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Reparations: A Vote Against

There has, of late, been considerable discussion about reparations for slavery in America. This is not new, of course. It had been an ongoing dialog point for some time among the more radical elements of African American society. Now though, it would seem, the conversation around reparations has landed firmly in the mainstream. So, I think that now is the time for me to express some thoughts on this topic that I have been contemplating for some time.

First, while I feel silly for having to state what is obvious to those who know me personally or who bother to read the sum of the text at this site, I feel I must preface what comes next with some assurance that I am hardly a mouth-piece for "The Man." Additionally, my goal is to provide context for my thoughts, not a thorough, detailed history of the eras covered. There are a multitude of excellent resources available to you if you desire more detail. What follows purports to be a well-reasoned argument against reparations for slavery from a purely intellectual vantage point. Feel free to judge and debate it on that point alone.

Transatlantic Slavery
It goes without saying that slavery in America was a long and horrible event. It is also true that the slave trade on the front end of the supply chain "” that being Africa "” was invaluably assisted by some Africans against other Africans as individual retribution, tribal martial dominance, or for simply resources of commerce. The powerful Asante (Ashanti) waged conflict, at times, solely to increase the number of slaves to trade with the Europeans. Many West Africans tribes traded away others for weapons, spirits, goods, and their own promised safety. Still others possessed slaves themselves. As an aside, it is interesting to me that some white people almost smile when they bring up that last point, as if blacks didn't know that or as if it somehow inoculates America of her sins during this period.
    From PBS.org:

    "It is important to distinguish between European slavery and African slavery. In most cases, slavery systems in Africa were more like indentured servitude in that the slaves retained some rights and children born to slaves were generally born free. The slaves could be released from servitude and join a family clan. In contrast, European slaves were chattel, or property, who were stripped of their rights. The cycle of slavery was perpetual; children of slaves would, by default, also be slaves."
Of course, nations other than America held African slaves too. Great Britian came to dominate a transatlantic slave trade that began in the mid-fifteenth century with the Portuguese. The Dutch and the French also played major roles in the slave trade. Europe, it would seem, had a thirst for slaves that an entire continent could barely quench.

Slavery in Colonial America
While Spanish explorers brought slaves to settlements in North America during the early 16th century (the first documented slave revolt occurred in 1526), the first Africans to the young English Colonies came ashore in 1619 (their status is still debated). The first documented sale of slaves in the colonies occurred 1621, but slavery in America ˜officially' began in 1641 in, surprisingly for many, Massachusetts. In that year the Bay State became the first colony to recognize slavery as a legal status for individuals in their Body of Liberties. Other colonies soon followed. In 1662 Virginia declared that the offspring of a mother held in bondage would likewise be considered so.

The slave population in America increased rapidly during the 1700s. By the middle of the 18th century nearly one in five residents of British North America were Africans; estimated at some 240,000 men, women, and children. The percentages for some individual states were stunning. In South Carolina, for instance, Africans made up 60% of the total population. In Virginia the percentage was 43%, while Maryland, a border state, was 30%.

After the Revolutionary War, the lust for labor in the agrarian south of the nation and the industrial north continued to expand exponentially. Shipbuilders, saw mills, and iron works in the north profited from leveraging slavery as did many in the south. The demand for labor on southern plantations was insatiable. Cultivating crops, both cash and food, was backbreaking in the brutal mix of southern heat and humidity. With the British removed from American politics there was nothing to impede the march towards the Slave Economy.

American Slavery
Cotton changed everything. As a cash crop, Cotton had no equal and the south had little serious competition in supplying the textile mills of Europe with ˜King Cotton.' But cultivating and harvesting cotton was labor-intensive. The need for slave labor continued to abound in the south, while it began waning in the north. Industrial advancements, northern abolitionists, and a growing sense of the injustice of slavery among regular citizens took hold in the the mid-nineteenth century north. Many have also written that northern politicians' growing concern for the expanding economic might of the south was another, less altruistic, reason for reevaluating the south's Peculiar Institution.

Disagreements between northern and southern politicians in Washington over slavery in the newly expanding west and abolitionist ˜meddling' in southern affairs continued to stoke the flames of passions on both sides of the issue. Beginning with the Missouri Compromise in 1820-21 and through to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, a divided Congress voted on, approved, and defeated an staggering array of bills regarding the question of slavery in America. In 1850 the Fugitive Slave Law was passed. The law sought to punish those assisting slaves seeking freedom, while further eroding the limited recourse of slaves themselves.

