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Should Georgia Officially Acknowledge Slavery?

A proposed Senate resolution aims to “[express] remorse for the state’s past practice of condoning involuntary servitude.” Tell us what you think of State Sen. Barry Loudermilk’s proposed legislation.

A practice that ended in the 19th century is the focus of legislation being put forth in the 21st century.

Last week, State Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, held a press conference to announce his filing of Senate Resolution 28, a resolution that aims to “[express] remorse for the state's past practice of condoning involuntary servitude,” or slavery. A copy of the resolution is attached to this article in PDF form.

According to Loudermilk, passage of the resolution would mark the first official acknowledgement of the injustices of slavery and serve as “an official expression of regret and remorse for the condoning of the institution of slavery in Georgia.

“The injustices brought on by the institution of slavery in our state's past stands in stark opposition to the principles on which this nation was founded. According to our founding documents, the sole responsibility of government is to preserve the God-given rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Loudermilk said in a news release. “The filing of [the] Freedom Resolution represents an important first step for our state, in recognizing the reprehensible act of slavery, and to bring reconciliation among the people of this great state.

“I am optimistic that my colleagues in both chambers will recognize the significance of this resolution, and we will work together in a strong bipartisan effort to pass it in this legislative session,” Loudermilk added. “Many people have worked together in drafting this resolution, including legislators, Georgia citizens and members of the clergy.”

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, this isn’t the first time a Georgia lawmaker has attempted to get a resolution like this passed. Then-Senate President Pro Tem Eric Johnson, R-Savannah, made such a push in 2007 and 2009, while black House Democrats have attempted too; none of the proposals were passed by the General Assembly.

Do you agree with State Sen. Barry Loudermilk’s resolution expressing remorse for the state’s role in slavery? Should lawmakers approve a resolution that condemns the now-illegal practice? Why or why not?

Share what’s on your mind with us, and then return here to see what your neighbors in Paulding, Douglas and Cobb have said.

