Stopping short of a full-blown apology, Virginia’s House of Delegates voted unanimously on Friday to issue a statement of “profound regret” over the state’s role in the slave trade, “the historic wrongs visited upon native peoples” and “all other forms of discrimination and injustice….”
Los Angeles Times:
“The General Assembly hereby expresses its profound regret for the commonwealth’s role in sanctioning the immoral institution of human slavery, in the historic wrongs visited upon native peoples, and in all other forms of discrimination and injustice that have been rooted in racial and cultural bias and misunderstanding,” the resolution states.
The resolution was sponsored by Democratic Delegate A. Donald McEachin, whose great-grandfather was born a slave. Although he initially wanted an outright apology, McEachin said the final version of the House resolution “doesn’t sugarcoat the matter either.”
McEachin said it marked an important step in the state’s effort to move beyond its history of stormy race relations, which included governmentsanctioned resistance to integration during the 1950s.
“There is some pain at first, but there is a beautiful product at the end,” McEachin said of his colleagues’ decision to embrace the resolution. “Virginia had nothing to do with the end of slavery. It had everything do with the beginning of slavery.”