Reparations: Martin Luther King Jr. , Barack Obama and America’s apology

Reparations: Martin Luther King Jr. , Barack Obama and America’s apology
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “Poor People’s Campaign”
The unfinished  dream in the 21st Century

President Obama-2nd term Martin Luther King Jr-Unfinished Dream

Dilemma X

On January 21, 2013, at 11:55 AM Eastern Time, President Obama delivered his Second Inaugural Address from the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

Monday, January 21, 2013 also marked the 27th year that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’’s birthday has been celebrated as a federal holiday.

With this historical American holiday taking place on the day of the President’s public swearing-in ceremony some Americans reflected on some of the huge advancements the United States of America has made within just the 2nd decade of the 21st Century. It was the second time one African American took the oath of office to be President of the United States.

President Barack Obama put his hand over Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s well-worn Bible at his public swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol on Monday, the holiday celebrating the birthday of the slain civil rights leader. Martin Luther King’s “traveling” Bible was stacked with the Bible used by President Abraham Lincoln at Obama’s first inauguration.

From slavery to freedom, how much economic equality has be achieved?
The Great Recession and the Global Financial Crisis began in December 2007 before Barack Obama took office. Between January 2009 and March, 2009 more than 2 million jobs were lost  in the United States and 663,000 were lost in March 2009 alone. The number of unemployed persons increased to 13.2 million that month. Unemployment peaked in October 2009 with an unemployment rate of 10.2% and 15.7 million unemployed persons.

African Americans, even with all the progress made in America post Jim Crow/American Apartheid, have been disproportionately unemployed during the Great Recession. African Americans have seen Great Depression levels of unemployment, in some cities, that impacted even college degreed graduates greatly.

African American unemployment for December 2012 increased to 14.0% (Seasonally adjusted), with the unemployment for African American men increasing to 14.0%, women increasing to 12.2% and both sexes, 16 to 19 years increasing to 40.5%. White unemployment for December 2012 was 6.9% , with white men decreasing to 6.2%, white women at 6.3% and both sexes, 16 to 19 years 21.6%.

A brief look at the recent past on the economy for African Americans
During President Bill Clinton’s term as President the United States that nation saw its September 2000 unemployment rate reach a low of 3.9%. This was the first time the nation’s unemployment rate had been below 4.0% since January 1970. African American unemployment stood at 7.0% and white unemployment stood at 3.5%. White men had an unemployment rate of 2.9%, white women 3.1% and  both sexes, 16 to 19 years 11.5%. African American men had an unemployment rate of 6.3%, African American women 5.8% and  both sexes, 16 to 19 years 23.9%.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the following:
In 1969 black men had an unemployment of 3.7%, women had an unemployment rate of 5.8% and Both sexes, 16-19 years had an unemployment rate of 24%.

In 1970 black men had an unemployment of 5.6%, women had an unemployment rate of 6.9% and Both sexes, 16-19 years had an unemployment rate of 29.1%.

Both black and white unemployment rates in 1970 were at their highest annual levels since 1964. The black jobless rate increased from 6.4 to 8.2 percent between 1969 and 1970, while the white rate increased from 3.1 to 4.5 percent. For black teenagers, the jobless rate in 1970 (29.1 percent) continued to be more than double the rate for white teenagers (13.5 percent). The problem of joblessness among black teenagers continued to be most serious among girls. In 1970, the unemployment rate for black teenage girls increased from 27.6 to 34.4 percent, while the rate for black teenage boys rose from 21.2 to 24.9 percent.

The United States saw a post World War II economy growing for most Americans. The lowest unemployment rate for a single month is shared by May 1953 and June of 1953 with an unemployment rate of 2.5%. The year 1953 saw the lowest average unemployment rate of 2.93%. Black men in 1953 had an unemployment rate of 4.4%. Factors of unequal wages not taken into account.

Is it time for the nation to review forms of reparations?

Many African Americans have called on the Congress to create a formal discussion on reparations for African Americans who are descendants of enslaved Africans. The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA) was formed September 26, 1987 as a mass-based coalition organized for the sole purpose of obtaining reparations for African descendants in the United States.

Some states and even Congress have already apologized for slavery and Jim Crow. The statements of the vestiges of slavery and Jim Crow, impacting African Americans today, was stated in many of these apologies.

N’COBRA answers the following question: Is an apology necessary?

A necessary requirement of all forms of reparations is an acknowledgment by the government or corporation that it committed acts that violated the human rights of those making the claim for reparations. Some groups may want an explicit apology; however, neither the acknowledgement nor apology is sufficient – there must be material forms of reparations that accompany the acknowledgment or apology.

Visit the N’COBRA website to learn more
http://www.ncobra.org/

In 1988, the U.S. Congress passed and President Reagan signed an act apologizing to the 120,000 Japanese-Americans who were held in detention camps during World War II. The 60,000 detainees who were alive at the time each received $20,000 from the government.

________________
Video: 1968 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks about how the Federal Government gave money to white Americans- Economics

_________________
Video: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s views on his “I have a dream speech” in relations to war and economics

_________________
2007 Democratic Presidential Debate
July 23, 2007 Charleston, SC
Video: Should African Americans be given reparations for slavery?

____________________________________

U.S. Senator Barack Obama 2007 Presidential Debate

The Apologizes for Slavery and Jim Crow

VIRGINIA

Virginia General Assembly voted unanimously to express “profound regret” for the state’s role in slavery. The resolution passed the House 96-0 and cleared the 40-member Senate on a unanimous voice vote.

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 728

Acknowledging with profound regret the involuntary servitude of Africans and the exploitation of Native Americans, and calling for reconciliation among all Virginians.
Agreed to by the House of Delegates, February 24, 2007
Agreed to by the Senate, February 24, 2007

WHEREAS, 2007 marks the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in the Americas, at Jamestown; and

WHEREAS, the legacies of the Jamestown settlement and the Virginia colony include ideas, institutions, a history distinctive to the American experiment in democracy, and a constellation of liberties enshrined in the Virginia Declaration of Rights and the Virginia and United States Constitutions; and

WHEREAS, the foremost expression of the ideals that bind us together as a people is found in the Declaration of Independence, which proclaims as “self-evident” the truths “that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”; and

WHEREAS, despite the “self-evident” character of these fundamental principles, the moral standards of liberty and equality have been transgressed during much of Virginia’s and America’s history, and our Commonwealth and nation are striving to fulfill the ideals proclaimed by the founders to secure the “more perfect union” that is the aspiration of our national identity and charter; and

WHEREAS, these transgressions include the maltreatment and exploitation of Native Americans and the immoral institution of human slavery, policies and systems directly antithetical to and irreconcilable with the fundamental principle of human equality and freedom; and

WHEREAS, Native Americans inhabited the land throughout the New World and were the “first people” the early English settlers met upon landing on the shores of North America at Jamestown in 1607; and

WHEREAS, records relating to the early relations between Native Americans and the settlers indicate “the Mattaponi, a part of the powerful Powhatan chiefdom, greeted settlers in 1607 and, along with other Powhatan tribes, were visited by Captain John Smith,” that “the Chickahominy Tribe had early contact with the English settlers due to their proximity to Jamestown,” and that “the Rappahannock Indians, possessing thirteen villages on the south and north sides of the Rappahannock River, first spoke to Captain John Smith in 1608 at their kingstowne, ‘Cat Point Creek'”; and

