boards on the net. To keep it that way, I'll sometimes jump hard if I perceive a personal attack. Other than that, I show as much tolerance as I possibly can.



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 Posted: Wed Apr 11th, 2007 04:33 am
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remember the 54th
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"My Confederate Veterans were all slaveholders.  I am neither embarrassed nor apologetic of this fact..."


Though it doesn't surprise me that you are neither "embarrassed" nor "apologetic," your reaction is exactly what I'm talking about. As I type this I know I am clearly guilty of stereotyping, but the point is, I have heard so many white people utter similar admissions, out of what I assume to be sheer arrogance and antipathy, that it must seem to any common observer that as a group you simply have no moral conscience or compass. You can't forgive or forget 9/11, or the South losing in the Civil War, but literally millions of Native Americans being decimated by edict of the British and U.S. government, and millions of Africans being enslaved, or hundreds of thousands of people in "third world countries" being raped and robbed of their natural, environmental, and human resources should all just be forgotten about, without so much as AN APOLOGY?

Wow!! If I am wrong, meaning, if you do not share the views and opinions of JDC Duncan, or Indy19th, or undoubtedly countless others, please feel free to share. Though this is not intended as a sweeping generalization or grand indictment, of my words or tone, "I am neither embarrassed nor apologetic..."



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 Posted: Wed Apr 11th, 2007 06:17 am
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remember the 54th
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"It was hard for them (Germans, Italians, etc.) in the beginning, because they were different. But, because they were not colored, they got a break."

Yup.

"But to use colored as an excuse is unproductive... Being colored is an obvious handicap. It is not an excuse. Too many coloreds have overcome that handicap and risen to greatness -- or, at least, to highly enviable position -- to hold that it can't be done."

Yup.

I agree on both fronts, and to clarify, I have never advanced the idea that African Americans should sit around being mad and waiting for white folks to allow them to "overcome."

The problem I have, as do many others, is with those who wish to understate the impact and legacy of slavery, particularly because they do not wish to engage in real discussions of unearned privilege, systemic inequality in our institutions, and steps that must be taken to level the playing field if this country is ever to live up to the principles espoused by its forefathers in the Declaration of Independence. I mean, come on, can we really say we, as a nation, are committed to freedom (liberty) and justice for all when we have historically, and systematically denied justice and true freedom to the same group of people??

On another note, I have indeed attained the American Dream, right on down to the house, two cars, and 2.5 children. The reality is, however, that I am the exception. I have more education and a greater income than most people in my age and race cohort. In fact, just about everyone of my best friends from childhood is dead, incarcerated, unemployed, or underemployed. Were they all just too lazy? Did they sit around mad at the white man, being unproductive?? Are they indeed inferior? No. I was lucky to gain the "acceptance" you talked about, and that brought opportunities that they never had. They were not so lucky. Simple as that. In a true meritocracy this would be a non-issue.



 Posted: Wed Apr 11th, 2007 06:21 am
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Thank you Fuller. I truly appreciate the opportunity to have this discussion and to be heard.



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 Posted: Wed Apr 11th, 2007 02:12 pm
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David White
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54th:

Apologies come in several flavors, what are you thinking is needed?

1) A regret that slavery ever existed?  I don't think anyone but a small percentage of the country (who don't matter anyway) would have a hard time with that.

2) a Mea culpa that I am somehow responsible for what "My ancestors" did to your ancestors by enslaving them?

3) a Mea Culpa and financial payback with interest on the profits derived from slavery by my ancestors to be paid to the ancestors of slaves?

The question then becomes how public and formal would you need 1 and 2 to be (3 would be by its very nature public and formal)?  I would think one and two are pretty hollow apologies.  Still, #2 will stick in the craw of the throat of some people who feel they have no responsiblity for the sins of their fathers or thier fathers did not even commit the sins.  Would we have to check everyones anccestary to see if they need to apologize?  What about black families that owned slaves, would they need to apologize?  So where does this leave the apology where it makes sense?  As to 3, many will say we have indrrectly done that with the affirmative action policies of the government since the 60s and that some opportunities have been disportionately been provided the descendants of slaves at the expense of poor whites.

Can we just crucify Don Imus for our sins and be done with it ;)?



 Posted: Wed Apr 11th, 2007 02:17 pm
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Fuller
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54th,

It has been a very thought provoking thread.  I was beginning to think you were too busy swinging your arms to notice someone was actually in your corner.  I am more willing to listen when it's more fact than emotion.  From your posts you obviously have passion, knowledge and an opinion.  Exactly what this board likes.  I would love to see you continue to post in other threads as well.

