Saturday, March 17, 2007

Apologia

Apologizing - a very desperate habit - one that is rarely cured. Apology is only egotism wrong side out. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

I don't know about anyone else, but I am getting tired of these endless apologies for things that were done years ago by another group of people in another time. For example, it appears that state legislatures, having solved all other problems, are falling over themselves to apologize for for slavery.

To my knowledge, not a single person alive today had anything to do with the purchase, sale, mistreatment, or general support of enslaving the people who became known as African-Americans. The people who trade in slavery today, on the other hand, aren't apologizing to anyone.

Americans apologizing for slavery is slightly silly anyway. The British and the Dutch were kingpins in the slave trade. The British also enslaved their own citizens in something called "indentured servitude", although there was some possibility of getting out of that system. But even these countries can't take the full blame for the evil of slavery, because they were getting their supply from African tribes, who sold their captives to them in the first place.

So when can we expect an apology from Nigeria?

Nobody benefits from these apologies. They seem to be the favorite of certain groups, though:

-- Politicians who want to make it look like they're addressing the inequities of society, when they are, in fact, doing nothing at all;

-- People who use the excuse of apology to continue their discriminatory practices;

-- African-American leaders who want to distract from their own failures of leadership in the last thirty years or so;

-- And a little handful of lawyers and litigants who think they can collect "reparations."

The sad thing is that there are so many things that need apology, but no one is offering. If I were looking for a little contrition, I'd be looking in these areas:

-- From the President for the last six, going on seven, years of ineptitude.

-- From Congress, state legislators, and local politicians for having let our educational system tank.

-- From Congress, for being on the take from every major lobby on the planet.

-- From NASCAR, for lousing up a great sport.

-- From millionaire athletes, for snorting their fortunes through their nose or blowing their money on glitz when there are people who are homeless, unclothed, and starving in this country.

-- From the mainstream news media, for abrogating their responsibilities; also for using blogs as a news source without bothering to check if the stories are even accurate.

-- From television executives, for having created so many terrible programs that we actually appreciate the increased number of commercials that interrupt them.

-- From major corporations, for having tossed product quality and customer service into the dumpster while paying their executives obscene amounts of money.

-- From the energy companies, for being greedy jerks and for buying Congress.

-- From political and religious Conservatives, for thinking that the Constitution applies only to them.

I'm not holding my breath waiting on any of these characters.

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