WHEREAS, Native Americans provided food for the settlers, aiding the survival of 32 settlers during the first winter and later taught them how to grow crops; and

WHEREAS, Native American leaders have worked diligently to preserve and protect their heritage, history, and culture, and when public education was denied Native American children, the leaders ensured their children’s education by sending them to American Indian schools in Oklahoma and Kansas; and

WHEREAS, Virginia enacted laws to restrict the rights and liberties of Native Americans, including their ability to travel, testify in court, and inherit property, and a rigid social code created segregated schools and churches for whites, African Americans, and Native Americans; and

WHEREAS, the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 which institutionalized the “one drop rule,” required a racial description of every person to be recorded at birth and banned interracial marriages, effectively rendering Native Americans with African ancestry extinct, and these policies have destroyed the ability of many of Virginia’s indigenous people to prove continuous existence in order to gain federal recognition and the benefits such recognition confers; and

WHEREAS, during the course of the infamous Atlantic slave trade, millions of Africans became involuntary immigrants to the New World, and the first African slaves in the North American colonies were brought to Jamestown in 1619; and

WHEREAS, slavery, or the “Peculiar Institution,” in the United States resembled no other form of involuntary servitude, as Africans were captured and sold at auction as chattel, like inanimate property or animals; and

WHEREAS, to prime Africans for slavery, the ethos of the Africans was shattered, they were brutalized, humiliated, dehumanized, and subjected to the indignity of being stripped of their names and heritage, and families were disassembled as husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, and fathers and sons were sold into slavery apart from one another; and

WHEREAS, slavery, having been sanctioned and perpetuated through the laws of Virginia and the United States, ranks as the most horrendous of all depredations of human rights and violations of our founding ideals in our nation’s history, and the abolition of slavery was followed by systematic discrimination, enforced segregation, and other insidious institutions and practices toward Americans of African descent that were rooted in racism, racial bias, and racial misunderstanding; and

WHEREAS, the most abject apology for past wrongs cannot right them; yet the spirit of true repentance on behalf of a government, and, through it, a people, can promote reconciliation and healing, and avert the repetition of past wrongs and the disregard of manifested injustices; and

WHEREAS, in recent decades, Virginia’s affirmation of the founding ideals of liberty and equality have been made evident by providing some of the nation’s foremost trailblazers for civil rights and electing a grandson of slaves to the Commonwealth’s highest elective office; and

WHEREAS, the story of Virginia’s Native Americans and the enslavement of Africans and their descendants, the human carnage, and the dehumanizing atrocities committed during colonization and slavery, and, moreover, the faith, perseverance, hope, and endless triumphs of Native Americans and African Americans and their significant contributions to this Commonwealth and the nation should be embraced, celebrated, and retold for generations to come; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby acknowledge with profound regret the involuntary servitude of Africans and the exploitation of Native Americans, and call for reconciliation among all Virginians; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the settlement at Jamestown, the General Assembly call upon the people of the Commonwealth to express acknowledgment and thanksgiving for the contributions of Native Americans and African Americans to the Commonwealth and this nation, and to the propagation of the ideals of liberty, justice, and democracy; and, be it

RESOLVED FINALLY, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates shall post this resolution on the General Assembly’s website.

Click link below to view pdf. Click your back arrow to return to Dilemma X

Virginia profound regret for the involuntary servitude of Africans and the exploitation of Native Americans

_____________________________________
MARYLAND
Joint Resolution 6 Passed Enrolled
March 26, 2007
Maryland lawmakers approved an apology Monday for the state’s role in the slave trade, expressing “profound regret” that it once “trafficked in human flesh.”
The resolution notes that slavery “fostered a climate of oppression not only for slaves and their descendants but also for people of color who moved to Maryland subsequent to slavery’s abolition.”

SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 6
ENROLLED RESOLUTION
A Senate Joint Resolution concerning
Slavery in Maryland

FOR the purpose of expressing regret for the role that Maryland played in instituting and maintaining slavery and for the discrimination that was slavery’s legacy.

WHEREAS, The State of Maryland relied on slavery for 200 years; and

WHEREAS, To meet the needs of its economy, Maryland prior to 1808 imported men, women, and children, torn from their homes in Africa and subjected to the brutality of the Middle Passage; and

WHEREAS, Maryland citizens trafficked in human flesh until the adoption of the Constitution of 1864; and
WHEREAS, Slavery subjected its victims to unspeakable cruelties, including beatings, rape, and the forcible separation of family members from one another; and

WHEREAS, A native of Maryland, nurtured by the slave culture of our State, wrote the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision declaring African Americans incapable of citizenship because they had “no rights which the white man was bound to respect”; and

WHEREAS, Slavery fostered a climate of oppression not only for slaves and their descendants but also for people of color who moved to Maryland subsequent to slavery’s abolition; and

WHEREAS, Slavery’s legacy has afflicted the citizens of our State down to the present; and

WHEREAS, Slavery and discrimination are utterly contrary to the principles that this Nation and this State profess; and

WHEREAS, It is time for the State of Maryland to acknowledge the role the State played in maintaining the institution of slavery and its attendant evils; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF MARYLAND, That the State of Maryland expresses profound regret for the role that Maryland played in instituting and maintaining slavery and for the discrimination that was slavery’s legacy; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the State of Maryland commits itself to the formation of a more perfect union among its citizens regardless of color, creed, or race; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the State of Maryland recommits itself to the principle that all people “are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Click link below to view pdf. Click your back arrow to return to Dilemma X

Maryland expresses profound regret for the slavery

_____________________________________
NORTH CAROLINA

April 5, 2007
The North Carolina Senate apologized for the Legislature’s role in promoting slavery and Jim Crow laws that denied basic human rights to the state’s black citizens.

North Carolina General Assembly Regrets Slavery

GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
SESSION 2007
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 1311

April 5, 2007

A JOINT RESOLUTION EXPRESSING THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY’S PROFOUND REGRET FOR THE INSTITUTION AND LASTING EFFECTS OF SLAVERY.

WHEREAS, many European settlers, including some of those who sailed on the Mayflower in 1620, came to the American colonies as indentured servants, served out the terms of their servitude, and then enjoyed the fruits of their labor and the protections of law; and
WHEREAS, some American Indians were exploited as slaves until they were replaced by Africans; and

WHEREAS, at least 4,000,000 Africans and their descendants were held in involuntary servitude in the United States and the 13 American colonies between 1619 and 1865; and

WHEREAS, the practice of slavery began in North Carolina soon after it was established as a colony; and

WHEREAS, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade was a lucrative enterprise and uncompensated African slave labor was the backbone of the economic base of plantations in the colonies; and

WHEREAS, the sale of human beings as chattel was sanctioned and perpetuated through the laws of North Carolina and of the United States; and

WHEREAS, under the slave codes, persons held in involuntary servitude were not permitted to own property, to carry arms, or to move about without permission; and

WHEREAS, a number of Africans and their descendants who bought their freedom or were set free by former slaveholders during the 18th and early 19th centuries successfully engaged in various labors, trades, and businesses in the State despite great obstacles; and

WHEREAS, in the 19th century, the State began to discourage black businesses and the presence of free blacks in North Carolina and passed legislation to restrict the liberty of free blacks. An 1826 law provided that a free black who moved into the State and failed to leave after being notified of the law, after 20 days, could be fined $500.00 or held to labor for 10 years or less. An 1830 law prohibited free blacks from returning to this State after being absent for a period of 90 days or more; and

