What in the hell do they have to apologize for? What does America have to apologize for? Slavery was wrong, Jim Crow was wrong, and we as a society have rectified those wrongs over the past few decades. We've done that through civil rights legislation, affirmative action, the Judicial system, and a general shift in how society as a whole views blacks.
There was a time where slavery, and later blatant racism was pervasive and institutionalized within American society. Changes had to be made, bold changes, in order to break that system. We are now at a point where there is not pervasive, systemic racism within society. Does racism exist? Of course, it always will, and not just against blacks, but it's no longer institutionalized. The system that perpetually held down blacks and other minorities has been destroyed. If anything, it's been replaced with a system where minorities enjoy special privliges and treatment solely for their minority status. Oh, and if you really want to perpetuate race issues in this country have the government start paying reparations to blacks. Yeah, that's sure to unify people.
The article states,
"the vestiges of Jim Crow continue to this day...... African-Americans continue to suffer from the consequences of slavery and Jim Crow -- long after both systems were formally abolished -- through enormous damage and loss, both tangible and intangible, including the loss of human dignity and liberty, the frustration of careers and professional lives, and the long-term loss of income and opportunity"
You want to know why we still have race issues in this country? That paragraph exemplifies it. We can't just let it go, and people like me should be made to feel guilty for the transgressions of racist bigots who came before me, for no reason other than the fact that I'm white too. Likewise, such statements give others a sense of "entitlement" because of the evils committed against their ancestors. Society will never get past the "race issue" if the immoral acts of our forefathers continue to be held over our heads.
The only way to get past it is if everyone, black, white, purple, green, can come together and say "We're going to treat American society as a meritocracy, where our institutions will not use skin color as a means to provide help or hindrance to individuals." That is the next big hurdle we must overcome in order to bring this country together.
How do the "vestiges of Jim Crow" continue today when the institutions perpetuating legal racism against minorities no longer exist? Do inequalities exist along racial lines? Sure they do, but it's not for lack of opportunity. Every child in this country has an equal opportunity to go to school, and if their performance merits it, to go to college. (and that needs to be based solely on merit and need. It needs to be color-blind) If inner-city blacks have only a 50% high school graduation rate that's not the fault of the government, or of anyone outside of the communities in which that's occurring. It's certainly not lack of funding our education system. We continue to throw money at failing districts and failing schools with nothing to show for it but more failure. Why? Well for one continued failure or mediocrity ensure that those funds will keep rolling it. It's a black hole and a self-perpetuating problem.
There certainly are some very real inequalities and problems, but they are not MY fault, nor is there much if anything I can do to help. Such issues must be addressed from within the afflicted communities in order to see any real progress. I have absolute confidence that such progress CAN be made if we can get beyond race. The age old question remains, can we actually get beyond race? Can we get to a point where we truly judge every man by the content of his character? I certainly hope we can, because it's an ideal we should all strive for.