Julie Camp January 23, 2013 at 04:59 PM
I made a point that we all have suffered in the US. I guess you missed my point. You think you have cornered the market on suffering. Um, nope. There were other groups starved, beaten, jailed and murdered in the past. Civilization is not all that civil. Things haven't changed, they're just ignored by the press.
Julie Camp January 23, 2013 at 05:10 PM
I'm do not mean to diminish the horror of slavery in the South. I just want to point out, your mind set is so deluded as to who suffered and to how much extent. You've been told how bad it was and how you should feel that you don't think of others. If the state starts apologizing for the past, where will it end?
Kea January 23, 2013 at 05:13 PM
Julie...My mind set is not deluded! You are making assumptions! Shame on you! Unlike you I will stick to the question at hand. I know other cultures have suffered, I've never said different.
Byron Rangitsch January 23, 2013 at 05:19 PM
The comments about fixing things were to those who used the excuse that govt has more important things to do.
Julie Camp January 23, 2013 at 05:44 PM
Let me make my point in a different direction. Our legislators are only in session for a short time. You would rather they argue over an apology for the past than work on legislation to help our police agencies fight slavery going on now? Or, perhaps they could work on tax legislation to help bring business here to alleviate some of the ridiculously high unemployment among black Georgians? PRIORITIES! Those that need an apology are just too absorbed over the wrongs of the past, they can't fix the problems of the here and now.
Brian January 24, 2013 at 07:34 AM
I think that it's about time. Probably almost 100 years late, but late is better than nothing. It sends a good message that Georgia is a more progressive Southern state. One thing I don't agree with is people using slavery as a crutch or excuse to not perform, not work, etc. Amazingly, some people in the poorest parts of Atlanta still site slavery and other things as the reason they are "kept down" as opposed to the real reasons, such as lack of access to post-secondary education, etc. I'm part jewish. I could sit here and cry victimization about enslavement by Egyptians and antisemitism at the hands of the U.S., about prominent U.S. citizens' donations to Hitler, etc. Don't make this discussion into a race/ethnicity thing and a victimization contest. Human history is sordid, and there are plenty of nasty things that happened to every group. However, I don't see American Indians going around crying all the time. I don't see jews using Hitler and antisemitism and Egyptian slavery, etc as an excuse to not succeed. Sadly, there are a small minority of descendents of american slaves that use it and civil rights things from over forty years back before I was even alive as an excuse while other descendents are flourishing. I'm not saying it's easy, but it's doable. The ones who haven't achieved need to step up and stop crying, do everything to get an education, and succeed. Some will need help, but they have to take a first step. Enough already.
Melinda Paris January 24, 2013 at 01:33 PM
Just reported this morning on TV, there is more slaves in the world today, January 24, 2013 than has ever been! So, slavery I guess will never go away no matter what we all want. I am still waiting to see what they (representatives) are going to do for this state to move ahead this year, its very quiet from the capital, are they really there this year? Oh yea, we have this one resolution, sorry.
Julie Camp January 24, 2013 at 01:55 PM
No, it's not going to go away. Too many people ignore this horrible problem. They're too self centered and think of themselves. Still upset over what happened over 100 years ago, but have no clue of what happens all around them now.
Melinda Paris January 24, 2013 at 02:15 PM
I agree w/you Julie...and I also got the word above "progressive" in Brian's post which means liberal, so there you go. We have our opinion and they have their's, and we can point out slavery today, just what is going on with innocent children used as a sex slaves today is a travesty, but yet it falls on deaf ears/ blind eyes. I hope Georgia never becomes a progressive state. Martin Luther King was not a progressive, He was conservative that fought for the rights of his people, but yet He was fair and He was a very smart man in the way He did things. Some of tried over the years to twist the way He thought, but history is history and He was smart, creative, a doer, not just a whiner. He would not want Georgia to be a progressive state, even though many would argue that point too. Its time we all live for NOW and for the future before all our rights are taken away in a blink of a eye. People think that 100 years was tough, well what do they think the next 10 are going to be at this rate? This state, THIS COUNTRY isn't going to make it just based on the out of control spending--I'm very worried, concerned for our state and I know with the high unemployment that doesn't ever come down, that we are in for a long road to recovery and I don't hear anything from our rep's changing those numbers. So, again answering the question, NO-to this resolution, come up with something new and fresh to get us on the road to recovery.
Alexis Joiner January 24, 2013 at 02:21 PM
This is just another politician trying to pick the most controversial subject matter he can think of to get the most press for himself. He couldn't care less about slavery much less apologizing for it. He just wants to throw out bait and see what he is able to reel in (or who he can hook).
Pam J January 24, 2013 at 03:33 PM
So you don't want Georgia to be a progressive state. Since when did "progressive" become a bad word? Do you want to be stuck in the same place all the time? Sounds boring to me. And there will always be some kind of "slavery". As long as there are bad people, as long as the devil himself walks among us, bad things will happen. It doesn't matter if you are conservative or liberal. Although Senator Loudermilk is a conservative.