WHEREAS, the passage of such harsh laws served to force free persons of color from the State, often splitting families and resulting in the loss of property and economic gains; and

WHEREAS, in 1830, North Carolina law provided that a slave could be sentenced to 39 lashes if he or she was found guilty of teaching another slave how to read; and

WHEREAS, in 1860, the General Assembly enacted legislation requiring free persons of color to select their own masters and become slaves; and

WHEREAS, American slavery was officially abolished with the passage of the 13th amendment to the United States Constitution in 1865; and

WHEREAS, during the Reconstruction era former slaves and their children came under the protections of law and started making significant economic and social gains; and

WHEREAS, by the turn of the 20th century, a backlash against black progress during Reconstruction resulted in the rise of the white supremacist and segregationist movements; and

WHEREAS, Jim Crow laws were enacted to create a rigid “separate but equal” segregation system that discriminated against non-whites in many areas of life; and,

WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court declared segregation unlawful in the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 and ordered the end of segregated public schools. However, soon after that decision, the General Assembly ratified a resolution providing that “the mixing of the races in the public schools within the State cannot be accomplished and if attempted would alienate public support of the schools to such an extent that they could not be operated successfully”; and

WHEREAS, with the Civil Rights Movement, the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act finally led to the end of Jim Crow laws and the 1965 Voting Rights Act ended systematic racial discrimination in voting for federal, state, and local elections; and

WHEREAS, from the beginning of their presence in North Carolina and on into the 21st century, African-Americans struggle to overcome the economic and social affects of slavery and the legacy of the institutionalized racism and segregation spawned by slavery; and

WHEREAS, the harsh story of North Carolina slavery must be acknowledged and the faith, perseverance, hope, and endless triumphs of the descendant of slaves should be recognized; and

WHEREAS, an apology for centuries of injustice cannot erase the past, but the acknowledgment of wrongs can speed healing and reconciliation and help all North Carolinians confront our collective past as we move together into the future; Now, therefore, Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:

SECTION 1. The General Assembly formally apologizes for the injustice, cruelty, and brutality of slavery, cites its historical role in perpetuating slavery and racism, and expresses its profound regret for the practice of involuntary servitude in this State and for the many hardships experienced, past and present, on account of slavery.

SECTION 2. This resolution is effective upon ratification.

Click link below to view pdf. Click your back arrow to return to Dilemma X

North Carolina General Assembly Regrets Slavery

_____________________________________
ALABAMA

Passed May 24, 2007
On June 7, 2007, Alabama Governor Bob Riley signed Moore-Sanders Apology for Slavery Act (HJR 321) into law.

Moore-Sanders Apology for Slavery Act (HJR 321)

Immediately after the votes in the House and Senate, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley’s spokesman, Jeff Emerson, said the Republican governor would keep a commitment he made earlier to sign the resolution as soon as he receives it.

The Alabama Legislature passed a resolution expressing “profound regret” for the state’s role in slavery and apologizing for slavery’s wrongs and lingering effects on the United States.

WHEREAS, slavery has been documented as a worldwide practice since antiquity, dating back to 3500 B.C. in ancient Mesopotamia; and

WHEREAS, during the course of the infamous Atlantic Slave Trade, millions of Africans became involuntary immigrants to the New World, and millions more died during passage; the first African slaves in the North American colonies were brought to Jamestown, in 1619; and

WHEREAS, the Atlantic Slave Trade was a lucrative enterprise, and African slaves, a prized commodity to support the economic base of plantations in the colonies, were traded for tropical products, manufactured goods, sugar, molasses, and other merchandise; and

WHEREAS, some African captives resisted enslavement by fleeing from slave forts on the West African coast and others mutinied aboard slave trading vessels, cast themselves into the Atlantic Ocean, or risked the cruel retaliation of their masters by running away to seek freedom; and

WHEREAS, although the United States outlawed the transatlantic slave trade in 1808, the domestic slave trade in the colonies and illegal importation continued for several decades; and

WHEREAS, slavery, or the “Peculiar Institution,” in the United States resembled no other form of involuntary servitude, as Africans were captured and sold at auction as chattel, like inanimate property or animals; and

WHEREAS, to prime Africans for slavery, the fundamental values of the Africans were shattered, they were brutalized, humiliated, dehumanized, and subjected to the indignity of being stripped of their names and heritage, women and girls were raped, and families were disassembled as husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, and fathers and sons were sold into slavery apart from one another; and

WHEREAS, a series of complex colonial laws were enacted to relegate the status of Africans and their descendants to slavery, in spite of their loyalty, dedication, and service to the country, including heroic and distinguished service in the Civil War; and

WHEREAS, the system of slavery had become entrenched in American history and the social fabric, and the issue of enslaved Africans had to be addressed as a national issue, contributing to the Civil War from 1861 to 1865 and the passage of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude on December 18, 1865; and

WHEREAS, after emancipation from 246 years of slavery, African-Americans soon saw the political, social, and economic gains they made during Reconstruction dissipated by virulent and rabid racism, lynchings, disenfranchisement of African-American voters, Black Codes designed to reimpose the subordination of African-Americans, and Jim Crow laws that instituted a rigid system of de jure segregation in virtually all areas of life and that lasted until the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act; and

WHEREAS, throughout their existence in America and even in the decades after the Civil Rights Movement, African-Americans have found the struggle to overcome the bitter legacy of slavery long and arduous, and for many African-Americans the scars left behind are unbearable, haunting their psyches and clouding their vision of the future and of America’s many attributes; and

WHEREAS, acknowledgment of the crimes and persecution visited upon other peoples during World War II is embraced lest the world forget, yet the very mention of the broken promise of “40 acres and a mule” to former slaves or of the existence of racism today evokes denial from many quarters of any responsibility for the centuries of legally sanctioned deprivation of African-Americans of their endowed rights or for contemporary policies that perpetuate the status quo; and

WHEREAS, in 2003, during a trip to Goree Island, Senegal, a former slave port, President George W. Bush stated, “At this place, liberty and life were stolen and sold. Human beings were delivered and sorted, and weighed, and branded with the marks of commercial enterprises, and loaded as cargo on a voyage without return. One of the largest migrations of history was also one of the greatest crimes of history … Small men took on the powers and airs of tyrants and masters. Years of unpunished brutality and bullying and rape produced a dullness and hardness of conscience. Christian men and women became blind to the clearest commands of their faith and added hypocrisy to injustice … For 250 years the captives endured an assault on their culture and their dignity … While physical slavery is dead, the legacy is alive. My nation’s journey toward justice has not been easy, and it is not over. The racial bigotry fed by slavery did not end with slavery or with segregation … and many of the issues that still trouble America have roots in the bitter experience of other times … We can finally judge the past by the standards of President John Adams, who called slavery ‘an evil of colossal magnitude’ … “; and

WHEREAS, in Alabama, the vestiges of slavery are ever before African-American citizens, from the overt racism of hate groups to the subtle racism encountered when requesting health care, transacting business, buying a home, seeking quality public education and college admission, and enduring pretextual traffic stops and other indignities; and

WHEREAS, European and African nations have apologized for their roles in what history calls the worst holocaust of humankind, the Atlantic Slave Trade, and racial reconciliation is impossible without some acknowledgment of the moral and legal injustices perpetrated upon African-Americans; and

