Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Senate Apologizes for Lynching

Please note Senator Kerry's comments in bold:

A Senate Apology for History on Lynching

Vote Condemns Past Failure to Act

By Avis Thomas-Lester, Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 14, 2005; A12

The U.S. Senate last night approved a resolution apologizing for its failure to enact federal anti-lynching legislation decades ago, marking the first time the body has apologized for the nation's treatment of African Americans.

One-hundred and five years after the first anti-lynching bill was proposed by a black congressman, senators approved by a voice vote Resolution 39, which called for the lawmakers to apologize to lynching victims, survivors and their descendants, several of whom watched from the gallery.

"There may be no other injustice in American history for which the Senate so uniquely bears responsibility," Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said before the vote.

Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), who with Landrieu led the resolution effort, said the vote finally put the Senate "on the record condemning the brutal atrocity that plagued our great nation."

The moment lacked the drama of the fiery Senate filibusters that blocked the legislation three times in the past century. There were few senators on the floor last night and no roll call, no accounting for each vote. But 80 of the Senate's 100 members signed on as co-sponsors, signaling their support.

Missing from that list were senators from the state that reported the most lynching incidents: Mississippi Republicans Trent Lott and Thad Cochran.

"I am personally struck," Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) said, "even at this significant moment, by the undeniable and inescapable reality that there aren't 100 senators and co-sponsors. Maybe by the end of the evening there will be, but as we stand here with this resolution now passed by voice vote, there aren't."

In passing the measure, the senators in essence admitted that their predecessors' failure to act had helped perpetuate a horror that took the lives of more than 4,700 people from 1882 to 1968, most of them black men. At the turn of the last century, more than 100 lynching incidents were reported each year, many of them publicly orchestrated to humiliate the victims and instill fear in others. Lynching occurred in all but four states in the contiguous United States, and less than 1 percent of the perpetrators were brought to justice, historians say. [...]

I wonder, besides the 2 Senators from Mississippi, I wonder what the Party break down of the absentees was? Let me guess, they probably were mostly if not all Republican. Of course, an event like this brings out the shameless on the other side of the aisle who parrot the "what about Robert Byrd?" Guess what? Senator Byrd's actions were in times past and he has apologized and distanced himself from them, but we are talking about today, in this day and age, guess what Party houses and nurtures present day racism?

Of course, the joke here is that George Allen of Virginia, who is a 2008 Presidential candidate is co-sponsoring this to cover up the fact that in the not-to-distant past, he hung a hoose in front of his house and proudly displayed a confederate flag in his living room. Good ol' life values there.


Blogger Ambrose said...

I will be so happy when we have moved the heck out of Mississippi.
Even the Jackson newspaper had a toothless editorial about the bill.
I was hoping for more as this is the paper if Jerry Mitchell

9:10 PM  
Blogger BAMinRI said...

And, of course, predictably Boy Bettanelli up here in the Boston area is in a royal snit over the passage by the Senate of any such apologies for failure to pass lynching legislation. See his post of June 13, 2005.

What a dope!!!

8:32 PM  
Blogger Ono said...

Dkos and others have the pro-lynching club going, hopefully we can help people remember this during elections. Lynching may be Christian values in Mississippi and other places and among Christians on the other side of the aisle, but I think most decent Americans will begin to see through this religious charade.

11:14 PM  
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