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Road To Reparations IS Achievable, But Securing Them Won’t Be Easy (With Poll to FReep)
News One For Black America ^ | June 26, 2012 | Kirsten West Savali

Posted on 06/29/2012 3:17:45 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

After sharing in-depth research and the perspective of Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) on the controversial — and painful — topic of reparations, NewsOne readers processed that information in a survey that asked tough, pointed questions on the subject that has long haunted Black America. To conclude our series, we asked for the invaluable expert opinion of Dr. Ivory Toldson, associate professor at Howard University School of Education, senior research analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Negro Education, and Attorney Kia Baldwin Richardson, a criminal lawyer practicing in Louisiana. Their perspectives on reparations offer even more food for thought as many Black Americans contemplate shifting the topic of reparations from shadowy concept to actionable items that really bring about change.

When NewsOne readers took our reparations’ survey, the following was unearthed:

■Forty percent of our readers do not want reparations in any shape or form, but still, more than 40 percent believe that criminal charges should indeed be filed against the U.S. government.

■Almost 70 percent of NewsOne readers did not think reparations, if given, should be a part of any public or social services programs, and more than 50 percent and nearly 70 percent believe that involved Native American and African groups should also be forced to pay reparations, respectively.

■Finally, nearly 60 percent of NewsOne readers do NOT think reparations will ever be paid out to African Americans.

The results of this survey seem to mirror Rep. Ellison’s hypothesis:

I believe the collective White society is ashamed of [slavery], and by the way, the collective Black society is ashamed of it because they don’t want to face the fact that we were that degraded.

No one wants to stare this thing in the face. From a White standpoint, it’s ‘look, that happened a long time ago, let’s move on. From an African-American standpoint, it’s it happened a long time ago and it still affects me today, but I don’t want to be reminded of the pain.

It’s dis-empowering to be the ‘victim.’ People want to be in the role of ‘victor.’

Here, Dr. Toldson explains the racial inequities that began with slavery, traveled with us through Jim and Jane Crow, and in many ways, remain with us today:

Undoubtedly, the huge wealth gap between Black and White people in the United States is due to the country’s history of legal and institutionalized discriminatory practices. After the United States abolished slavery in 1865, more than 400,000 Black people sought opportunities to join the U.S. market and gain refuge from hostile White southerners.

As a humanitarian response, Major General William T. Sherman issued a special order to provide land to former slaves — many who were skilled farmers and carpenters. Recognizing the urgency, the U.S. Army immediately acted upon General Sherman’s request by distributing land in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida to displaced African Americans.

To further ease African-Americans’ transition to American society, the U.S. Congress issued the Freedmen’s Bureau Bill to aid distressed refugees of the American Civil War. General Oliver Howard, who Howard University is named after, led the charge to empower African Americans in the South with sustainable economic and educational institutions.

However, the Freedmen’s Bureau and General Sherman’s special orders only existed for a few months.

After President Lincoln was assassinated, his predecessor, President Andrew Johnson, vetoed all humanitarian efforts established by the military and congress, setting the stage for lynch mob violence, Jim Crow laws, and other acts of hostility that contributed to many of the economic disparities existing between Black and White people today.

The executive government’s negligence and shortsightedness during reconstruction created a climate that was combative and violent toward Black people in general, but particularly Black business owners. In 1892, three successful grocery store owners in Memphis, Tenn., were lynched by an angry mob of White men, simply because of envy.

The victims’ close friend, Ida B. Wells, lobbied the U.S. government to enact legislation to contest lynching — to no avail. Similarly, in 1921, [more than] 600 successful Black businesses were destroyed when an envious white mob bombed, rioted, and looted Oklahoma’s Black Wall Street (pictured above after riot, pictured right before riot).

[More than] 3,000 African Americans were killed in this completely unjust invasion and carnage of a prosperous Black community.

Watch what became of Black Wall Street in the Tulsa Race riot here:


Exemplars of post-slavery African-American prosperity debunk widely held notions that Black poverty exists because Black people never fully recovered from slavery.

Tulsa, Beale Street, Sweet Auburn Ave., and other Black financial districts demonstrate that African Americans had the capacity to compete successfully in a free market; however, failures of the U.S. government to ensure that the market was indeed “free” fostered many of the abject economic conditions African Americans face today.

In my opinion, the commission of slavery, the subsequent suspension of reconstruction, and the negligence of the lynching of Black business owners all have warranted reparations at different points in U.S. History.

To Dr. Toldson, the fact that reparations has been awarded to the Jewish community by Germany — as well as to Native Americans by the U.S. government — and not African Americans for our financial subjugation in this country is unacceptable, “There’s really no way to justify this, other than the tendency of the United States to be callous and obtuse to Black victimization. We see this on a micro-level with stories like Trayvon Martin; however, it’s worth noting that reparations paid to American Indians did not help them to achieve economic parity.”