WHEREAS, an apology for centuries of brutal dehumanization and injustices cannot erase the past, but confession of the wrongs can speed racial healing and reconciliation and help African-American and white citizens confront the ghosts of their collective pasts together; and

WHEREAS, the story of the enslavement of Africans and their descendants, the human carnage, and the dehumanizing atrocities committed during slavery should not be purged from Alabama’s history or discounted; moreover, the faith, perseverance, hope, and endless triumphs of African-Americans and their significant contributions to the development of this state and the nation should be embraced, celebrated, and retold for generations to come; and

WHEREAS, the perpetual pain, distrust, and bitterness of many African-Americans could be assuaged and the principles espoused by the Founding Fathers would be affirmed, and great strides toward unifying all Alabamians and inspiring the nation to acquiesce might be accomplished, if on the eve of the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in the New World, the state acknowledged and atoned for its pivotal role in the slavery of Africans; and

WHEREAS, acknowledging that there is a difference between what is wrong and right, and that slavery as an American “Institution” was a wrong committed upon millions of Black Americans and that their ancestors are the beneficiaries of such wrongs, including, but not limited to, segregation under Jim Crow, housing discrimination, discrimination in education, and other ills inflicted upon Black people; and

WHEREAS, the State of Alabama, the Governor, and its citizens are conscious that under slavery many atrocities and gross violations of human rights were imposed upon Black people, and that acknowledging these facts can and will avert future tragedies, be they in the Sudan, or other parts of the world; and

WHEREAS, the State of Alabama has a long history of civil rights involvement and is on the cutting edge of effective measures to promote racial tolerance, such as the Birmingham Pledge; now therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA, BOTH HOUSES THEREOF CONCURRING, That we express our profound regret for the State of Alabama’s role in slavery and that we apologize for the wrongs inflicted by slavery and its after effects in the United States of America; we express our deepest sympathies and solemn regrets to those who were enslaved and the descendants of slaves, who were deprived of life, human dignity, and the constitutional protections accorded all citizens of the United States; and we encourage the remembrance and teaching about the history of slavery, Jim Crow laws, and modern day slavery, to ensure that these tragedies will neither be forgotten nor repeated.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That it is the intent of the Legislature that this resolution shall not be used in, or be the basis of, any type of litigation.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution shall be known and referred to as the “Moore-Sanders Apology for Slavery Act.”

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be transmitted to each state elected official; the Executive Director of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education; the Executive Director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Alabama Chapter; and the Executive Director of The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Alabama Chapter; requesting that they further disseminate copies of this resolution to their respective constituents so that they may be apprised of the sense of the Alabama Legislature in this matter.

_____________________________________
FLORIDA
ENROLLED 2008 Legislature SCR 2930
Adopted March 26, 2008
Signed by Officers and filed with Secretary of State March 27, 2008<

SCR 2930 – Involuntary Servitude of Africans

A concurrent resolution expressing profound regret for the involuntary servitude of Africans and calling for reconciliation among all Floridians.

WHEREAS, African slavery was sanctioned and enforced through laws enacted by Florida’s first Territorial Legislative Council in 1822, and
WHEREAS, the Council and its successors did, over four decades, construct a legal framework that perpetuated African slavery in one of its most brutal and dehumanizing forms, and

WHEREAS, this legal framework included such lawful punishments as the following: “That any negro or other slave duly convicted of robbery…or burglary shall suffer death or have his or her ears nailed to posts and there stand for one hour and receive 30 lashes on his or her bare back at the discretion of the court,” and

WHEREAS, in 1827, free Africans were denied the right to vote and in later years were, by law, so repressed, restricted, and harassed that by 1850 most had been driven from Florida, and

WHEREAS, African slavery was entrenched within the plantation culture of Middle Florida to such a degree that by the year 1860, 73 percent of the total population of Leon County were slaves, and

WHEREAS, there were early political leaders in Florida who advocated a vigorous defense of slavery, and

WHEREAS, the Florida Legislature has identified grave injustices inflicted upon African slaves and freemen by the state, and

WHEREAS, even though the laws permitting such injustices have been repealed, it is important that the Legislature express profound regret for the shameful chapter in this state’s history and, in so doing, promote healing and reconciliation among all Floridians,

NOW, THEREFORE, Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of Florida, the House of Representatives Concurring: That the Legislature expresses its profound regret for Florida’s role in sanctioning and perpetuating involuntary servitude upon generations of African slaves.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature calls for healing and reconciliation among all residents of the state.

Click link below to view pdf. Click your back arrow to return to Dilemma X

Florida expresses profound regret for the involuntary servitude of Africans

_____________________________________
NEW JERSEY
January 07, 2008 New Jersey became the first Northern state to apologize for slavery, as legislators approved a resolution expressing “profound regret” for the state’s role in the practice.
January 7, 2008 Passed by the Senate (30-1) January 8, 2008 Filed with Secretary of State
Asm.  1/7/2008  –  3RDG FINAL PASSAGE   –  Yes {59}  No {8}  Not Voting {5}  Abstains {8} Sen.    1/7/2008  –  3RDG FINAL PASSAGE   –  Yes {30}  No {1}  Not Voting {9}

New Jersey apologizing for the wrongs of slavery and expressing New Jersey’s profound regret for its role in slavery

ASSEMBLY CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 270

STATE OF NEW JERSEY
212th LEGISLATURE
INTRODUCED NOVEMBER 8, 2007

A Concurrent Resolution apologizing for the wrongs of slavery and expressing New Jersey’s profound regret for its role in slavery.

WHEREAS, Slavery has been documented as a worldwide practice since antiquity, dating back to 3500 B.C. in ancient Mesopotamia; and

WHEREAS, During the existence of the Atlantic Slave Trade, millions of Africans became involuntary immigrants to the New World, and millions more died during passage; the first African slaves in the North American colonies were brought to Jamestown, in 1619; and

WHEREAS, The Atlantic Slave Trade was a lucrative enterprise, and African slaves, a prized commodity to support the economic base of plantations in the colonies, were traded for tropical products, manufactured goods, sugar, molasses, and other merchandise; and

Whereas, Some African captives resisted enslavement by fleeing from slave forts on the West African coast and others mutinied aboard slave trading vessels, cast themselves into the Atlantic Ocean, or risked the cruel retaliation of their masters by running away to seek freedom; and

WHEREAS, Although the United States outlawed the transatlantic slave trade in 1808, the domestic slave trade in the colonies and illegal importation continued for several decades; and

WHEREAS, Slavery, or the “Peculiar Institution,” in the United States resembled no other form of involuntary servitude, as Africans were captured and sold at auction as chattel, like inanimate property or animals; and

WHEREAS, To prime Africans for slavery, the fundamental values of the Africans were shattered; they were brutalized, humiliated, dehumanized, and subjected to the indignity of being stripped of their names and heritage; women and girls were raped, and families were disassembled as husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, and fathers and sons were sold into slavery apart from one another; and

WHEREAS, A series of complex colonial laws was enacted to relegate the status of Africans and their descendants to slavery, in spite of their loyalty, dedication, and service to the country, including heroic and distinguished service in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and all other conflicts and military actions involving the United States military; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey, with as many as 12,000 slaves, had one of the largest populations of captive Africans in the northern colonies; and

WHEREAS, In 1786, the State of New Jersey enacted a law that prohibited the importation of slaves into this State and made owners punishable for the mistreatment of slaves; and

