Saturday, January 20, 2007

Some Thoughts on Hargrove's Dreadful Bigotry

Del. Hargrove thinks that we should forget about slavery. No one in the General Assembly had anything to do with it, so Hargrove thinks an apology is uncalled for. I beg to differ.

We own our comlete history -- all of it. That includes the good and the shameful. The hope is that we wise up and learn from our mistakes as a society. We try to set right the wrongs and create a better future. But lacking even an apology, how does a society move forward? Is it Hargrove's wish that all just be forgotten, and if so, how then do we prevent another slavery, Holocaust, or Darfur?

Now comes a lettter-to-the-editor in the Roanoke Times to suggest the writer should be left alone to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of Jamestown without unpleasant thoughts about things such as slavery. Illustrating exactly the opposite of what the letter writer wishes, he makes my case instead. Such sanitizing of our nation's history does all of us a disservice. And, it guarantees that collective amnesia could one day cause us to repeat grave errors of the past.

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