Unfortunately, Dr. Toldson believes it may be too late for all Black Americans to receive reparations; however, that doesn’t cancel out certain families who can trace their lineage from collecting reparations:

Like most civil cases, I believe there is a statute of limitations for reparations. It may be too late to achieve reparations for all Black people for slavery in any form; however, I do believe that many Black people can trace their lineage to specific families who were subjugated so that the federal or a state government, or a corporation could profit. And these cases should be accepted by a judge. I think DNA could be used to establish some cases.

I do not believe that Black people need reparations to get ahead, but I do believe that knowing our history and worth well enough to argue for reparations an important step in our process of affirming our humanity and demanding our dignity and respect.

After speaking with Dr. Toldson, we delved even further into the legalities surrounding reparations with Attorney Richardson in order to shed more light on the issue.

NewsOne: The United States recently unsigned the “Rome Statute” that governs the International Criminal Court. In your opinion, is there any way that the country can still be tried for “crimes against humanity” for the atrocities of slavery, Reconstruction, Jim/Jane Crow, Civil Rights, and Reagan Eras?

Attorney Baldwin Richardson: From my reading of the Rome Statute, it appears that it does not apply retroactively. Thus, the United States could be tried under this statute for past atrocities, such as slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, etc. The Rome Statute specifically states that it will apply only to crimes committed after its implementation in July 2002.

NewsOne: A U.S. judge recently ruled that Iran and Syria owed one family $323 million for the death of their son in Israel by a suicide bomber, citing terrorism. Shouldn’t this decision set the precedent for domestic terrorism as well — and could it be argued that slavery and the aforementioned fatal eras were time periods where domestic terrorism reigned specifically against African Americans?

Attorney Baldwin Richardson: The problem with a civil action for reparations is complex. The first requirement for the filing of any lawsuit is that the plaintiff have standing to sue. “Standing,” simply put, means does this plaintiff have a right to sue for the alleged damage. Specifically, was the injury complained of by his plaintiff caused by action or inaction of the defendant and if the plaintiff wins their case, is it possible for the injury to be redressed. The law also prohibits generalized standing (i.e. everyone who is of African descent can file a claim for reparations).

The issue of standing poses a problem for a civil suit for reparations. It would require every plaintiff to prove he or she is a descendant of U.S. slaves and, arguably, how long his or her ancestors were enslaved.

The next requirement in a lawsuit is proving that the defendant actually caused harm. This may be the easiest requirement to prove in a civil suit for reparations, but it is definitely not without its own share of problems. Who would the defendants be? The United States Government? The individual slave owners? The African countries who sold other Africans? Are some more liable that others?

Lastly, a civil suit requires proof of damages. Can the longstanding effects of slavery be articulated and quantified concretely? Or are the damages so complex, multifaceted, and layered that they can’t be specified? To what extent can it be shown that factors, other than slavery, contributed to the damages?

NewsOne: Is it too late? Should Black America move on from reparations?

Attorney Baldwin Richardson: Absolutely not. There are a lot of issues raised and a lot of complex questions that would need to be answered prior to the filing of a suit for reparations. This is due mainly to the fact that so many years have passed since the initial unconstitutional and criminal acts took place. As with any civil suit, the passage of time is detrimental because necessary evidence is always lost. This is why most damages have a statute of limitations that bars a plaintiff from suing after a certain period of time. Here, however, the argument could be made that the statute of limitations continues to restart because the harm has been ongoing.


From our in-depth exploration into the possibility of reparations, what becomes evident is that if descendants of slaves in this nation are ever to receive redress for the atrocities of slavery and the subsequent eras of imposed, legal subjugation, we would have to define:

1.) What it is exactly that we’re seeking

2.) Who exactly stands to benefit from any financial reparations

3.) Who is legally responsible for clearing the debt that Black Americans have been forced to assume due to intrinsic national and cultural racism

4.) Whether reparations could even begin to mend the broken judicial, economic, educational, and occupational systems that will perpetually keep Black Americans oppressed if we do not take action for ourselves

So the question still remains: What are we going to do about it?

Sound off!

Would you be willing to do whatever it took to secure reparations for our future generations?

Yes, I would.

No, I wouldn't.

TOPICS: Conspiracy; Government; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: blacks; keithellison; obama; reparations; slavery
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They'd better hurry: With any luck, he only has about seven months left in office.
1 posted on 06/29/2012 3:18:02 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

We want a check. 28%
221 votes

Free higher education for all Black Americans and employment opportunities
190 votes

Improved conditions in predominately Black communities
68 votes

I don’t want reparations.
322 votes

801 Total Votes

2 posted on 06/29/2012 3:24:08 PM PDT by FrdmLvr (culture, language, borders)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet


That site was a painful reminder of how deep-seated the pyschosis of Black Victimhood is.

Get a proper job freaks!

Plus: Travyon was smashing Zimmerman’s head against a kerb stone when he was shot, so get over yourselves!

3 posted on 06/29/2012 3:25:23 PM PDT by agere_contra
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Lets see Welfare, food stamps. Rioting and looting. The murder and rapes of countless white people. Free schools and free health care. Then there is affirmative action and hate crimes legislation effectively giving blacks more rights than whites. I suppose I could go on but it’s just time to say You have been receiving and still are receiving reparations.