WHEREAS, Although the State of New Jersey passed a gradual emancipation law in 1804, it was the last northern state to emancipate its slaves, and required all children of slaves born after July 4, 1804 to remain the “servant of the owner of his or her mother” until they were twenty-one years of age for women or twenty-five years of age for men; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey had one of the severest slave codes in the northern colonies and was one of the few northern states to sanction the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which permitted authorities in free states to return runaway slaves to their owners, with the result that Underground Railroad passengers had to proceed with utmost caution in this State; and

WHEREAS, In 1846, New Jersey passed a law officially abolishing slavery; and

WHEREAS, The system of slavery had become entrenched in American history and the social fabric, and the issue of enslaved Africans had to be addressed as a national issue, contributing to the Civil War from 1861 to 1865 and the passage of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude on December 18, 1865; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey adopted the Thirteenth Amendment on January 23, 1866 only after originally rejecting it on March 16, 1865; and

WHEREAS, After emancipation from 246 years of slavery, African-Americans soon saw the political, social, and economic gains they made during Reconstruction dissipated by virulent and rabid racism, lynchings, disenfranchisement of African-American voters, Black Codes designed to reimpose the subordination of African-Americans, and Jim Crow laws that instituted a rigid system of state sanctioned segregation in virtually all areas of life and lasted until the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act; and

WHEREAS, Throughout their existence in America and even in the decades after the Civil Rights Movement, African-Americans have found the struggle to overcome the bitter legacy of slavery long and arduous, and for many African-Americans the scars left behind are unbearable, haunting their psyches and clouding their vision of the future and of America’s many positive attributes; and

WHEREAS, Our nation acknowledges the crimes and persecution visited upon other peoples during World War II lest the world forget, yet the very mention of the broken promise of “40 acres and a mule” to former slaves or of the existence of racism today evokes denial from many quarters of any responsibility for the centuries of legally sanctioned deprivation of African-Americans of their endowed rights or for contemporary policies that perpetuate the existing state of affairs; and

WHEREAS, In 2003, during a trip to Goree Island, Senegal, a former slave port, President George W. Bush stated, “At this place, liberty and life were stolen and sold. Human Beings were delivered and sorted, and weighed, and branded with the marks of commercial enterprises, and loaded as cargo on a voyage without return. One of the largest migrations of history was also one of the greatest crimes of history…. For 250 years the captives endured an assault on their culture and their dignity…. Small men took on the powers and airs of tyrants and masters. Years of unpunished brutality and bullying and rape produced a dullness and hardness of conscience. Christian men and women became blind to the clearest commands of their faith and added hypocrisy to injustice…. We can finally judge the past by the standards of President John Adams, who called slavery ‘an evil of colossal magnitude’…. My nation’s journey toward justice has not been easy, and it is not over. The racial bigotry fed by slavery did not end with slavery or with segregation … and many of the issues that still trouble America have roots in the bitter experience of other times …; and

WHEREAS, In New Jersey the vestiges of slavery are ever before African-American citizens, from the overt racism of hate groups to the subtle racism encountered when requesting health care, transacting business, buying a home, seeking quality public education and college admission, and enduring pretextual traffic stops and other indignities; and

WHEREAS, European and African nations have apologized for their roles in what history calls the worst holocaust of humankind, the Atlantic Slave Trade, and racial reconciliation is impossible without some acknowledgment of the moral and legal injustices perpetrated upon African-Americans; and

WHEREAS, An apology for centuries of brutal dehumanization and injustices cannot erase the past, but confession of the wrongs can speed racial healing and reconciliation and help African-American and white citizens confront the ghosts of their collective pasts together; and

WHEREAS, The story of the enslavement of Africans and their descendants, the human carnage, and the dehumanizing atrocities committed during slavery should not be purged from New Jersey’s history or discounted; moreover, the faith, perseverance, hope, and endless triumphs of African-Americans and their significant contributions to the development of this State and the nation should be embraced, celebrated, and retold for generations to come; and

WHEREAS, The perpetual pain, distrust, and bitterness of many African-Americans could be assuaged and the principles espoused by the Founding Fathers would be affirmed, and great strides toward unifying all New Jerseyans and inspiring the nation to acquiesce might be accomplished, if on the eve of the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in the New World, the State acknowledged and atoned for its role in the slavery of Africans; and

WHEREAS, Acknowledging that there is a difference between wrong and right, and that slavery as an American “institution” was a wrong committed upon millions of African Americans and that their descendants continue to suffer from the effects of Jim Crow laws, segregation, housing discrimination, discrimination in education, and other ills inflicted upon African-Americans; and

WHEREAS, The State of New Jersey, the Governor, and its citizens are conscious that under slavery many atrocities and gross violations of human rights were imposed upon African-Americans, and that acknowledging these facts can and will avert future tragedies, be they in the Sudan, or other parts of the world; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey (the Senate concurring):

1. The Legislature of the State of New Jersey expresses its profound regret for the State’s role in slavery and apologizes for the wrongs inflicted by slavery and its after effects in the United States of America; expresses its deepest sympathies and solemn regrets to those who were enslaved and the descendants of those slaves, who were deprived of life, human dignity, and the constitutional protections accorded all citizens of the United States; and we encourage all citizens to remember and teach their children about the history of slavery, Jim Crow laws, and modern day slavery, to ensure that these tragedies will neither be forgotten nor repeated.

2. It is the intent of the Legislature that this resolution shall not be used in, or be the basis of, any type of litigation.

3. Duly authenticated copies of this resolution, signed by the President of the Senate and Speaker of the General Assembly and attested by the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the General Assembly, shall be transmitted to the New Jersey Secretary of State, all New Jersey branches of the National Association for the Advancement for Colored People, Garden State Bar Association, the Amistad Commission, and the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education.

STATEMENT
This concurrent resolution issues a formal apology on behalf of the State of New Jersey for its role in slavery and discusses the history of racism and inhumane treatment toward African-Americans in the United States from the arrival of its first settlers to the present day. It calls upon the citizens of this State to remember that slavery continues to exist and encourages them to teach about the history and legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws.

Click link below to view pdf. Click your back arrow to return to Dilemma X

New Jersey apologizing for the wrongs of slavery and expressing New Jersey’s profound regret for its role in slavery

_______________________________________
U.S. House of Representatives Apologizing for the enslavement and racial segregation of African-Americans

Passed/agreed to in House July 29, 2008
H.RES.194
In the House of Representatives, U. S.,

Whereas millions of Africans and their descendants were enslaved in the United States and the 13 American colonies from 1619 through 1865;
Whereas slavery in America resembled no other form of involuntary servitude known in history, as Africans were captured and sold at auction like inanimate objects or animals;

Whereas Africans forced into slavery were brutalized, humiliated, dehumanized, and subjected to the indignity of being stripped of their names and heritage;
Whereas enslaved families were torn apart after having been sold separately from one another;

Whereas the system of slavery and the visceral racism against persons of African descent upon which it depended became entrenched in the Nation’s social fabric;

Whereas slavery was not officially abolished until the passage of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1865 after the end of the Civil War;

Whereas after emancipation from 246 years of slavery, African-Americans soon saw the fleeting political, social, and economic gains they made during Reconstruction eviscerated by virulent racism, lynchings, disenfranchisement, Black Codes, and racial segregation laws that imposed a rigid system of officially sanctioned racial segregation in virtually all areas of life;

