Introduced by Tennessee Democrat Rep. Steve Cohen, the bipartisan apology for slavery and the subsequent Jim Crow laws was hailed as significant, given the then-candidacy of America’s soon-to-be first Black president, Barack Obama.
One year later, in July 2009, the United States Senate issued the same apology for the same 150-year-old sin of slavery.
Now in his final year as president, Barack Obama could have made the same apology on behalf of the United States – but has chosen not to. Still, both houses of Congress have apologized. Officially apologized.
This little bit of recent history is apparently lost to Bernie Sanders and his leftist compatriots who seem to think that we need to apologize again for slavery. He announced that if elected, he would do just that, the Daily Mail is reporting.
Sanders told heavily black audience that Tindley Temple United Methodist Church, ‘There’s nothing that anybody can do to undo the deaths and misery, how many people we don’t even know who died on the way over here in the ships.’
“You want the short answer? Yes. (Cheering and Applause) There’s nothing that anybody can do to undo the deaths and misery — how many people we don’t even know who died on the way over here from Africa in the ships. But we have got to do everything we can to wipe the slate clean by acknowledging the truth. You know truth is not always an easy thing. There are a lot of things that we have done in this country that are shameful. We have got to recognize that and own up to it. So the answer is yes.”
But the United States has to make an attempt to ‘wipe the slate clean’ by acknowledging the truth, he said after an audience member asked him point blank if he’d offer a presidential-level apology and he said, ‘Yes.’
Of course he would. And that’s fine. But what leftists want is much more. They want stuff. They want reparations. They want money.
Sanders is reluctant to endorse the idea of reparations, but leftists say that an apology is just words without action to back it up. Action? They want action?
How about decades of affirmative action, welfare spending, preferential treatment in hiring, housing and education? Billions of federal dollars set aside for African American tuition assistance, scholarships, down payment assistance, housing allowance and “sentencing guidelines?”
“Front-of-the-line” status in receiving government contracts, college admission and small business loans?
I’m not debating whether or not any or all of these programs are worthwhile or needed. It is unimaginably difficult for an entire group of people to regain equal status in a society that for centuries treated them like property. We have tried for 150 years to fix that. To change how our country works and make up for the evil of slavery.
But don’t pretend that American hasn’t apologized for slavery, when Barack Obama is the last one who hasn’t. And don’t pretend that the United States hasn’t worked diligently and spent billions to fix the problem. Because we have.