Skip to comments.Column: Case for reparations
Posted on 04/17/2017 1:40:05 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Almost 250 years of slavery, 100 years of legal segregation and discrimination and over 50 years of redlining and other forms of institutional racism beyond that. All of these factors have led to the disproportionate poverty found in black communities in the United States, and all of them are cause for the need for reparations.
This idea is not without precedent: in 1952, Israel and West Germany signed an agreement that West Germany would pay reparations to Jewish people from Germany in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Reparations are not unheard of even within the context of the United States. The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 compensated all survivors of the Japanese-American internment camps with $20,000 each. But despite over 400 years of oppression, the black community in the United States has never received reparations for the damages done to them. Given the existing precedents, it is not unreasonable for reparations to be demanded.
So, who would receive these reparations? Well, William Darity, a public policy professor at Duke University, and Dania Francis, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, proposed two requirements for eligibility: First, an individual would have to provide reasonable documentation that they had at least one ancestor who was enslaved in the United States, and, second, an individual would have to demonstrate that at least ten years before the onset of the reparations program, they self-identified as black, African American, colored or Negro on a legal document. This is only one of many possibilities.
How much is owed in reparations? Well, if we take into consideration all slave labor from the late 1700s to 1865, the black American community would be owed $6.4 trillion in 2015 dollars. That calculation is courtesy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by the way, who advocated for reparations for slavery in his 1963 book, Why We Cant Wait. These calculations do not take into account other forms of legal oppression since that time.
It must be admitted that this is most certainly a hefty sum, and certainly one which the United States government could not pay off all at once. An immediate lump-sum payment to each individual is probably not the ideal form of compensation in this case. So, how would reparations be implemented then? The best solution to this problem might be the creation of a series of programs designed to bolster the black American community. These could include a fund to provide scholarships to prospective black college students, low-interest loans for black-owned businesses and a small universal pension for black Americans, all of which would be put in place for several decades.
Needless to say, reparations arent going to happen soon. Every two years since 1989, Representative John Conyers has introduced House Resolution 40, which only would create a commission to investigate how, potentially, some form of remedy for the damages caused by slavery might be implemented. Every time it has been introduced, the bill has stalled. Congress remains so firmly opposed to reparations that it refuses to even investigate the possibility of reparations.
These reparations would go a long way to improving conditions for the black American community but even then, its not a cure-all. Alleviating the economic effects of centuries of oppression does not prevent future economic oppression, nor does it do anything to alleviate other forms of systemic prejudice and discrimination. Just as important as material solutions to the effects of racism is sustained work in advancing anti-racist education and activism. It is imperative that people recognize and work to dismantle and destroy systems of oppression in this country and worldwide.
Thanks for reading.
A black person today can live without ever having to work. So,Claude,go........yourself!
Here we go again...
I don’t mind if the democrat party pays reparations.
Reparations: A one-way ticket to Liberia. Coach.
>The best solution to this problem might be the creation of a series of programs designed to bolster the black American community.
Been doing that for decades and 15 Trillion dollars later the sloth, graft, snowflakes, DinDus, gangs and human waste is more numerous than ever.
The whole mess needs a bootstrap.
There is still slavery in Africa and the Middle East. If it doesn’t matter there, then it didn’t matter here over 150 years ago.
Can we deduct all the welfare paid out since LBJ’s failed social program, AKA ‘The Great Society’? That one program has done more to decimate the black nuclear family than any other program ever devised by man.
These ingrates never quit do they? Despite slavery, they fail to realize how much better off they are here than living in mud huts in Africa somewhere.
Reparations? How many more tax dollars do they want besides the welfare, Section 8, TANF, EBT, reverse discrimination entitlements, and other free stuff they’ve been given for the last 50 years?
1. Representative John Conyers is a card-carrying Democratic Socialist, and, of course he introduces a ‘reparations’ bill! He is a Negro.
2. The European ‘reparations’ was for the payment of sorrows incurred upon a group of people who were being systematically EXTERMINATED. All claims to reparations became moot, once (a) The Emancipation Proclamation was signed, making every Negro in America a ‘full free person’, and (b) The 1965 civil Rights Act was signed by Lyndon Baines Johnson.
I didn’t realize Dr. MLK Jr. specified monetary figures in 2015 dollars.
Hundreds of thousands of white people fought and died to end slavery. How much money do blacks owe the families of the dead to repay them for their sacrifice?
no thanks. I'll pass
Black supremeists claim the the ancient Egyptians were Black. So their people held my people in slavery for 400 years. And it took a whole string of miracles and 7 God sent plagues to gain their freedom. Considering 4,000 years of interest compounded, they still owe us.
Same with the Japanese who had been interred.
Depending on who you listen to, the last known American slaves died in the 1960s, in the Seventies at the most (and that's still debatable).
So to whom are reparations due today?
50+ years of welfare/EBT, section 8, set-asides, preferential hiring etc. have paid the debt in full.
How many decades of affirmative action quotas, then just affirmative action are enough? How much war on poverty and DOJ Civil Rights activism and are enough?
The American people elected a President of Color. Which shows that overt racism isn’t a barrier to political power.
Yes, there was slavery and that is a horrible stain on our nation’s past. There was also a civil war fought over slavery that spilled a significant amount of American blood to end that stain. Yes, the Jim Crow laws tried and did pervert the cause of freedom, as did segregationist rules and laws.
I think that no reparations are required as that just establishes a victim class mentality. The key is opportunity and right now it is the NEA and Democrats who are limiting opportunity.
I say, absolutely. Welfare paid out, is the reparations. Along with free meals, tax breaks, free Obama cell phones and all the other "freebies" the rest of us taxpayers are on the hook for. My ancestors came here after the civil war, and had nothing to do with slavery before the civil war but we paid those "reparations" and are still paying them. Time for blacks to dump the chip on their shoulder and get to work.
Like hell. I’ve already paid. They owe me money. Jobs. Taxes. Crime. Destroying a once nice city. You can send it today, tax day.
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