Whereas the system of de jure racial segregation known as ‘‘Jim Crow,’’ which arose in certain parts of the Nation following the Civil War to create separate and unequal societies for whites and African-Americans, was a direct result of the racism against persons of African descent engendered by slavery;

Whereas a century after the official end of slavery in America, Federal action was required during the 1960s to eliminate the dejure and defacto system of Jim Crow throughout parts of the Nation, though its vestiges still
linger to this day;

Whereas African-Americans continue to suffer from the complex interplay between 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, the frustration of careers and professional lives, and the long-term loss of income and opportunity;

Whereas the story of the enslavement and de jure segregation of African-Americans and the dehumanizing atrocities committed against them should not be purged from or minimized in the telling of American history;

Whereas on July 8, 2003, during a trip to Goree Island, Senegal, a former slave port, President George W. Bush acknowledged slavery’s continuing legacy in American life and the need to confront that legacy when he stated that slavery ‘‘was . . . one of the greatest crimes of history. . . The racial bigotry fed by slavery did not end with slavery or with segregation. And many of the issues that still trouble America have roots in the bitter experience of other times. But however long the journey, our destiny is set: liberty and justice for all.’’;

Whereas President Bill Clinton also acknowledged the deepseated problems caused by the continuing legacy of racism against African-Americans that began with slavery when he initiated a national dialogue about race;

Whereas a genuine apology is an important and necessary first step in the process of racial reconciliation;

Whereas an apology for centuries of brutal dehumanization and injustices cannot erase the past, but confession of the wrongs committed can speed racial healing and reconciliation and help Americans confront the ghosts of
their past;

Whereas the legislature of the Commonwealth of Virginia has recently taken the lead in adopting a resolution officially expressing appropriate remorse for slavery and other State legislatures have adopted or are considering similar resolutions; and

Whereas it is important for this country, which legally recognized slavery through its Constitution and its laws, to make a formal apology for slavery and for its successor, Jim Crow, so that it can move forward and seek reconciliation, justice, and harmony for all of its citizens:
Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—
(1) acknowledges that slavery is incompatible with the basic founding principles recognized in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal;

(2) acknowledges the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery and Jim Crow;
(3) apologizes to African Americans on behalf of the people of the United States, for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow; and
(4) expresses its commitment to rectify the lingering consequences of the misdeeds committed against African Americans under slavery and Jim Crow and to stop the occurrence of human rights violations in the future.

Attest:
Clerk.
__________

Steve Cohen

Sponsor: Rep Stephen Ira “Steve” Cohen [TN-9 Democrat] (introduced February 27, 2007)
Cohen is Tennessee’s first Jewish congressman. Tennessee’s 9th district includes almost three-fourths of Memphis.

Cosponsors (120)

Rep Abercrombie, Neil [HI-1] – 2/27/2007
Rep Ackerman, Gary L. [NY-5] – 2/27/2007
Rep Baldwin, Tammy [WI-2] – 2/27/2007
Rep Berkley, Shelley [NV-1] – 5/24/2007
Rep Berman, Howard L. [CA-28] – 4/25/2007
Rep Bishop, Sanford D., Jr. [GA-2] – 4/30/2007
Rep Bordallo, Madeleine Z. [GU] – 4/19/2007
Rep Boucher, Rick [VA-9] – 5/2/2007
Rep Brady, Robert A. [PA-1] – 2/27/2007
Rep Braley, Bruce L. [IA-1] – 3/14/2007
Rep Brown, Corrine [FL-3] – 3/14/2007
Rep Butterfield, G. K. [NC-1] – 2/27/2007
Rep Capps, Lois [CA-23] – 9/19/2007
Rep Capuano, Michael E. [MA-8] – 2/27/2007
Rep Carson, Julia [IN-7] – 2/27/2007
Rep Castor, Kathy [FL-11] – 3/14/2007
Rep Christensen, Donna M. [VI] – 3/14/2007
Rep Clarke, Yvette D. [NY-11] – 4/17/2007
Rep Clay, Wm. Lacy [MO-1] – 3/14/2007
Rep Cleaver, Emanuel [MO-5] – 2/27/2007
Rep Clyburn, James E. [SC-6] – 5/2/2007
Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-14] – 2/27/2007
Rep Costello, Jerry F. [IL-12] – 5/24/2007
Rep Crowley, Joseph [NY-7] – 5/24/2007
Rep Cuellar, Henry [TX-28] – 5/24/2007
Rep Cummings, Elijah E. [MD-7] – 4/18/2007
Rep Davis, Artur [AL-7] – 2/27/2007
Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-7] – 4/23/2007
Rep Delahunt, William D. [MA-10] – 5/24/2007
Rep Doggett, Lloyd [TX-25] – 6/7/2007
Rep Ellison, Keith [MN-5] – 2/27/2007
Rep Engel, Eliot L. [NY-17] – 6/7/2007
Rep English, Phil [PA-3] – 4/23/2007
Rep Etheridge, Bob [NC-2] – 5/24/2007
Rep Farr, Sam [CA-17] – 5/24/2007
Rep Fattah, Chaka [PA-2] – 3/14/2007
Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] – 2/27/2007
Rep Gilchrest, Wayne T. [MD-1] – 6/25/2007
Rep Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY-20] – 6/18/2007
Rep Gonzalez, Charles A. [TX-20] – 9/17/2007
Rep Gordon, Bart [TN-6] – 6/7/2007
Rep Green, Al [TX-9] – 2/27/2007
Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7] – 3/14/2007
Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. [IL-4] – 6/7/2007
Rep Hare, Phil [IL-17] – 2/27/2007
Rep Hastings, Alcee L. [FL-23] – 3/14/2007
Rep Higgins, Brian [NY-27] – 4/23/2007
Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22] – 2/27/2007
Rep Hirono, Mazie K. [HI-2] – 4/30/2007
Rep Hodes, Paul W. [NH-2] – 2/27/2007
Rep Holt, Rush [NJ-12] – 4/25/2007
Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-15] – 2/27/2007
Rep Israel, Steve [NY-2] – 2/27/2007
Rep Jackson, Jesse L., Jr. [IL-2] – 4/23/2007
Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [TX-18] – 2/27/2007
Rep Jefferson, William J. [LA-2] – 2/27/2007
Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [TX-30] – 5/9/2007
Rep Johnson, Henry C. “Hank,” Jr. [GA-4] – 2/27/2007
Rep Jones, Stephanie Tubbs [OH-11] – 4/23/2007
Rep Kaptur, Marcy [OH-9] – 6/12/2007
Rep Kennedy, Patrick J. [RI-1] – 2/27/2007
Rep Kilpatrick, Carolyn C. [MI-13] – 2/27/2007
Rep Kucinich, Dennis J. [OH-10] – 2/27/2007
Rep Lantos, Tom [CA-12] – 3/14/2007
Rep Larson, John B. [CT-1] – 5/24/2007
Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9] – 2/27/2007
Rep Lewis, John [GA-5] – 2/27/2007
Rep Loebsack, David [IA-2] – 6/20/2007
Rep Lofgren, Zoe [CA-16] – 5/14/2007
Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-14] – 2/27/2007
Rep Matsui, Doris O. [CA-5] – 3/14/2007
Rep McCollum, Betty [MN-4] – 5/2/2007
Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7] – 3/14/2007
Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3] – 2/27/2007
Rep McNulty, Michael R. [NY-21] – 6/20/2007
Rep Meehan, Martin T. [MA-5] – 6/7/2007
Rep Meek, Kendrick B. [FL-17] – 5/8/2007
Rep Meeks, Gregory W. [NY-6] – 5/1/2007
Rep Miller, Brad [NC-13] – 9/7/2007
Rep Moore, Gwen [WI-4] – 5/8/2007
Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8] – 2/27/2007
Rep Murphy, Patrick J. [PA-8] – 6/6/2007
Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] – 4/17/2007
Rep Napolitano, Grace F. [CA-38] – 3/14/2007
Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [DC] – 5/9/2007
Rep Pallone, Frank, Jr. [NJ-6] – 2/27/2007
Rep Payne, Donald M. [NJ-10] – 2/27/2007
Rep Price, David E. [NC-4] – 5/1/2007
Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-15] – 2/27/2007
Rep Richardson, Laura [CA-37] – 10/15/2007
Rep Rothman, Steven R. [NJ-9] – 7/11/2007
Rep Ruppersberger, C. A. Dutch [MD-2] – 4/23/2007
Rep Rush, Bobby L. [IL-1] – 4/18/2007
Rep Ryan, Tim [OH-17] – 3/14/2007
Rep Sanchez, Linda T. [CA-39] – 5/1/2007
Rep Sanchez, Loretta [CA-47] – 3/14/2007
Rep Sarbanes, John P. [MD-3] – 9/17/2007
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9] – 2/27/2007
Rep Schiff, Adam B. [CA-29] – 4/25/2007
Rep Scott, David [GA-13] – 5/2/2007
Rep Scott, Robert C. “Bobby” [VA-3] – 4/16/2007
Rep Serrano, Jose E. [NY-16] – 5/1/2007
Rep Shea-Porter, Carol [NH-1] – 10/10/2007
Rep Sherman, Brad [CA-27] – 6/12/2007
Rep Shuler, Heath [NC-11] – 7/26/2007
Rep Solis, Hilda L. [CA-32] – 7/26/2007
Rep Sutton, Betty [OH-13] – 4/23/2007
Rep Thompson, Bennie G. [MS-2] – 5/8/2007
Rep Thompson, Mike [CA-1] – 9/19/2007
Rep Towns, Edolphus [NY-10] – 4/18/2007
Rep Van Hollen, Chris [MD-8] – 4/16/2007
Rep Wasserman Schultz, Debbie [FL-20] – 6/7/2007
Rep Waters, Maxine [CA-35] – 5/8/2007
Rep Watson, Diane E. [CA-33] – 2/27/2007
Rep Watt, Melvin L. [NC-12] – 5/8/2007
Rep Waxman, Henry A. [CA-30] – 4/25/2007
Rep Weiner, Anthony D. [NY-9] – 5/24/2007
Rep Wexler, Robert [FL-19] – 2/27/2007
Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] – 2/27/2007
Rep Wynn, Albert Russell [MD-4] – 4/17/2007
__________

