"Members of one of America's oldest Protestant churches officially apologized Friday — for the first time — for massacring and displacing Native Americans 400 years ago.

'We consumed your resources, dehumanized your people and disregarded your culture, along with your dreams, hopes and great love for this land,' the Rev. Robert Chase told descendants from both sides. 'With pain, we the Collegiate Church, remember our part in these events.'

The minister spoke on Native American Heritage Day at a reconciliation ceremony of the Lenape tribe with the Collegiate Church, started in 1628 in then-New Amsterdam as the Reformed Dutch Church."

Read : http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iS1cs44pibqh-QYyOj_gP3im5XbQD9C85DJ00.

A beautiful and touching, but mainly fashionable and above all politically correct gesture.
Nowadays it is very fashionable indeed for nations, churches, groups, even individuals, to apologise for facts for which they bear no responsability at all.

History is history, and we cannot change it. Bygones are bygones, and no one is responsible for the crimes or the misdeeds of his forebears.

These apologies for historical misdeeds have been bothering me for years. They most certainly are difficult and beautiful gestures indeed ; but they are also totally gratitious and empty ones : I'm sorry, OK ? and now get going and leave me alone ...

History is history, and we cannot change it : but trying to redress the consequences of past crimes would be so much more convincing than merely apologising. But that might have an economical, social and political cost, and that is something which we want to avoid.

1 comment:

pablo said...

Learn from past mistakes, at the very least. But even that generally is too much to ask.