You were expecting, maybe, gratitude for your lynching apology? You should live so long. Here are my top 10 reactions to America's latest patronizing attempt to repent its racism:
1. Bite me.
2. Damn right, the least you could do.
3. Mighty white of you.
4. Gee, couldn't you have waited just a little longer -- until even the trees from which the "strange fruit" swung were dead?
5. I'm not impressed, but then, I'm bell-curved. What do I know?
6. Thanks for kicking our asses so hard, and for so long, that we were forced to develop entire art forms around our oppression.
7. Try not to break your arm patting yourselves on the back.
8. Give us back the land, the businesses and the unpaid debts that were the true cause of many lynchings. You sleaze bags!
9. Gee, was there no appropriate Hallmark card? Let a sister help you out:
Sorry I castrated your granddad. My bad.
What's 300 years of raping your ancestors among friends?
Sticks and stones may break your bones ... Oops. They already did.
And my topmost reaction to your lame-ass, late-ass lynching apology:
10. Thanks for absolutely, positively nothing. You feel better. We feel worse. Déjà bloody vu all over again....
You know ... actually, I don't feel any worse.
Well, aside from the sprained muscles from the eyerolling.
Seriously, my particular response to it could be described as: Yeah, whatEVER. Why the hell are you wasting your time and ours on this?
Although I will note that watching the conservative Republicans run far far away from the bill was really impressive, in an odd way.
WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) refused repeated requests for a roll call vote that would have put senators on the record on a resolution apologizing for past failures to pass anti-lynching laws, officials involved in the negotiations said Tuesday.
And there was disagreement Tuesday over whether Saxby Chambliss, one of Georgia's two Republican senators, had supported the measure when it was approved Monday night. As dozens of descendants of lynching victims watched from the Senate gallery, the resolution was adopted Monday evening under a voice vote procedure that did not require any senator's presence.
Eighty senators, however, had signed as co-sponsors, putting themselves on record as supporting the resolution. By the time the Senate recessed Tuesday evening, five other senators had added their names as co-sponsors, leaving 15 Republicans who had not.
Georgia Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson was among the 80 sponsors listed Monday night. Chambliss' name was added to the list of co-sponsors after the resolution was adopted, according to the Congressional Record. But his office said he had signed onto the bill as a co-sponsor before Monday's vote.
The resolution was adopted under what is called "unanimous consent," whereby it is adopted as long as no senator expresses opposition.
But the group that was the driving force behind the resolution had asked Frist for a formal procedure that would have required all 100 senators to vote. And the group had asked that the debate take place during "business hours" during the week, instead of Monday evening, when most senators were traveling back to the capital.
Frist declined both requests, the group's chief counsel, Mark Planning, said Tuesday evening.
"It was very disappointing" that Frist handled the matter the way he did, Planning said. "Other groups have gotten roll call votes, so there was nothing new to this, nothing different that we were asking for." [...]
For serious amusement value, look at the "by date" sort of cosponsors on the THOMAS site. The bill itself passed the Senate on June 13. 10 people signed on as cosponsors on June 13 itself. Another eleven people signed on as cosponsors after June 13 -- in other words, after the bill had already passed, and their cosponsorship mattered not in the slightest, except that they were getting bad publicity for not signing on. Arizona's senator John Kyl didn't sign on until June 23, 10 days after final passage (or apparently, "sorta kinda final unless you want to add your name because you're getting raked over the coals up one side and down the other for not signing" passage).
The interesting thing is that the bill is essentially meaningless ... except to note who refused to sign at all, late or not. They seem to be saying one of two things:
1) "This bill is absolutely meaningless, and therefore we don't need to sign it." And there, I would agree with them ... except that politically speaking, it's becoming more meaningful and damaging that they didn't sign. And, really, what would signing a meaningless symbol cost them?
2) "Um ... see, we think the vast majority of our consituents are kind of racist? and they're not going to understand if we sign on and cosponsor this bill? because they kind of wish the good ol' lynching days were here again? so we're not going to do that, OK?" Unfortunately, this is the more likely explanation; that signing is, for them, politically far more damaging than not signing. (I think they wrong their constituents, for what that's worth.)Posted by iain at June 29, 2005 03:01 PM