TRENTON, N.J. (AP) _ New Jersey's Legislature made the Garden State the first Northern state to apologize for slavery.
By a 59-8 vote last night, the Assembly approved a resolution expressing "profound regret'' for New Jersey's participation in the slave trade centuries ago.
The Senate passed the measure later, 29-2.
Supporters argued the apology would help New Jersey profess remorse for its slave trade involvement. Oponents said the apology
would be a meaningless gesture.
Assemblyman Richard Merkt said America has never accepted the
notion of collective guilt.
Legislators in Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia have issued formal apologies for slavery. A similar effort stalled in the Georgia Legislature.
The New Jersey measure is proposed as a resolution used to express the Legislature's opinion without requiring action by the governor.