In 1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe's seminal anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin was published. It was written as a direct and angry protest of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law. The impact that Uncle Tom's Cabin had on the American public was so great that years after its publication President Lincoln, upon meeting Stowe, is reported to have said, "You're the little lady who started this great war?" It should also be stated that many other authors such as Fredrick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Solomon Northup, and Olaudah Equiano also greatly contributed to the growing public discourse on the injustice and horrors of slavery.

The series of events that occurred next is well known. Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th President of the U.S. and within weeks South Carolina voted to secede from the Union. The Civil War erupted. During a period of four years over 600,000 Americans died in brutal and bloody battles. The south claimed the war was about states rights. This argument is utter foolishness. We are not talking about the right of a state to establish its own central banking system or pave its roads. The war was about the rights of slave-holding states to keep slaves in the south and expand slavery westward in America. It was about slavery. Period. Claiming anything else is intellectually dishonest at best, and an unsubstantiated delusion at worst.

So, Why No Reparations?
Even with all of that aforementioned history to consider, why am I against the concept of reparations? I will explain in a moment. But before I launch into my reasoning I do have a few logistical questions of those who support reparations. Who would determine who gets money? Would every black-skinned person in America get money? How much ˜black' would you need in you to qualify for payment? What about African Americans whose ancestors came up from South America or the Caribbean in the intervening years since the Civil War? Hundreds of thousands "” if not millions "” of Africans were enslaved in Brazil, the Islands, and other parts of South America during the same period in which slavery in America prospered. What of the majority of southerners who did not own slaves? How about the families of the 300,000+ union troops that died during the Civil War, in part to end slavery? Do their descendents get a free pass on paying reparations? What of freedmen who owned slaves? What of mixed race citizens? Do they take money from their left pocket and place it in their right? Is the simple answer that everyone pays?

My position: reparations have, historically, been paid to those directly harmed by a policy, institution, or circumstance. Reparations have usually gone to living victims or their immediate surviving relatives. Slavery has been outlawed for some 140 years. It goes without saying that no African American alive today was ever held in slavery. To request, or demand, reparations now smacks of opportunism and dependency. It perpetuates the myth that African Americans are looking for a hand-out... an easy buck... the hook up... the hustle. And as someone who began life in circumstances hardly conducive to success and who worked hard to overcome the many obstacles in my way this seems to devalue that effort. And not just for me, but for other African Americans who overcame less than ideal starts in life as well.

Plus, the real villain in this tragedy is not slavery, per se. It is the institutional racism that made American slavery significantly different than most slavery systems in the world. America, the south specifically, turned slavery into a justifiable act based on the posited inferiority of the Negro. This institutional dehumanization and its densely lingering after-effects are what the conversation should be about. Racism remains the evil residue of the slave trade in America. It was why Negroes were hung like strange fruit from trees all over the south. Attempts to justify racism and racist policies using institutional constructs like science still exist in America.

If you agree with me that racism is the issue, then one could argue that the 13th Amendment, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Right Act, Affirmative Action programs (even though white women have made the most progress under Affirmative Action, and age and gender disputes still rank higher than race in filings to the EEOC), and other race-aware laws and guidelines passed to overcome to effects of racism are in fact reparations for racism. You could argue that, and I think you'd be on fairly solid ground to do so.

What about the promise of 40 acres and a mule made by the government after the Civil War? The government made no such promise. General William Tecumseh Sherman's triumphant march through the south left tens-of-thousands of newly freed slaves following his troops. He felt responsible for these folks but simply could not support the mass of people emerging from the fields. His Special Field Order No. 15 established a plan granting each freed family forty acres of tillable land on islands and the coast of Georgia (approximately 30 miles of land). He also released some extra mules he had to the freedmen. The problem with this order is two-fold: First, Gen. Sherman was a theater commander. He was not the General in Chief, that was U.S. Grant. So many historians believe he greatly overextended his authority in issuing Special Field Order No. 15. Secondly, and most importantly, Congress and President Johnson countermanded the order almost immediately.

