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Senate apologizes for slavery, segregation in U.S.

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Very fitting that a Democrat-controlled Senate should apologize for what their party did to American blacks in the South after the Civil War.

Good Work.

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Very fitting that a Democrat-controlled Senate should apologize for what their party did to American blacks in the South after the Civil War.

LOL!!!!

People should keep in mind that in the seven decades between President Lincoln and FDR, there were only TWO Democratic administrations. During those seven decades, Congresses and the Supreme Court were controlled by Republicans and Republican appointees. We should not forget the Plessy decision of the Republican-dominated Supreme Court, which institutionalized segregation.

In the deal that made the Republican Rutherfraud B. Hayes president, troops were removed from the South and whites were given a free hand to enact Jim Crow laws which were completely acceded to by the Republican powers in Washington, culminating in the Plessy decision.

Also, we need to keep in mind the strategy by the Republican Party in the 1960s which was designed to attract southern white supremacists into the party -- aka the "Southern strategy." It wasn't that long ago that the Republican National Chairman apologized to African-Americans for this strategy.

That some deluded individuals want to make this legacy appear to be solely the product of the Democratic Party shows how warped their thinking is.

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I for one am glad that Sen. Robert Byrd (Democrat, W Virginia) was part of this. He and his party had much to answer for and this was a good start.

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I for one am glad...

Then you must have been ecstatic when the RNC chairman apologized for the Southern strategy which was successful at luring unrepentent racist whites into the Republican Party. Byrd didn't qualify because he openly repented of his racist past.

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Byrd didn't qualify because he openly repented of his racist past.

2007 vid of Byrd casually throwing around the n-word.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FIBJt-c2o0

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How about the millions upon millions of Indians that were slaughtered?

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How about the millions upon millions of Indians that were slaughtered?

By the Spanish in S and C America or the European settlers in N America?

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Nice gesture yet they do absolutely nothing about slavery in the Sudan or elsewhere in the Muslem world. Ship of fools.

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This is essentially not an issue for specific political parties per say. It is one that involved the entire country at the time. White Americans on mass supported the racist policies at the time, and is therefore complicit in the carnage that it exacted on minorities, which extends also to American Indians. I make the claim that reparations are in order. It is one thing to say "sorry" which I believe is an easy course to take without any real cost. The human cost to the various groups affected has reached across generations and the evidences supporting this contention can not be denied. Reparation is crucial for the process of healing and reconciliation. It is a potent act that will categorically recognize the wrongs of the past and the country's efforts to make good. It is a confirmed rejection of man's stupidity and the commitment to never return to that way of thinking.

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I agree with everton, reparations are in order. all living slaveholders should pay all living slaves whatever the hourly wage was plus interest.

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VOR: "Nice gesture yet they do absolutely nothing about slavery in the Sudan or elsewhere in the Muslem world. Ship of fools."

Probably because, and I know this is tough for you to grasp, this has NOTHING to do with the Muslim world. It's the American government rightly apologizing for crimes of the past (or what SHOULD be called crimes, anyway). Should they be apologizing to the people of Sudan for what THEIR government is doing to them? Hell, you guys make enough of a stink about Obama apologizing TO the Muslim world, should the USA be apologizing ON BEHALF of Muslims, too?

I guess my question is, why don't you address the apology at hand instead of suggesting it's akin to unrelated world issues.

At least teleprompter, in his attempts to blame everything on Democrats, is at least addressing slavery in the US, so what's your excuse?

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White Americans on mass supported the racist policies at the time, and is therefore complicit in the carnage that it exacted on minorities, which extends also to American Indians.

Native Americans kept slaves. Africans sold their fellow Africans into slavery and the Mohammedan slave trade ranged from Russia to Ireland (entire coastal villages taken captive and sold in the Maghreb) to Africa. [http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/021345.php]

Saudi Arabia only ended slavery in 1962.

You would think some people here never learned how the story ended - the bloodiest war America ever fought in resulted in the deaths of over 500 000 Americans and nearly destroyed the young Republic but it ended slavery. If "Black America" were a separate country (and I don't mean segregated, like what the racist Farakkhan and Rev Wright want) it would boast an economy among the top fifth in the world. For a look at the purchasing power American blacks have see [http://www.targetmarketnews.com/buyingpowerstats.htm]

"White Americans" at the time the time you speak of were almost exclusively from Europe - where do you think they got their ideas about race and the "dark continent"?

I make the claim that reparations are in order.

You obviously feel pretty strongly about the issue. Done anything about it other than carp at Americans who are generations removed from the small portion of plantation owners in the South who practiced slavery?

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It's about time, after 150 years. Better late than never.

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Probably because, and I know this is tough for you to grasp

smith i really wish you quit being so rude. I thought I put it in simple enough terms even you would understand but I'll try again.

Democrats apologizing for sins of the past yet do absolutely nothing to stop it from occurring right under their noses is a bit hypocritical don't you think. Maybe i am wrong about the last part smitty old boy. Read on if you feel like learning something.

"If history is to provide the foundation of grievance, however, then all of history is on the table, and that history must be factually accurate and judged by consistent standards. If, for example, the enslavement of Africans is an evil for which the West must take responsibility, then all slavery everywhere must be condemned equally. But when do we ever hear about Islamic slavery? In the three-century long heyday of Western slavery, some 10 million slaves crossed the Atlantic. Yet in the 14-century-long existence of Islamic slavery––still going on today in Africa in places such as Sudan––an equal number of black Africans were enslaved by Muslims. We hear all the time about the horrors of the “middle passage” across the Atlantic, but never about the forced marches of Africans across the Sahara desert, where thousands died of disease, exhaustion, and malnutrition. We never hear about the African men who had been castrated to be sold as eunuchs, if they were lucky enough to survive an operation in which not just their testicles, but all their external genitalia were cut off. And don’t forget that slavery in the West was ended by movements of emancipation backed up by the British navy, movements that have not arisen from within Islam simply because the Koran does not forbid slavery. Don’t forget that included in the toll of those enslaved by Muslims were millions of Europeans taken in raids and sold for the harems, armies, and galleys of Muslim emirs, sultans, and caliphs. Yet have you ever heard a Muslim leader today apologize for slavery? Meanwhile, American leaders continually don the hair-shirt of guilt over slavery despite the fact that only 800,000 of the 10 million slaves that crossed the Atlantic came to the United States, and despite the bloody, destructive civil war that in part was fought to end slavery." Bruce S. Thornton

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Will other countries, notably Canada, all countries of South and Central America follow suit?

