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Is It Time for Georgia to Officially Acknowledge Slavery?

A Georgia legislator has proposed a resolution aimed at expressing remorse for the state’s "past practice of condoning involuntary servitude.” What do you think of the proposal?

A practice that ended before the birth of anyone alive today is the focus of legislation in the Georgia General Assembly.

Last week, State Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, held a press conference to announce his filing of Senate Resolution 28, a resolution that aims to “[express] remorse for the state's past practice of condoning involuntary servitude,” or slavery. A copy of the resolution is attached to this article in PDF form.

According to Loudermilk, passage of the resolution would mark the first official acknowledgement of the injustices of slavery and serve as “an official expression of regret and remorse for the condoning of the institution of slavery in Georgia.

“The injustices brought on by the institution of slavery in our state's past stands in stark opposition to the principles on which this nation was founded. According to our founding documents, the sole responsibility of government is to preserve the God-given rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Loudermilk said in a news release. “The filing of [the] Freedom Resolution represents an important first step for our state, in recognizing the reprehensible act of slavery, and to bring reconciliation among the people of this great state.

“I am optimistic that my colleagues in both chambers will recognize the significance of this resolution, and we will work together in a strong bipartisan effort to pass it in this legislative session,” Loudermilk added. “Many people have worked together in drafting this resolution, including legislators, Georgia citizens and members of the clergy.”

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, this isn’t the first time a Georgia lawmaker has attempted to get a resolution like this passed. Then-Senate President Pro Tem Eric Johnson, R-Savannah, made such a push in 2007 and 2009, while black House Democrats have attempted too; none of the proposals were passed by the General Assembly.

What do you think? Is it time we passed this resolution or do state legislators have more pressing present day issues on which to focus their attention?

This question was initially asked on Kennesaw Patch. See what people had to say about it there.