The Real Victim
It would seem to me that the truly injured party from slavery is more than simply the progeny of slaves. It is the land from which we came. Africa is a devastated continent. It is the only continent on Earth that has gotten poorer over the last 25 years. It is so for a variety of reasons. It has been estimated that from 10-20 million Africans were removed from Africa during the slave trade. Some estimates, made by West African historian Joseph Ki-Zerbo and from various French sources (including Frossart and Monen), put the number at a staggering 50-100 million. The later figure includes estimates of those killed during capture, died during movement to the west coast of Africa, or who died during the Middle Passage. To put this into perspective consider the following:
    "The population of Africa was practically stagnant between 1650 and 1900 (increasing from 100 to only 120 million), while that of Europe increased from 103 to 423 million, and that of Asia from 257 to 857 million during the same period. J.E. Inikori has argued that there would have been ˜112 million additional population in sub-Saharan Africa had there been no export slave trade.' Paul Tiyambe Zeleza shows that because of the slave trade, Africa's population declined or stagnated between 1750 and 1850. According to him, Africa's share of the world population declined from 13% in 1750 to 11% in 1800 and 8% in 1900."
If you remove or kill that many people; farmers, hunters, doctors, inventors, fighters, the healthy, the young, leaders... from a society is there any surprise that the infrastructure would collapse? That would be the equivalent, percentage-wise, of suddenly removing 35-70 million Americans from this nation and shipping them elsewhere. Imagine the long-term impacts of such an event! Can there be any doubt that Africa's problems today are due to Europe and America's greed and brutality yesterday? To that you add the effects of European Colonialism and you can see that not only was Africa not allowed to heal after the Diaspora, it has been deeply infected by the machinations of those looking to exploit her people and her riches.

Another Solution
  • res·ti·tu·tion n
    The act of making good or compensating for loss, damage, or injury; indemnification.
My solution is simple: Industrialized nations who profited from slavery should forgive all debt owed by African nations immediately. They should work to develop long-term strategies around developing affordable and renewable electricity, clean water, natural farming technologies, expanding access to health and medicine, and ecological partnerships. They should commit to building physical infrastructures where they don't exist and to supporting and further developing the many that do. Africa should have control of her vast natural resources returned to her people, not multinational corporations. Scholarships should be set up at universities in the west for African children. We should help train their future leaders, engineers, and scientists. Africans want to solve the problems of Africa, but Western nations need to step up and assume responsibility for the state of the continent and assist in every way they can.

Making life better for the 700 million people on the African continent is a far nobler endeavor than passing out money, free tuition, health care or any of the other options I have heard bandied about with regards to reparations to African Americans for slavery. I think given the opportunities we have in America (and it certainly isn't perfect, or easy) our issues seem miniscule by comparison. I would rather press the case to help Africa, the Mother Land. People are suffering in Africa on an historical scale while we quibble for access to local construction contracts. This time around I would hope that African Americans aren't the ones responsible for supplanting the needs of Africa in favor of our own needs. That would be an ironic shame.
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quote:
I think given the opportunities we have in America (and it certainly isn't perfect, or easy) our issues seem miniscule by comparison. I would rather press the case to help Africa, the Mother Land. People are suffering in Africa on an historical scale while we quibble for access to local construction contracts. This time around I would hope that African Americans aren't the ones responsible for supplanting the needs of Africa in favor of our own needs. That would be an ironic shame.
This is a fallacious and inherently flawed EMOTIONAL APPEAL. This is a RED HERRING... An IRRELEVANT appeal because, basically, one really has little to do with the other. That is, the African-American quest for Reparations does not and should not detract, distract or otherwise take away from the AFRICAN (continental) quest for Reparations. They are two separate topics - two separate cases.

BTW, there is an AFRICAN REPARATIONS MOVEMENT all of its own, so to speak. But beyond that your position is centered and built on emotion. That closing statement being an Appeal to Pride or Pity, etc. but, nonetheless, IRRELEVANT. By definition, your motives are suspect considering how you have purposely introduced, consciously or subconsciously, IRRELEVANCIES into the debate.

As stated, there is an ARM - AFRICAN REPARATIONS MOVEMENT with any number of organizations pursuing that end.

A Restitution goes, each case is judged on its own merits. Contrary to your emotions - i.e. how you feel about the African-American case (140 years, etc.) - Restitution is about whether there is/was loss, injury, and/or damage. Those things are objective measures. There either is or there is not - loss, injury, damage, etc. Whether you "want to get paid" or not is not the issue.

In restitution cases like what you have described with Africans (continental) and African-Americans, then each case, each count is judge as basically separate, no matter how related. The fact or idea that one victim suffered a greater loss than the other is IRRELEVANT. Each are to be compensated for the degree of loss, injury, or damage related to what they suffered. There is no trading one for the other outside of some attempt to circumvent the law or to dismiss the loss or injury of whichever you curiously deem as the lesser as if less = nothing.

The notion is patently ridiculous. A murderer may very well slaughter one person while only injuring another (and that injury, comparatively, can amount to great bodily harm, but since the person isn't "fatally" wounded, by your idea their injury is somehow of no consequence). But each are no less an offense to those who were injured and each have legal right to restitution, small or large, and the violator a legal obligation to make restitution in both cases.

