Johnson to introduce resolution re: slavery.

From the AJC:

“It’s not that we personally or our parents participated in slavery, but the state of Georgia did,” (Sen. Eric) Johnson said. “As a Georgian and as a Georgia legislator, acknowledging our role, expressing regret for it, and looking for resolution and reconciliation as we go forward, particularly with the sesquicentennial coming of the Civil War, is maybe appropriate for us to do.”

Johnson would not reveal details on the proposal’s language, saying he needed to review it with other Republican leaders, including Gov. Sonny Perdue.

17 comments

  1. David says:

    I used to think Johnson had some grey matter, but it seems that he’s just another lemming legislator getting on board the Pander Express. Another piece of “guilt” legislation. Total horse[crap]!

  2. joshdondich says:

    Well I am undecided on this bill . Slavery is definitley wrong and needs to be condemned at any nation that still allows slavery and humantrafficking actions in their country, but how far can you go with a guilt trip over something that happened over 160 years ago. It was a travesty that slavery had existed in this great nation, but forcing people that came generations after slavery to apologize for something that they personally had no involvment in slavery is over-guilt.

  3. jonlester says:

    Whatever the usefulness of apology resolutions, I’d say the Cherokees and the Creeks have been waiting for one for a longer time than the descendents of slaves.

  4. SOUTHERN BREEZE says:

    GtET OVER IT….. there are far more pressing issues facing our great state than to keep dwelling on an issue that has been apoligized for, regrets have been made etc. It is sad that we are unable to move on in the process of learning from one generation’s mistakes and making sure it never happens again. This is issue has turned into no more than a way for some to gain political ears to insure support. It is sad that Eric has crumbled in the face of this but maybe after he speaks with leadership he will have a change of heart or whatever guilt trip he’s on. JonLester said it right above. I saw a bumper stick that said it all this past week…”CAN YOU TRUST THE GOVERNMENT..ASK AN INDIAN! Enough already Eric move on to something that has to do with TODAY.

  5. I’ve always looked at these sort of things as kind of silly- Noones life will be changes one way or another by the passing of legislation like this.

    That being said, just pass it & move on- this thing should have never been given more than 30 sec of thought- It is a piece of legisaltion on the same par as recognizing someones birthday or someones business in an official proclaimation- It doesn’t really matter in terms of anything but it doesn’t hurt anyone either.

  6. David says:

    None of these groups is owed a damn thing, including an apology. What these “victims” had better do is learn to live in the world they find themselves in today. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, the should strive to overcome whatever perceived dog-squeeze “injustice” was done to their ancestors. What’s done is done. It has no bearing whatsoever on the ability to fulfill THEIR potential. Enough of this crap already!

  7. David wrote:


    [Unread Comment]

    None of these groups is owed a damn thing, including an apology. What these “victims” had better do is learn to live in the world they find themselves in today. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, the should strive to overcome whatever perceived dog-squeeze “injustice” was done to their ancestors. What’s done is done. It has no bearing whatsoever on the ability to fulfill THEIR potential. Enough of this crap already!”

    David, are you talking about confederate heritage activists and their new desire for an entire month of recognition? I can’t tell sometimes.

  8. David says:

    I’m talking about the groups who perpetuate an injustice filled past, whether they be blacks, indians or martians. It simply isn’t constructive any longer. I have no idea what the heck you’re talking about regarding a confederate anything. I’m talking about the constant need for the current government, whether state or federal, thinking that there is a need to apologize for actions taken by long dead ancestors.

  9. Big Mack says:

    If Eric Johnson wants to personally apologize for himself and his family, then let him; but he does not need to be apologizing for me and my family. If he pushes this crap through the Senate, I will find him some legitimate opposition when he runs again and it won’t be some mickey mouse democrat that lives in South Carolina. The more this goof ball talks the less sense I think he has.

  10. MountainThinker says:

    The REAL danger here is this:

    An apology is first and foremost the acceptance of responsibility through an admission of guilt/wrong-doing for some act toward another person/group.

    As such, Sen. Johnson, without intending to do so I’m fairly certain, would have Georgia’s State Government go on the record as being responsible, however conditionally, for slavery. In so doing, this legislation would serve as prima facie evidence that could reasonably form the foundation of a lawsuit. The attorney’s arguments would be made far simpler; hold Georgia financially accountable for the wrong-doing/damages to which it already fully admits. Combine the admitted culpability of the state with the wonderful practice of ‘venue shopping’ (honestly believe there isn’t a single judge in Georgia who would rule in their favor???) and you create a bomb looking for a time/place to detonate. Senator Johnson…with all respect sir, you’ve got this one wrong.

