I am sincerely sad and very, very sorry

one of my goals: Healing Wounds

The INSTITUTION OF SLAVERY existed OFFICIALLY in our Nation for approximately 250 years. Of course, taking advantage of others who are lower in some ways than ourselves continues. Who realizes that this trauma has affected some families…. FAMILIES for approximately 15 generations…. ??


The trauma will probably affect these people for at LEAST 15 generations more…

Listening to a hearing in the house (DC) on reparations. There is a bill under consideration to study the issue of victims of U.S. Slavery. I grew up basically hearing African Americans, and Mexicans being talked about in derogatory terms. The speaker at the moment, a woman with an incredible background in terms of accomplishment and education, and also a descendant of PEOPLE used for slave labor. I have for years and years repeated what I heard without thought. “I did not own slaves, I don’t owe a thing.” I do feel bad, and embarrassment when I find an ancestor who had slaves. It makes me incredibly sad. Today, the lady at the hearing pointed out that we who are living today, that even if we have not owned slaves ourselves, that we have indeed lived off of the improvements that were created in this country by slave labor. We live on the backs of slaves…. our standard of living. It was slavery that largely built our nation. And yet, these folks had little to say about how they lived. And when I mention slaves… I am not only talking about African American, though they are the main victims. I am thinking of our ultra cheap Mexican & Chinese labor, the Irish who were also victimized, the indentured laborer (basically a slave), and any others who were treated as sub-human, and as work, mules to make someone else’s reality better and more comfortable. This is not a conservative/liberal thing in my opinion. This IS a human thing. This is a need of repairing our relationships with ourselves and our neighbors. It becomes even more important when we realize that we are indeed, living upon culture, society, and a physical domain that would not exist if it were not for these PEOPLE. If nothing else, our nation, as a whole, needs to set up a written document that apologies to each and every soul that was treated in a less than compassionate way. This apology to the African Americans, Mexicans, Irish, and any other person affected is LONG OVERDUE and much needed. I am a person who has grown up with trauma. The consequences are not just long term, they are LIFELONG and GENERATIONAL. And my trauma has NOTHING to do with the beatings my ancestors gave their slaves (people). My trauma has nothing to do with my ancestors taking advantage of another human being to make their life’s more wealthy. The mindset that comes from living with the after-effects of trauma pigeon holes a person and leaves him in a way that they very slowly make it through their life. More often than not, the bottom line for these people is simply survival. It is very, very hard to crawl out of that hole. I, myself, have been in and out, mostly in, therapy for nearly 30 years. And this damage is from trauma from childhood and trauma from domestic violence through a marriage. If this kind of trauma lasts this long in one person’s life, can you imagine the effects of a family of people who have been enslaved for generations? Slavery is another form of trauma that people must learn to overcome. These people have literally only survived for generations. They deserve a hand up in some form, and a very sincere and official apology. I for one, am humbled when I realize that without slavery there would be no Wall Street. There would be no interstate, no railroad, and many other infrastructures that we all very much depend on today. If ever I felt the need to be sad and apologetic for what these PEOPLE have gone through in each and every one of their lives regardless of what role they filled, i.e. slave, child of a slave, supportive spouse, wench, laborer, a forced and unpaid sexual worker (call it what it was, when there was rape involved), regardless of skin color, and ethnicity: I am sincerely and humbly sorry for our horrible past and our horrible present, for I realize that racism has not stopped, and there are still people out there who honestly believe that people of color are less than PEOPLE. Until that is completely over and dead, I will continue to be sorry and sad. I for one, have found tears…

About PeggyAnn

Professional PC Consultant, Researcher, & avid people watcher, Peggy Ann Rowe started into her genealogical quest at age 15 after watching the mini-series, "Roots" with her parents. This new obsession has fueled her love of history, & study of cultures & societies in every epoch. Today she is 57 years old with four kids who are all grown up (& all have flown the coop). In between her 'gigs' with clients she volunteered at many different non-profits. Former President, Secretary, and Director at Large on the board of the Douglas County Historical Society for 10+ years, and former Secretary at the Cloverdale Historical Society (Sonoma County) for nearly 10 years. This website is an attempt to share the knowledge she has gained about her family ties with others who may be interested in the same things. She does not guarantee 100% accuracy and does hope that you will send corrections. To learn more about her, click the "about" button in the page menu. Thanks! Another goal of this website is to disseminate a message (i.e. education) about domestic violence, child abuse, and all forms of sexual abuse to society at large. The message comes from real experience from the whole spectrum of the violence from sexual abuse by a perpetrator to sexual abuse perpetrated by a husband, to the abuse of children within the family. Peggy has seen it, lived it, and been hurt by it. There will on occasion be details that might be hard for some people to read, and a warning is usually posted at the beginning of the essay so that those who want to turn and not read may do so. The only way to teach and to let others learn what to avoid is to SHARE what happened with every detail necessary to make the point. Thank you.
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