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Senate passes resolution apologizing for slavery, racial segregation

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] unanimously passed a resolution [S Con Res 26 text, PDF] Thursday apologizing to African-Americans for slavery and racial segregation. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) [official website] introduced and sponsored the concurrent resolution, which will next be voted on by the US House of Representatives [official website]. The resolution reads in part:

The Congress—
(A) acknowledges the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery and Jim Crow laws;

(B) apologizes to African-Americans on behalf of the people of the United States, for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow laws; and

(C) expresses its recommitment to the principle that all people are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and calls on all people of the United States to work toward eliminating racial prejudices, injustices, and discrimination from our society.
The resolution contains a disclaimer indicating that it does not authorize or support any claim against the United States.

In July 2008, the House of Representatives approved a resolution [JURIST report] apologizing to African Americans for slavery and Jim Crow laws [backgrounder]. Previously, Congress had apologized to Japanese-Americans detained during World War II and Native Hawaiians [texts] for the conquest of Hawaii.

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