Sen. Barry Loudermilk Introduces 'Freedom Resolution' on Georgia’s Past Role in Slavery
Sen. Barry Loudermilk (R-Cassville) held a press conference today to announce the filing of Senate Resolution 28. If passed, this joint resolution will mark the first official acknowledgement of the injustices of slavery and an official expression of regret and remorse for the condoning of the institution of slavery in Georgia.
“The injustices brought on by the institution of slavery in our state's past stands in stark opposition to the principles on which this nation was founded. According to our founding documents, the sole responsibility of government is to preserve the God-given rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Loudermilk said in a release. “The filing of today’s Freedom Resolution represents an important first step for our state, in recognizing the reprehensible act of slavery, and to bring reconciliation among the people of this great state.”
The practice of slavery was sanctioned, condoned and perpetuated through the laws of the state from 1751 until the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution on December 18, 1865.
Since the abolition of slavery, there have been several attempts by the General Assembly to apologize for Georgia’s previous involvement in slavery. Most recently, HR 295 was filed in the House of Representatives in 2009, but never made it to the floor for a vote.
“I am optimistic that my colleagues in both chambers will recognize the significance of this resolution, and we will work together in a strong bipartisan effort to pass it in this legislative session,” Loudermilk said. “Many people have worked together in drafting this resolution, including legislators, Georgia citizens and members of the clergy.”
On the federal level, the U.S. House of Representatives was the first branch of government to formally issue an apology for slavery. Shortly thereafter, the following states issued apologies or expressed regret for their involvement in slavery: Connecticut, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and New Jersey.
Loudermilk represents portions of Cartersville and Bartow County and the western half of Cherokee County.