Tag Archives: Sen. tom harkin

Senate Apologizes for Slavery on the Eve of Juneteenth, but Why?

Today the Senate passed a non-binding resolution apologizing for slavery. This is a symbolic message because this apology comes with nothing. When slavery was abolished slaves were promised 40 acres and a mule. That never really materialized and what blacks received was legalized discrimination. So today on the eve of Juneteenth the Senate extended an apology. This resolution was sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin D-Iowa.  Harkin’s resolution, co-sponsored by 21 senators, “acknowledges the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality and inhumanity of slavery, and Jim Crow laws,” and “apologizes to African-Americans on behalf of the people of the United States, for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow laws.” Jim Crow laws were state and local laws enacted mostly in the Southern and border states of the United States between the 1870s and 1965 that acted to deny the right to vote and other civil liberties to African-Americans, and to legally segregate them from whites. Harkin said he hopes “all those people and individuals who have had these sorts of personal experiences … will be able to see in this some acknowledgment of what happened to them, an acknowledgment that it was wrong, and an apology for it. It doesn’t fix it, but hopefully it does address it and starts to dig out the wound.” He is right it does not fix it because we can not change the past, but sometimes it is good to simply acknowledge a wrong. Some will say others have been mistreated in this country they too deserve an apology, but black people were the only ones who were enslaved and viewed as property and that is worthy of an official apology, and today we got it. So all I can say is better late then never.