2.25.2007

Yet another unpopular opinion....

Once again, I'm going to say something that will be unpopular with most of the people that read it:

No one alive today owes anyone else that is alive today an apology for slavery in Colonial America.


There, I said it. The recent actions of the Virginia State Legislature are ridiculous. Who exactly are they apologizing to? And what exactly are they apologizing for? Apologizing for slavery is like saying that they had some control over it, that those of us alive today bear some responsibility for the actions of people now long dead. Isn't that the whole "Sins of the Father" argument?

Slavery was an atrocity. It is unthinkable to me that one human being could so easily overlook the value of another in order to make money. Sadly, it still occurs in many parts of the world. Children are sold into slavery by their own families on a daily basis. Men and women are forced into slavery by people promising a better life. The people who work to make our clothing and other daily use items are often treated as little other than animals. Where are the heartfelt apologies for these people? Have you stopped buying items that are made by the hands of these people? When you put on a t-shirt, are you sure it wasn't sewn by a child who doesn't even get paid? When you eat an apple, are you sure the person who picked it was paid a fair wage, provided protection under the labor laws and not forced to work fifteen hour days? I'm betting not.

If there are apologies owed, it is to those people in this country and others that are forced to work in substandard conditions for miniscule or no pay so that those of us with money can have the little things in life. The apologies should be coming from the men and women in our government that know these things are happening and do nothing to punish the American companies that make a profit on the backs of the poor.

Before we start apologizing for the things we had no control over, how about fixing the things we can control?

2 comments:

That girl said...

I agree with you 100%. I'm almost fully American Indian. I don't expect anything from anyone. I also think others shouldn't. The fact that some feel that they should receive gain based on what happened generations ago is disturbing to me at best.

BTW, I found you through zeroboss, and I'm actually at megsmind.com...

Suzanne said...

I find that your "unpopular opinions" are generally very sound, so I am glad that you share them. Although from a historical perspective, I do think the American government needs to get off its high horse about this being the land of freedom for all. That's not quite true. Still, it is so important to do something for people who are enslaved now! My mother-in-law wanted to buy a designer knock off handbag in Chinatown, but those are all made by slave labor, so I felt I helped a little by explaining the situation and dissuading her from supporting such atrocious practices, albeit unintentionally.