In Virginia, a 79-year-old lawmaker opposed to a pending House resolution expressing Virginia's apology for slavery has stated that the Civil War ended slavery and blacks should get over it.
That statement to some evokes insensitivity and pain. It is tantamount to saying to an American about 9/11: "Get over it. Stuff happens!" He is an elected representative "of the people, by the people, and for the people."
The psycho-social impact of slavery for some African Americans remains traumatic. Ask Jews how difficult it was getting over the Holocaust. Ask Armenians how difficult it was getting over Turkish atrocities. Ask Japanese Americans how difficult it was getting over the legacy of internment. Ask Native Americans how difficult it was getting over being forced onto reservations and into near starvation.
Their words may differ, but their answers summon up the same human pain and suffering.
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If America is to become what it proclaims to be, an apology to African Americans as human beings could be a step toward some belated healing. An apology may also bring to the fore the true meaning of "One Nation, Under God, Indivisible."