So, as I said, Native Alien, your position is based on EMOTIONS. The fact that you characterized views here as "It's Our Turn" (and especially given the fact that you're reluctant or unable to defend/substantiate it) only goes to show how irrational emotive ideas are central to your position "against" Reparations. And we won't even quibble over your semantics. But we will highlight yet another emotion-laden sentiment of yours:
quote:
To request, or demand, reparations now smacks of opportunism and dependency.
And to think you had the nerve to try to complain about what you perceived as my question of your motives. Yep!! You're blessed with privilege of questioning the motives of others (opportunism) and questioning their character (dependency) but don't let anyone question your characterizations of people who hold a position you disagree with and dare request that you defend your claims. Why that would be questioning your motives? Exactly how that works, I don't know.

Again, please do tell:
It's Our TURN... TO DO WHAT? TO BENEFIT FROM WHAT?

You are trying to compare and stipulate to the African-American motivation for Reparations to the White/European American rationale, it seems, for instituting and/or benefitting from RACISM. Please illustrate how or why you make that type of statement. If your views aren't irrational and emotional motivation or foundation then you would easily be able to demonstrate how what you claim is in fact the case with respect to whomever you spoke about.

That shouldn't be hard or even challenging or something you should want to avoid. Those were your charges. Your allegations. Demonstrate, illustrate... show how they are true and based on something other than your emotion reaction to views you don't agree with.

Oh and you can also detail why someone should be concerned with whether you agree with Reparations or not.
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You are really stuck on this 'emotion' thing, aren't you?

Bizarre.

I am rarely emotional in my writing. Puruse my site when you have time. What I presented in my essay was a well-reasoned argument against reparations. It is not the last word in the debate, nor do I present it as such. AGAIN... I am absolutely open to being convinced otherwise.

You seem to be looking for a fight by assuming things that don't exist and by parsing words in hopes of my crumbling by the shear force of your obviously shaky intellect and basking in the wonder that you think you deserve. You will get no such backing down here, big boy.

I came to this board looking to engage in discourse. There are many people here capable of that... you don't seem to be one of those folks. Instead you obsess on a comment I made that is inherently one of a subjective nature, wherein you have limited room for contradiction. You have completely ignored the central thesis of my argument and failed to offer a counter argument in support of a position you hold that is OBVIOUSLY counter to mine. It is easy to be a critic.

Additionally, my writing on NativeAlien.us is copywritten according to the specifics of the Berne Convention and you neither asked nor received permission from me to reprint it here or to misrepresent emphasis in the text. I would ask that the board owners please remove said post.

Also, I don't think that anyone here is waiting with baited breath for the next words to spring forth from my finger tips on this subject. I assume that my opinion holds as much or as little value as the person reading it applies to it. Same as yours.

This concludes my conversation with you. I will find others with whom to discuss this issue.
NativeAlien, all arguing aside, I think Nate posed a very valid question. You stated that in order for you to be persuaded otherwise, you'd like to hear something more substantial and unemotional than a "they benefited, now [it's] our turn" argument. What do you mean by that? You seem to be drawing some paralell between the way white people benefitted from slave labor and how Black people will benefit from reparations. Please expand on that.
Thanx for the question, Frenchy:

Posted June 27, 2005 by Nmaginate:

quote:
Come On SHERLOCKE!! Your very now, present and LIVING GOVERNMENT, as I said, has not only PAID REPARATIONS (using perhaps yours and my taxes and, no doubt, our parents) on issues (Natives & Japanese) where individuals either involved in the transgressive act are "dead" and/or where individual, TAX-PAYING citizens who did not participate or weren't even born.... PAID... but, yes, this US Government has been instrumental in making sure Jews received restitution/reparations FOR SLAVE LABOR (as well as propety loss) AND help finance the state of Israel out of the US Treasury yearly.

Now, I know I didn't grant my approval of that shit I didn't participate in and, no doubt, it has taken quite a few of my tax dollars just fo the US to play Chief Advocate for Jewish Reparations/Restitution claims.

Again, I ask you why you have no qualms with Reparations To African-Americans being THE EXCEPTION TO THE RULE?


That is but one passage in this forum that alludes to (or outright mentions) either: 1) others getting reparations, or 2) how slavery benefited the Government, or 3) how the rich sustain wealth via generational wealth transfer. There are too many for me to poke around and copy and paste them.

Does that get to what I was talking about... or do we continue to belabor this small and insignificant point to death?
I am rarely emotional in my writing.

Obviously that didn't apply to your A Vote Against Reparations piece.

Puruse my site when you have time.

