Slavery in the United States is one of the major atrocity incidents in American history. Slavery has been abolished many, many years ago but the effects of slavery still linger in American society today. I believe America needs to reconcile for the effects of slavery, rather than slavery in general.
All around the world, there have been many atrocities devastating many people. We all understand that atrocities are horrid and inhumane, but there are few benefits from them even though this may sound disrespectful; it increases the awareness in degrees in harm if one individual possess power and how those powers are used unconsciously, by other societies. In order for victims, bystanders, and perpetrators to reconcile, it is helpful if there were some speech act used as a catalyst. The most important aspect of succeeding in a speech act is communication. The factual information must be concise, credible, and most importantly, true. For a speech act to reach out to reconciling society, it must directly change social relationships between the victimized, the world, and the perpetrator. It also needs to re-integrates the whole society, gains public acknowledgement, and provide personal and collective healing.
There are five available speech acts that we know of as of right now. They are: amnesty, storytelling, memorial, apology, and accusation in a trial. From this list, I choose memorial as the speech act towards racial reconciliation on slavery in the United States. However, all of the speech acts will not work if the majority of the countries with the atrocity are the perpetrators. Who controls the country has a significant role in societal change. Other problems might be cultural differ...
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Ikeda, Hayato. Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda 's Memorial Speech on August 15, 1963. Japan: August 15, 1963.
Lowell, Robert. "For the Union Dead." The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Concise Ed. Paul Lauter. Boston: Houghton, 2004. 2324-26.
Morgan, James C. Slavery in the United States: Four Views. Jefferson: McFarland, 1985.
National Diet of Japan. The House of Representatives. Resolution to Renew the Determination for Peace on the Basis of Lessons Learned from History. Japan: Prime Minister's Address to the Diet, June 9, 1995.
Nino, Carlos S. The Duty to Punish Past Abuses of Human Rights Put Into Context: The Case of Argentina. Yale Law School.
Rohter, Larry. Tarnished Laureate. Guatemala: New York Times, December 15, 1998.
United States. United States Congress. Civil Liberties Act of 1988. Washington: August 10, 1988.
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