Virginia Apologizes for Slavery and Exploiting Indians
The Commonwealth of Virginia has apologized for slavery and running off the Indians.
Meeting on the grounds of the former Confederate Capitol, the Virginia General Assembly voted unanimously Saturday to express “profound regret” for the state’s role in slavery. Sponsors of the resolution say they know of no other state that has apologized for slavery, although Missouri lawmakers are considering such a measure. The resolution does not carry the weight of law but sends an important symbolic message, supporters said.
How, exactly, would an apology carry the weight of law? Are there going to be reparations or something?
“This session will be remembered for a lot of things, but 20 years hence I suspect one of those things will be the fact that we came together and passed this resolution,” said Delegate A. Donald McEachin, a Democrat who sponsored it in the House of Delegates.
The resolution passed the House 96-0 and cleared the 40-member Senate on a unanimous voice vote. It does not require Gov. Timothy M. Kaine’s approval.
The measure also expressed regret for “the exploitation of Native Americans.”
Since I was born in Virginia a mere century after the start of the Civil War, then compounded the error by moving back over four years ago, I suppose I am implicated in all this. I hereby reiterate my apology of May 7, 2004.