Melinda Paris January 24, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Pam J, I know Loudermilk is a republican, so? He is looking for votes, see I'm not against calling out people in my party if they are wrong, too bad lib's can't do that...and EVERYONE knows that Progressive is now the word to use instead of liberal, ask CNN...about it and I WAS TALKING DIRECTLY to another person that posted, I even added her name, go look and I was talking about another "poster" that put the word Progressive in place, if Georgia isn't progressive enough for some folks, there is 49 other states to consider, and when I grew up here for the record Georgia was a Demo state, and all my family voted that way, can't help it changed--so Georgia has moved forward several years ago, where were you at when that happen?? I have confessed my sins over and over by voting for idiotic Jimmy Carter and I've apologized for that several times too, what a goon He turned out to be!!
Melinda Paris January 24, 2013 at 03:45 PM
btw...Loudermilk can say what He is 24/7--actions speak louder than his words. I can say I'm pink, doesn't mean I am..just saying. Who is the biggest liars walking among us these days?? (cough, cough) Politicians-so there you go! I don't get too wrapped up with any of them these days, been burned too many times by their antic's, and that's why NOW I SPEAK UP AND OUT! Sit by the sidelines too long and too many of my rights have vanished by being "quiet". I'm sick of my money and I work 50-60 hours per week going for CRAP, and that's why I posted here in the first place, cause of this CRAP and time consuming resolution that has been tossed around, talked about, talked about some more, sit in committee's, been filed for at least 10 years..What do you want them to do for our state down at the capital the short time they are there? I don't want to even pay for the electric bill they run up doing nothing, and that's ALL OF THEM!!
Melinda Paris January 24, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Pam, do you know who owns Progressive Insurance Co?? HHHMMM...A very prominent liberal that is also one of many trying to take our gun rights away?? Look it up..Another way to know what Progressive stands for. He has also purchased some gun manufacturer's here in this country, and He has closed them down and He gave MILLIONS to liberal campaigns--so I posted about the word in this post, which was replying to another poster--so thought I would give you so more junk to chew on, even though I was trying to stay on subject. Now, I'm sure next post will be from the "other side" yacking about staying on subject, I've tried.
Ariel Clark January 24, 2013 at 04:00 PM
If the mayor wants to hold a media conference and apologize on behalf to the Georgia State Government, let it happen. In fact, why don't we just go ahead and approve this, so we can move on. I would like to see our tax dollars go towards much more important things that are relevant to current issues. If this was a piece of legislature aimed at reducing current problems that today's minorities face, it wouldn't be so ridiculous. An apology is nothing but words, and words are meaningless without action. An apology from the government is not going to change anyone's mindset. It probably wouldn't even be an accurate reflection of the population. Meanwhile, we have a high unemployment rate, educational budget cuts, inefficient and understaffed government agencies, much needed road work, rising health care costs, a large homeless population, increasing crime rates, and many new versions of slavery in the U.S. alone (from immigrants who have been lured into slavery by false promises to wage slavery). Most of the time, I think our politicians are nothing more than actors, paid with tax dollars to keep U.S. citizens distracted from the more insidious and disturbing realities with hot button issues. If passing this legislation means that we can move on to something that will actually make a difference, then let it happen and stop wasting time and tax-payer money. Can we stop with the bread and circus attitude and move on to a useful and productive one already?
Pam J January 24, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Melinda, I will be more than happy to call out Democrats. If they do something I don't like. I don't like the immigration policies of our current President. Actually, I hate it. That is one thing I hope the Republicans can stop. And there is a big difference between being "progressive" and being "liberal". I don't care who started using the word first. And maybe you were speaking "directly" to Brian (who, I believe is a "he"), but as long as everybody else can see your comment, you are open to replies. And it's real mature to call a former President a goon. Geez.
Melinda Paris January 24, 2013 at 04:05 PM
I agree with 100% Ariel. What I've been "TRYING" to say for several days....I'm all for productivity that shows results!
Ariel Clark January 24, 2013 at 04:47 PM
A state-issued apology should not require legislation. Legislative activity should be reserved for active improvement and problem solving. Any worthwhile human being knows that slavery is wrong, and that the southern U.S. history of slavery was abhorrent. It's perfectly fine for the state government to issue an apology, but apologies shouldn't be so complicated that they have to be repeatedly discussed by a committee and voted on. I won't argue against passing the legislation, because it's obvious that this topic will continue to detract from other issues until is resolved through legislation. I'll just shake my head, and hope they decide to wrap this unnecessarily long and unproductive conversation up.
Melinda Paris January 24, 2013 at 11:24 PM
Pam J- Reply away, I'm not hiding anything including my name and how I feel. And yes, I did say that Jimmy Carter turned out to be a goon, and I'll take that a step further to say I was one too, for voting for him. I believe there is a difference between progressive and liberal, however I'm not the one that began using the word "progressive" in the place of liberal, that would be some of the liberal media that began that, just as they have now started saying on the news in the last two weeks, "gun safety" instead of "gun control". I'm not the one that changes words to mean something else, that would be our media folks, I'm just telling you that's the way it is now. YOU, were the one that reminded me (everyone) that Loudermilk is a conservative, I could care less what He is, and as you reminded me to everybody can see your comments, You too are open to replies. I've never complained about anyone reading my comments, what's your deal today? If you want to join other's and call names, that's fine. If you think Jimmy Carter has turned out to be a intelligent individual in his last few years, then that's your opinion, and again I voted for the man, but its embarrasing to admit such a thing, and I still think He has turned out to be a goon, in his earlier days, He came across very smart and considering the rest of his family (Billy, and his mom) He seemed like a genuis! I'm still against this resolution, btw. this was only to reply to you!
