I’ve mentioned this in the past, but I really don’t think public apologies are worth the hot air.
Getting Tony Blair to apologise for slavery is Stupid Full Stop Capital Letter, even before we get to the “saying sorry to The World” part. Hell, even the woman who says that all countries involved in slavery should apologies says that “words mean nothing”. Reading the big, bold, capital letters between the lines, she wants cash and plenty of it. This has, of course, been tried before. Namibia wanted Germany to cough up some Euros for some genocide during an uprising when it was a colony, which I’ll bet they never did.
The Church has voted to apologise, but therein lie discrepancies;
1. Since when was religion a democracy? Maybe in the same way as the United Federation of Planets. When it’s fictional, it can be anything you want…
2. If they’re apologising for slavery, then can we expect apologies for Rape, Pillage, Murder, Genocide, Slavery and all the other shit they’ve got away with over the centuries.
But let’s not get me going on religion again…
So, does anyone REALLY care that no-one apologies for things that happened so long ago? The only thing I can think of is to keep the memory of the act alive and highlight the evil nature of it, that it may never be repeated. If this is the case, then Job Done. We already know that Rape, Pillage, etc are Bad. Does saying “sorry” really make absolutes any more absolute?
So, we apparently expect people to say sorry for things that happened a few hundred years ago? So what about apologies for all the wars in those years? If Saddam was made to say sorry, would the peoples of Iraq really give two shits either way? In the future, are the United Nations of Earth going to have to apologise to the Galactic Alien Horde for Neil Armstrong walking on the moon because the US didn’t know it was a graveyard for the WJKRTREK people?
This is all about people wanting to make money out of someone’s suffering, it’s just that the “people” are the same people as the “someone”. Anyway, let us not forget that this is The Real World. If Pirates still exist, then you can be damn sure that Slavery still does. You want someone to say sorry; catch some slavers and make THEM sorry.
The slavery they want an apology for happened beyond living memory, so to whom are we apologising? Descendants; people several generations removed from the act itself. People who are now probably all living in the First World somewhere with access to education and healthcare and flushing toilets. So, we’ll say sorry if you’re happy to put aside the world into which you were so unfairly thrust (purely by dint of procreation) and return to the nomadic, hunter-gatherer existence of your forefathers? No? You do surprise me.