Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Archive for February 25th, 2007

Virginia Apologizes for Slavery

Posted by Ryan on February 25, 2007

142 years after slavery in Virginia was ended by Robert E. Lee  surrendering his army to Ulysses Grant at Appomattox Court House, VA in 1865, and 400 years after the first English colonists in Jamestown oppressed the local Amerindians almost from their first moments on shore in 1607, the Virginia legislature has officially apologized for these heinous actions!

This comes after an open dialogue on apologies and reparations has been in the air for the last decade.  Perhaps enough time has passed that Virginia can take responsibility for its past transgressions, offer their regrets, and move on.  Segregation was also an issue all Southern states had to come to grips with in the wake of the civil rights movement a generation ago when the Supreme Court and the Federal government dismantled that entrenched system of bias and bigotry. Of course, I agree that these steps are a moral good, but there is a potential issue that America must next come to terms with: the consequence of guilt.

In her book, Londonistan, Melanie Phillips argues that the West is having serious difficulties recognizing the dangers of radical Islam because of a racial guilt complex that has formed over the last 60 years.  In Europe, Phillips argues that it is post-colonial guilt, while in America it’s post-civil rights guilt.  The results?  Phillips believes that the West is still sulking in its truly egregious past behavior to the point where we’re missing the dangers of profiling those who are our stated enemies living in our own countries out of fear that we’ll oppress their rights, as the West has done virulently in the past.  Maybe her thesis is overreaction here in the USA, but in London there is a serious problem with radical Islam and her point is a poignant reminder of this danger.   Every time I hear about the hatred brewing in London and Parisian suburbs, or about how sweet Italian grandmothers take their shoes off at Dulles International Airport I wonder a little about Phillip’s point.  However, if Virginia, the capitol of the Confederacy, can apologize for slavery, I think we’ll figure all this out here in the States.

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