R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew January 25, 2013 at 04:17 AM
Folks like me dragging it out? HOW? Because I see though the fog to the end game? Too many groups make a really good living off the backs of those they stir up and when those jobs cease "What will they do?" Again for our gentle readers, there is NO way anyone can determine a racial characteristic in a PRINT media without a poster stating it, unless they attempt a little RACIAL profiling themselves... Isn't that just WRONG? After all, even Steve Martin once said that "he was born a poor black child" and even that doesn't really make it so.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew January 25, 2013 at 04:20 AM
As a credit to Dave's position, the earth just shifted and Ice is surplus on Hates big board.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew January 25, 2013 at 04:28 AM
There is an African American in the White House. I thought ACTIONS spoke louder than words...
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew January 25, 2013 at 04:34 AM
Good sir, I'll have you believe NEITHER as it makes NO difference. Besides, aren't there a few more nationalities and just few more shades to choose from or are there only 2 colors on the palette in your view of the world?
Ryan Smith (Editor) January 25, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Did anyone actually read the resolution? I see nothing in its language that anyone could possibly object to. It is merely an official acknowledgment, long overdue, that slavery was wrong. It does not heap personal responsibility for slavery on the heads of the living. It merely acknowledges slavery's injustice and expresses remorse that it happened.
David Brown January 25, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Thank you Ryan. WELL SAID! I did read the resolution. You're a great American.
mike puglise January 25, 2013 at 02:22 PM
David we are together on this one. History forgotten is history repeated. I have no problem with recognizing our faults as a nation and correcting them and/or acknowledging them. But to ignore is injurious.
Good Grief Y'all January 25, 2013 at 04:29 PM
I thank you, too, Ryan, for your reminder that we should look before we leap.
Deanna January 25, 2013 at 09:23 PM
I don't need an apology. Just send me a check for backpay to cover all of the free labor my ancestors performed, as well as punitive damages for destroying our family unit and history.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew January 26, 2013 at 02:35 AM
It's been done again and again and again ... SO how many more before we close the book? The answer my friend is Blowin' in the Wind, the answer is Blowin' in the Wind ...
Ryan Smith (Editor) January 26, 2013 at 05:50 AM
Actually, R, no, it hasn't. That's the point. According to the article, "passage of the resolution would mark the first official acknowledgement of the injustices of slavery" by the state of Georgia.
Ryan Smith (Editor) January 26, 2013 at 05:57 AM
Hey, folks. I've deleted a few comments at the end here, some for getting a bit too personal and some because they were in direct response to the others and wouldn't make sense out of context. I realize this is a charged topic, but I'm just issuing a friendly reminder to abide by the terms of service. Thanks!
Amy January 26, 2013 at 06:53 AM
Hey Ryan, How about deleting that offender from Patch, period? How many times have you or other Patch staff deleted that person's comment? We could be talking about Paula Deen's homemade, deep fried, pecan pie, and some people will manage to attempt to disparage a whole race of people who support L/G Patch. I'm so over the oafish antics of the offenders.
Racer X January 26, 2013 at 01:05 PM
Deanna- How much do you want the check to be for? What price are you putting on your family unit and history?
Racer X January 26, 2013 at 01:07 PM
Amy, I simply found it repulsive to be asked for yet another check. I wrote the truth. The problem is that much of America can't handle the truth.
Amy January 26, 2013 at 03:54 PM
Truth be told Racer X, I don't want anything from anybody. No apology, no acknowledgement, no money...keep you stuff. I just want to go to work, save for retirement, praise God, and go to heaven. So I live my life righteously and hope to be rewarded as such. As a citizen of this planet earth, it does me no good to go on Wikipedia, research negativity about any group of people, and copy and paste it on L/G Patch. If I were to look up all the awful things White ancestors did to every other race, it would send me into a deep depression and do no good to any of the decent, hard working, White people I know now. Just bear in mind, if you're not on the Patch staff where your true identity is apparent, anyone can create a name, and post incendiary comments. My first thought, when I saw that comment about paying back monetarily, was that it was YOU who posted it, pretending to be someone else. That's just me. I trust no one. So grow up. Find a purpose in life. You seem aimless. It's quite pathetic, actually. And let's get this right, you CANNOT afford to pay anybody who is asking for a check. It would be my money too, going to people who don't deserve it, because my ancestors weren't enslaved in the USA, so I would be ineligible for reparations.
J Wo January 26, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Apparently you don't understand that the state lasts longer than individual people. The state supported slavery, not just the people. The state still exists, thus the state can still acknowledge a grievous error in its past.
rebecca olesen January 31, 2013 at 09:51 PM
Yeah I'm sure you're real sad about it Smugly satisfied is more like it.
rebecca olesen January 31, 2013 at 09:54 PM
Okay I acknowledge slavery. It has always existed and it still exists today. I don't feel any particular sorry for any one race of slaves over another, and I don't know why I should.
rebecca olesen January 31, 2013 at 09:59 PM
