Is an apology better late than never? It’s a good question to ask in light of yesterday’s U.S. House of Representatives official apology for slavery and Jim Crow.
“Today represents a milestone in our nation’s efforts to remedy the ills of our past,” said Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
The resolution, passed by voice vote, was the work of Tennessee Democrat Steve Cohen, the only white lawmaker to represent a majority black district. Cohen faces a formidable black challenger in a primary face-off next week.
And while the resolution says that the House is committed to fixing what was made wrong under slavery and Jim Crow laws, there is no mention of what that would look like and the resolution explicitly leaves out reparations.
I would argue that the vague language leaves way too much room for absolutely nothing to change. What needs to happen is essentially the reverse of what did happen. Action in the areas of education, the economy, and health care need to address the inherent institutional racism built into these systems and how these systems continue to exploit and abuse people of color in the U.S.
Apologies are nice but when they come absent of change and action they are little more than words.
Via / The Huffington Post
Image Via / The Feminist Sexual Ethics Project