Ummm.... FUCK your site. We're talking about your Anti-Reparations essay with some core flaws in the few things I took time to point out. Both being pretty central to your overall thesis, no doubt.

What I presented in my essay was a well-reasoned argument against reparations.

Dude, resorting to known Logical Fallacies in a way to support what are, essentially, very subjective and, yes, emotionally-driven ideas does not comport with something that is a "well-reasoned" argument. As it is, your argument is well cluttered with logically unreasonable/untenable fallacies in the very conceptualization of Reparations and weak in its pathetic attempt color proponents of Reparations in ways that you, apparently, are not man/woman enough to defend. Knowing that BS to be the function of your irrational (mis)characterizations of others...

quote:
It is not the last word in the debate, nor do I present it as such. AGAIN... I am absolutely open to being convinced otherwise.
Well, be convinced that you view, as it stands, is on sand.

quote:
You will get no such backing down here, big boy.
Then stand up and defend your characterizations.

quote:
I came to this board looking to engage in discourse.
Then you ought to first learn how to seek that discourse or dialogue without all your baggage lying in the middle of the floor in the proverbial front room. Defend, substantiate, justify your characterizations or just own your fucked up bias...

quote:
There are many people here capable of that... you don't seem to be one of those folks.
Great. Seek them out. But step to this Big Boy with something instead of your little "Look At Me" games. Again, defend your characterizations.

And, dude, I did you a solid. I posted your piece. Now, everyone who so desires can view your thoughts without the excuse that they had to visit your site. They can do that right here in the comfort of their own forum home.

quote:
Instead you obsess on a comment I made that is inherently one of a subjective nature, wherein you have limited room for contradiction. You have completely ignored the central thesis of my argument...
What is your CENTRAL THESIS?
You point it out so I and no one else can "ignore" it.

Dude, when you say "MY POSITION", tell me what part in that is not central to your overall thesis?

But, again, you point it out so anyone of those much more capable people who care to comment won't make a similar mistake to mine an not somehow address what you call your "Central Thesis". You know that still yet undisclosed one. You wouldn't want someone to choose the wrong one.

But, since I'm at it, maybe for the other readers, you can explain this:
quote:
  • Reparations have usually gone to living victims or their immediate surviving relatives.

  • If you agree with me... then one could argue that the 13th Amendment, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Right Act, Affirmative Action programs... and other race-aware laws and guidelines passed to overcome to effects of racism are in fact reparations for racism.
  • Maybe you can reconcile that. The very definition of Reparations/Restitution mean that any prescriptions are then not only EXCLUSIVE to the injured party but also any such restitution/reparations are to be distributed and disposed of however the injured party decides. None of those things mentioned amount to any such thing, especially since you acknowledge, oddly, how other people have benefitted directly and even more so from "our" reparations.

    Hmmm.... Yeah, I see how that is the case with Native Americans, Japanese Americans, etc. Hey! Maybe White Women have gotten just as much from their 'reparations' as they have from ours... Well, at least you acknowleged how weak that line of yours is...

    But, really, what is there to comment on when there is just so much BS in damn near everything you have to say? I mean, no one will disagree with initiatives or Reparations for the AFRICAN continent, etc. But, as stated, that's a separate issue and really a diversion. Also, nothing precludes African-Americans from using their Reparations to aid Africa. No doubt, that is something that would be on the agenda. You would perhaps know that if you actually did some research or behaved as if you have.

    The fact that there is an ARM makes your EMOTIONAL Appeal to "Do This For Africa" virtually obsolete and, again, suspect.

    But then of course you could detail why you feel someone should care whether you agree with Reparations or not? Why you feel like you can show up and say, "Okay, I'm willing to be convinced," and somebody is suppose to act like you're that damn important to try to change your mind or address you outside of the normal flow of discussion here.

    Check that sh*t...
    quote:
    Does that get to what I was talking about... or do we continue to belabor this small and insignificant point to death?
    Spell it out... What is your point?

    You're "thanking" Frenchy for the question but somehow I missed the answer. Dialogue, which it seems you claimed you want, goes both ways. The fact that you made your entry here with that statement, which has again been questioned as to what you mean and how you sustain that view, and have not answered for it does not set the stage for a free discourse.

    But, go ahead... spell out your point.
    Seems to me, you were pretty comfortable being an Oblivious and Off-Based Critizer but have an issue with having your BS taken to task.

    But ummm... (unless you're going to spell things out)... you don't have to talk to me, answer Frenchy's question(s):
    "They benefited, now [it's] our turn"

    [1] What do you mean by that?
    [2] You seem to be drawing some paralell between the way white people benefitted from slave labor and how Black people will benefit from reparations. Please expand on that.