Also, why only apologize for African Slavery? Even though indentured servitude is different, wasn't it also based on nationality?

also, the majority of African slaves shipped, as I am told, went to Brazil.. Should the US push that country to follow suit?

I am going to get slammed for this, but the outcome of the African slave trade produced one the most beautiful places - Cuba, and one of the most beautiful human beings - me! I like taking the Karma approach on this.

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Good to see the democrat party is finally getting around to right the many wrongs it committed in the past.

Which party occupied the White House when the Emancipation Proclamation was enacted?

Which party occupied the White House when the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving blacks the right to vote, was ratified and became the law of the land?

On the other side of the coin:

Members if which party created the Ku Klux Klan?

Which party occupied the White House when Japanese-Americans were forced to relocate into internment camps during World War II?

The democrats have a lot to apologize for.

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The Democrats are still keeping the black man down. They have convinced generations of black Americans that they can't make it on their own without government handouts. That's just as bad of a sin as slavery, maybe worse. At least the intentions of the slave masters were known. The Democrats have to continually hide this fact from the people dumb enough to vote for them.

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That some deluded individuals want to make this legacy appear to be solely the product of the Democratic Party shows how warped their thinking is.

yabits, both sides had much to do in slavery and segregation, but up until FDR was elected blacks still tended to vote Rep. Why? Becuase the Dems had a solid control of the polling places in the south (remember, George Wallace and Sheriff Bull Conner where Dems as well as Strom Thurmon and all of the other "Dixiecrats" (Gore's dad too and the great Senator from my state of AR Fulbright)).

As far as the Repbulicans and the end of Reconstruction with the election of Hayes, it had a lot more to do with the other scandals that had plauged the Republicans under Grant that was really the deciding factor. Also remember this:

Republican Teddy Roosevelt was the first President to invite a black man (Booker T. Washington) to dine at the White House in a formal occasion. Read up on the outrage that went through the nation at the time (both parties included) Democrat Woodrow Wilson enacted tougher segreation laws in Federal Employment practices that restricted blacks from eating in the same dining room in Federal Buildings and removal of many black postmasters in the post office and enacted other setbacks for blacks that not only spread from the Federal Workplace to the private sector. Republican Presiden Nixon signed into law Affirmative Action. The southern strategy that you refer to, was an attempt by the Republicans to get the southern white vote as you say, but remember, the south up until then had been strongly Democrat white voters, and the Republicans saw that the effects of LBJ's "War of Poverty" was causing a shift of northern and urban black voters away from the Reps to the Dems. As I mentioned earlier, Democratic governers like Fabus (1957 Little Rock Crisis), Wallace in Alabama and the governors of Mississippi and Georgia and N.C., Tenn, and the majority of the south were strong Democrats.

So the Republicans do have a hand in segregation in the US, but let's not make it seem that it was only them, the Dems had control of the south and a lot of the segregated (overt methods) were employed as the "law of the land" while they were in power in the south.

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So I get a concensus here that this is a good bill.

There seems to be numerous reasons from both sides to agree on this. < :-)

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The Civil Rights Act of 1964 came about because Sen. Everett Dirksen (R-Ill.) could deliver enough Republican votes to better improve the chances of the bill's passing.

Heh, two democrat presidents (Kennedy and Johnson) had to turn to a Republican senator from the North to get the bill passed because they could not secure enough support from Southern democrat senators, most of whom still desired segregation.

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Teleprompter,

Very fitting that a Democrat-controlled Senate should apologize for what their party did to American blacks in the South after the Civil War.

LOL!! You're so blatantly ignorant as to defy imagination.

The Democratic Party of 150 years ago and the Democratic Party of today have very little in common. Just as today's Republican Party would be barely recognizable to Lincoln's Republican Party.

Oh, wait. Didn't you poo-poo a Lincoln quote regarding the economy just today? Why, that would make your statements contradictory. Or colloquially speaking, a load of horse manure.

You demonstrate time and time again that you are entirely ignorant of history, current affairs, and reality, relying on tidbits you glean from Right wing blogs to fill in the blanks for your astonishing gap in basic knowledge. Why do you insist on perpetuating this charade that you know what you’re talking about?

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LFRagain

Oh, wait. Didn't you poo-poo a Lincoln quote regarding the economy just today? Why, that would make your statements contradictory. Or colloquially speaking, a load of horse manure.

No, I didn't. I merely pointed out that some of what is attributed to Lincoln was not written by him. Both parties abuse his name. Reagan misquoted him. Gore has also.

The Democratic Party of 150 years ago and the Democratic Party of today have very little in common.

The Democrat Party of 50 years ago would be unrecognizable to many young Dems. Read JFK's inaugural address to your average brainwashed college kid of today and they start shrieking "Neo-con!"

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Teleprompter,

And as usual, you continue to be purposefully obtuse, avoiding the point.

You claimed the Democratic Party of today is responsible for the sins of the Democrats of the post-Civil War South, and I'm telling you they aren't the same entity, not even a little bit.

Address that and only that. Don't misdirect or wander off on unrelated subjects. How precisely are the Democrats of today in any way, shape, or form the same party that almost destroyed the Union in favor of human enslavement?

Do recall that we're better known as the Human Rights party. Wha'chu got? Suspension of habeas corpus and waterboarding?

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I could care less about meaningless feel good legislation to assuage those afflicted with 'white guilt' feel good about themselves. Though I not agaisn't the gesture. It is well meaning but in my opinion really just fluff. Our history is our our history warts and all. I'd rather make sure understand that and pass those lessons on to our children and future generations and learn from our collective history, most importantly the parts that we aren't to proud about than try to apologize for it. One thing about history, it is only the reflection of the society as it was at that time, for me personally I'm not consumed with guilt that some ancestor in my family way back in the day lived in an era when slavery was just part of daily life back then. Not real proud America condoned it at that time but I sure don't feel guilty about it either.

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We have slavery and segregation to this day. Those perpetuating it and exploiting their fellow human beings don't do so by forcing blacks into the sun to perform back-breaking labor and deny them the wages that would accrue to them if they were free citizens and able to capitalize on the benefits of free markets. No, in the modern scheme blacks (and not just blacks) are denied true freedom and dignity by a class of thieves and brutes who, in their lust for political power, steal from one group (taxpayers) to buy off the votes and loyalty of another, who are indeed, "kept on the plantation."

