I really need to get off this topic but in reading some of your comments, I feel that somewhere along the line my purpose and focus has been misunderstood! I'll try and make this my final comment. Please read all of my posts on race if you want to understand my thoughts on this topic. I've never taken the position that individuals of any race need to run around offering apologies for societal misdeeds such as slavery or the holocaust or the trail of tears etc. However, I am of the belief that healing cannot happen until there is an airing of truth, an honest acknowledgement of not only the past but the present.
South Africa did an amazing thing when it ended apartheid. There was a national focus on truth and reconciliation. People shared their stories, oppressed and oppressor, victim and victimizer, not to perpetuate revenge but to perpetuate healing. The people that I know, myself included, have never asked that individuals apologize for past acts, but that this government fully acknowledge the immoral atrocity that was slavery. A governmental apology and acknowledgement for creating and maintaining a system of degenerating people based on skin color not only in slavery but in subsequent Jim Crow laws and government sanctioned discrimination. Why? Because as a whole, this country benefited greatly from more than 250 years of a free labor source. Because this nation systematically denied people the rights promised in the constitution of this country well into the 20th century. And no, not just black people, but Chinese, Koreans, Latinos, Jews, Native Americans, and many others. Is a governmental apology unheard of? No, the US offered an apology and reparations to the surviving Japanese Americans whose property was confiscated and lives disrupted by being forced into internment camps in the United States during World War II simply because they were of Japanese ancestry.
If you are consumed with whether or not I want an apology from you, I don't. Do I want a personal apology from the government? No, I don't. Do I believe that the US Congress should officially go on record as condemning the system of slavery that built this country? Absolutely and unequivocally, yes. While they're at it, they should also acknowledge the destruction done to the Native American cultures indigenous to this land. Will I lead a miserable existence if it doesn't happen? No, I sleep well and will continue to do so.
It is for each of us to deal with our own beliefs about emotional issues such as race and ethnicity. I am of the school of thought that talk is a healing process but I may be wrong. I didn't post the ugly and rather stupid comments that I found on a message board to make anyone feel bad. I just believe that hatred and ignorance grow best in the dark. To eradicate them, we have to drag them into the light. In other words, I don't believe that there is any benefit in pretending that all is well and that there are no ugly and hateful beliefs out there based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, body shape etc. Obviously, I am not the conscience of the world and I don't profess to be. As always, this journal is one woman's thoughts as I try to make sense of the world around me.