    If you truly want a discussion, then that means you're going to have to answer for the stuff you say, why you say and why you think it is true, etc.

    What's your problem with that and what is your point in quoting something I said in this forum? Spell it out...
    Well, I guess he's gone now, but I think his piece is still ripe for debate. Particularly since I think there've been several people on this site now who have used this kind of "pick yourself up by your own bootstraps" argument with respect to reparations (or any other initiative that benefits Black people), and I wonder if Black people, in our own way, don't actually encourage this behavior. We bang on about how "I don't need nothing from nobody, I can do bad by myself, etc" and we create this group of people that have a very individualized view. The gist of his position is sort of "If I accept that I need something from the government/white society or that something is due me, then it means I am not as good/strong as I thought I was" and that is why he and others like him take personal offense to the very idea. How can the reparations argument be framed to make it attractive to these types of people?

    Native Alien, doesn't seem to be against the idea reparations (he's got no problems with money and resources going to Africa), he only seems to have a problem being a direct beneficiary of it. If it was presented in such a way that any reparations money would not go to individuals, but would be pooled together for the benefit of the Black community in the United States, I think we could move beyond this arguing over whether or not we deserve reparations and on to what we would actually do with reparations.

    I don't usually dip my feet in this end of the pool, so I apologize in advance if this has all been said before by someone much more intelligent than I.
    See how easy you abort your mission...
    FYI, that reflects on you.

    I mean, here you are talking about "look at my site (yada, yada)" when the subject is what you wrote on Reparations. Dude, you get credibility by what you do and say ON THE TOPIC. I could give a fuck what you think about me but it only shows how you can't even stick to your own words.

    quote:
    This concludes my conversation with you. I will find others with whom to discuss this issue.
    Ummm... Frenchy asked you a direct question to a direct statement you made. She's willing to discuss that with you with all respect and decorum. But what have we here (from you engaging in a discussion with her)?


    Who would determine who gets money?
    This is an issue WHY? African-Americans can fully select/elect whomever they want to not only disburse Reparations but how and in what ways to use it for the greater good.

    This is a non-issue - i.e. one that is easily resolved for those with earnest intent.

    Would every black-skinned person in America get money?

    Why are you repeating stuff that's been said in the WHITE MEDIA? Please tell me what Reparations organizations you have consulted before formulating the IRRELEVANT question. Note: Activist and organizations leading the movement have been pretty clear about the WHO Gets It question. The fact that you have repeated this uninformed or Willed Ignorance position shows how you are hardly earnest in your intent. Do some research.

    Also, when you can tell me what "black-skinned" person Escaped, was somehow Excused, Exempted or otherwise Excluded from Slavery, Jim Crow and the attendant RACISM of both those institution then you can make an intelligent question as to whether all Black people will receive Reparations. There is NOTHING that should prohibit ALL Black people from benefitting from Reparations.

    There are too many fucked up assumptions to even begin with here. It would just be better if you actually consulted actual sources outside of your own uninformed understanding and/or the verbatim BULLSHIT questions listed in the WHITE MEDIA.

    How much ˜black' would you need in you to qualify for payment?

    I'll answer that question (like I have to do for "Them White Boys") with a question:
    HOW MUCH BLACK DID IT TAKE TO BE SUBJECTED TO SLAVERY AND SEGREGATION? Whatever it was then, it is NOW. This arbitrary, Kangaroo attempts to cloud the issue and cut off those who would benefit from Reparations is not going to work. There is absolutely no reason why people/families who have LIVED EXPERIENCE through Slavery/Jim Crow should have to stand some arbitrary test on some reinstitution of a One Drop Rule that only stands to try to arbitrarily rule some people out on a specious basis.

    Ummm.... America has been and still is largely segregated. Black people/families and their LIVED EXPERIENCE can be tracked by way of where they lived, whether they were subjected to Segregated Schools, etc. Slavery and Segregation impacted ALL Africans/African-Americans. To pretend as if it didn't is to rewrite history.

    When you do your research, tell me how many Charles Ogletree and N'Cobra types have informed your view and your questions (in what they have said about the purpose and who they intend to benefit).

    What about African Americans whose ancestors came up from South America or the Caribbean in the intervening years since the Civil War?

    Diversionary... Please consult some BLACK (leading) Reparations sources. Since we can perfectly track when they came, by your view, then we can perfectly track what's appropriate. Further, Reparations is about more than just compensation for Slavery alone. See Rep. John Conyers. It's about everything up to and including today. And, again, we can perfect determine Who Gets What and How Much, as we please.