The most powerful Democrat in America has publicly admitted as much.

In his book Dreams From My Father Barack Obama described what he and his fellow Democrats do to poor blacks as "plantation politics."

Here is the quote, from page 147:

"A plantation. Black people in the worst jobs. The worst housing. Police brutality rampant. But when the so-called black committeemen came around election time, we’d all line up and vote the straight Democratic ticket. Sell our soul for a Christmas turkey."

The recent "stimulus" bill, rammed through Congress and in sessions which Republicans were locked out and the public, contrary to BHO's campaign promises, were denied the chance to view the policy-in-making, had provisions which effectively roll back the very commendable welfare reform achieved under Clinton.

The Democrats are not done apologizing. They have only just begun.

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The democrats talk a good game about how they are all about looking out for blacks but a look at the electoral maps of the past general election proves once again that in the Southern tier states they mistrust the democrat party.

Last year they were only able to carry five states below the Mason-Dixon Line, which added up to 68 electoral votes compared to 129 votes for the Republicans. Hell, you'd think Obama -- a half-black man -- would have easily locked up black voter-dominated states like Mississippi and Alabama that went to McCain.

Apparently, the democrats think that apologizing to blacks for their past misdeeds against them will make things right. Heh, good luck with that.

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Sheesh.....teleprompter/RR

This about our collective history that includes democrats. One of the bravest people to address segregation and really started us on the path that all African Americans could finally have a seat at the national table as equals was Harry Truman, when he de-segregated the Armed Forces in the late forties. That was a pretty gutsy call for the times back then but it was the right thing to do and I applaud that "Democrat" for doing it.

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What I can't believe is that people ever enslaved other people, and, even more incredibly, some people are STILL doing it. What the heck is wrong with them?

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It is OK to reflect and be sorry for past errors. It makes for a better future. It does not matter what the others have done. They must deal with their own errors. I am proud of America. A fine example to the rest of the world. And boy does every country have its skeletons in the closet.

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Sigh . . . .

Teleprompter. You can't do it, can you? You can't actually back up a single point you make with a well-reasoned argument. Why do you even bother posting here? Seriously.

You want to make this a partisan thing to get whatever chip you have on your shoulder adjusted, fine, go ahead. But why don't you take your angst over to a Yahoo board where the crap flies willy-nilly, and give the rest of us some peace to think about things?

A applaud the Senate for demonstrating that the national conscience is something worth tending and maintaining, even when some would like to pretend the past didn't happen or was rosier than the reality.

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Right on, sailwaind.

Harry Truman, when he de-segregated the Armed Forces in the late forties. That was a pretty gutsy call for the times back then but it was the right thing to do and I applaud that "Democrat" for doing it.

I agree. Truman was a great president. (Like JFK though he'd be reviled today as a "neo-con" and "a cowboy"; his poll numbers or favorability ratings or whatever were dragged down by the Korean War, and were even lower than Dubya's...) .

But as regards the desegregation of the armed forces he was undoing the work of the "progressive" Woodrow Wilson, who had ordered all federal employees be segregated.

Our first army,the Continental Army, the one that defeated the British, then the most powerful empire on earth, was at any given time between 6 to 10 percent black.

Think the Senate will ever get around to official recognition of and pronouncements about things like that?

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Our first army,the Continental Army, the one that defeated the British, then the most powerful empire on earth, was at any given time between 6 to 10 percent black." Interesting. What happened to them? did they get put back in slavery?

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What happened to them? did they get put back in slavery?

skipthesong, to put it bluntly, yes the majority of them did. The British were using as a recruiting point that any slave who fought for their side would gain freedom. Many blacks served, and after the war they became "free" blacks, but had so many rules and regulations put on them it was in their best interests to leave the south, and many were returned to their owners into slavery. Some owners did let them go but not many.

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Hell, you'd think Obama -- a half-black man -- would have easily locked up black voter-dominated states like Mississippi and Alabama that went to McCain.

RomeoRamenII might think that a percentage of 61% white to 37% black (Mississippi) or 71% white to 26.5% black (Alabama) constitutes "black voter domination," but intelligent people know better than to spout such foolishness.

Of course, there's still a lot of white supremacist and racist feelings in those white-voter dominated states and so naturally they went with the new Republican Party. A lot of these same types were the ones that gave Republican David Duke so many of his votes in that other RomeoRamen-"black voter dominated" state of Louisiana. (65% white, 32% black). The parishes that went heavily for Duke went heavily for McCain too.

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Truman was a great president. (Like JFK though he'd be reviled today as a "neo-con" and "a cowboy";

Truman was reviled by Republicans in the late 1940s and JFK was reviled by Republicans too. The fact that Republicans of the 21st century now claim to admire them simply means that they are catching up to where the Democrats were over 50 years ago.

Keep trying folks; you'll make it eventually.

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RomeoRamenII writes:

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 came about because Sen. Everett Dirksen (R-Ill.) could deliver enough Republican votes to better improve the chances of the bill's passing. Heh, two democrat presidents (Kennedy and Johnson) had to turn to a Republican senator from the North...

And who did the Republican Party CHOOSE as their standard-bearer against Johnson in 1964: That's right kids, it's Barry Goldwater, an ARCH-foe and vocal opponent of that very same Civil Rights Act! Dirksen was one of those rare moderate Republicans, kind of an Arlen Spector or Jim Jeffords of his day. Funny how Republicans can revile someone at the time and then use him to try to prove an impossible point 50 years later.

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The Democrat-then-Republican argument doesn't work.

Ultimately, in the old South and in the Jim Crow South the institution of slavery and the enforcement of the segregation laws we are talking about - all of them degrading, to both sides in the tragedy - needed strong governmental power to keep them effective and enduring. It isn't a question of right versus left so much as it is the degree of government control over the lives of individual citizens and communities. Jim Crow was a clear cut case of too much government in people's lives. Any conservative or libertarian understands that, even if only intuitively.

We all know which party wants small government and which one has always wanted as great a concentration of power as possible to be held by the government.

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Until the 40 acres and a mule<or todays equivalent> are ponied up like promised,I will look at this action as more tokenism, being served up as another self serving exercise in trying to expunge the wrongs.

