quote:Originally posted by UppityNegress:
The fact of the matter is that most whites don't have ancestors who ever owned a slave.
I see reprations as an obligation of the United States government. As such, this isn't about personal culpability and restitution on the part of the descendents of specific slave holders as opposed to the government paying one of its obligations. As I see it, African America is made up of families - the vast majority of which "invested" of their labor in the U.S. economy for hundreds of years. Same government. Same families. Reparations is an opportunity for those families to cash in their investment which is LONG overdue.
quote:The majority of slaves were owned by a very, very few wealthy families, individuals, and institutions...far less than 10% of the whole Southern population.
I'll have to try and find it, but I posted research here which suggested that slaveholders represented 40%+ in many slaveholding states - that the institution spread much more deeply into the middle class than has been popularized. Of course, the biggest plantations had the largest single number of slaves, but many families also had a number as well.
quote:Also, what of teh whites whose families did not arrive in the US until well after slavery's end?
I had nothing to do with sending Japanese Americans to internment camps during WW2, yet my tax dollars went to fund a reparations award for them in the 1980's. Again, this iis about obligations of the U.S. government and has little to do with any personal attachment to the issue.
quote:How much white admixture do you have to have, or how white should you have to look, to disqualify you from reparations? Does a quadroon only understand a fourth of what it means to be a Black American?
These are great questions that will deserve lots of thought. None of them are nearly as complex as how to conceive and manage a 19th century global slave trade. We'll just have to be thoughtful and diligent in arriving at logical solutions. That said - I believe that a lot of a reparations award would be in the form of funding to support institutions within African America - and therefore not involve specific cash payments to individuals.
quote:What of the so-called "sellouts" and "Uncle Toms", would they get a piece of the pie?
I'll give them my contact information - they can send it to me. I'll take goooooooood care of it!
quote:The whole issue is so convulted as to be nonsensical.
Actually - it's not. Slave families contributed significant value into the U.S. economy at its most important time - the founding of the country. That value represented the "venture capital" that got our economy and country off the ground. As I mentioned, the same country - obviously - exists now. Those same families also exist here. Our nation - now that it is one of the wealthiest on Earth - has an obligation to pay those families what they invested in America - with interest!