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Southern Heritage Alerts: August 2008


Your Response Needed


BLACK MOUNTAIN, NC - The Southern Legal Resource Center today began contacting members of the House of Representatives who co-sponsored the recently passed resolution apologizing for Slavery and Jim Crow, asking whether they would consider a similar apology -- and possible reparations -- for the descendants of Southerners who were victims of Union war crimes during the War Between the States.

First of the resolution's 120 co-sponsors to be contacted by the SLRC was Heath Shuler, a freshman Democrat representing North Carolina's Eleventh District. The SLRC hand delivered the following letter to Shuler's Asheville, N.C., office:

Dear Congressman Shuler:

Last week the House of Representatives passed H.R. 194, a resolution of which you were among the co-sponsors. This resolution was an official Congressional apology for chattel slavery as practiced in the North American colonies and later in the United States, and also for the system of so-called Jim Crow laws which obtained thereafter until the middle of the Twentieth Century.
Since the passage of this resolution the Southern Legal Resource Center has received telephone calls, e-mails and letters from many Southerners, including constituents of yours, asking us to put the following questions to you and your fellow co-sponsors:

1. Are you willing at this time to introduce a similar resolution apologizing for war crimes and depredations that were endorsed by the United States government and carried out as a matter of policy by United States troops against the defenseless civilian population of the South during the years 1861-65?

2. As an extension of such an apology, are you willing to introduce, or would you be willing to endorse, a system of reparations to the descendants of Southerners who suffered loss of life and/or the wanton destruction of their homes, crops and means of livelihood, as well as theft and vandalism of their personal property and wholesale rape, assault and degradation?

These are not rhetorical questions. They are put to you in good faith and in the expectation of your prompt and forthright response. Thank you in advance for your attention.

Yours very truly,

Roger W. McCredie
Executive Director

The SLRC said it will be sending similar letters via surface mail and e-mail to each of the resolution's other 119 co-sponsors, as well as to its main sponsor, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN). A complete list of co-sponsors may be viewed HERE

The SLRC urged individuals to contact their local or nearby representatives who may have been co-sponsors and put the same questions to them.