Virginia to apologize for role in slavery

According to this AP story, legislation was introduced today in which Virginia will apologize for its role in slavery.

The joint resolution urges that Virginia “acknowledges and atones for its pivotal role in slavery” and work to reconcile “centuries of brutal dehumanization and injustices.”


The effort comes amid preparations to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, America’s first permanent English settlement. [State Senator Henry] Marsh called it time for Virginia to again be first.

“It’s important because of the role Virginia played … that we also play a role in seeking reconciliation among the races,” he said.

Virginia played a tremendous role in the slave trade. Richmond was part of what is known as the Slavery Triangle. The other two cities were Benin, Africa and Liverpool, England. Under the cover of darkness, the slaves were moved along a trail, shackled together with the men in the back. I have walked that trail and it is an amazing experience.

After the importation of slaves was outlawed in the US, Virginia’s cash crop became slaves. The climate in Virginia was less conducive to the growing of cotton than in states further south, so Virginia bred and exported them.

Last December, Richmond broke ground on the construction of a monument at the site of the old slave jail. The monument to be erected is the last of the three in the triangle. It is to be revealed on March 30, in conjunction with other events surrounding the 400th anniversary of Jamestown.

If erecting a monument and issuing an apology moves racial reconciliation forward, I’m all for it.


29 thoughts on “Virginia to apologize for role in slavery

  1. Sure, but since a monument and an apology won’t do it, what’s the apology for? (I like the monument idea, though.)

    So now we’re on the topic of reparations. So, we need to “repair” something? To make things as close as possible to what they would have been without slavery? Shall we give the Blacks a load of money, and send them all to Africa? (Where the money will be quickly stolen by the kleptocratic governments.)

    How about comparing the income of Blacks in America to the Blacks in Africa?

  2. Odd, I have never owned slaves. No one in my family has ever owned slaves.

    My ancestors have been slaves.

    Explain to me why my family “owes” someone else that was never a slave – anything?

    As to my state government issuing an apology for slavery – please provide the names of those serving in our General Assembly that owned slaves.

    How many legal American citizens living in Virginia have been slaves?

    Does anyone know?

    To whom is the government of Virginia apologizing to?

    Face it, this is purely political and serves no purpose other than a political attempt to garner favor with voters.

    But then … what else would anyone expect from politicians.

    Clearly those that agree with such an “apology” agree that the sins of the father should be paid by his … great, great, great, great grandchildren.

    As to “reparations for [American] slavery” – this would also mean that those that advocate such a scam believe that the sins of the father should be paid by his … great, great, great, great grandchildren – and by people now living that had nothing to do with said “sin” for which “reparations” are now being demanded.

    Yup – that’s was passes for “Social Justice” these daze – isn’t it?

    Race-baiting Liberal Democrats – they sure are a funny lot, aren’t they?

  3. My family owned slaves and I will never apologize for something that I never took part in. And interestingly enough I am black. Something that many people tend to forget about the American institution is that it was a tool of the rich over the poor, serfs were brought from Europe to also be “slaved” right here in America too.

    I wish that we could get on with the future rather then spending so much energy on the past.

    If my grandfather commits murder, should I then spend the time in prison for his crimes? – I think not!

  4. What about the African tribesman who captured and sold the slaves in the first place? And drove any unsold merchandise into the ocean? Or the Arabs who for centuries bankrolled the slave trade?

    Are the descendants of the slaves going to apologize for the inefficient manner in which slaves worked in the USA. Are their descendants in the USA going to pay for the advantages they now enjoy due to the fact that their forebears were purchased by American slaveships rather than eaten or driven into the sea by other Africans?

  5. And will the northern states apologize for the far worse conditions suffered by Indentured Servants, particularly in the isolated rural villages wherein there were no restraints on the slave owners?

  6. Wow , a real discussion! I covered the reparations discussion on my blog too. There was a chinese immigrant who bought a KFC in a crappy neighborhood. It got robbed constantly. So, the owner placed a sign on the drive thru “due to recent robberies, african-americans must pay $1.50 surcharge.” Since every black person isn’t a crook, it’s rather absurd to ask them to pay…right? Just like it’s absurd to label all white people as former slave owners and have them pay. Since the ancestors of mine who were here during slavery fought for the union to free the slaves, am I then entitled to a collective “thank-you” from black America? No, because just like slavery, I had nothing to do with freeing the slaves.

  7. If we are to accept, “the argument du jour” that blacks have been done wrong by whites and require an apology or “profound regret.”

    Maybe, blacks really are at a disadvantage. A recent theory from a black blogger, suggested American born black descendants of slavery, may possibly be genetically predisposed to less than monetarily, ambitious, behavior. IE. American success.

    Since new African immigrants and all other races of immigrants seem to succeed quite well in America. Maybe, it has something to do with the genetic makeup of a person who has the will and fortitude to leave their homeland and strike out for parts unknown? Since slaves and Native Americans did not get to America this way, maybe a large number of them have genetic predisposition that a capitalist lifestyle does not work? Could this possibly be reason to setup different forms of government around the world to accommodate the predisposed genetic makeup of different people, regardless off race? Maybe democracy and free will aren’t good for everyone?

    Just like the old saying. “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.”

  8. Tom, you are walking a very fine line here. It is as if you picked up where Jack left off and should you continue down that path, you will find yourself in the same position as he: banned.

    I will not tolerate racism on my blog, and your comments about “genetic predisposition” reeks of it. Either contribute something other than a racist diatribe or find another place to pedal your racist behavior.

  9. As you once again assumed that was my theory even though I stated it was from a black blogger. Mr. Collier of “Acting White.” A Harvard Grad, African American, You also assume I am talking about race when if you stop wearing your feelings on your sleeve, and reread the post these genetic predispositions permeate all races and groups of people.

    Don’t bother banning me , it’s obvious you have no desire for open honest discourse, I will impose self banishment.

    Good luck to you.

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