The US House of Representatives, has approved a resolution apologising for slavery and racial segregation of African-Americans.
“A genuine apology is an important and necessary first step in the process of racial reconciliation,” said the non-binding resolution, which was signed Tuesday .
The resolution was sponsored by Representative Steve Cohen, (Democrat-Tennesse), the only white representative of an African-American-majority district.
The statement issued by the House, also quoted Cohen as saying that “the apology goes to African-Americans on behalf of the people of the United States, for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow”.
It said that the House would be committed to “stopping the occurrence of human rights violations in the future”.
“It does not address the issue of reparations,” the statement noted.
American lawmakers have apologised to other ethnic groups in t he past.
“In April, the US Senate also passed a resolution apologising to Native Americans for “the many instances of violence, maltreatment and neglect,” the statement disclosed.
In 1993, the Senate also passed a resolution apologising for the “illegal overthrow” of the kingdom of Hawaii in 1893.
“In 1988, the US Congress passed and President Ronald Reagan signed an act apolo gising to Japanese-Americans detained in camps during World War II,” it said.
“The detainees alive at the time each received 20,000 dollars from the US government,” the statement disclosed.