Apologise?

Always an interesting question this.  Should one apologise for …. slavery .. the Irish Famine … terrorism.  I don’t think it is quite as simple as some would like to think.  Just to say, ‘It was five generations ago so it is nothing to do with me’ ignores the extent to which we are all the inheritors of our history and the way in which we still respond to one another in ways which are conditioned by that history.  On the other hand, our ancestry is so intermingled that it is hard to see how any of us is the direct inheritor of anything in that sense.  Maybe ‘apologise’ is not quite right – but I have no doubt that a carefully-timed and authoritative recognition of past hurts and indifference to hurts can have a significant influence on laying the past to rest.  And it needs to be received and responded to …

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