Talk about timing. Last week CNN runs the special Black In America, and this week the House of Representatives apologizes to black people for slavery and Jim Crow laws, even though Jim Crow laws were created by each state, rather than the federal government.

Frankly, I’m not sure what I think about this. It’s the first time any branch of the federal government has apologized to black people in America for slavery (though President Clinton did sort of apologize to Africans for slavery and did apologize to the victims of the Tuskegee syphilis study), acknowledging, in their own words:

“African-Americans continue to suffer from the consequences of slavery and Jim Crow — long after both systems were formally abolished — through enormous damage and loss, both tangible and intangible, including the loss of human dignity and liberty, the frustration of careers and professional lives, and the long-term loss of income and opportunity.”

Of course, the vote was non-binding, which means the government isn’t saying that they’re so guilty that they have to pay anyone reparations, as if anyone is asking, nor are they confirming so much that someone who might decide they want to get paid can sue them, saying the government confessed to anything. Still, it’s an interesting step forward, in the year of the Obama candidacy, and I’m wondering what the fallout will be from this.

Guess I’ll wait and see like everyone else.