The apology part 2 - 3.9.2007.2
continued from part 1...
But that is not the end of it. From 1865 to 1965 the American government actively pursued policies of denial of rights, Jim Crow laws, duplicity, separatism, inequality, and racism. Whether it was sub-standard education, restrictive laws, and misrepresentation in laws, miscarriages of justice, denial of existence or other acts of racism the fact that being an African American for 100 years meant that you were also a 3rd-class citizen is undisputed. Was that not true the Civil Rights Movement, and multiple laws enacted since 1965 would not now exist. An apology for this treatment and abuse is also required. And as to the question of connection to this, some 60 million Americans have lived through at least a portion of that time period [based on my estimate of Americans age 57 or older giving them 15 years or more life in a Jim Crow, segregation enabled American society]. There is a connection and that is a fact.
Now some may question my last statistic. Perhaps it is not perfect, but there is no question that those 57 or older lived in and benefited from the system that existed. Those 60 or older had the ability to vote and maintain the status quo. Those who were 15 in 1965 had been indoctrinated in the system that existed. That does not mean that everyone in that group acted in a manner that promoted the situation, but the fact is most did. If not then the changes that came afterwards would have happened far sooner. The challenges I’ve had to live through in my youth would not have existed. Change is slow and takes generations, but there is more than just one generation still alive today that lived through and actively promoted the pre-1965 environment in America. They benefited and are directly connected. That much is a fact.
I think that anyone can see that this is not an old, unconnected, long past issue. I am old enough to have felt some of the effects of the pre-1965 Civil Rights world. This is no long forgotten event to me. I believe that there are some 82 million other Americans that fall into the same time range and have had the chance at the same situations growing up to varying degrees. I submit that ~142 million Americans are more than enough people to make this a relevant and current issue. To say it isn’t is to be in denial of facts.
Yet given this relevancy, there are constant refusals to provide an apology. There are adamant arguments made to reject any concept of reparations. Yet no one wants to address the efforts towards reparations in the past, such as where the cry “Where are my 40 acres and a mule” come from. Almost no politician want to even whisper on this subject, with the noted exception of Representative John Conyers Jr. and the above mentioned Rep. Tyrone Brooks, yet they have no problem using the concept of Slavery to their advantage.
finished in Part 3...