VA: Get It Over It

I was reading in the Washington Post  about Virginia lawmakers creating symbolic legislation that would apologize for slavery.  As Virginia celebrates the 400 year anniversary of Jamestown, some lawmakers thought it would be a great amendment to that celebration; the good with the bad.

“An apology for centuries of brutal dehumanization and injustices cannot erase the past, but confession of the words can speed racial healing and reconciliation, and help African-American and white citizens to confront the ghosts of their collective pasts together”

VA lawmakers have acknowledged that a resolution could not change the past but said it could create an environment to promote racial reconciliation.  I could not agree with them more. This Bill is a great idea.

But as I expected, there is some opposition.  Virginia State Delegate Frank Hargrove Sr.  decided that he would verbally display his ignorance saying that:

“I personally think that our black citizens should get over it,” Hargrove said of slavery, which existed in Virginia from 1619 until the Civil War. “By golly, we’re living in 2007.”

He also made racial remarks about Jewish people as well.

Native Son’s Take on “Get Over It”

First point I want to make is black people have gotten over slavery, we just haven’t forgotten; that was the point of introducing the legislation.  I understand why VA wants to celebrate the 400 year anniversary of the Jamestown settlement, but too often some forget that English settlers of Jamestown brought slaves to work for them. 

Everything this country has and every penny of wealth this country possesses was made off the blood, sweat and tears of black people.  Slaves were forced to work for free for over 400 years; they were raped and their families torn apart in the name of the new world’s economy. 

It is quite obvious that 79 y/o Del Hargrove is an ignorant man who is still living in the past.  Though slavery ended over 100 years ago, it caused a civil war which led to: the formation of hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan who lynched and tortured black people, Jim Crow Laws which targeted and discriminated against blacks from participating in the political process; which then caused a social and political movement (Civil Rights Movement) in the 50’s and the 60’s.  This movement forced the government to finally pass legislation to give us the same rights as ou white coutnerparts; rights that as American citizens should never have been denied.   

It appears that over the past 100 years, some white people in Virginia including Hargrove, have not gotten over the South loosing the Civil War.  I say this because Virginia along with many other Southern States celebrates Confederate Memorial Day.

What is Confederate Memorial Day?

According to Hamptonroads.com:

“The Jan. 19 birthday of Confederate Civil War general and Virginia native Robert E. Lee has been celebrated as a state holiday since 1889. In 1904, fellow Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s birthday, Jan. 21, was added to the holiday, and it became Lee-Jackson Day. State employees have the day off.”

The Controversy

The article goes on to say:

“In 1983, Jan. 15 was declared a federal holiday to honor civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Until then, Virginians had celebrated King’s birthday with the New Year. At that point, legislators agreed to celebrate the birthdays of all three men on the same day. Lee-Jackson-King Day became a state holiday, but many disagreed with honoring a civil rights leader and two Confederate generals simultaneously. In 2000, the two holidays were split.”

King’s holiday is observed on the 15th (Monday) and Lee-Jackson Day is observed on the Friday before the King Holiday.

More proof of The South’s Reluctance to “Get Over It”

Confederate History Month

I thought this was really funny.  There is actually a Confederate History Month which supposedly takes place in April and is declared annually by several governmental entities in the Southern United States. It is based on remembering the history of the Confederate States of America.

Here are the States that have declared and acknowledge Confederate History Month:

Alabama
Georgia
Louisiana
Mississippi
Ohio
Texas (since 1999)
Virginia

So Who Really Needs to Get Over It?

Talk about disrespectful?  To even think of celebrating the life and work of Dr. King, a man who stood for equal rights and justice for all, with confederate General Robert Lee fought on the side of segregation and slavery, is incomprehensible.  The fact that up until 2000, the State of Virginia celebrated the Federal King Holiday with that of Confederate generals further proves that some (not all) of southern whites still have not gotten over that this country moved forward and granted equal rights to black and brown people.

In 2007, this country still has pockets of racism; some blatant and some which is systemic. To all who think we should get over slavery, it is apart of American History; slavery is just as important and relevant as the American Apple Pie. So if black people have to forget about slavery, ignorant southerners should get over the raically charged confederate government structure of the past.  You can’t omit certain ugly factors in American History just to ease the conscience of main stream America.   Delegate Hargrove and other supporters of the confederacy who think black people should “get over” slavery should themselves:

Get Over It!!!! 

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6 Responses

  1. Very well put…I couldn’t agree with you more…the “never forget” slogan is apt, as we need to learn from our mistakes in history….and as for getting over it…THE CONFEDERACY LOST THE WAR! all those stars and bars flags on the back of pick up trucks….please, GET OVER IT! The apology bill is symbolic and helpful in teaching new generations of what went on in the South in the past and how we as a country rose above it…we must never forget….never.

  2. this revelation has shocked me. I thought that the US had come a long way since segregation but my US Civil Rights history is hazy. In my town in England, there are all these banners proclaiming the anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in England. It all seems just for show. Just like everything when it comes to race.

  3. Aulelia:

    It is not as bad as it used to be, but racism still exist in the United States. Some will say that black people use the race card to get over on our white counterparts; but that is simply to true. But this incident proves that no matter how many laws this country passes, you can’t change the attitudes and perceptions. It is sad and pathetic

  4. Greeting,
    Your knowledge of history is skewed Nativeson. Had Lee accepted Abraham Lincoln’s offer to be General, he would not be a symbolic scapegoat for slavery today, but would also have severed himself from his beloved Virginia. The act of secession, was and still is a right any state of the union. Most presidents like Jackson and Lincoln would not have that.

    Moreover, to this day our military studies Lee’s battle strategies which have helped won World War I and II and more recent wars.

    You cannot simply discuss such a complex set of issues as if it is a no brainer.

  5. Here is a great article to read:

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53992

    Please note the photograph of the author.

    Regards…

  6. Bud:

    Please tell me where my errors were? I am not blaming your precious General Lee for everything that happened to black people.

    Yes, a state has the right to break away from the Union. But lets not pretend that the South broke away from the Union because of some small feat. the South left the Union because they were profiting off the blood sweat and tears of black slaves.

    They didn’t want to go and pick their own cotton to make a leaving; the preferred to use, break, kill and enslave innocent people. So let’s not get it twisted.

    And as far as your second link, Project 21 is a black conservative think tank that serves no purpose in the development or advancement of people color. What has Project 21 done to improve the state of black people in this coountry, besides lining their own pockets? Where were they during hurricane Katrina? They were in the Oval Office kissing George Bush’s ass.

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