Joli January 26, 2013 at 07:35 PM
No, everyone needs to move on and move past the fact that Africa sold their own people into slavery for the money the Europeans would pay. They were shipped all over the world. Let Africa who caused the most slavery admit their wrong doing. The ancestors of the Africans need to admit they were wrong. And that is not going to happen. The African Americans need to release it was their people who sold them into slavery. Had they not sold them then this would not be an issue now. The real travesty is the Europeans came here and took this land from the American Indians and forced them into slavery, killed them, and relocateds them to waste land where they could not survive. The Cherokee Indians of Georgia were made to relocate to Oklahoma. See Trail of Tears. This is where the Europeans of Georgia were wrong. My great-grand mother was one of them mader to walk to Oklahoma. Lucky for me she survived, married an Irish immigrant, and came back to Georgia. A waste of Legislature. A waste of time. Senator Loudermilk needs to find something to do with his time if this is all he can come up with. No one living in Georgia owns slaves or has owned slaves. The slave owners are all dead and gone. The sins of your relatives do not pass one to you.
Pamela February 07, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Sen. Barry Loudermilk is a fool! Yes we hate that there was slavery for both Indians, Women and Men of all races that included murder, rape and starvation...LEARN by it dont go back 150 years ago!!!! Just as the Germans learned about the Holocaust...stopped it and moved on. OK, the real question????? Do we have to formally apologize for slavery here in the USA because of our forefathers???? NO!!!! Slavery has be abolished and is no longer legal in the United States for 150 years now... Should I apologize for my grandfather killing a man when he was a young man???? OR Should I apologize for my cousin raping several girls in his younger days because that is what you are saying that we have to apologize for someone else doing an injustice...How CRAZY is that???????????
Duncan February 07, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Kea..., why aren't you asking the muslims and Islamic countries for apologies; they practiced and are still practicing human slavery of the blacks. Why? Why aren't you asking them? Is it because you know damned well that you wouldn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of getting one? Tell us..., why? They've been practicing human slave trade for centuries....
Duncan February 07, 2013 at 04:42 PM
Everybody's wrong but you,eh Kea?
Duncan February 07, 2013 at 04:44 PM
Kea...., stop kidding yourself, there're just as many black kids being racists today as white..., perhaps more.
Duncan February 07, 2013 at 04:46 PM
"...I'm at a loss for words"; one can only hope..., one can only hope.
Duncan February 07, 2013 at 04:56 PM
Also, (and quite aside from the silliness of expecting this generation to apologize for some atrocity committed by another generation 150 years ago which is a bit like expecting the Germans of today to constantly flagellate themselves for what that asshole of assholes Hitler and his bunch did to the Jewish folk), also, an apology would carry along with it certain legal problems leaving the state and/or federal government open for a lawsuit for damages once they acknowledge responsibility for past and by extension, present wrongs. I think that's probably something worthy of very REAL consideration as a terrific danger.
Byron Rangitsch February 07, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Got it. The State of Georgia, which ratified the Constitution January 2, 1788 and legalized slavery until April 9, 1865, should NEVER EVER apologize. What's the Statute of Limitations on State Sanctioned oppression again? I just want to know when Georgia missed the boat - no pun intended.. As for the Germans, the self-flagellation will end in 2015. "Germany's response to its war crimes has been largely lauded by the former Allies. The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany until 1990) offered official apologies for Germany's role in the Holocaust. Additionally, German leaders have continuously expressed repentance, most notably when former Chancellor Willy Brandt fell on his knees in front of a Holocaust memorial in the Warsaw Ghetto, also known as the Warschauer Kniefall in 1970. Germany has also paid extensive reparations, including nearly $70 billion to the state of Israel. It has given $15 billion to Holocaust survivors and will continue to compensate them until 2015. Additionally, the government of Germany coordinated an effort to reach a settlement with German companies that had used slave labor during the war; the companies will pay $1.7 billion to victims. Germany also established a National Holocaust Memorial Museum in Berlin for looted property."
Duncan February 07, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Right you are..., for the slaughter of millions upon millions of folks within about a 15 year period plus untold billions worth of damages to property and lives in general, the Germans are getting off with 70 years of self-flagellation, whereas in the USA, we're somehow expected to apologize ad infinitum for sins aggregated by every nation in the world including Africa and Arabian countries, not to mention England and a few others. RIGHT !!! Yours is the same kind of argument that's used about immigrants who've made their way into this country without benefit of legal course; for whatever reason, America's immigration laws are totally ignored whereas if you tried the same thing in Mexico, Russia, China, Guatemala and countless other countries you'd probably never be seen or heard from again!!!
Rob Adkerson February 14, 2013 at 05:48 PM
I can tell you that probably none of the people in these comments who are opposed to this resolution have actually read the resolution. Before you jump me, please take 5 minutes to read my article on the truth of this Resolution. http://buckhead.patch.com/articles/im-opposed-to-the-freedom-resolution-have-you-read-sr-28-well-no
Raushana Dupree April 01, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Peace and Blessings

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