Jan 18, 2013

State Sen. Barry Loudermilk, a North Georgia Republican who has long touted gun rights, small government and tough restrictions on illegal immigrants, proposed Thursday that Georgia express remorse for its past history of slavery.

Loudermilk, of Cassville, believes the state should express “profound remorse and lamentations” for slavery.

“The resolution acknowledges the injustice that was brought on by this evil institution,” Loudermilk said.

The resolution stops short of an apology. Loudermilk believes it’s not realistic for the current Legislature to apologize for acts of past lawmakers.

Loudermilk is not the first white Republican to propose such a resolution. Then-Senate President Pro Tem Eric Johnson, R-Savannah, sponsored similar legislation in 2007 and in 2009. Several black House Democrats proposed one, too. None of them gained approval.

Rep. Tyrone Brooks, D-Atlanta, who co-sponsored the 2009 resolution, said Loudermilk told him of his plans and believes the senator is sincere.

“I hope Barry’s proposal will get traction in the Senate,” Brooks said. “I just hope the House will pass it.”

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