Letter to the Editor

Apology for slavery lacks substance

Thursday, March 8, 2007

To the editor:The campaign for apology for slavery, without substance, is well-intentioned but meaningless. Our nation and the American people have been apologizing for slavery for almost a century and a half. Hundreds of thousands of lives were sacrificed in the Civil War to free slaves. That was an apology with substance. The nation's leaders enacted constitutional amendments 13, 14, and 15. These provided freedom, equality and the imitation of voting rights for African-Americans. These were apologies with substance. There have been many other legislative apologies, including the civil rights acts and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Again, these were apologies with substance.

The legislative apology being lobbied for now is without substance and qualifies as political gimmickry and showmanship. Our legislators would be well-advised to turn their attention to the Bush-Cheney Iraq War and the Bush-Cheney-Blunt recession fueled by multitrillion-dollar increases in the public debt and chaotic administrations in Washington and Jefferson City. Perhaps most of all there must be a response to the Republican answer to the 2006 election message. That message was a crystal clear demand to get out of Iraq. And how did the Republicans respond? Send another 21,500 young Americans to fight and die in a catastrophic civil war.

BILL D. BURLISON, Advance, Mo.