I recently did a post on sex slaves in America and inside I talked about a bunch of Ukrainian women who were brought here under the assumption they would be getting jobs except those jobs were as prostitutes. Now they are free, tens of thousands of dollars richer and American citizens. They actually spoke to congress about the sex slave industry and cried their collective eyes out at the humiliation, torment and degradation they suffered at the hands of their captors. Now New Jersey lawmakers would like to offer an apology for the enslavement of the Africans.
An apology is a good start to trying to acknowledge a wrong that was never corrected. Republican Assemblymen such as Richard Merkt and Michael Patrick Carroll had problems with this. They feel that it would be meaningless. Assemblyman Richard Merkt wanted to know, “Who living today is guilty of slave holding and thus capable of apologizing for the offense?” Also, “And who living today is a former slave and thus capable of accepting the apology? So how is a real apology even remotely possible, much less meaningful, given the long absence of both oppressor and victim?”
“But, on a current note, if slavery was the price that a modern American’s ancestors had to pay in order to make one an American, one should get down on one’s knees every single day and thank the Lord that such price was paid,” Carroll said. Carroll said while his ancestors came from Ireland around the 1850s, fleeing a potato famine he said was worsened by British indifference; he bore the British no ill will. Now back to our Ukrainian ladies. From what Assemblyman Carroll is saying these ladies should be on their collective knees daily and this time to thank the modern day slave catchers for helping to make them citizens of America. Not only the ladies but their children, children’s children should all be on their knees giving thanks that the sex slave catchers got their mothers and grandmothers and making them free Americans.
Now that sounds pretty sickening if you ask me, that we have people that are so callous as to think that someone should be thankful that their family has been enslaved and subjugated. They should be thankful for the passing on of not only an American citizenship but a legacy of subjugation, discrimination and bias. Mr. Carroll would NEVER make that statement to these ladies let alone any white person who suffered from some devastating event that caused them to be in America. Would he say that to the Jews who suffered through the holocaust? Hey they had to suffer immensely, losing family members and their freedom yet they should be thanking the Nazi’s each and every day down on their knees no doubt for the chance to be an American citizen.
If a drunk driver swerves his car into a car carrying Mr. Carroll’s children and they all get killed including the drunk driver would he feel it to be meaningless for the drunk driver’s family to offer his family some sort of apology for the disaster? I mean the drunk driver is dead so can’t apologize; his kids are dead so they can’t accept it so to him it is a waste of time. Yet on a daily basis in some court here in America you have murderer after murderer who is apologizing for the murder of somebody or another. Then there are the people who are accepting of the apology, not the person however because they are no longer here. But, the apology still helps those left behind to begin healing from whatever mental anguish they have been and are suffering.
The extreme condescension of comparing slavery of ones ancestors to a famine is indescribable. People constantly want to make comparisons with regards to slavery. It is just another way of diminishing the act or trying to lessen its blow. It is like comparing starvation which lasts months until one dies to going without lunch for one day. How about I compare his family’s potato famine with the cold that I had last year which was pretty bad and I felt terrible for a week. I am sure he and certainly his ancestors would say that it was no comparison.
Now slavery was a LONG time ago I will grant you. But looking at the big picture what has been done to take the sting of it away from the minds of those that are here now. What has anyone done to make amends for this travesty of justice? What exactly did we get for our families suffering through slavery? We received the bonuses of lynching, Jim Crow, discrimination, racism, white privilege, deep resentment, out right hatred and ambivalence. Yet I am supposed to be thankful to have this legacy. Maybe we as blacks are thankful to be in the United States but the problem is that not only our ancestors had to pay a price; we are still paying a price with racism, injustice, discrimination and hypocrisy at every turn. So why don’t we start with a simple apology then move on to some real corrections and end white privilege, racism and try to make life fair to ALL races.