Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 8:27 AM
Yesterday, wholly gratuitous coverage of the 5.4-magnitude earthquake in Los Angeles (which damaged a few buildings but injured nobody) and speculation about vice presidential nominees dominated all media.
Meanwhile, the most important event of the day, namely the US Congress finally apologizing for slavery, went virtually unreported.
The House apologises to African-Americans on behalf of the people of the United States…for the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality and inhumanity of slavery…and for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow.
Of course, it is noteworthy that this apology comes 140 years after the abolition of slavery and decades after black Americans began pleading for the government to issue it. And the only reason for this unconscionable delay is that the government feared an apology would validate longstanding demands for more vexing and costly reparations.
No doubt, those fears will now be realized; especially since this resolution commits the House to “rectifying the lingering consequences of the misdeeds committed against African-Americans under slavery and Jim Crow.”
Nevertheless, the Senate is due to pass a similar resolution in due course.
NOTE: In February of this year, the Senate apologized for atrocities committed against Native Americans, and in 2005 it apologized “for standing by during a lynching campaign against African Americans throughout much of the past century.” And two decades ago, Congress apologized for interning Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II.
The fatally-flawed demand for reparations for slavery