Yes be sure to talk to your kids about it, because blacks tell their kids every day to hate whites because of it. Be sure to visit the COGIC church in your area, you know the one represented as the 'African American' church and where you are not wanted. Intentional interactions, for example, the intentional interaction of the young black male who murdered my 82 yr old great aunt and my stepfather and set them on fire in exchange for 100 bucks and a nintendo. Or on second thought, maybe I'd rather spend more time interacting with my own family and people who care about me and my race as much as their own. Apparently race favoritism within certain races is not considered racism, just only one.
rebecca olesen January 31, 2013 at 10:00 PM
And like the muslims say: 9/11 was so long ago, you should just let it go.
Elaine March 28, 2013 at 03:10 AM
I'm not sure how I feel... An apology is fine, but a lot of these Sorry for Slavery resolutions are kind of like breaking a man's legs then saying you're sorry while tossing him a cane and telling him to figure out how to walk again on his own... I would rather see Georgia make a resolution to ensure that it will continue to aid its black citizens in regaining lost ground over 200 years of oppression has taken from its people. I think great achievements have been reached in the wake of the civil rights movement although statistics tell me we're far from out of the woods just yet. I don't even know how to touch the Cherokee thing... In some weird ways, I feel like trying to make up for chattel slavery is easier than making up for the eviction from sacred/ancestral grounds, genocide, destruction of culture, broken treaties, dismantled sovereignty of a nation AND slavery (I hope no one forgot that native peoples were also sold to the West Indies!) so... Yeah... I think if I hopped in a time machine to visit my great-great-great-something grandma and asked her if she was cool with the other majority of my heritage she would end me. Flat out end me.
Racer X March 28, 2013 at 10:28 AM
Elaine- There is still time, you could always end yourself.
Greg Mack April 29, 2013 at 01:21 PM
Here is my final warning - either we honestly handle this issue now, or it will be worse in a few years - this country is not far from becoming a minority-majority country and when that happens God help us, because if this issue has not been resolved, it will be time for "what goes around comes around"
John B April 29, 2013 at 01:42 PM
GM: What do you suggest?
Racer X April 29, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Sweet. Let's get this party started.
Greg Mack April 30, 2013 at 12:33 PM
let's start by removing race from applications (what do we need to know a person's race?)...let's acknowledge that our communities, cities, schools, churches, etc are made up of people based primarily on race - don't participate in that anymore and insist on change....let's remove the primary elections because it's rooted in race - if a primary election is held, let the top 2 (or everyone over 30%) run in the general election....stop identify people by their race especially when you are talking to your kids...stop racism when its in your presence...redraw all school districts, all county commission districts, all state rep and senate districts and all congressional district and disregard race in all of them....life is not perfect; therefore, we have to acknowledge that in life a lot of times it has to be life a track event - the starting blocks need to be staggered...
John B April 30, 2013 at 12:42 PM
GM: I think they are all good suggestions although difficult to implement. The question presented in the article "is it time for Georgia to acknowledge slavery" still needs to be answered. I would gladly stand on a mountain and shout out acknowledgement if that would change anything. I don't think so...do you?
Greg Mack April 30, 2013 at 12:59 PM
thank you...and absolutely! what is always the 1st step? acknowledgement - admitting there is/was a problem - until that's done, there is nothing to resolve/solve - we are all who we are today and where we are in life based on actions/events/decisions made in the past - everyone - a child born via a rape is still a child; however, the issues involved with conception last a lifetime and are dealt with everyday - saying to the woman who was raped that you had nothing to do with it does not help....housing project built years ago are negatively impacting our lives today - small town justice is still negatively impacting our lives today - I learned as a child growing up that you will reap what you sow (what goes around comes around) - so we can ignore doing the right thing if we want, but sooner or later the truth will be revealed and it will come upon us
Racer X April 30, 2013 at 01:39 PM
Greg- Those really are great ideas. To answer the original question though:"is it time for Georgia to acknowledge slavery" I say sure, if it would help. The bigger issue is that slavery was an American problem. It's time for the Federal Government to acknowledge it. Of course, having Obama apologize for slavery may seem a bit ironic, but none of his immediate relatives were ever affected by slavery in America so I think it would be OK (Kenyan father, White mother) The good news is that you would be hard pressed to find any American these days that thinks slavery is OK. If I were Black, I think I would consider myself lucky to have ended up in the US and honor my descendents through whose suffering I am here. Being in Africa these days would be no picnic. In 2010, 68% of the world's AIDS cases where in Sub-Saharan Africa. That's 22.9 million people with Aids with 1.8 million of them dying that year. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology_of_HIV/AIDS The average income in Sub-Saharan Africa last year was a grand total of $470. or $1.28 per day. http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/0,,contentMDK:20179737~pagePK:34370~piPK:42768~theSitePK:4607,00.html Black Americans have come a LONG way, down a hard road, and have a lot to be proud of.

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