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Yabits,

And who did the Republican Party CHOOSE as their standard-bearer against Johnson in 1964: That's right kids, it's Barry Goldwater, an ARCH-foe and vocal opponent of that very same Civil Rights Act! Dirksen was one of those rare moderate Republicans, kind of an Arlen Spector or Jim Jeffords of his day. Funny how Republicans can revile someone at the time and then use him to try to prove an impossible point 50 years later.

You should also do a little reseach before flapping your gums.

Goldwater claims a proud civil rights record in his home state of Arizona.

He was the first chief of staff of the Arizona National Guard to desegregate the Air Guard. He was a member of the N.A.A.C.P. in the early 1950s, contributed $400 to the N.A.A.C.P. effort to get the Phoenix school system desegregated. He quit the N.A.A.C.P. several years ago, but he remains a member of the Urban League, which is also dedicated to the advancement of Negroes.

Again and again, Goldwater has said that he sympathizes with the Negro protest movement. "If I were a Negro," he recently said, "I don't think I would be very patient either." He endorses federal intervention, with troops if necessary, when state and local officials fail to maintain law and order in racial disputes. He subscribes to the idea that the Constitution empowers the Federal Government to protect Negroes against discrimination in interstate travel. And he believes that race discrimination by proprietors of stores and public accommodations is morally wrong (but not unconstitutional).

The year was 1964........1964

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,870316,00.html

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VOR: "smith i really wish you quit being so rude. I thought I put it in simple enough terms even you would understand but I'll try again."

Ah, sweet hypocrisy! save that I don't actually spend enough time on what you say to me to be anything more than mildly entertained by it. I'm flattered you take the time to mope over my remarks, though.

"Democrats apologizing for sins of the past yet do absolutely nothing to stop it from occurring right under their noses is a bit hypocritical don't you think. Maybe i am wrong about the last part smitty old boy. Read on if you feel like learning something."

Actually, what you said was that they apologize for slavery (ie. committed in the US), but don't do anything about places in countries like Sudan, or go after Muslims. How is that 'under their nose'? What it is is just plain old off-topic misdirecting of anger, as it has been with you constantly since the Republicans were slaughtered in the last election.

VOR, you have a leadership that is trying to make peace with the past, and all you can bring to a bold gesture (and if it were Republicans apologizing on this issue I would applaud them 100%, you have my word on that) is a hissy fit about the problems of other nations.

But hey, VOR, if you want to refer to the righteous post that you posted as grounds for why the Democrats alone should go off and free the slaves in the Sudan just to satisfy your angst, then I'll agree to it on one condition: you show me where the Republican party gave the apology the Senate just did, and then show me their plan for liberating the slaves in the Sudan. Until then, all I hear is more screeching from someone who not only believes in a party that would NEVER do what he is screeching about it, but would do nothing on the issue himself.

"The Democrats are still keeping the black man down."

Yeah, that 'black man' who is your Commander in Chief sure is a racist! haha. Keep trying.

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smithinjapan, as uninformed as ever:

"The Democrats are still keeping the black man down." Yeah, that 'black man' who is your Commander in Chief sure is a racist! haha. Keep trying.

Obama admitted in his unwarranted autobiography that Dems seek to keep blacks "on the plantation."

His words. [http://blackpoliticsontheweb.com/2009/06/03/obama-and-plantation-politics‏/]

You know the routine by now : Read, weep, gnash teeth, change subject, wave hands in other guy's face...

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sarge: "What I can't believe is that people ever enslaved other people, and, even more incredibly, some people are STILL doing it. What the heck is wrong with them?"

I actually agree with you on this one, sarge. A bit soppy, but with real heart. Kudos.

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teleprompter: "smithinjapan, as uninformed as ever:"

You sure you don't want to post another link from 2007 as proof of what people said this very day? hahaha... 'uninformed'.

Thanks for the laugh.

As I said, it's a good gesture to apologize for the sins of the past, whether YOU committed them or you currently represent the body that did, but had nothing to do with it yourself. That people like you are coming on here simply to rant and rave about the usual 'Obama is awful!' stuff just shows how truly off the mark you are. Hell, even Sailwind is bashing you!

"You know the routine by now : Read, weep, gnash teeth, change subject, wave hands in other guy's face..."

Ummm... I usually don't like to say 'he who dealt it', but that's you to a T.

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A feel good moment and nothing more. At least they wrote in the clause to prevent reparations which would have really opened up a can of worms. I'm a second generation American as my grandmother came to the states on a boat. I don't feel the need to be part of this collective appology as my family wasn't there until 1930.

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Sailwind writes: "You should also do a little reseach before flapping your gums. Goldwater claims a proud civil rights record in his home state of Arizona."

That may be the case about Arizona, nevertheless Goldwater came out against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He may have been the only outright non-segregationist to vote against it.

For all the praise you heap on him, Goldwater took the following lesson from the 1964 election: "Goldwater did not want to campaign for the segregationist vote; he had even hoped that his personal opposition to discrimination would win him the votes of black people. But he had believed all along that the Southern white vote was basically conservative and potentially Republican. Republicans, he told Georgia activists in 1961, ought to stop chasing the votes of African-Americans and "go hunting where the ducks are." And the ducks in 1964 turned out to be white Democrats in revolt against integration. Goldwater's campaign slogan, "In Your Heart You Know He's Right," was an arrow aimed directly at them. It was a clear allusion to a prejudice that dared not speak its name."

Over 40% of African-Americans gave Eisenhower their votes, and over 30% voted for Nixon in 1960. Anti-Civil-Rights-Act and courter of Deep South white supremacists, Goldwater got 6% of the African-American vote.

From "He Knew He Was Right" by Louis Menand. http://rickperlstein.org/storm/nyer

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While all of this the Dems. did this & and the Repubs. are responsible for this, let us ask ourselves which party was in power//control of congress when our first president took his proper place in office? This issue is way older than republican & Democrat. Both parties are equally to blame for the evils of the past regarding slavery/Jim Crow/segregation. As on poster stated earlier, he/she doesn't feel guilty for the sins of their ancestor, and they absolutely have no reason to feel guilty for something they had absolutely nothing to do with. If the apology is just going to be another empty gesture, then what is it really worth?

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Wow this thread has been beset upon by the Knights Who Say Ni. Red Herrings everywhere and not a tree in sight.

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hehehe

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Fact is today not a single black person is a republican in congress. Zero and has been this way for years. Republicans will allow some token blacks in admin roles but the fact is the party is as white as the 1850 Mississippi state assembly.

