Virginia apologizes for its role in slavery

You may have heard that the Commonwealth of Virginia passes a resolution apologizing for its role in slavery. I must say that I am surprised and I applaud the Viringia legislature for this.

I work in Virigina and live in Maryland and that is by design. People around here have asked me why I don’t move to Virigina and I reply by saying that I could never live in Virginia. Usually they press and ask why. And I answer honestly. Virginia was the capital of the South and led the rebellion during the Civil War. I have ideological problems with that. While I don’t blame Virginians for this, I choose not to live there. I don’t want to pay taxes to a state that led the South during one of our countries darkest times.

I get incredulous stares. “You’re kidding, right?” they ask.

But I’m not.

“Forgive and forget,” they say.

This hurts because I am a big believer in forgiving and forgetting. But I simply know too much history and feel too strongly about this to simply forget about it. It’s easier said than done. It’s a matter of principle and I find that people have a hard time grasping this, so I prefer to not even have to explain.

But I think that Virginia’s recent apology is a step in the right direction. I don’t know if I could ever live here, but I commend the state’s leaders on this brave move.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.