    What of the majority of southerners who did not own slaves?

    IRRELEVANT... You have issues with presumed ideas that this is merely about individuals who owned slaves. Where did you get that idea from?
    Again, which Black Reparations sources have you consulted before barfing sentiments held by WHITE AMERICANS, verbatim?

    How about the families of the 300,000+ union troops that died during the Civil War, in part to end slavery?

    How about we assess a cost not only to the Lost Labor, etc. but to every Black African/African-American life lost (and/or lived) under Slavery and Segregation. We can include Black Soldiers int that too. Got your calculator?

    Do their descendents get a free pass on paying reparations?

    IRRELEVANT... Funny, you even quoted me it seems... DID WE GET A PASS on Japanese Internment Reparations? Did we/Do we get a pass on restitution measures made to Native Americans? What about money the US just paid out to Hungarian Jews? Do we, by virtue of living under Slavery/Segregation in all those instances get a pass?

    Please stop regurgitating WHITE Obstructionisms and learn how to make better, sustainable questions.

    What of freedmen who owned slaves?

    You mean all the whopping .5 percent of them?
    Ummm.... They ESCAPED or were exempted or excused or excluded from RACISM... HOW?

    Considering how a significant percent of that statistically insignificant percent were "Freedmen" who purchased relatives? What is the point of your question? Yes, what about them? Did they/their families somehow get an exemption from Segregation?

    Please think...

    What of mixed race citizens?

    Ummmm.... What about them?
    Again, HOW much Black did it take to be subjected to Slavery/Segregation?

    Like I've asked "This WHITE BOY"...
    Did the Hemings being mixed grant them an exception to Slavery and its attendant RACISM?
    Did Essie Mae Washington being the "mixed" daughter of Strom Thurmond somehow let her escape Segregation?

    The obvious answer is no. The obvious nature of such a question: SPECIOUS.

    Do they take money from their left pocket and place it in their right? Is the simple answer that everyone pays?

    What happens in any other such case as it relates to who pays? Now, if you're willing to tally up all the taxes Black people have paid in this country then we can play that game too. Since, somehow, in this particular case, people seem to act like they don't understand and can't stand the way things would work. Now that is give us all the reason to question motives.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Frenchy:
    Well, I guess he's gone now, but I think his piece is still ripe for debate. Particularly since I think there've been several people on this site now who have used this kind of "pick yourself up by your own bootstraps" argument with respect to reparations (or any other initiative that benefits Black people), and I wonder if Black people, in our own way, don't actually encourage this behavior. We bang on about how "I don't need nothing from nobody, I can do bad by myself, etc" and we create this group of people that have a very individualized view. The gist of his position is sort of "If I accept that I need something from the government/white society or that something is due me, then it means I am not as good/strong as I thought I was" and that is why he and others like him take personal offense to the very idea. How can the reparations argument be framed to make it attractive to these types of people?

    Native Alien, doesn't seem to be against the idea reparations (he's got no problems with money and resources going to Africa), he only seems to have a problem being a direct beneficiary of it. If it was presented in such a way that any reparations money would not go to individuals, but would be pooled together for the benefit of the Black community in the United States, I think we could move beyond this arguing over whether or not we deserve reparations and on to what we would actually do with reparations.

    I don't usually dip my feet in this end of the pool, so I apologize in advance if this has all been said before by someone much more intelligent than I.


    Frenchy ... that was absolutely poetic! eyes I wish I had an answer for you ... It's a great question! tfro
    No, Frenchy.

    I'm not gone. Just won't be chatting with Nate. In reviewing his posts on this topic he seems full of bombastic rhetoric, belittling those who disagree, and name-calling. All of which I am too flipp'n old for.

    My point isn't one of simply picking ones self by their bootstraps... as I know firsthand that many lack the boots to get started. It is about fully taking advantage of the programs, policies, and opportunities that currently exist without yet another "handout" (as it would be seen to many) being created specifically to address an issue that many whites feel unresponsible for.

    I think the time has passed for reparations to look like anything other than a hook-up, a hand out, a money grab. But I also will admit to not having heard every possbile scenario in this regards. My concern is the affects of money changing hands on both black self-respect and white perceptions of blacks. My essay alludes to this point.

    My family lives in Gary, Indiana. Since I went to college (the only member of my family to have done so) we have grown in different ways. I see opportunities, they see obstacles. I see hope, they see dispair. I see a world full of possiblities and they see the need for a hustle. This is not a value judgement... only the admission that there exist a huge gulf in our views of what is possible. With perceptions like that who can blame them for not trying to navigate the difficult waters. I love them dearly but we see different things when we look at the same issues.