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Shriek...shriek...shriek...you republicans...you democrats....

The Senate apologizes for slavery.

Thank you. < :-)

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Fact is today not a single black person is a republican in congress. Zero and has been this way for years. Republicans will allow some token blacks in admin roles but the fact is the party is as white as the 1850 Mississippi state assembly.

True no black Republicans are in congress, the last was J.C. Watts from Oklahoma, but it is not a matter of the Rep party. Many black republicans have faced democratic opponenets in elections for congress, but they got beat. Maybe it was because of bad campaigning on their part, or the help of the groups like ACORN who mobilize people who probably shouldn't vote to vote against them. Your lesson for today, take a look at how Mike Steele, the current head of the RNC, lost his election in Maryland and some of the dirty tricks that were used by the Dem party to make sure that other blacks would not vote for him. As far as being in token positions in the cabinent, Bill Clinton put blacks in the "admin" positions as you call them, but "W" had blacks in key positions that make decisions like Sec of State (twice) Nat. Sec. Advisor, and his dad had a black JCS chairman. There was a more diverse cabinet under both Bushes than there was under Clinton.

So, I don't think you would really want to bring that point to the discussion. I would suggest you read a little history before you jump in.

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Alpha, very measured reply. Thanks for actually using your brain to reply. But you are wrong on fact as well. If the republican party wanted more blacks they would just run them in safe districts, not in democratic strongholds. Also I assume you know about Nixons southern strategy to demonize the democratic party for embracing blacks. There is a reason why the republicans hold the south, its a racist party and many voters there are racist themselves. When bush destroyed mccain in 2000 primaries in South Carolina he accused mccain of having a black kid. I can go on and on. A republican operative in SC just called Michelle a gorilla. Nice, very nice.

Again your tone was civil and that is admirable. But your knowledge of the actual nature of the republican party is very shallow if you think that they are not a racist party. Its obvious to any neutral person.

Last, if you think Steele would be the party chair if Obama was not President you are dreaming. Anyway, Steele is an ornament, the real power in the party is Limbaugh and he has made his racist views very clear over the years.

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Your lesson for today, take a look at how Mike Steele, the current head of the RNC, lost his election in Maryland and some of the dirty tricks that were used by the Dem party to make sure that other blacks would not vote for him.

Wrong, Alphaape, there were no "tricks" played on Steele by the "Dem party." None whatsoever. A couple of Democratic campaign workers, of their own volition and with no approval whatsoever from the Party, took it upon themselves to rifle through Steele's trash. The only way this came to light was because when the two workers reported what they did back to the Party, the Party fired them at once and reported their actions to the authorities.

If you're going to badmouth the entire Democratic Party for this, it shows how poor and unfair your judgment is. Actually, the guy who tried playing tricks on voters was noneother than Steele himself. He purposely left off his party affiliation on his campaign ads, and surrounded them with plenty of BLUE color and not a trace of RED.

It didn't work.

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There was a more diverse cabinet under both Bushes than there was under Clinton. So, I don't think you would really want to bring that point to the discussion. I would suggest you read a little history before you jump in.

I would suggest you did a little more research before you made such baseless claims, which amount to nothing more than parroting right-wing sources.

George H.W.Bush's cabinet: 15 white males, 3 women (white), 2 Hispanic men, and one African-American male.

George W. Bush's cabinets: 21 white males (the man did believe in recycling), 5 women (one African-American and one Asian), 3 Hispanic men, 4 African-American men, and 1 Asian man.

Bill Clinton: 14 white males, 5 women (one African-American), 4 Hispanic men, SIX African-American men, and one Asian man.

So much for the superior "diversity" of the Bushes.

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I think the US is open-minded and willing to reflect its past history regardless of any political bias, although there's a likelihood of political backlash from some republicans and media conservatives such as Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, or Michel Savage. Unlike the land of rising sun who still shows its reluctance to look back what the nation-state did upon its citizens in the past, they do what is right not just for their political vision but what is right for natural rights of human beings.

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The resolution passed Thursday includes a disclaimer saying that nothing in it supports or authorizes reparations by the United States.

Oh good, I thought I was going to have to pay for something that occured before my gene's were on the continent.

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But your knowledge of the actual nature of the republican party is very shallow if you think that they are not a racist party.

Really? Because it's the democrats that are always making race an issue and can't seem to get over it.

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I'm just glad that old Senator Robert Byrd (Democrat, W Virginia) could live to a ripe old age where he could help make some small amends on behalf of the millions of Southern Democrats who left this world before him without making apology to southern blacks for laws that kept them down.

Good Work, Democrats.

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There are many that making a living off keeping black americans from reaching their true potential. The Democratic party's only real ability to stay in power is by making people more dependant upon government. Black American's who do not reject the Democrats tired mantra are stuck in bondage brought upon them by the very politicians they vote for. The ones that reject this notion live properous lives and make up approximately 10% of the Republican party.

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There are many that making a living off keeping black americans from reaching their true potential.

Yeah, they're called "employers."

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None whatsoever. A couple of Democratic campaign workers, of their own volition and with no approval whatsoever from the Party, took it upon themselves to rifle through Steele's trash. The only way this came to light was because when the two workers reported what they did back to the Party, the Party fired them at once and reported their actions to the authorities.

yabits, ad you say I swallow the Rep. kool aide too much. I am not sure if you have ever heard of a now defunct magazine called Emerge. It was an African American magazine that mainly focused on the news and other issues, written by a black publisher. I used to enjoy it, even though it really leaned to the left, singing praises of the Dem pary and pretty much bashing the Rep. But, in the case of Steele, they had a front page pictuer of him where a regular picture of him was drwan with "black face" and made to look like a minstrel singer. I could also go with the other cover picture that they once had of Clarence Thomas dressed as a "lawn jockey."

This magazines had a very left editorial board, pretty much a sounding board for the Clinton administration at the time. So I think I know what I am talking about in this case. Also, where is it written that blacks are only allowed to be in the Dem party, and can't have a choice. Coming from the deep south, and seeing first hand some of the tricks waged by the Dems there and their candidates I can say that all is not kosher with them. Yes there are crooked Rep. too, but from my personal experience, I have fared worse under Dem. governors in my home state than Rep. Yes that includes the much vaunted Bill Clinton.

If you want a little more histroy of blacks in the Rep. party, take a look at this link: http://www.nbra.info/

You may be surprised at what you see.