Click link below to view pdf. Click your back arrow to return to Dilemma X

U.S. House of Representatives Slavery Jim Crow BILLS-110hres194eh
________________________________________
Video: U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Cohen’s Speech on the Slavery Apology Resolution

________________________________________

CONNECTICUT

Adopted, Senate as Amended by House A on June 3, 2009
Total Number Voting 36
Necessary for Adoption 19
Those voting Yea 36
Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 0
Connecticut thus became the 8th state to apologize for slavery, joining Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and New Jersey

House Joint Resolution No. 1

RESOLUTION EXPRESSING THE PROFOUND REGRET OF THE CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY FOR THE HISTORY OF WRONGS INFLICTED UPON BLACK CITIZENS BY MEANS OF SLAVERY, EXPLOITATION AND LEGALIZED RACIAL SEGREGATION, AND CALLING ON ALL CITIZENS TO TAKE PART IN ACTS OF RACIAL RECONCILIATION.

Resolved by this Assembly:

WHEREAS, involuntary servitude, as practiced within the borders of Connecticut in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries violated the precept that all persons are created equal and denied thousands of people liberty, the pursuit of happiness, the ability to benefit from their own work, and, in many cases, life itself; and

WHEREAS, in 1723, the Connecticut colony passed an act to prevent the “Disorder of Negro and Indian Servants and Slaves in the Night Season” that established a nine o’clock p.m. curfew, the violation of which was punishable with a whipping for the servant and a fine for the master; and

WHEREAS, Connecticut’s wealth increased as its merchants and businessmen participated in the Triangle Trade which carried slaves, cash crops and manufactured goods between West Africa, the Caribbean and America and such merchants and businessmen profited from supplying food and livestock to slaves in the West Indies who labored on sugar cane plantations; and

WHEREAS, by the mid 1770’s there were approximately five thousand one hundred slaves in the Connecticut colony, comprising three per cent of the population, and slave ownership was not limited to the wealthy; and

WHEREAS, the practice of slavery was embedded in constitutional provisions and laws enacted by predecessors to this General Assembly and other civil authorities of Connecticut; and

WHEREAS, emancipation bills were rejected by the Connecticut Legislature in 1777, 1779 and 1780; and

WHEREAS, the Connecticut Legislature did enact the Nonimportation Act of 1774, the 1784 Gradual Abolition Act and the 1788 Act to Prevent the Slave Trade; and

WHEREAS, in 1818 Connecticut’s new constitution specifically denied the right of the African American population to vote; and

WHEREAS, Connecticut played a significant role in abolition efforts which culminated in the outlawing of slavery in 1848; and

WHEREAS, a significant number of nations, states and corporations have come forward to offer apologies for the roles they played in promoting or supporting slavery.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Connecticut General Assembly issues its apology for the practices of slavery in Connecticut and expresses its profound contrition for the official acts that sanctioned and perpetuated the denial of basic human rights and dignity to fellow humans and vows to work for the elimination of residual structures of racism that continue to exist in our state; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the General Assembly urges schools, colleges, universities, religious and civic institutions, businesses and professional associations to do all within their respective powers to acknowledge the transgressions of Connecticut’s journey from a colony to a leading state in the abolition efforts and to learn the lessons of history in order to avoid repeating mistakes of the past and to promote racial equality and reconciliation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the General Assembly calls on all Connecticut residents to recommit their state, their communities and themselves to the proclamation of their nation’s Declaration of Independence that “all persons are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights” and to work daily to treat all persons with abiding respect for their humanity and to eliminate racial prejudices, injustices and discrimination from our society.

Click link below to view pdf. Click your back arrow to return to Dilemma X

Connecticut profound regret for the wrongs inflicted upen black citizens by means of slavery and racial segregation

_____________________________________
U.S. Senate Unanimously Approves Resolution Apologizing for Slavery and Jim Crow Segregation

Passed Senate without amendment on June 18, 2009

111TH CONGRESS
1ST SESSION S. CON. RES. 26

Apologizing for the enslavement and racial segregation of African Americans.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

Apologizing for the enslavement and racial segregation of African-Americans.

