Shameful Past and Present

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Shameful Past and Present

Yesterday the Senate passed a sorry-we-didn't-do-anything-about-lynching resolution. You'd think this would be a no-brainer, it would get 100% support. However there wasn't an official vote, just a voice vote, and not everybody signed on as a co-sponsor-- coincidentially, they all happen to be Republicans from Southern states, the very people whose names should be at the top of the list.

I'd *really* love to know why these esteemed senators couldn't publicly agree that lynching is a very, very bad thing and that they regret that the Senate didn't try to do anything to stop it. I mean, really, what gives?

Richard Shelby (R-Alabama)
Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi)
Trent Lott (R-Mississippi)
Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee)
John Cornyn (R-Texas)
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas)

The event was not mere posturing and pagentry, they had very special guests on the Hill yesterday.
Nearly 200 descendants of lynching victims, and a 91-year-old man thought to be the only living survivor of a lynching attempt, listened from the visitors' gallery to speeches about what Sen. George Allen, R-Va., described as "the failure of the Senate to take action when action was most needed."
More resolutions like this, please.

Considering that the Dems can't do much of anything while the GOP is in power, at the very least they can be thoughtful and inspirational while, simultaneously, they expose certain parts of the GOP for being stupid schmucks who aren't even willing to put their name on the record that acknowledges that lynching was wrong. Republican Senators should be shaming this bunch, asking them why they could't get behind something so simple as an apology for the brutal act of lynching.

Additionally, one of my personal favorite politicians, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), points out that there are some other resolutions that could be passed in the same vein as this one.
U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who grew up with Jim Crow laws and the specter of lynching, said he wants an apology for slavery.

"The Senate has never issued an official apology for slavery and has never gone on the record condemning slavery," he said. "The U.S. government needs to apologize for the whole system of slavery. Lynching was just a part of it."
The timing of this resolution is pretty fascinating, considering the trial of Edgar Ray Killen for the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner and the reopened case of Emmett Till. What is it about 2005?

I'll be the first to admit that these are merely symbolic gestures, but I do believe that apologies are always a really good way to start the process of making amends.

0 comments in Shameful Past and Present

Post a Comment

Shameful Past and Present | Demagogue Copyright © 2010