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can't believe this has become a repub vs dem debate. I think many of us can say that at the very least, at least the US is moving on this issue while other countries haven't even thought of it.

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I am not sure if you have ever heard of a now defunct magazine called Emerge.

The magazine was not connected to the Democratic Party in any way. You said that the Democratic party played dirty tricks on Steele. Such a thing never happened.

Also, where is it written that blacks are only allowed to be in the Dem party, and can't have a choice.

Everyone has a choice. But I would hope that people would choose to tell the truth, first and foremost.

I have fared worse under Dem. governors in my home state than Rep.

You have a vested interest in your own political stance to say something like that. What kind of person would rate a leader by how much they've done for them personally, rather than by how much they've done for the general population? A Republican, apparently.

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You said that the Democratic party played dirty tricks on Steele. Such a thing never happened.

It did. Chuck Schumer was so terrified of Steele winning the Senate seat in Maryland that he basically sent a couple of his flunkies dumpster-diving for credit card receipts or anything they could use against Steele.

Black activists demanded Schumer apologize.

"This unauthorized access into Michael Steele's credit report provides evidence that liberals seem to believe there should be a special hell for conservative blacks, and that anything goes when engaging in the politics of personal destruction," said Project 21 member Mark Jordan.

check [http://www.nationalcenter.org/P21PRCreditReport306.html]

or google "Chuckaquiddick" or "Schumergate"

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Well as far as this apology thing goes. I think here is one guy who would tell the Senate what he really thinks of this 'apology'.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8J0DJQo0nYo&feature=related

I agree with him 10000 percent on this also. "My history is American History".

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i think obama should apologize. he's the president and represents the country.

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The republican party has captured low brow white voters for years now by scaring them with black people. Sister Soljah is one example. Willy Horton is another. I am sure there are many, many more. Jeremiah Wright.

The republican party is anchored in racist rhetoric and that is why it is a lily white party that has to pay black people to attend the republican conventions so that the entire arena is not like a snow blizzard.

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Dear Mod, I would like to express my dissatisfaction with your moderation. You have allowed this thread to become a dem vs repub thread, when the threads should remain on the issue at hand, and that is the apology and reparations that will follow.

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skipthesong,

you think a republican senate would offer an apology for slavery?

Thats a good one.

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skip - I agree. It isn't Left vs. Right so much as it is degree of governmental interference in people's lives. In addition to being morally indefensible Jim Crow laws were a prime example of too much government intervention in people's lives. Imagine the degree of central planning (so beloved to certain political parties...) it took to erect and oversee use of separate drinking fountains for the different "races" in any given state, county, city and ward.

Free markets and minimal gov't do way, way more to end racism and sexism

Statists,collectivists and utopians have so much to learn...

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They left this part out of the article.

The Iowa Democrat’s co-sponsor on the apology was Republican Senator Sam Brownback, whose state was dubbed “Bleeding Kansas” by newspaper editor Horace Greeley for its fierce battles over slavery.

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/18/senate-approves-slavery-apology-with-reparations-disclaimer/

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zurcronium wrote:

you think a republican senate would offer an apology for slavery?

Dude, what are you talking aboat?

The party was founded by the man Americans of both parties credit with launching the war that ended slavery.

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zurc: you think a republican senate would offer an apology for slavery? " I don't think that's the point. I know a lot of whites and who are republican. This issues comes up a lot and I have to say that I have yet to meet one who is as blatant a racist as you are making them ALL out to be. Some do have legitimate reasons why they feel they personally wouldn't want to give an apology.

A lot of the current white senators probably came from republican leaning families, that should tell you something. This issue came out under Bush 1, maybe you're too young to know, but some apologies were given.

The last line in the whole thing has clause..... c'mon, this is mostly for political reasons to win votes. That's disgusting. What is going to happen is that the dems are going to further disenfranchise more working class white (notice that most of the whites in the senate are rich whites, living in gated communities like they really know what's going on?) and that is scary.

I will lose all respect if any white Dem that claims this as a "we did this and you didn't" thing.

Here's a question: There were black slave owners, and black slave brokers (I won't say the name of the families - I'd probably get hit for defamation), are they due an apology? Obama's black side who were never in America at those times?

Now, getting back to the issue: why is American the only one in the western hemisphere even doing this?

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The republican party has captured low brow white voters for years now by scaring them with black people. Sister Soljah is one example. Willy Horton is another. I am sure there are many, many more. Jeremiah Wright.

zurconium, once again you really need to check your facts. I will agree with Wright and Willie Horton, but the usd of Sista Soljah as a "scare tactic" to play on white fears and get their vote was done by none other than America's "First Black President" Bill Clinton in his 1992 election. Also, since you bring up scare tactics to get votes, it was also during this 1992 election that then Gov. Bill Clinton came back home (I am from AR) to make sure that a death sentence was carried out on a Ricky Ray Rector, a black man convicted of murder twice (I am for that so it is not a death penalty issue for me), but was shown to be mentally incompetent (he tried to kill himself before he was caught, resulting in his brain damage) but Clinton facing campaign pressure as seen as being soft on crime let this executioin go through. Here's the link: http://www.nytimes.com/1992/01/25/us/1992-campaign-death-penalty-arkansas-execution-raises-questions-governor-s.html

You can see it came from the NY Times, so I am not pushing some right wing agenda.

Bottom line: It took the Senate this long to apologize directly, and it probably is a political ploy. Being a black American, I am aware of the histroy of my country, and have to take it both good and bad. This apology doesn't really mean anything to me. I have been able to carry on with my life, without it, and hopefully will continue to do the same.

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teleprompter wrote: "...skip - I agree. It isn't Left vs. Right so much as it is degree of governmental interference in people's lives."

That would be admirable if his first comment, which is the first comment on the thread, were not: "Very fitting that a Democrat-controlled Senate should apologize for what their party did to American blacks in the South after the Civil War. Good Work."

His second: "I for one am glad that Sen. Robert Byrd (Democrat, W Virginia) was part of this. He and his party had much to answer for and this was a good start."

His third: "2007 vid of Byrd casually throwing around the n-word."

In fact... almost every single comment of his up to his second to last one -- errr... until he couldn't deny his character any more and ends with: "Imagine the degree of central planning (so beloved to certain political parties...)..."

EXTREME hypocrisy, anyone? In fact, even threads on Iran have turned into Obama-bashing comment-time for teleprompter.