    Let’s see a resolution acknowledging that most people in America can look back to their ancestors and find true horror and wrong-doing on our collective journey to today; that we are one nation of diverse people, forged in the fires of adversity and made all the stronger for it. That we are a nation of survivors, every one of us united as descendants of people who would not surrender and who would not be broken under the weight of the oppressions of tyranny, slavery, poverty, famine, and even genocide. That is our common thread and the one thing above all others that makes this a great state, in the greatest country.

    That’s the resolution I want to see Senator. As a Cherokee/Creek descendant, I neither want nor need your apology. What I need is leadership.

  11. jkga says:

    What Johnson says is reasonable. I’m sure there are enough lawyers in the legislature to make sure the bill is written so it doesn’t open up the state to a huge lawsuit.

    It’s kind of interesting, though, that (unlike Al Williams) he doesn’t touch on Georgia’s more recent segregationist past, where some of the guilty parties and many of their direct victims are still alive.

  12. RiverRat says:

    MountainThinker wrote:

    As such, Sen. Johnson, without intending to do so I’m fairly certain, would have Georgia’s State Government go on the record as being responsible, however conditionally, for slavery.

    Is this really something up for debate? Does one really need to equivocate with “however conditionally,” Georgia’s state government being responsible for not just condoning and legalizing slavery, but the jim crow laws that followed?

    I suspect that this is simply the democrats version of wedge politics – rile up all the real radical right-wingers, get the predictable “I don’t need to apologize for anything” rhetoric, and the right looks unreasonable and racist. I’m not sure how successful it is as a strategy, but I suspect that is the political motivation behind a resolution like this.

    Sen. Johnson appears to be looking for a way not to take the bait, and not to appear to kow-tow to african americans. He recognizes that Ga Republicans must avoid being seen as too radical – something Glenn Richardson doesn’t really get yet. Picking a fight over slavery may have worked in the past for republicans, but I think Sen. Johnson knows that if the GOP can attract even a little bit of the african-american vote, the GOP will be in control for a very very long time.

  13. Bill Simon says:

    jkga,

    The “lawyers” in the Legislative Counsel Department tend to be lawyers who couldn’t get REAL jobs in the private sector….and thus, probably couldn’t write themselves out of a wet paper bag without putting government on the hook.

  14. drjay says:

    depending on the wording of the resolution, i do not really see the harm in this and do not dismiss it out of hand–often simple symbolic gestures mean a lot to the folks involved–it would be simple enough to write something along the lines of recognizing oglethorpe’s foresight in banning slavery in the original colony and recognizing that this was an unfortunate era in our history and commending the people of color who have been able to make signifigant contributions to our history regardless of how they came to be here–or something like that, maybe a little more elegantly written…

  15. JRM2016 says:

    As I have mentioned elsewhere, I know Ed Dubose and he is a good man. His intent is to get a formal apology from the State of Georgia not only for slavery, but also for the Jim Crow laws that lasted well into the last century. I do not understand what is so hard about recognizing that this State sanctioned these evil practices and that now in the 21st century we all recognize these practices were evil and that the State formally apologizes for its role in the institution of slavery and Jim Crow.

    The state is immune from civil litigation as a general rule (see U.S. Constitution). The state does allow for tort claims under a special law. I am not holding myself out as an expert, but I do not see how a formal apology passed by the General Assembly would in any way invoke the exceptions to the general immunity enjoyed by the State from civil claims.

    In short I applaud Sen. Johnson for his efforts and hope we can get this resolved quickly.

  16. Big Mack says:

    What I would like to know is when is one of these black civil rights organizations going to ask the state of Rhode Island for an apology for their part in the slavery debacle? I think that it is only fair that they apologize before the state of Georgia because they by far made the most money out of slavery. For over a hundred years, puritan Providence with 300 ships was the hub of the triangle trade. The ships captains took on rum in Providence and made for the west coast of Africa where the rum was traded for slaves who were transported to the sugar cane fields of the West Indies, where they were traded for molasses which was shipped to Providence to be the feed stock for the 154 distilleries that operated seven days a week, 24 hours per day in spite of the protests of the Puritan ministers. So when you see that pitiful pissant, Joe Biden, railing on and on about civil rights transgressions just remember that there would not have been any African americans for us to transgress upon if it were not for his and his fellow Rhode Islanders ancestors and all of the old Rhode Island families are wealthy as well.

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