29 July 2008

House Apologizes for Slavery

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a non-binding resolution apologizing for slavery and Jim Crow. The poll question is: Is this pointless symbolic politics, or a long overdue statement that has real meaning?


James K said...

I voted for "symbolic, but harmless", though of course my country has no history of slavery so you should probably down-weight my opinion accordingly.

I don't understand the American tradition of having political bodies make symbolic gestures, though I guess it keeps them out of trouble. When my government wants to "send a message" they pass laws, and I don't recommend that.

James Hanley said...

In the U.S. we have a tradition of making our kids apologize to each other when they've been fighting, even if they don't mean it. Perhaps that explains it?

James K said...

We have symbolic apologies too, but they're always by the Prime Minister as part of a ceremonial occasion. Parliament doesn't issue non-binding declarations except under unusual circumstances (there was a motion expressing condolences on 9/11 for example).