As Far As Apologies Go I Guess It's O.K.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

If you haven't heard already about this, now you have (or will, once you actually read the rest of the post).

A few days ago on July 17th - in a really really quiet session - the California state legislature approved a bill to apologize to Chinese Asian Americans in the state for all the racist bullshit laws they enacted:

The laws, some of which were not repealed until the 1940s, barred Chinese from owning land or property, marrying whites, working in the public sector and testifying against whites in court. The new bill also recognizes the contributions Chinese immigrants have made to the state, particularly their work on the Transcontinental Railroad [...]

The apology is the latest in a wave of official acts of remorse around the globe. In 2006, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a similar apology, expressing regret to Chinese Canadians for unequal taxes imposed on them in the late 19th century. Last February, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologized to his country's Aborigines for racist laws of the past, including the forced separation of children from their parents. Five months later, the U.S. Congress formally apologized to black Americans for slavery and the later Jim Crow laws, which were not repealed until the 1960s. And most notably, in 1988 the U.S. government decided to pay $20,000 to each of the surviving 120,000 Japanese Americans imprisoned in camps during World War II. Says Donald Tamaki, a San Francisco–based attorney who helped overturn wrongful WWII-era convictions of Japanese Americans: "Part of what a humane society does is recognize past injustices and address them."

The California resolution moved quickly through the state legislature since it was first introduced in February. "It's symbolic to recognize that the state made mistakes," says assembly member Paul Fong, who co-sponsored the legislation with assembly member Kevin de Leon. "These laws reverberate to this date because racism still exists."
And it's about time don't you think?

But I still need to say this

An apology is great, but if you wouldn't have fucked it up in the first place there really wouldn't be a need for an apology now would there? So as a state I wouldn't be patting myself on the back about how great I am you know what I mean?

And while you can apologize all you want - for as many legislative sessions as you want - how about stopping the racist bullshit against my people from attending the college of their choice because there might be too many of us "changing the complexion" of the white campus.

Again, the apology is great and definite props to assembly member Paul Fong for getting this through, but while you as a state are apologizing - we're still getting fucked - treated like the second class citizens you kinda still think we are.

Maybe you can do something about that so you don't have to give another apology 50 years from now.