On July 30, I posted thanking TN Rep. Steve Cohen for his efforts on HR 194, an official apology for slavery and Jim Crow. There have been a few developments since then and I thought I’d update you.
First, Obama renewed his objections to this effort. He essentially thinks that an apology may be appropriate, but really isn’t worth a whole lot. He is absolutely opposed to the idea of reparations. Of course, many people see this official apology as only the first step on the road to reparations. Obama favors, instead, programs that affect African Americans where the live now, programs for education, health care, employment, etc.
In the meantime, the Senate is taking up the notion of an apology. Sen. Maj. Leader Harry Reid plans to take the matter to a vote before Congress adjourns on September 26. This of course is perfect timing, just before the Presidential election and before many white Southern Republicans are up for reelection. It will be interesting to see if Obama is in Chamber for the vote and, if so, how he comes down on the issue when pressed. You can bet that he will be under enormous pressure from the CBC (to which he has never kneeled) to vote in the affirmative.