Ga. legislators split on slavery apology

March 9, 2007 at 6:04 PM

ATLANTA, March 9 (UPI) -- The speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives says the state should not apologize for U.S. slavery.

Republican Glenn Richardson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that no one in office now in the state was around when slavery was legal in the United States.

"Maybe I just blanketly apologize to everyone for everything I've ever done," he added.

The Georgia National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held a news conference this week to demand an official apology for the enslavement of African-Americans. Democratic state Rep. Al Williams, head of the Legislative Black Caucus, plans to introduce a resolution, although Richardson said it will not pass this year unless the legislature changes its rules.

Senate President Pro Tem Eric Johnson, a Republican, was less hostile to the idea of an apology than Richardson.

"If saying 'I'm sorry' for something that neither I nor my relatives did to people who are not slaves makes somebody feel better, then I am comfortable doing it," Johnson said.

Gov. Sonny Purdue has so far made no comment.

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