The state of Virginia in United States, the birthplace of slavery has issued the first official apology for slavery and the exploitation of native Americans by the country's white settlers.
In a non-binding resolution that passed unanimously in both chambers of the state general assembly in Richmond, legislators offered their "profound regret" for the enslavement of millions of Americans.
"The moral standards of liberty and equality have been transgressed during much of Virginia's and America's history," the resolution says. It calls the enslavement of millions of Africans and the exploitation of native Americans "the most horrendous of all depredations of human rights and violations of our founding ideals in our nation's history".
The injustice was not entirely righted with Abraham Lincoln's proclamation of emancipation in 1865, the resolution acknowledges. "The abolition of slavery was followed by systematic discrimination, enforced segregation, and other insidious institutions and practices toward Americans of African descent that were rooted in racism, racial bias, and racial misunderstanding."