Civil Rights Coalition Commends Sens. Harkin and Brownback for Pursuing Resolution to Apologize for the Enslavement and Racial Segregation of African Americans
Statement of Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
“Slavery and the western slave trade are crimes against humanity and will forever be known as our republic’s original sin. A formal apology by the U.S. Congress for the dehumanization and racism wrought by both the enslavement of African Americans and for Jim Crow segregation will admittedly never right such a grave wrong, but it is an important first step in acknowledging its tortured legacy.
For almost a century after our civil war, African Americans endured numerous civil and human rights violations including lynchings, deprivation of the right to vote, and other forms disenfranchisement borne out of virulent racism.
The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights commends Senators Harkin and Brownback for introducing a resolution that appropriately speaks to this past collective injustice. It represents an important advancement for civil and human rights, as well as for racial healing and reconciliation.
This Senate resolution – similar to one passed by the House last year – acknowledges the loss of human dignity and opportunity that continues to this day, and serves as a reminder for future generations that the evils of slavery and racial segregation can never be accepted again.”
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The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) is the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition. For more information on LCCR and its more than 200 member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights | Education Fund