Monday, June 22, 2009

Black Activists Call Senate Slavery Apology "Useless"

Contact: David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 or e-mail

Black Activists Call Senate Slavery Apology "Useless"

Project 21 Members Say Lawmakers Should "Move On"

The U.S. Senate resolution apologizing for slavery and
segregation will be used as a lobbying tool to acquire
reparations payments, say members of the black leadership
network Project 21. The group urges the Senate to
"move on," saying the apology will do little to heal
perceived racial gaps.

On June 18, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a
resolution apologizing for slavery and segregation
in the United States. While the resolution was
written with theintention that it could not be used
to support claims for monetary reparations, reparations
activists Randall Robinson told the Washington Post the
legislationconstitutes a "confession" that will aid the
process of acquiring reparations. Harvard professor
Charles Ogletee said the resolution should not be a
substitute for reparations, saying "That battle will
be prolonged."

Project 21 members voicing skepticism about the politics
behind the resolution and the need for it include:

Jerry Brooks (Auburn, WA): "I'll accept the Senate's
apology, but let's move on already. This apology is
something that might have been more appropriate long ago,
and now it's likely going to be misused by those with a
political axe to grind. In particular and despite its
intention to the contrary, it is already being used to
promote reparations. Not only is this an idea without
merit, but an extremely foolish one to be clinging to
while our nation is trying to recover from its current
economic distress."

Brooks continued, "I also take offense to the ignorant
partisan attacks involved inthis debate. In trying to
infer Republicans are responsible for slavery is
downright silly considering that the party came about
as part of the movement to abolish slavery."

Jimmie L. Hollis (Millville, NJ): "As an American of
African ancestry, I think this apology is ridiculous
and useless. It is just another 'feel good' action.
If we are to start apologizing for every injustice
and wrong done in the past, we willspend the next
few decades just apologizing. Let's move on."

Bob Parks (Athol, MA): "Why the need to do this now?
Are we attempting to keep the First Lady proud of her

Parks added, "The problem is that, when you apologize,
it's important that the recipient knows the reason
for the apology and who is giving it. It wasn't the
entire Senate whose former party slogan was 'the White
Man's Party' or fostered the Ku Klux Klan or resisted
black civil rights efforts until it was realized just
how the black voting bloc could be used for political
advantage. But why the entire Senate is apologizing
for evil past doings, once supported by the Democrat
Party, is a mystery to me."

Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization
supported by the National Center for Public Policy
Research, has been a leading voice of the African-American
community since 1992. For more information, contact
David Almasi, or
visit Project 21's website at

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