An official apology would have to be part of reparations, most advocates agree. “So many governments, institutions and private businesses in the U.S. are implicated in slavery and post-1865 injustices that it would be impossible for them all to apologize at once. But a good start would be an apology for slavery by the president of the United States, joined by the governors of every state that ever permitted enslavement,” wrote Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University, according to an article for The Conversation.
Many white and other Americans may oppose reparations to African-Americans on the grounds that neither they nor their ancestors had anything to do with the many ways African-Americans were and are oppressed, Howard-Hassmann said.
“But as citizens — whether of the U.S. or, in my case, Canada — we have a responsibility to make amends to fellow citizens who have been harmed by the past or present policies of our governments. Acknowledgment is a first step forward. Apologies, memorials and financial reparations continue the process,” she continued.
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