I work very hard and am attending college to obtain my degree in the Human Service field. Writing makes me feel alive and gives me the opportunity to touch those whom I would not be able to otherwise. Last but not least, I have been blessed with two amazing daughters who love me completely and support my dreams. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or feedback.
This is a recent quote from an article in the Journal Sentinel titled, “Senate calls for apology over slavery” dated 06/19/09:
“It states that Africans and their descendants were forced into slavery in the US and the original 13 colonies from 1619 to 1865 and “were brutalized, humiliated, dehumanized and subjected to the indignity of being stripped of their names and heritage.”
To end that, the resolution, “apologizes to African Americans on behalf of the people of the US for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and .”
Short and sweet, they are stating that all citizens of a non-African American nature are apologizing on behalf of their ancestors regarding their behavior towards African Americans from 1619 until 1865. I guess the sins of the father apply even after Adam and Eve, right?
I have yet to do a family tree, much less ancestry. From what I hear, I am part French, German, Irish, and Polish. My maternal Grandfather used to refer to me as a “Polac” because it came from “the other side.” I am sure it was used in a loving manor, but looking back now, it could have been construed to something much different.
As stated above, I am German and Polish. If you recall an event throughout the early 1940’s, you might have heard about a guy named Hitler. He was German and convinced many others that their way was the only way. He ordered the extermination of Jews, Christians, Gypsies, and oh yes, Polish as well.
African Americans suffered under slavery years ago. Fortunately, a man by the name of Abraham Lincoln, (a Caucasian man, I might add), put an end to that period of time. He allowed freedom for those who once were property of others. I imagine those who realized they could go free experienced the same feelings as those informed that the war was over and they no longer had to live in Concentration Camps.
I am German and Polish. I guess if I am accountable for slavery of African Americans, I must also go ahead and apologize to myself for the fact that I, as a German, must also be held accountable for the killing my ancestors, who were Polish, throughout World War II. Go ahead and re-read the prior sentence, it takes awhile for common sense to sink in.
I am not apologizing for what happened back in 1865. I am not allowing Government to hold me responsible for the behavior of my Great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great Grandfather or Grandmother. Same thing applies towards the actions of everyone afterwards. If my father chose to drink and drive, whom do I owe a formal apology to? No-one. My aunts and uncles probably wreaked havoc throughout their teen years, I am not apologizing for that either. Bye the way, I am not perfect either, but please don’t expect my children to say “sorry” on my behalf, it simply is just not happening.
It is time to look ahead to the future and do whatever it takes to prevent such atrocities from occurring further. How about from this day forward, we leave the past in the past. After all, it is called history for a reason.