Skip: I agree with you, to an extent, but the fact that the current Senate is Dem-lead some people just can't avoid pointing out that the actual gesture is either positive/negative based on that point alone (in THEIR opinion, not necessarily in fact). I don't think the mods can regulate this completely if it comes down to people making political comments ON the apology. It's a shame, but there you have it.

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Apologizing for slavery, long overdue, a good start, lets also move to other related issues such as the estimated 1,000,000,000 (1BN) in poverty across all countries, (however mostly blacks in Africa) and the group of people worldwide who have more than 1,000,000,000 (1BN) in assets (of which it would be safe to assume most are whites).

Just trying to connect a massive problem with the only solution. Was this not the message from Obama that got him elected? Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who both live in Africa, and despite their spats, have donated 1M, as a start.

Any others? At this stage it shouldn't matter if you are black or white. Do something now, before we find it much harder to forgive you.

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You know, it seems people are putting more importance on who and when this is said instead of what is actually for.

how about this, since this apology goes out only to Black Americans, whose ancestors were slaves, all Anglo Americans for a certain amount of time, start your day off with saying I am sorry!

I think this would be better than leaving it to our ONLY 2 parties who are supposed to speak for us.

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all Anglo Americans for a certain amount of time, start your day off with saying I am sorry!

you're serious aren't you? how about we paddle our bottoms while we're at it?

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how about we paddle our bottoms while we're at it?" Well, you know its usually your type that is into those sort of things!!!

I am half serious. the gov apologizes and then what? What does it mean if a politician says sorry but not the people?

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how about we get over it.

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let me explain myself a little bit better than that.

i have as little to do with slavery as obama does. less in fact he is now running the government which allowed slavery. ask him to apologize for being part of such a corrupt organization.

why should i be asked to apologize? because i'm white? don't you realize that is racist? when people in their self righteousness can't see their own racism that can lead to trouble. don't fall into that trap. if you feel like your whiteness makes you guilty of something then go ahead and paddle your bottom. just don't ask the rest of us to join you.

if you want to spend time worrying about slavery why not focus on contemporary slavery. the american slave problem ended a long time ago. thank god.

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inkjet at 11:16 AM JST - 20th June i think obama should apologize. he's the president and represents the country.

Congress represents the people and Congress passes the laws all the President does is sign them into law........

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why can't he come out and apologize every morning like skippy wants the rest of to do.

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Inkjet, I agree. I personally, nor have any of my ancestors, had anything to do with slavery in America. And neither did a vast number of states in the USA. Slavery was predominantly restricted to northern states throughout the history of the US. What I find more interesting will be how exactly the US will apologize for slavery without dragging European and African nations into the spectacle. It's a common fact that US slaves were supplied by Dutch, Portuguese, British, French, Spanish, etc nationals. Throw in the fact that it was Africans controling the slave trade into Europe and well, this could easily shift to some awkward moments and soul searching by our European friends.

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zurcronium wrote:

you think a republican senate would offer an apology for slavery?

The party was founded in 1854, and one of its basic platforms was opposition to slavery.

Bizarre. You, smithinjapan and susisake3 obsess about America (and Republicans in particular) but you seem to know nothing about the object of your endless fascination.

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Exactly, maybe in ten years (If we can get there), we will be apologizing to the 26,000 kids (ironically mostly in Africa) under 5 that are dying everyday.

There is an article about how 25% of males in Africa, mostly the wealthier ones, have admitted that they have committed rape, and see no problem with this. Yes, we have colonized Africa alright, let's forget about the apologizing at this stage, and see if we can make reparations, (without any airstrikes this time please).

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Politicians from one party, appointing themselves priests of some sort, arrogate unto themselves the unearned right to apologize on behalf of an entire people for what a portion of its long-dead forerunners did; "Liberal" activists constantly tell us that "hate crimes" are on the rise; Hollywood picks at the wound whenever possible - in addition to fabricating myths that enter popular culture and basically achieve acceptance as historical fact, and yet America passed a point somewhere in the '90s where more Africans had willingly immigrated to the US than were brought by European slavers in the era before the Republican Abraham Lincoln, making good on one of the founding principles of his party, took the country into the bloodiest and most costly war in our glorious history and eventually helped end slavery.

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let's forget about the apologizing at this stage, and see if we can make reparations,

what's stopping you?

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Do something now, before we find it much harder to forgive you. who is we and who are you?

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Your everyday salary worker, although paid better than 80 percent of the world, can't single handedly do anything of any great effect with his or her wealth.

Therefore, for any civilised, or smooth transition, it has to be changed infrastructurally, and it has to come from the top of the food chain.

There is just as much power in the corporation, as the media, as there is in the government. But perhaps, it would best start from the government through the media to the corporation, hence the power of the news article above.

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Therefore, for any civilised, or smooth transition, it has to be changed infrastructurally, and it has to come from the top of the food chain.

yadda yadda yadda

why not show us you really mean business and lead by example. there are plenty of places you can send your check.

of course complaining that no one else is doing anything will buy you plenty of brownie points with your liberal comrades. that may help you feel good about yourself but it just won't help the victims of your whiteness very much.

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It is really pathetic the way some on this forum are seeking to blame the victims for their condition as slaves. It really tears me up to hear the ridiculous argument that points blame to African slave traders. Europeans created the market by trading guns for human beings. The main commercial intermediaries in human trade were Jewish merchants who grew insanely rich. What we are concerned about here is slavery in American and the responsibility of those who benefited directly or indirectly. All white Americans were responsible because of the inequitable benefits that the society bestowed on them because of their race. It offered to whites a status that was not offered to blacks or Indians and it does not matter where in the country you lived or what church you went to, you got the benefits simply because you were white. And no where was it more blatantly unequal than in the system of justice meted out to blacks and Indians. I submit again that a strong case for reparations is in order.

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meh...salary = a poor manipulation of the word slavery.

Freedom is an illusion. There is no absolute freedom, and very small percentages only are available....except to those who have historically had it for a long long time, those old, wealthy, and/or powerful families of all colours and creeds. Freedom has and will always be a saleable and removable luxury.

Yes, I hate this fact, and it sucks balls that many people have been and still are enslaved, which is the lowest percentile of freedom,ie. almost zero.

Apologies dont do much for the dead. They dont change the past. They dont make the present better by much. I tend to distrust those that would do something evil, and then expect an apology to make it all better. But I guess every Govt needs to generate a feelgood Newspaper story somehow.

