Should the Arkansas governor and legislature issue a formal apology for slavery? Go to KUAR to read the back and forth. Some say yes. Some say no. Some (Gov. Beebe, I sense) wish the question would go away.
I confess ambivalence. So many wrongs have been done in the name of state and country -- and I don't mean to suggest that the other wrongs are comparable with the inhumanity of slavery -- that it's hard to know where apologies should begin or end. There's rarely harm in a heartfelt apology, of course. Or much positive effect. We live amid a growing legislative and judicial sentiment that the damage of slavery has been repaired. It holds that affirmative action is no longer necessary, except maybe for downtrodden white men, now victims of "reverse discrimination." Don't believe me? Look at corporate offices and board rooms all over Arkansas. They're filled with nothing but women and people of color, aren't they?