Article Comment 

Donna Stark: Shared history, but not shared blame




Shared history, but not shared blame 


Thank you for your Wednesday editorial, "Our collective past." You are quite right in making the distinction between "collective past" vs." collective blame." Collective blame was not at all what I was talking about. I meant there is no "black" history, no "white" history, only our collective history, or better yet, our shared history.  


The Old Testament verse the "sins of the father will be visited on the young," seems to be pertinent here. We are still feeling the effects of slavery. My purpose was to clarify the inequality of opportunity for black people when Haley Barbour and I were both children. It is important to me that we not gloss over the great sacrifices that were made by many people in our state. 


As to the bloggers who seem to think I am asking them to be guilty for slavery, I had no such intention of imposing guilt. If owning slaves in one generation means following generations should feel guilty, then I would be guilty. My family owned slaves and moved them to Texas before the Civil War. Am I to blame for their choices? No, of course not. Do I wish they had never owned slaves? Yes. I do. It caused great suffering. 


Donna Stark 





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Reader Comments

Article Comment jim varnon commented at 2/17/2011 11:13:00 AM:

MS Donna, You have done well with this post...I am sure that you are
a quality person...Please forgive me too, if I appeared to be [email protected]


Article Comment lateral caudal nidopallium commented at 2/17/2011 1:07:00 PM:

If you have been following the comments on your original article, you can see that some people do believe in communal responsibility for action of individual members. I have just uploaded a response to one such individual.
I will see you your scriptural reference and leave you with one I found on a local web page;
"The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him" (Ezekiel 18:20)"
I renew my disagreement with any promotion of shared guilt or shared responsibility for the actions of other individuals. If one accepts that philosophy, they must, in order to be fair and honest, apply that same standard to every group equally, including Muslims (9/11), Mexicans (the drug wars), Irish (IRA) and so on. It's not the responsibility of the next Mexican Hispanic I meet to right the wrongs committed by the leaders and thugs of Mexican drug cartels. That idea is preposterous. I apologize if I sound harsh, but this one false belief goes against everything I was raised to believe in.


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