Whereas, during the history of the Nation, the United States has grown into a symbol of democracy and freedom around the world;

Whereas the legacy of African-Americans is interwoven with the very fabric of the democracy and freedom of the United States;

Whereas millions of Africans and their descendants were enslaved in the United States and the 13 American colonies from 1619 through 1865;

Whereas Africans forced into slavery were brutalized, humiliated, dehumanized, and subjected to the indignity of being stripped of their names and heritage;

Whereas many enslaved families were torn apart after family members were sold separately;

Whereas the system of slavery and the visceral racism against people of African descent upon which it depended became enmeshed in the social fabric of the United States;

Whereas slavery was not officially abolished until the ratification of the 13th amendment to the Constitution of the United States in 1865, after the end of the Civil War;

Whereas after emancipation from 246 years of slavery, African-Americans soon saw the fleeting political, social, and economic gains they made during Reconstruction eviscerated by virulent racism, lynchings, disenfranchisement, Black Codes, and racial segregation laws that imposed a rigid system of officially sanctioned racial segregation in virtually all areas of life;

Whereas the system of de jure racial segregation known as “Jim Crow”, which arose in certain parts of the United States after the Civil War to create separate and unequal societies for Whites and African-Americans, was a direct result of the racism against people of African descent that was engendered by slavery;

Whereas the system of Jim Crow laws officially existed until the 1960s—a century after the official end of slavery in the United States—until Congress took action to end it, but the vestiges of Jim Crow continue to this day;

Whereas African-Americans continue to suffer from the consequences of slavery and Jim Crow laws—long after both systems were formally abolished—through enormous damage and loss, both tangible and intangible, including the loss of human dignity and liberty;

Whereas the story of the enslavement and de jure segregation of African-Americans and the dehumanizing atrocities committed against them should not be purged from or minimized in the telling of the history of the United States;

Whereas those African-Americans who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow laws, and their descendants, exemplify the strength of the human character and provide a model of courage, commitment, and perseverance;

Whereas, on July 8, 2003, during a trip to Goree Island, Senegal, a former slave port, President George W. Bush acknowledged the continuing legacy of slavery in life in the United States and the need to confront that legacy, when he stated that slavery “was . . .one of the greatest crimes of history . . . The racial bigotry fed by slavery did not end with slavery or with segregation. And many of the issues that still trouble America have roots in the bitter experience of other times. But however long the journey, our destiny is set: liberty and justice for all.”;

Whereas President Bill Clinton also acknowledged the deepseated problems caused by the continuing legacy of racism against African-Americans that began with slavery, when he initiated a national dialogue about race;

Whereas an apology for centuries of brutal dehumanization and injustices cannot erase the past, but confession of the wrongs committed and a formal apology to African-Americans will help bind the wounds of the Nation that are rooted in slavery and can speed racial healing and reconciliation and help the people of the United States understand the past and honor the history of all people of the United States;

Whereas the legislatures of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the States of Alabama, Florida, Maryland, and North Carolina have taken the lead in adopting resolutions officially expressing appropriate remorse for slavery, and other State legislatures are considering
similar resolutions; and

Whereas it is important for the people of the United States, who legally recognized slavery through the Constitution and the laws of the United States, to make a formal apology for slavery and for its successor, Jim Crow, so they can move forward and seek reconciliation, justice, and harmony for all people of the United States: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That the sense of the Congress is the following:

(1) APOLOGY FOR THE ENSLAVEMENT AND SEGREGATION OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS.—
The Congress—
(A) acknowledges the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery and Jim Crow laws;
(B) apologizes to African-Americans on behalf of the people of the United States, for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow laws; and expresses its recommitment to the principle that all people are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and calls on all people of the United States to work toward eliminating racial prejudices, injustices, and discrimination from our society.

(2) DISCLAIMER.—Nothing in this resolution—
(A) authorizes or supports any claim against the United States; or
(B) serves as a settlement of any claim against the United States

Passed the Senate June 18, 2009.

Attest:
Secretary.
________

Senator Tom Harkin
Sponsor: U.S. Senator Tom Harkin [D-IA] (Introduced June 11, 2009)
Cosponsors: (43)
* = Original cosponsor
Sen. Brownback, Sam [R-KS]* 06/11/2009
Sen. Levin, Carl [D-MI]* 06/11/2009
Sen. Durbin, Richard [D-IL]* 06/11/2009
Sen. Kennedy, Edward M. [D-MA]* 06/11/2009
Sen. Lautenberg, Frank R. [D-NJ]* 06/11/2009
Sen. Stabenow, Debbie [D-MI]* 06/11/2009
Sen. Bond, Christopher S. [R-MO]* 06/11/2009
Sen. Cochran, Thad [R-MS]* 06/11/2009
Sen. Burris, Roland [D-IL] 06/15/2009
Sen. Schumer, Charles E. [D-NY] 06/16/2009
Sen. Landrieu, Mary L. [D-LA] 06/16/2009
Sen. Begich, Mark [D-AK] 06/16/2009
Sen. Nelson, Bill [D-FL] 06/16/2009
Sen. Casey, Robert P., Jr. [D-PA] 06/16/2009
Sen. Carper, Thomas R. [D-DE] 06/16/2009
Sen. Lincoln, Blanche L. [D-AR] 06/16/2009
Sen. Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN] 06/16/2009
Sen. Whitehouse, Sheldon [D-RI] 06/17/2009
Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD] 06/17/2009
Sen. Bayh, Evan [D-IN] 06/17/2009
Sen. Feinstein, Dianne [D-CA] 06/17/2009
Sen. Corker, Bob [R-TN] 06/18/2009
Sen. Leahy, Patrick J. [D-VT] 06/18/2009
Sen. Feingold, Russell D. [D-WI] 06/18/2009
Sen. Bennet, Michael F. [D-CO] 06/18/2009
Sen. Menendez, Robert [D-NJ] 06/18/2009
Sen. Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY] 06/18/2009
Sen. Sanders, Bernard [I-VT] 06/18/2009
Sen. Udall, Tom [D-NM] 06/18/2009
Sen. McCaskill, Claire [D-MO] 06/18/2009
Sen. Bingaman, Jeff [D-NM] 06/18/2009
Sen. Boxer, Barbara [D-CA] 06/18/2009
Sen. Mikulski, Barbara A. [D-MD] 06/18/2009
Sen. Brown, Sherrod [D-OH] 06/18/2009
Sen. Udall, Mark [D-CO] 06/18/2009
Sen. Pryor, Mark L. [D-AR] 06/18/2009
Sen. Nelson, Ben [D-NE] 06/18/2009
Sen. Dodd, Christopher J. [D-CT] 06/18/2009
Sen. Murray, Patty [D-WA] 06/18/2009
Sen. Kerry, John F. [D-MA] 06/18/2009
Sen. Warner, Mark R. [D-VA] 06/18/2009
Sen. Specter, Arlen [D-PA] 06/18/2009
Sen. Reed, Jack [D-RI] 06/18/2009

The only African American member of the US Senate at the time was Roland Burris (Democrat) of Illinois. His term was only from January 12, 2009 – November 29, 2010. Burris was appointed by former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to replace then President-Elect Barack Obama as the junior senator from Illinois.
____________________
Click link below to view pdf. Click your back arrow to return to Dilemma X

U.S. Senate Slavery Jim Crow S. CON. RES. 26
__________________________________________
Video: U.S. Senate Resolution Offers Apology For Enslavement And Racial Segregation Of African-Americans

_________________________________________

Auction

Auction

Auction

Auction

Auction

Auction

Auction

Auction

Auction

Auction

Auction
___
Video: BBC- British debate on reparations
March 23, 2014

____

About Dilemma X

Dilemma X, LLC provides research dedicated to the progression of economic development. Our services aid clients in enhancing overall production statistics. Please visit http://www.dilemma-x.com for more information

View all posts by Dilemma X

Subscribe

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: