Looking Back. With Regret. And Respect. (February 26, 2007)

Another positive resolution.  Assembling on the grounds of the former Confederate Capitol, the Virginia General Assembly voted unanimously this past Saturday to express “profound regret” for the state’s role in slavery and for the exploitation of Native Americans.  The resolution states that government-sanctioned slavery “ranks as the most horrendous of all depredations of human rights and violations of our founding ideals in our nation’s history, and the abolition of slavery was followed by systematic discrimination, enforced segregation, and other insidious institutions and practices toward Americans of African descent that were rooted in racism, racial bias, and racial misunderstanding.”  Not an apology, yet a major step forward.

Many Saturday’s ago in February 1972, President Richard Nixon, National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger and Chinese leader Mao Zedong met in Beijing.  To talk.  Nixon aggressively sought out the meeting with an adversary.  The anti-communist met with one of the uber-communists.  Nixon took off without knowing whether the Chinese FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) would clear Air Force 1 to land.  Nixon engaged what was then the 800(0) lb. panda.  The United States had been in regular communication with the 800(0) lb. bruin, the former Soviet Union, the CCCP (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). Courageous and prescient, “Tricky Dick” worked some magic that week.

Bumper sticker of the week:

I Never Thought I’d Miss Nixon

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