Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Florida apologizes for slavery

Good for them:
The Legislature issued an apology Wednesday morning for the state's "shameful" history in enslaving black people and passing laws that called for savage lashings and even the nailing of their ears to posts for crimes like burglary.

"The Legislature expresses its profound regret for Florida's role in sanctioning and perpetuating involuntary servitude upon generations of African slaves," said the resolution, pushed by black lawmakers.

In the Senate, during the reading of the resolution and the recounting of the slave codes passed by the Territorial Council in 1822 and struck down in 1868 -- three years after the Civil War ended -- Sen. Arthenia Joyner, a Tampa Democrat, sobbed during the presentation of the resolution, which passed on a voice vote.

"I knew the facts but, to hear it put in those terms, I just fell apart," she said.

After the measure passed on a voice vote without opposition in the senate, where President Ken Pruitt wanted no discussion or recorded votes, the Florida House did the same. House Speaker Marco Rubio thanked both Pruitt and the black caucus for bringing the matter forward.

I'm especially interested that the governor is open to making reparations:
The resolution stops short of calling for reparations for descendants of slaves, though Republican Gov. Charlie Crist said after the vote that he was open to the idea "if we can determine descendancy, certainly."

Crist, who attended the floor vote, said, "Florida is sorry for the past transgressions and unfair treatment and in some cases just gross inequity as it exists toward members of the African-American community."

Via LG&M, which points out that there a bunch of racist twits who are much less enthusiastic about the notion of reparations.

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