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The party was founded by the man Americans of both parties credit with launching the war that ended slavery.

Yes, thats right. And what happened to him, some wacko killed him like we are seeing the fanatic facist rightists do today. Lincoln, if he were alive today, would be a Democrat as that would be the only way he would be elected. He would be hated by the Republicans as embraced truth, which the republicans hate.

Alpha, if you are a black republican that is like being a virgin prostitute. It just does not make sense, unless you hate your own people. Every week there is more evidence of how much the republicans hate Obama, not because he is a democrat, but because he is black

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All white Americans were responsible because of the inequitable benefits that the society bestowed on them because of their race. It offered to whites a status that was not offered to blacks or Indians and it does not matter where in the country you lived or what church you went to, you got the benefits simply because you were white.

Ridiculous.

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Teleprompter- I suppose you subscribe to the notion that by using the word "ridiculous" without any supporting evidence makes it tenable. Let me make the argument more banal. If you lived in America during slavery and well beyond you were given certain privileges based on your race. You did not need any particular talent or richness in character to attain those privileges, which were systematically denied to blacks. Under those circumstances as a white person you were in every sense complicit in the application of this affair system for which the only criteria for being treated fairly was race. To say that whites collective bare no responsibility is what is "patently ridiculous". In fact, the overwhelming majority of whites loved the system and benefited from its existence and did everything to maintain it.

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All this talk seems to continue the divide between races. The apology was supposed to close it, but obviously it didn't work. Whites blacks, it's rare to see a human being who is truly either of those colours. We are generally shades of human, and the slavery of any human, of any colour creed or whatnot is a shame. Yet we continue to be enslaved by our own minds, by our bosses, and by society at large. You guys should just hug and agree that neither of you likes slavery.

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Inkjet says , "Yadda, Yadda, Yadda", wants me to lead by example.

Well, I try to spend at least 20% of my income on poverty related causes, I have left and will not join companies that I think fire too many people or I think are Psychopathic, despite that I currently have to worry about taking care of mostly African children, spend time on this forum trying to focus on issues related to the article, try to avoid unneccesary comments, try come up with ideas, and I guess, as you are wanting from me, trying to lead by example.

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Well, I try to spend at least 20% of my income on poverty related causes, I have left and will not join companies that I think fire too many people or I think are Psychopathic

i respect the fact you are doing something about. i really do.

but i'm curious though, has your whiteness been forgiven. or is that a stigma you will carry to the grave?

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Not sure, parents are Japanese, does that count as white?

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Not sure, parents are Japanese, does that count as white?

sorry i got my signals crossed. i merged you with a different poster.

i think it's great to help people who are suffering. i really do respect that. maybe you will inspire me to do something myself.

i strongly disagree with people who say simply being white makes you guilty of something.

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The Senate uses my tax meney like the NY City school board. Passing resolutions that mean nothing are a waste of time and money. Next they'll pass a resolution proclaiming that the Roman invasion of the British Isles was wrong.

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I am more than ready to pay my share of repatriations. All you have to do is to show where I have owned you. If I did not own you, go leech off your owner.

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jhk - Just lay off African kids. Every lonely bleeding heart looking for attention wants to talk about African kids. This is about slavery and the argument for reparations. If you are truly interested in doing some good perhaps reparations for those women raped by Japanese soldiers in WW2 may be a more legitimate cause for you, but perhaps before you do that you may want to sort out your personal confusion about what you are.

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i can never figure out why americans flog themselves over this when countries such as canada whisk it under the carpet.

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wouldn't it be nice if japan could come to terms with its past and present in terms of race relations.

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hamilton: Are you serious, or just spouting off without knowing much? there were some slaves in the 17th and 18th century, and even a few after, but slavery was not NEAR the issue it was in the US. What's more, Canada purchased and set forth swaths of land for slaves who had escaped north from the South via the 'Underground Railroad' (to live freely, not as slaves). Needless to say they provided safe-haven at 'stations' (said safe havens where the escaped were given food/shelter).

Racism following slavery? That's another issue which I'd be happy to discuss on another thread. Apologies? Canada's been pretty good at giving them out. They apologized to Native North Americans for atrocities, stealing land, and destroying their lives, etc. Canada formally apologized to formerly interned Japanese in the late eighties and I think even recompensed them some $20,000 or so.

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Everton2, the biggest reparation any individual can make, is to pull out their credit card and start helping the poor.

Tiger Woods doesn't need any reparation whatsoever (In fact he could be doing some reparations big time if isn't already), I don't need any reparation, and frankly, neither do you. However 26,000 of our "Brothers & Sisters" do. Dig?

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@smithinjapan;or should I say j-smithinjapan. you wear it on your sleave. presumably from bc? you just supported my point. the canadian government downplays the involvement in slavery in canada. to be truthful the brits had a lot to do with it yet we cannot wring our hands of it either and at the same time it bothers me to say that it was not as bad as it was in america. that's a child's way out. that's what our education teaches us.

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rbodell at 11:39 PM JST - 24th June wrote: I am more than ready to pay my share of repatriations. All you have to do is to show where I have owned you. If I did not own you, go leech off your owner.

Man please!!!! Is there anything you would pay reparations for? I know you have more than just ear wax between both ears. If you don't believe in reparation or cant see the arguments for it, then you would have probably supported slavery and fight tooth and nail to maintain it. Slavery was wrong then, it is wrong now and is wrong in the future.

It is patently moronic to advance the argument that since you did not own slaves then it had nothing to do with you. It is not just about owning slaves, it goes well beyond that to physical brutality and denials on the basis of race.

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If you don't believe in reparation or cant see the arguments for it, then you would have probably supported slavery and fight tooth and nail to maintain it

No, I think that's faulty reasoning. Reparations to slaves, yes...but how many generations have passed? Doesn't it seem a bit late to you?

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Himajin. There cannot be a statue of limitation on state organized crimes against a people. Germany is still paying for its crimes against the Jews, and if 100 years had passed then it would be paid to the ancestors/ surviving family members of those who suffered. To say that the victims are dead and therefore that exonerates the penetrator is ridiculous. The state continues to exist and so do the direct ancestors of those who suffered. In this context reparations are owed to their families

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In this context reparations are owed to their families

Ridiculous.

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I'm not saying anyone is exonerated.

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Then make reparations to Africa, where it has become completely messed up, mostly because of European "meddling".

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