Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Slavery Debate Ended - PJM

If you have not already found out, the legislature withdrew the "expression of profound regret/apology for slavery" resolution. Actually, Senator Dwite Pedersen withdrew the resolution because as the Omaha World Herald puts it he had reconsidered the resolution of profound regret vs his earlier resolution apologizing for slavery and and "his principles would not allow him to proceed with the altered resolution." The World Herald further says that, "Expressing regret rather than apologizing is not what he wanted or what those who brought the resolution to him wanted." Pedersen said, "I cannot take up the time of this Legislature for something I cannot support," and "I do not do this with anger, without thought or without hurt."

Well, the senator should have never wasted the Legislature's time on this to begin with. Pedersen introduced this resolution at the urging of a friend and history buff supposedly hoping to promote racial healing and to educate Nebraskans of the history of slavery here.

I guess I still don't understand how I promote racial healing for something no one I ever knew and no one that was ever related to me did 150 years ago in a society that fought a war over what had gone on in our country for a couple hundred years and practiced at least from the time of Moses. I still wonder if I have to throw away or burn the Bible? Maybe Pedersen should be promulgating a resolution of thanks' to the millions of men and women, and their descendents, who died fighting to end the odious institution of slavery?

This is going to sound very hard edged, and I guess the input of those of you who are living today and reading it today and may take offense at it today may determine whether I owe someone an apology, but if Senator Pedersen wants to promote racial harmony he might well do so by not creating modern day victims because someone did something bad to their ancestors 150 or more years ago (if he wants to do that, there will be many groups and nationalities waiting in line for their apology as well). He might say to all that, "you are responsible for your own life and if you succeed it well be because of your own efforts. If you fail, it will because you failed--not because of what someone did to your ancestors." It's appropriate that this issue has now been put to bed, and thankfully Senator Pedersen will not be returning to the Legislature to reintroduce it next year. However, be forewarned that Senator Pedersen has filed for a seat on the soon to be populated "Learning Community Board" so maybe he'll be promoting it there next he helps create yet another bureaucracy.


Anonymous said...

We, Republicans, should keep this situation in mind and let that be a factor when we judge his fitness for another elected position. This should be done not only for Dwite Pedersen but for all the “so-called” Republicans. This is not merely a case of disagreement on an issue…..this is a typical example of useless, inappropriate, self-serving, insulting, condescending legislation that perpetuates the idea that it’s not my fault….its everyone else’s fault but mine. I AM SO DISAPPOINTED IN SENATOR PEDERSEN.

The Cue said...

You know you're preaching to the choir here. I agree.

Senator Lowen Kruse said...

Hi Pat-

Thank you for writing. I would vote for apology, not regret, because we still carry the penalty for black persons ancestors. We have communities in Nebraska where blacks are not allowed to live and in Omaha, in my lifetime (not someone else’s) we blocked loans on whole neighborhoods if blacks were included, and prohibited blacks from walking in certain neighborhoods unless they could prove they were “servants” in that neighborhood. Attitudes of slavery are still with us.

Pat McPherson said...

In response to Senator Kruse:

We differ on this issue. I was raised in Omaha and while those things may and did happen, I didn't do it or condone it. The more we promote victim hood, the more reason we give folks to not take responsibility for their lifes.

Anonymous said...

This little vignette with the good Senator (Kruse), clarifies for me why the legislature is so non functional in anyway except in raising taxes.