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Georgia Lawmaker’s Push for State to Issue An Apology for Slavery Struggles to Gain Support

22285180_SAState Rep. Tyrone Brooks is pushing for the state of Georgia to formally apologize for the impact that years of slavery have had on the Black community, but his latest proposal is receiving a less than warm welcome from other state officials.

Brooks’ proposed apology would not only require state officials to apologize for slavery but to also thoroughly acknowledge the hardships and obstacles that it has subjected the Black community to, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“Whereas, after emancipation from 246 years of slavery African-Americans soon saw the political, social, and economic gains they made during Reconstruction dissipated by virulent and rabid racism, lynchings, disenfranchisement of African-American voters, Black Codes designed to reimpose the subordination of African-Americans and Jim Crow laws that instituted a rigid system of de jure segregation in virtually all areas of life and that lasted until the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act,” the proposed apology says.

The proposal goes on to state that African-Americans are still struggling to “overcome the bitter legacy of slavery” and trying to deal with “unbearable” scars that have been “haunting their psyches and clouding their vision of the future.”

It has become apparent, however, that Brooks is struggling to garner any real support after state officials claimed there is no reason for them to apologize for what others have done in the past.

“I’m not sure what we ought to be apologizing for,” said Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. “Nobody here was in office.”

Perdue went on to say that he feels like an apology now would lack any real sincerity nor would it have any substantial benefits for the community.

Regardless of the governor’s feelings, Brooks is still standing firm behind the proposal.

This is his second time trying to get a formal apology from the state after his first attempt back in 2007 also failed to get any real support.

In addition to pushing for the apology, Brooks, who is head of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, also plans to propose a raise to the minimum wage in the state.

Georgia’s minimum wage currently stands at $5.15 although the federal minimum wage is $7.25. In states where the minimum wage is lower than the federal, the federal takes precedence.

In the midst of pushing for the new legislation, Brooks is also dealing with his own legal battles.

The long-time civil rights leader was recently indicted by a grand jury for allegedly misappropriating close to $1 million in charitable funds.


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