Apologizing for Past Sins a Big Mistake
Michael J. Thompson, Auburn Plainsman, Apr. 26
When people first meet me here at Auburn University, they’re quickly shocked to learn from my accent that I’m from the south — Peachtree City, Ga. to be correct — and for that matter have never lived in another region of the country.
I always find it humorous when I tell them where I’m from and the look of shock on their face. People guess I’m from either the north or a western state — one professor even stated I sounded as if I were from Boston — but no, I’m just a life-long resident of Dixie.
And proud of it.
When Gov. Roy Barnes and the Legislature of the State of Georgia removed the old Georgia flag that had the battle flag of the Confederacy upon it, I’ll admit I was upset. In the Fourth of July parade in Peachtree City, I was joined by many friends in 2001 as we rode through the parade in a truck with that flag and the United States flag, unashamed and proud.
The thousands in attendance along Peachtree Parkway cheered — albeit some booed, but they were obviously carpetbaggers from the north looking to cash in on the surging Atlanta economy or to send their children to one of the top school systems (Fayette County) in the nation — and to this day I have never felt more pride in the fact that I am a Southerner.
It’s like the Kenny Chesney song, “Back where I come from,” as yes, we have had our problems in the past, and the entire world — thanks to the media and left-leaning text books in classrooms — might be under the impression that every white, heterosexual male from the south secretly is a member of some insidious ‘hate’ organization, but as the song lyrics state, “Some say its a backward place/Narrow minds on a narrow way/I make it a point to say/That thats where I come from.”
You see those to the left of the political spectrum like to play the guilt by association card, and for the most part many Americans are duped into believing it.
If you believe in controlling immigration and stopping illegal immigration, then you are a fascist or Nazi. If you question affirmative action then you are racist. If you wave the Confederate flag, then you obviously wish for the return of slavery and the subjugation of black people. If oppose homosexual marriage, then you are homophobic and intolerant.
Thus flows the inherent logic of the guilt by association tactics of the left, in attempts to malign and smear those who, are probably winning the argument. Or as Peter Brimelow of “Alien Nation” fame said, “A racist is someone who is winning an argument with a liberal.”
Recently the University of Alabama Faculty Senate, led by law professor Alfred Brophy, voted 36-1 to apologize for the university’s part in slavery.
According to an article in the Crimson White, the student newspaper at the University of Alabama, “In a public presentation one month ago, law professor Alfred Brophy chronicled the extent of that participation, which included the buying, renting and selling of slaves, professors’ physical abuse of resisting slaves, and the construction and dissemination of intellectual justifications of the slave system.”
In an article Brophy wrote for the April 25 edition of The Birmingham News, he said, “The apology is as much about today as about the era of slavery, which ended 139 years ago. It is about the university’s identity as a place that honors all people who contributed to the university, and aspires to teach the truth even if it is not popular and serves all Alabamians.”
Well sir, lets aspire to teach the truth. Lets go ahead and teach that slavery still exists to this day in Africa and that it was African tribal leaders who sold their own people to white slave traders so long ago.
I assume that you wish to tell about how many early whites in the history of the North American continent were ‘Indentured Servants,’ basically slaves. Perhaps you’ll teach from the new book by Robert Davis called “Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters,” that shows that a million Europeans were enslaved by North Africans between 1500 and 1800. Something tells me you will not.
As the always thought-provoking Thomas Sowell pointed out in a recent column, “Slavery was an ugly, dirty business but people of virtually every race, color, and creed engaged in it on every inhabited continent. And the people they enslaved were also of virtually every race, color, and creed.”
He continues by writing, “Europeans enslaved other Europeans for centuries before the drying up of that supply led them to turn to Africa as a source of slaves for the Western Hemisphere. Julius Caesar marched in triumph through Rome in a procession that included British slaves he had captured. There were white slaves still being sold in Egypt two decades after blacks were freed in the United States.”
“It was the same story in Asia, Africa, and among the Polynesians and the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere. No race, country, or civilization had clean hands..,” writes the brilliant Sowell.
But will Brophy teach this, as says the university should aspire to teach the truth? Not a bloody chance.
A close friend at the school confided in me that the step in the direction of apologizing is merely the first step toward reparations for slavery.
Ah, the ultimate form of white guilt — reparations for something our ancestors did, although less than 5 percent of white southerner’s ever owned slaves. I’m not going to beat around the bush, I don’t feel guilty about what took place 139 years ago, because I was born on Januray 4, 1983.
Of course slavery is one of the world’s ugliest stains, but it is just that, the whole world’s stain. Throughout human history, slavery has existed and yet it was western civilization — my ancestors — who put a stop the whole practice, or at least not in Sudan. In fact, the bloodiest war in American history is purported by many to have been fought over the abolition and freedom of the slaves in the south ( of which it was not, but another battle for another day).
Trying to paint all white people living today as guilty of slavery is egregious and offensive, because every race on this planet has at one point or another owned slaves of a different race. So I guess then we are all guilty, all 6 billion of us, according to Brophy, right?
The apology should never have taken place. Or as Sowell said, “No one expects Qaddafi to pay reparations to the descendants of Europeans whom his ancestors captured on the Mediterranean coast or Western Europeans to pay reparations to Slavs who were enslaved on such a scale that the very word slave derived from their name.”
As a concerned American who can look beyond the next episode of “American Idol,” I must say the land of freedom is becoming increasingly polarized.
Issues such as reparations are incredibly divisive and merely exist to open old wounds that are continually picked at like an adolescent would his first scab.
As an upper-middle class white, heterosexual, southern male I can tell you without hesitation that the current culture and climate of this nation is of complete hostility to those like me, because of the guilt by association trap laid so precisely by those on the left who say they love tolerance and diversity, but despise the notion when it is applied to conservatives.
But you know, as much as the south is demonized by the media, by history books, by self-loathing liberal whites and rest of their like, I make it a point to say, “Thats where I come from.”