Is It Time for Georgia to Officially Acknowledge Slavery?
A Georgia legislator has proposed a resolution aimed at expressing remorse for the state’s "past practice of condoning involuntary servitude.” What do you think of the proposal?
A practice that ended before the birth of anyone alive today is the focus of legislation in the Georgia General Assembly.
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.
What do you think? Is it time we passed this resolution or do state legislators have more pressing present day issues on which to focus their attention?