Georgia Governor Perdue Skeptical Over Effort to Apologize for Slavery

Gov. Sonny Perdue said Monday he was skeptical about following Virginia's lead in having his state apologize for its role in slavery.

"Repentance comes from the heart," he said. "I'm not sure about public apologies ... as far as the motivation for them."

A bill acknowledging and apologizing for Georgia's role in the slave trade was expected to be unveiled later Monday, supported by the Georgia arm of the NAACP.

The measure also has the backing of state Senate President Pro Tem Eric Johnson, a Republican who has been meeting with black leaders in the state.

The clamor for an apology for slavery comes as Georgia considers a measure that would officially designate April as Confederate History and Heritage Month.

Perdue said the issue is being handled by the Legislature and he will watch what lawmakers do.

"I haven't run across anyone in Georgia who is not regretful and repentant of man's inhumanity when you talk about owning one another," the Republican governor said.

"Those of us in public office today, I think we're called to live our lives and inspire our citizens to live their lives so that our children and grandchildren have nothing to apologize for," Perdue said.

Last month, a resolution passed unanimously in Virginia expressing "profound regret" over slavery. Maryland's state Senate approved an apology resolution Friday, and lawmakers in Missouri and Congress have proposed similar measures.