Wed 27 Feb, 2008
Tags: Apologies, Legislation, Sam Brownback, Slavery, Tom Harkin, U.S. Congress
The U.S. Senate will consider an apology for slavery and the subsequent history of legalized discrimination, under a plan announced by senators Sam Brownback and Tom Harkin and covered in an article made available by USA Today this evening.
Harkin and Brownback have already lined up 14 co-sponsors, including presidential candidates Clinton and Obama, for their proposed apology, which they plan to introduce in the Senate as early as March.
Harkin (D-Iowa) notes that several states have already apologized for slavery in the last year, and says that he’s “really shocked, just shocked” that the U.S. Congress hasn’t acted on an apology yet.
Like several of the state apologies, the Senate proposal would contain language stipulating that the apology could not serve as the basis for reparations lawsuits.
Brownback (R-Kansas) had previously announced his intention to sponsor such an apology with a Democratic ally last fall, when he was running for the Republican presidential nomination.
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) introduced an apology resolution in the U.S. House last year. His proposal, H.Res. 194, is currently before the House Judiciary Committee and has attracted 120 co-sponsors.