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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

An Apology Can Only Be A Beginning

Word for the Week

Let's consider the meanings of the word apology:
  • a formal or written defense of some doctrine or idea
  • an acknowledging and expressing of regret for a fault, etc.
  • an inferior substitute

The the Virginia General Assembly recently passed a resolution apologizing for it's role in the institution of slavery and the institutions of oppression it engendered, Jim Crow laws, the grandfather clause, etc. However, if Virginia, Brown* and whomever else decides to step up and apologize are not careful, their gesture, which can optimistically be construed as an attempt to continue the work of reconciling our democracy with its past, will amount to little more than "an inferior substitute" for the application of the real solutions, fair lending practices, equal access to quality education, a healthcare system which does not penalize doctors or patients, etc. necessary to eradicate the vestiges of racism and the systematic oppresssion of the poor.

*Brown is following up on the report acknowledging its ties to slavery.

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