Saturday, February 24, 2007

Apology Not Accepted

I would like to start this post by apologizing to my college roommate,Devon, for that prank that caused him to be stuck damn near all night on a lonely road in the middle of Alabama. I would also like to apologize to my sister for stealing her magazines from her bedroom when we were growing up.

Wow, that actually felt kind of good, to be able to get past transgressions off of my chest in a public way. I think one day I will dedicate an entire post to people I have wronged in the past, and like my man Earl, I will spend the entire post telling each and every one of them that I am sorry.

This seems to be what law makers in that great Commonwealth of Virginia did recently. They voted unanimously in both houses in the former capital of the confederacy, (96-0 and 40-0) to apologize for Virginia's role in enslaving African Americans, and their regrets for the exploitation of Native Americans. Well good for them, that must have been so cathartic for my friends from the Commonwealth. I can just hear the African Americans across that state now: "Isn't this great they are really sorry for what they did to our people. I am so glad I live in Virginia"

Well not so fast. See folks, it's like this. My friend Devon is still alive, and he will read this blog and realize that I was the SOB that set him up that night. My sister is still alive, and she will read this blog and realize that I was the SOB that kept stealing her magazines. She, along with Devon, will read my apology, and realize that I am sorry. Unfortunately, the apology to my ancestors is about 400 years too f*****g late. Sorry, I am not one of these black folks who is going to jump for joy over an apology. They needed to be apologizing to the people that had to endure the slave masters whips, and the dehumanization, and exploitation of their families. I will be fine, their apologies don't mean a damn thing to me, because a bunch of state elected officials in Virginia-including 80 year old Frank D. Hargrove, who told black folks in Virginia to" get over slavery"-won't affect my life one way or the other. And I suspect, it won't affect any of the black people living in Virginia either.

If you really want to apologize, you might ant to give every African American high school kid in Virginia who graduates high school with a "B" average and scores at least 1,000 on the SAT, a guaranteed four year scholarship to a public University in that state. You might want to give every black person in Virginia shares of stock in Virginia Companies like Phillip Morris, and Ameri -Group. Or, you might want to name a couple of buildings on the campus of UVA after Thomas Jefferson's mistress, Sally Hemmings. That would be a start. And then you can follow all of that up by tearing down those mother fu****g confederate statutes in the middle of Richmond. That's how you could apologize to the field. I am sure my dead ancestors would appreciate that a whole lot more than your fu****g resolutions and proclamations.

I mean your resolutions sure sounds nice: [Government sanctioned] "slavery ranks as the most horrendous of all depredations of our founding ideals of our nation's history..." blah, blah,blah. But it's the white people of James Town way back in 1619 who should have been feeling this way. Somehow 400 years later it just doesn't mean s**t , unless you can back it up with something meaningful that black people can benefit from.

So sorry folks, if the field was in the Virginia state house the vote would have been 95-1. Because I will be damn if I give those mother fu****s the pleasure of clearing their conscience at the expense of my vote. Nope, they will have to live with what they did to my people. Apology not accepted.

Now I hear that Missouri is considering a similar measure, and who knows which state will be next. Please, let's stop the charade right now. Sometimes sorry is just not enough, not when the people you should have told it to are no longer here to accept it.


aulelia said...

i cannot believe that they'd think that an apology was enough to ease the pain. slavery's aura has created new troubles for us: colorism complexes and self-esteem issues. i don't think a siple ''we're sorry is enough''.

we can't move on until they realise the magnitude of what happened. the 'get-over-it-we-apologised' isnt enough.

I am not Star Jones said...

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
T. S. Eliot

I would double that for most white Americans.

What to do until they can bear reality?

Don't sleep on their bs and delusions. Yeah, don't cut nobody no slack that is an active participant in perpetuating lies.

Respond with intelligence, passion and action when the situation warrants.
Revel in the sincerity and honesty of how your reality doesn't traffic in myth and fantasy.

It may not change anything for a minute but make sure it makes you feel good.

field said...

Thanks eulelia, I hope I am not being uncivil. After all, some would argue that at least they-the Virginia legislators-had the decency to apologize.

But I am sorry, it's too little too late as far as I am concerned.If the apology doesn't have anything behind it but mere words, we might as well just move on, and not say anything at all.

It just all seems too political and contirved in my book.

And thanks "i am not star jones", your post was quite profound. Definately words to live by!

Chris said...

My bad guys.

Chris said...

We good?

field negro said...

Chris, you are too crazy!
But no, we are not yet quite "good".

DivineLavender said...

Awww you just go ahead and let them put something on paper so they can avoid the ghetto in their BMW. That is the new game....You ain't really suppose to think you just suppose to accept and do the TWO STEP.

I am with you! Kiss my ASK! Give up some green, stock options, endowments, health care, something!

I wonder if I could ride up to Virginia slap the Governor's wife's face, trip their kids, and key their ride....Then say I am sorry...and get to ride out.

I mean I will say I am sorry.

Oh yeah, I am too dark for that nonsense. Those rules don't apply to me...sorry.

I mean I

Liz said...

Maybe I'm just happy because Jennifer Hudson won her Oscar, but you know, overall I'm glad the apology was made. Obviously it's centuries too late and I think someone probably twisted Hargrove's arm and made him do it. Yes, words are absolutely not where this should end since it's truly deeds and not words that really ring true. I know in my head that it's clearly not enough, but I'll take it as a start.

dnA said...

The real question is whether there is a clause in the apology that protects Virginia from lawsuits based on their admission of responsiblity.

Class Action anyone?

Tasha said...

Honestly, I'm rather suspicious of this apology. I'm not sure why, but I have a nagging feeling that the Commonwealth is trying to avoid some type of serious litigation or bad press.

Ridwan Laher said...

The apology is a get-out-of guilt card for whites.

Here in S. Africa we had the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that found apartheid to be a crime against humanity.

Yeah, and so. Well the so part is that whites now say the past has been dealt with and we should move on ... racism was solved by the TRC.

I expect that white folks will immediately point to the apology as evidence that the horrow of slavery is past now.

The apology solved racism for whites.

Great post.


Francis L. Holland Blog said...

There's a big difference between an apology and "amends". Amends looks at the harm that was done and seeks to rectify it in the present. In this apology, I don't see any effort to quantify the harm that was done in the past so that it can be rectified in the present.

dblhelix said...

"who knows which state will be next"

Virginia's Northern Neighbor

Reparations were stripped out last year -- all that's left is 'regret'.

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

02 27 07

Hey Field:
Vitriol and carbon for breakfast eh?! heheheheheheheheheh I love the overall sentiment of this post, but think that the first step to nationwide healing is in Acknowledgement. In that regard, an apology is a hope. Your suggestions for the Blacks in Virginia is excellent, regarding the college admissions etc.

Hopefully the apology will be a beginning...

Anonymous said...

I am confused did they apologise for slavery or are they sorry that they brought us here?

field said...

"I am confused did they apologise for slavery or are they sorry that they brought us here? "

Ahhhh that's a good question!
I think they are sorry they brought us here :)

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