I try to be sensitive

Really I do. I know that slavery was not a good thing, and that blacks negroes African-Americans were oppressed for a very long time at the merciless hands of rich white men. But I don’t know any slaves and I am not a rich white man, so I was a little aggravated when I read that the House wants to issue an a blanket apology for slavery and Jim Crow. But only to black people. No mention is made of those whites who can trace their ancestry back to slaves.

These parts particularly gripe me:

“African-Americans continue to suffer from the consequences of slavery and Jim Crow — long after both systems were formally abolished — through enormous damage and loss, both tangible and intangible, including the loss of human dignity and liberty, the frustration of careers and professional lives, and the long-term loss of income and opportunity,” the resolution states.

The resolution does not address the controversial issue of reparations. Some members of the African-American community have called on lawmakers to give cash payments or other financial benefits to descendents of slaves as compensation for the suffering caused by slavery.

The past is the past. Money can’t change it, the best we can do is learn from it and move on. White men have been punished enough for things they had no part of; every time a qualified white man is passed over so a marginally qualified woman or African-American can have the job, he’s being punished for what his great-grand-daddy might have done.

Also, where is my cash payment for being born to a working class white family? I really should have had more opportunities, don’t you think? Surely, someone somewhere owes me because my parents were working hard to put food on the table and pay taxes and couldn’t afford band and dance lessons.

2 thoughts on “I try to be sensitive

  1. This topic is a pet peeve of mine.

    I don’t want my tax dollars to go to this. MY ancestors come over here poor as church mice with not even a pot to piss in. They worked just as hard as a slave to eek out lives in the brutal northern midwest prairies (but blessedly working for themselves and not anyone else) and some lost their lives, some were almost killed by Indians (my Great Great Aunt Anne) blah blah blah.

    However; It is a small percentage of whites who owned slaves. I used to have all this information bookmarked as I studied it years ago – I believe it was about 10% (?) AND did you know that other nationalities were slaves as well? NOT just African Americans. There is a percentage of IRISH that were sold as slaves too. So really – we would have to offer all the Irish people an apology as well, right?

    And other than a bunch of people who want to get their hands on ‘free money’ there is absolutely no reason to issue and apology or give the ‘pay out’ that has been talked about for years. It’s NOT going to ‘heal’ anything or change anything.

    It’s time to let go of the past and join together to work towards a future… all things like this do is stir up hatred and ill feelings and dwell on a very small part of history. We’re never going to ‘heal’ as a nation if we don’t let bygones be bygones and stop using it has a ‘crutch’.

    This whole “my great great great grandfather was a slaved owned by your people…” has got to stop. MY PEOPLE never owned 2 pairs of clothing much less a slave.

  2. Well, Merritt, I can’t say that. Apparently my Great-Grandparents did own at least one slave, because when that slave was emancipated, she left her daughter with my Great-Grandparents to care for, because “she knew she’d never go without”. My Grandmother spoke so fondly of this slave’s daughter that I named one of my own daughters after her.

    Clearly, all slaves had it bad, and their descendants are due compensation. I guess my family is owed for clothing and feeding that little African-American child all those years, too. before we’re done, we can just cut everybody a check, I guess.

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