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Not All Apologies Are Created Equal

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It was unfortunate that Barry Gottlieb (Back Page, March 21) used Virginia's recent expression of regret to African-Americans and Native Americans as the pretext for a rant on the recent flurry of public apologies.

Slavery and the subsequent Jim Crow laws, and the decimation and displacement of America's native populations, are unconscionable scars on our history and their ugly consequences survive today.

The unanimous resolution by Virginia's General Assembly, on behalf of our state's citizens, was a solemn, articulate and (I must presume) sincere expression of regret. It was an overdue and minimal gesture, but still appropriate. It should not be belittled. We should not encourage indifference to history or to its current relevance.

Ben Ragsdale
Richmond

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