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Senates Approves Slavery Apology, with Reparations Disclaimer

June 18, 20009, 4:33pm
Senate Approves Slavery Apology, with Reparations Disclaimer
By Bernie Becker
The Senate apologized for slavery on Thursday, almost 150 years after the start of the Civil war.

The  resolution, passed by voice vote, siad it was important for Americans to apologize for slavery "so they can move forward and seek reconciliation, justice, and harmony for all people of the United States."  It was passed on the day before Juneteenth, which commemorates the emancipation of slaves 1865.

A disclaimer tacked on at the end said nothing in the resolution authorized or supports of reparations for slavery.

"Let us make no mistake: This resolution will not fix lingering injustices," said Senator Tom Harkin, who first introduced the apology years algo. "While we are proud of this resolution and believe it is long overdue, the real work lies ahead."

The Iowa Democrat's co-sponsor on the apology was Republican Senator Sam Brownback, whose state wads dubbed "Bleeding Kansas" by newspaper editor Horace Greeley for its fierce battles over slavery.

The resolution now moves to the House, which passed a similar meaure in the last Congress.  That measure did not, however, include the disclaimer about reparations.

In his floor remarks, Senator Roland Burris, Democrat of Illinois and the Senate's only black member, said that "disclaimer in no way would eliminate future actions that may be brought before this body that may deal with reparations."

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