No go find something else to amuse yourselves with other than your hatred of your neighbors!

4 posted on 06/29/2012 3:27:52 PM PDT by formosa (Formosa)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Fifty years of affirmative action...Section college cell phones...etc,etc,etc doesn't seem to be enough I guess.Perhaps I can do my part by just handing over my house and car to a "person of color" despite the fact that neither I nor a single one of my ancestors ever owned a slave.
5 posted on 06/29/2012 3:27:57 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Bill Ayers Was *Not* "Just Some Guy In The Neighborhood")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I would gladly pay reparations to any of the slaves I owned.

Anyone else trying to grift me will be shot.

6 posted on 06/29/2012 3:28:40 PM PDT by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Haven’t they heard about Pigford?

7 posted on 06/29/2012 3:29:52 PM PDT by ConjunctionJunction
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To: agere_contra
The brothas and sistahs have gotten trillions since that scoundrel Lyndon Johnson gave them their so called Great Society.

Today it be free apartments, free telephones, free food, free medical, free, free, free.

They wants free Escalades next.

But they vote democrat so it be OK.

8 posted on 06/29/2012 3:31:33 PM PDT by oldtimer
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The parasites are prying the gold fillings out of the corpse’ mouth.

9 posted on 06/29/2012 3:34:47 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

SCOTUS just made reparations turnkey as an upcoming “penalty” tax.

10 posted on 06/29/2012 3:38:13 PM PDT by TADSLOS (The Liberty Experiment is over. All aspects of your life will now be MANDATED.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Are we giving reparations for welfarism, because it seems that has done more damage than slavery. Blacks will never overcome the legacy of welfarism.

11 posted on 06/29/2012 3:38:32 PM PDT by pallis
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I think it’s only fair to point out that “African-Americans” should be thinking real hard about paying restitution to the families of union soldiers lost in the civil war.

Let’s see, how about a $50,000 wrongful death settlement per union soldier in 1865 dollars, times how many union soldiers? Adjusted for inflation, with interest...

Anyone quick with figures here?

12 posted on 06/29/2012 3:38:42 PM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate Republicans Freed the Slaves Month.)
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To: Dead Corpse

Since my family’s male members fought for the Union,I expect any blacks who value their present freedom to pay us for my ancestor’s efforts and blood.

13 posted on 06/29/2012 3:38:51 PM PDT by Farmer Dean (stop worrying about what they want to do to you,start thinking about what you want to do to them)
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To: FrdmLvr
Those who want a check are going to be waiting until hell freezes over. If in some twisted parallel dimension where wrong is right, up is down, and common sense takes a permanent vacation ( we're getting close to that now ) reparations happen, nobody expecting it will get a dollar. The Jacksons, Sharptons, and others pushing reparations don't tell the sheeple who think they're going to get a big payday that all of the money would be put into programs administered by the afore mentioned race pimps. Not one major proposal has it any other way.
14 posted on 06/29/2012 3:41:24 PM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (Liberals make unrealistic demands on reality and reality doesn't oblige them.)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

I demand reparations from the millions I’ve been forced to support.

I don’t want their money.

I want my share of the Kennedy fortune, the Rockefeller fortune, the taxpayer dollars funneled to the families of the corrupt Democrats (sorry for the redundant term) in and out of office...

Thanks 2ndDivisionVet.

15 posted on 06/29/2012 3:45:24 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
It’s dis-empowering to be the ‘victim.’ People want to be in the role of ‘victor.’

Exactly. So why do so many in the black community continue to wallow in victimhood over something that no one alive today had anything to do with?

16 posted on 06/29/2012 3:47:37 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: FrdmLvr

Yes, I would. 48.69% (93 votes)

No, I wouldn’t. 51.31% (98 votes)

Total Votes: 191

17 posted on 06/29/2012 3:59:24 PM PDT by stilloftyhenight
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Speaking as a black man (alas, NOT African-American) I truly wish I could see a way out of this conundrum without bloodshed.

How about this: Anyone who accepts a reparation check must also accept a one-way ticket to their favorite country or territory; those who don't must agree, in perpetuity, to shut the &%(* up.

Come to think of it, wasn't that how Liberia was created? (In my Emily Latella voice) Never mind

18 posted on 06/29/2012 4:05:52 PM PDT by stormhill
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To: agere_contra; FrdmLvr

“atrocities” “crimes against humanity” “Reagan”

That right there shows you the author is not in touch with reality.

19 posted on 06/29/2012 4:20:11 PM PDT by darkangel82 (I don't have a superiority complex, I'm just better than you.)
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To: Dead Corpse

I would gladly pay reparations to any of the slaves I owned.

Voted...What about reparations for every dead Union soldier’s unborn child who never saw the light of day. This is getting ridiculous. Never realized the hatred out there ...makes you wonder. Instead of changing America, why doesn’t everyone who is unhappy with the way we do things just go back to where they came from.

20 posted on 06/29/2012 4:27:18 PM PDT by DefeatCorruption
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