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Archive for the ‘slavery apology’ Category

I’m really not enjoying the strange journey of race in the presidential election thing. I doubt many people are, save for the occasional Karl Rove, for whom it is a fabulous tactic – if you’re creative. I must admit to being surprised, though, to see the issue of reparations come up. It’s a nuanced and compelling issue, if one has the time to examine all of the folds. It’s about memory, state history, back wages, social justice, economics, the nature of representation, and so on. But that’s too much to ask. Turns out, sometimes a non-reparation actually is one.

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I was driving home and listening to one of my least favorite shows on National Public Radio – Marketplace – when they did a short feature on history-buff tourism in the United States. A nice break from endless musings on the meaning of housing markets, loan rates, control of inflation, etc. The sort of stuff that bores me, but that’s just me. Also a nice break from the idea of tourism as simply blanking out one’s mind at a beach or amusement park. People going somewhere to learn something or see something they were taught about. Or, better, something about which they taught themselves. I like that. (more…)

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slavery.jpgSo, Alabama has joined Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia in offering official state apologies for slavery. Very interesting. It is easy to be snarky about these sorts of gestures or read in them cynical aims, etc., but I think apology deserves a serious bit of consideration. Apology is no small thing. The fact that no Republican supported this apology reminds us that there is real symbolic something to public apology. More directly, as we know from our personal lives, a sincere apology can transform a friendship or love relationship by reckoning with a hurtful past event or events. How this translates into the political realm, however, is where things get even more complicated. (more…)

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