Skip to main content

Reply to "Survey Shows Most Blacks Favor Slavery Reparations"

MBM wrote:

Reprations, as I see it, is about recuperating lost wages.

With all due respect, MBM, I have an issue with that logic. The wages were not lost to us... or even our parents... or in most cases our grandparents. That is not to say that I don't see that institutional racism has played a part in keeping Blacks from achieving the levels of success that most of us here think we should. But the problem and the expressed solution seem somewhat disconnected.

I wrote this passage in response to a similar statement expressed in a seperate discussion in this forum and would love to get your reaction (edited):

I hear what your saying. If my dad passed away tomorrow I would expect to pick up the check he earned for the month.

But, let's take a closer look at that (and this isn't a criticism of the logic, only probing for understanding):

If my great grandfather died while working in 1920 would his employer, ownership of which by now has changed hands 5-6 times, be expected to pay me for wages he didn't pick up? For the sake of argument, let's assume that no one picked up that check back then.

What if I wasn't a blood relative but claimed a connection based on the fact that we had the same last name? Would you, as the new owner, demand some proof of blood connection?

What if I claimed that not only were his wages due to me but they had now grown to include an adjustment for inflation and pain and suffering? Would you be interested in paying that too?

What if not only you were required to pay me this expanded fee but your in-laws had to chip in too because in 1920 they owned a business on the same street as your business, even though my Great Grandfather never worked for them?


You can read the entire thread here, including a vigorous defense of reparations by Nmaginate.

MBM, I simply think that the entire effort, while the proposed end result is noble, is at best a quixotic notion. Knowing what I know -- hell, what we all know -- about white people and American politics... it will never happen in America. Ever.

So... we beat each up about it, rather than probing for understanding of the opposing position. Anyone who says they are not for it is devalued and, sooner or later, called an Uncle Tom, a sell-out, or a mouth-piece for whitey. All for pieces of pie that will never be baked.

And regarding the survey... if you ask anyone about getting money/benefits/services for nothing (and don't take offense to that... I mean not as a direct result of effort on their part) anywhere in America they will be for it. No matter what their race or ethnicity.

In my very humble opinion.