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Black History Month, 2019, has been a sobering reality check for millions of white Americans who are expressing shock and outrage at everything from elected officials donning blackface to a beloved movie star’s admission he once wanted to take revenge on a random black man.

America does not need another apology for slavery. Any substance from such feel-good moments evaporates before the ink on the proclamation can dry.

America would benefit more from a comprehensive history lesson on why an apology was deemed necessary in the first place. I mean, why say “sorry” for something millions of white Americans have never been taught one thing about? An apology, however sincere or well-intended, will never get America closer to the a-word it ought to be focused on: Atonement.

As Virginians acknowledge the 400-year anniversary of the first enslaved black people brought to America as shackled property, the state is mired in controversy because of Gov. Ralph Northam’s lack of sensitivity over painful institutions and hurtful stereotypes.