The Latest: Councilman compares slavery to immigration issue

June 19, 2018 - 8:18 pm

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on a resolution to apologize for slavery (all times local):

8:20 p.m.

A South Carolina city councilman has drawn a comparison between slavery and the immigration policy that has resulted in children being separated from their families.

Charleston City Councilman William Dudley Gregorie said Tuesday he and his colleagues have an opportunity to recognize that "the seat of the Confederacy was wrong to enslave people. It was wrong to treat people as property and chattel and sell their children and break up families. Sound familiar? It's happening today, folks."

The city council is considering a resolution that would apologize for slavery. Gregorie was the first council member to speak after a public comment session that went for more than an hour.

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7 p.m.

Members of the public have been given a chance to address a South Carolina city council that's considering a resolution apologizing for the city's role in the slave trade.

Ministers and private citizens were among the first speakers Tuesday to urge the Charleston City Council to pass the resolution. One of the speakers called it the beginning of a repentance that's long overdue.

Another man told the council it should push for establishing reparations for descendants of slave families.

The meeting is taking place in a city hall built by slaves on the day also recognized as "Juneteenth," a celebration of the end of slavery in Texas, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

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12:01 a.m.

The South Carolina city where almost half of all the slaves brought to the United States first set foot on American soil is ready to apologize for its role in the slave trade.

The resolution expected to be passed by the Charleston City Council on Tuesday offers a denouncement of slavery, a promise of tolerance in the future and a proposal for an office of racial reconciliation. The vote will be full of symbolism when it is taken by a majority-white council that meets in a City Hall built by slaves. It will happen less than a mile (1.5 kilometers) from the old wharf where slave ships unloaded — soon to be the site of a $75 million African-American history museum.

Tuesday is also "Juneteenth," a celebration of the end of slavery and just two days after the third anniversary of the racist attack by a white man that killed nine black church members at Emanuel AME church — a target picked in part by Dylann Roof because of its long history.

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