Fuller



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 Posted: Wed Apr 11th, 2007 02:46 pm
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javal1
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I'm beginning to think that part of the problem (at least in my mind) is that in the context of slavery, some look at it as a static institution, and others are talking about the attitude that allowed it. In other words some see it as a historical entity that ended in the year XXXX. Therefore it's delegated into the "over and done with" bin.

When I think of an apology for slavery, I really see it as apologizing, as a nation, for the attitude, the mores and the beliefs that allowed it in the first place. For me it wouldn't just be an apology directed at 19th century folks. The attitude which allowed slavery also allowed Jim Crow laws, segregation, and the brutality of the 1960's. All of these things were government sanctioned, and that's why I think a national apology is deserved. I just can't see slavery as an isolated thing. Not saying I'm right and others are wrong. Just trying to explain where I'm at. Guess if I had my way, it would be an apology for government sanctioned bigotry rather than an apology for slavery. Just rambling....



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 Posted: Wed Apr 11th, 2007 03:56 pm
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David White
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Indy:

Then there were/are unwilling participants in slavery (or Jim Crow) who owe no apology either.



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 Posted: Wed Apr 11th, 2007 08:06 pm
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I really see it as apologizing, as a nation, for the attitude, the mores and the beliefs that allowed it in the first place.

To get at the basis for the attitude, the mores, and the beliefs, we'd have to take it back to the Creator. If there's anything requiring an apology, it's that so many have not intellectually looked past what is basically an inherent survival instinct. We've gotten past our natural fear of a lot of really scary things, you'd think we'd get past our fear of different.

Ole



 Posted: Wed Apr 11th, 2007 08:40 pm
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I think you are absolutly right, Mr. Albert!!  The people of this country are too concerned with being "politically correct."  I personally think that being politically correct is going to destroy this country from the inside out!  I don't mean to offend anyone, but you can't go apologizing for something that happened (and was ended) 150 years ago!  Now yes, I believe it was wrong (according to today's standards) for our forefathers to own slaves, but that doesn't mean I'm going to apologize for something that no longer exists!

By the way.... our forefathers may have been wrong about slavery, but they were right about many other things!  We may have come forward with the destruction of the institution of slavery, but what would our forefathers say if they could see how far this country has fallen from what it was originally made to be!!!

Personally, I believe that they would be utterly speechless.  We have fallen so far from what this country once was....  I'm not trying to push my religion on others, but we need to turn to God and ask him to change us and our country back into what it was 200 years ago!!!

With all due respect,
CJ



 Posted: Wed Apr 11th, 2007 11:37 pm
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Doc C
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I've been on the sidelines long enough. Apologies don't account for squat. Are we going to apologize for slavery but continue to discreminate in jobs, housing, etc. Let's look to the future and not the past. Did an apology bring back the millions killed during the holocost, spanish iquisition, stalin's regime, etc. In my opinion, it's up to the present generations to never let this happen again, that goes further than an apology. I'm sick of Imus (his comments were dispicable, my daughter went to Rutgers), but what about the crimes going on in Darfur. My reason for this posting originally is that apologies are well and good but we have more serious issues to deal with in this country and the world. It's easier for our legislatures to give an apology than to address the more serious issues facing them. If it makes one feel better to apologize then so be it but let's do something about these more serious problems. As an aside, I had ancestors who were slave owners and others who helped in the underground railroad. What should I do?

Doc C



 Posted: Thu Apr 12th, 2007 12:21 am
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Forgot to add, as to my ancestors - should I say mea culpa or a high five.

Doc C



 Posted: Thu Apr 12th, 2007 12:24 am
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Doc well stated.  I have been trying to think of how to respond to all the post and now I see you did it for me thanks.  I am like you I have only recently found out from a cousin that my ancestors on my mother's side did have slaves but on my father's side I have ancestors that march off to war from Michigan when they heard the call.  They were captured by Van Dorn's men at Thompson station marched off to prison and when released he was so ill he was discharged from the army.  

I agree we should not forget but we need to look to the future. . 

I was a teacher of gradeschool children  I have heard so many appolgies over the years from kids made to say they are sorry.  They are so hollow.  Somehow I feel that is what this kind of appology would be for slavery. 

Again I agree with you . We have enough going on today to be concerned about . 

Susan

Last edited on Thu Apr 12th, 2007 12:25 am by susansweet



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