Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Much Ado about Reparations-circa 2002

Reparations: The act or process of repairing or the condition of being repaired. the act or process of making amends; and/or something done or paid to compensate or make amends. All of the aforementioned definitions are nouns that refer to something given in compensation for loss, suffering, or damage suffered at the hands of another.

This is the new calling card of descendants of slaves in America and it is not difficult to see why a big push is being made for such in light of the fact that the United States will never proffer such restitution -- reparations for slavery. The way I see it, there is no way possible for millions of white folk to pay let alone admit that slavery was so damaging to our kind. One problem is the observation that most whites did now own slaves. Complicating this is the current administration position on the issue of race. Both President Bush and the Attorney General have blocked any discussions on the issue of race and white privilege in America as well as issues related to compensations for African Americans. They even refused to send representatives to a conference in Durban, South Africa where racial issues were being discussed. Only an simpleton would think that those same forces would ask their corporate sponsors to tax themselves as a punishment for becoming rich off free labor in the form of slavery? Another concerns are that the vast majority of people who have spoken publicly on the issue have been less than articulate on the main points.

The Entire United States of America benefited from the institution of slavery. This includes individuals able to afford slaves, insurance companies that insured ships and human cargo, builders making slave ships, loggers who cut down trees to the smallest businessman? All of these people profited and benefited from the institution of slavery both financially and socially. In the final word, the truth is we will be lucky if we get an apology for slavery. This however, is very unlikely given the current locution and attitudes of the political public in this age of growing polarization in America. Is it possible to provide reparations to 36,000,000 or more African Americans for the enslavement of some Africans in the United States between the 16th and 19th centuries? I say yes. Establishing regional banking institutions that assist in developing and providing no interest loans to individuals for education and business development purposes can do it. This type of an approach would be apt given how racism as a consequence of slavery resulted in reduced access and opportunity for African Americans.

Whatever the solution for empowerment, we must do something. Something other than try convince some white folks about the morality of reparations and the obvious disinfanchisment of descendants of slaves complicated by not being able to participate and have a history of wealth and its intergenerational transfer, in a manner similar to people of european descent in America.

7 comments:

poison said...

All I can say is--"Vengeance is MINE", saith the LORD...

DJ Black Adam said...

I am inclined to agree, sure it would be nice and the moral thing to do, but it's not gonna happen, so we need to focus on how we can advance ourselves without waiting on others to cacth a concious.

Anonymous said...

I agree with dj 100%. Oh, the gov't owes us alright, but we need to focus not on what they did hundreds of years ago, but what WE now choose to do. Not all the mediocrity within our race can be blamed on slavery.

JJJ

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