Here's What's in My Dirty Martini

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Apologizing for Slavery or Pandering?

Slavery is a big stain on the history of civilization as a whole, not just America. The idea of slavery is repugnant. Unfortunately, it still exists in various places around the world today.

New Jersey is considering legislation to apologize for slavery. Four Southern states (Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia) have already done this and I am not sure I understand why.

How is writing legislation to say ‘we’re sorry’ for something we abolished in 1866 relevant to anything today? There are plenty of other issues that our lawmakers need to address that are of significance. This isn’t one of them.

What about something meaningful for the blacks in NJ? How about their education? How about those Democrat legislators do something about helping those that rely on the government for their livelihood break that dependency? I doubt they’ll try to do that – the Democrat Party needs them dependent upon them for their seemingly inevitable vote.

So with that in mind the New Jersey Democrats feel that since those four Southern states can apologize for slavery then why can’t a Northeastern state. New Jersey was the last Northeastern state to abolish slavery (1846) and after 162 years some liberal lawmaker feels that they ought to apologize for it. It will make them feel good about themselves and will accomplish absolutely nothing. It’s irrelevant and non-productive.

First of all, slavery was ended about 140 years ago. There is no living person that was a slave back then. There is also no living person that was a slave owner. So, as I see it, there is no one that can deliver the apology and no one that can accept it. Thus we have a waste of legislative activity.

I’m a huge fan of Dr. Walter E. Williams, an American economist and a professor at George Mason University. I’ve heard him a few times on the radio and have a couple of his books.

For those of you that don’t know of Dr. Williams, he is black. He is also one of the smartest people in the world. He offered an interesting thought on this issue in a piece entitled “Regrets on Slavery” in response to Virginia’s legislation to apologize for slavery. He says:

“Isn't that nice? I agree that slavery was an abomination, but I'm going to be even more generous than Virginia's General Assembly. I regret the murder of an estimated 61 million people whom the former USSR executed, slaughtered, starved, beat or tortured to death. I also regret the Chinese government's slaughter of 45 million Chinese; Hitler's slaughter of 6 million Jews; the Khmer Rouge's murder of 2 million Cambodians; the half a million Ugandans murdered by Idi Amin's death squads; the million Hutus and Tutsis murdered in Rwanda's genocidal bloodbath; and slavery that still exists in the Sudan and Mauritania.

All of these, and many more, are horrible injustices at least as horrible as the slavery that existed in the U.S. But after all the regrets and apologies for injustices, what comes next? Let's examine Virginia's statement of regret with an eye toward what it might mean.

I can personally relate to the Virginia General Assembly's declaration. My great-grandparents were slaves in the Virginia cities of Chase City and Newport News. The General Assembly's statement of regret for slavery means absolutely nothing to me. If anything, it's nothing less than a cheap insult and capitulation of white delegates to black hustlers. Possibly, the whites who voted in support of the declaration were mau-maued into it or they felt guilt over our history of slavery. In any case, they should know that their actions mean little in dealing with the day-to-day plight of many black Virginians -- which has nothing to do with slavery.”

With the exception of some of the statistics that may be different, he could apply his comments to what the NJ Democrat party wants to do today.

In another piece, Dr. Williams offers another point of view on slavery.

“Thank goodness for slavery. If my ancestors hadn't been slaves, I wouldn't have grown up in the richest country in the world.”

And he is right. I’ve been around the world and I’ve yet to see a place where blacks, or any other minority for that matter, have the same opportunities that are enjoyed in this country.

What this is really about is white guilt and pandering to the black voters. However, guilt implies that you did something wrong. I was not part of slavery; no one alive today was part of the slavery of blacks in America. Therefore, I am not guilty and I will not allow myself to be made to feel guilty.

Since I am not guilty I have nothing for which to apologize. Nor do we, as Americans, owe an apology to anyone living today for an abomination we abolished 140 years ago.

For the New Year, the Leap Year Martini

8 parts GIN OR VODKA

Add ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake until container is too cold to hold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist. Enjoy!


Chuck said...

I couldn't agree more about apoligizing for slavery. My family did own slaves in North Carolina but Ididn't. I see slavery as a horrible product of the times and in the long run agree with Dr. Williams when he says thank goodness for slavery.... Colin Powell said the same thing a few years back.

When did you go through Pensacola? I went through in 66
but quickly found that I was not cut out for carrier landings so I went to the fleet and served in the Mekong Delta in 1968.


A-6Dude said...


I was in P-cola in 81-82. I think carrier landings would rate easier than the Mekong Delta. Just a guess.

Dr. T said...

I think the Romans should apologize to the ancient German tribes, the Greeks, and the Jews for slavery. And the ancient Mesopotamians should apologize to the assyrians and Jews for slavery. And the Egyptians should apologize to the jews and the Africans for slavery. And the Greeks should apologize to each other for slavery. And Africans should apologize to Africans for slavery. And . . . Seriously, hasn't this gotten to be ridiculous? WHining about how your ancestors 5 generations back were wronged does nothing but hold you back.