Thursday, January 04, 2007

Apologize for slavery?

Should Virginia apologize for slavery? Should we apologize to American Indians?

I'm of Irish descent. Should we also apologize for the way Irish immigrants were treated when they came to America?

Where does it end?

Just asking....


Shaun Kenney said...

I had a history book citing examples of shingles needing to be fixed on a barn in the South. Slaveowners wouldn't send slaves up to do dangerous jobs such as these. They were worth money.

So they sent up the Irish.

Who cared? There were more paddies coming off the boats the next day anyhow, and it didn't cost a dime when one of the Irish fell...

We need an Irish monument, though a pub will do. :)

James Atticus Bowden said...

Shaun, It was digging the canals and levees around New Orleans. The Irish cost a dollar or so a day. If one died, it was no loss. A slave was a 8-10 thousand dollar loss.

Although, maybe if the slaves had dug the canals they wouldn't have collapsed!

Lynn R. Mitchell said...

Patriot Fan, what got me onto this subject was a resolution seeking an apology from the state of Virginia that has been introduced by Sen. Henry Marsh (D - Richmond) and Del. Donald McEachin (D - Henrico). They want to have the apology take place during the 400th anniversary of Jamestown.

There is also a resolution to be presented for an apology to the Ameican Indians.

Many ethnic groups were treated poorly in the past. Shall we make a list and start apologizing to them all? Will some be offended because they didn't receive an apology? This is a slippery slope....

Lynn R. Mitchell said...

Shaun, you are exactly correct.

Because American history is barely taught or has been revised in our schools, few realize the horrid treatment of the Irish immigrants. They, too, were barred from entering buildings, given the most dangerous jobs as you mentioned, spat on, treated like dirt, and worse.

That kind of treatment made them stronger, more determined with a resolve to survive, and it built a strong work ethic.

I have taught my children what was taught to me: pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get the job done. If you are a ditch digger, be the best ditch digger out there. No job worth doing is worth doing half-way.

"You can give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish ... and you feed him for a lifetime."

Jerry Fuhrman said...

swac girl: I apologize.

Lynn R. Mitchell said...

LOL. No thanks, Jerry ... no apology necessary. YOU didn't do anything to ME. :)

And therein is the rub. I don't quite understand why some feel the necessity to apologize when there's no one living who had anything to do with any of this.

cafe de emporia said...

Good call. It's completely ludicrous. I echo everybody else's sentiments that have already been stated. And what good would it do anyway? Think of the red tape that would have to go on. How could some people's familes PROVE that they had a slave? How would the repirations be distributed fairly--would fairness even come into play? Who would pay them? All white people? People who had slave holding family members? People who lived in the South that owned no slaves? Whites who immigrated after the war? Freed blacks (or would they be privy to repirations too?)? Do you see the craziness of this crusade?????

Blair said...

Blacks as well as whites owned slaves in the United States. About 6 percent of whites owned slaves while about 1.6 percent of free blacks owned slaves. Some of the South's largest landowners and slaveowners were free black men. Most white Americans are descended from immigrants who arrived in the United States after the Civil War. Virtually all African Americans are descended from people who were here before the Civil War. Therefore, they are probably as likely or more likely be descended from slaveowners than whites. So blacks should pay as well as whites.

All American Indian tribes owned slaves, before and after the European discovery of America. Since tribal slaves tended to be community property, it's pretty safe to say all Native Americans are descended from slaveowners. The Civil War did not end slavery on tribal lands, so the United States neogitated to purchase slaves from individual tribes. The Cherokee were the last to give up their slaves. The Cherokee Nation voted a few weeks ago to deny tribal membership to descendants of Cherokee slaves.

The ancestors of Hispanic Americans also owned slaves, but white, black and Native American, so they should also have to pay.

Thousands of whites slaves were transported to the United States and Latin America. These weren't indentured servants, but people who were slaves in the same way blacks were slaves. They were gradually replaced by black slaves who had a parital immunity to malaria, which killed the whites slaves in droves. How to we identity and make reparations to whites descended from slaves?