    I am not an expert on this topic and would love to hear your thoughts or challenges to my concerns. Also, I am free-forming this so if something isn't clear please allow me the opportunity to clean it up before jumping to conclusions. If we both assume positive intent in what we say we might learn something during this interaction. I am hoping that I do.

    Chuck
    I wonder if Black people, in our own way, don't actually encourage this behavior.

    Well, I'd like to know who actually encouraged people not to do minimum research into what the leading activists/organizations are doing and saying about this issue. I mean, the whole premise rest on this idea that everybody would or should be compensated the same regardless of class, etc. And that's not consistent with what actual Black leaders/organizations pushing Reparations have had to say.

    Now, whether Black people are, in and of themselves, to blame for taking shit verbatim from the WHITE MEDIA and running with it, without some inspection and research, I don't know.

    Me, I just don't understand it. How are you going to raise [intelligent] questions about something when your views/questions arent' informed by what is actually being presented?

    N-Alien alluded to things he has heard "bandied" about. Where and WHO did he hear them from? Charles Ogletree, for one, has been adamant that Reparations is about helping "the least among us". But then this dude, again, works from the assumption/idea that there will be some flat rate or some complete unthinking on the issue.

    And, quite frankly, the "passing out money" stuff is what pervades his thoughts. Otherwise most if not all his adapt from [name your WHITE SOURCE] questions would be irrelevant. Further, N'COBRA has been adamant that Black people who say they don't want none, will be obliged and, in keeping with that, IMO, they can shut their damn mouths about "How To", "Who", etc, etc. Either you're a constructive and willing part of the process whether wanting to receive or not... or you are not.

    When people say No To Reparations then they say No To Having Any Say... It's just some pure audacity and asinine otherwise... Hmmm....

    quote:
    The gist of his position is sort of "If I accept that I need something from the government/white society or that something is due me, then it means I am not as good/strong as I thought I was" and that is why he and others like him take personal offense to the very idea. How can the reparations argument be framed to make it attractive to these types of people?
    It's not about them. PERIOD.
    To act like after seeing NOLA & Katrina and to act like all the things we talk about improving in the Black community - i.e. things that are "bad", economically, culturally or otherwise - can't be addressed or shouldn't be addressed via Reparations, as proposed (to whatever extent possible) over some personalized, individualized Fool PRIDE is just flat stupid.

    For N-Alien to be so concerned about what WHITE people think as far as handouts (especially since he apparently picks up his info. from mostly White sources) makes his very view and reaction to Reparations INVALID. FUCK what White people think. What??? 300 plus years of blatant White Supremacy where they got handed buckets and we're the one's suppose to wear some stigma they came up with?

    Ummm... Research that Bootstrap shit and you can start with MLK. What did he say about that canard?

    Native Alien... seems to have a problem being a direct beneficiary of it.

    Nobody is obligating him. Peace Out Then!

    If it was presented in such a way that any reparations money would not go to individuals, but would be pooled together for the benefit of the Black community in the United States, I think we could move beyond this arguing over whether or not we deserve reparations and on to what we would actually do with reparations.

    How is it and by whom is it not presented as something going towards those most in need? Again, reference Charles Ogletree.

    This thing where the Reparations Movement, whatever you opinion of it and whatever parts that are problematic... this thing where the very things that people like Charles Ogletree and N'COBRA have long since been on record for addressing yet people pretend or are to lazy to be informed about it rest on them. Seriously, how is this historically "fringe" movement suppose to battle not only the WHITE MEDIA and ll those forces outside the Black Community that are against what they no doubt see as a huge transfer of wealth that may completely threaten every sense of their White Supremacy... how is that movement suppose to override that and lazy ass Black people who won't read between the lines and go beyond [mainstream] White Sources (as if they are to be trusted on this) to get the information to see how it is framed by the very people who are doing the actual work on the project. Not just people who have something to say but people doing the work.
    quote:
    I'm not gone. Just won't be chatting with Nate. In reviewing his posts on this topic he seems full of bombastic rhetoric, belittling those who disagree, and name-calling. All of which I am too flipp'n old for.
    Don't [just] review my posts, consult Charles Ogletree, N'COBRA, etc. on some of the very questions you have.

    No need to be an expert. Just have an informed opinion... or just be informed. That's not that hard.

    There's at least a couple of sites for both as for Ogletree, here something more or less in mainstream media that addresses one of the questions N-Alien put forth:

    quote:
    Ogletree explained that ['reparations would not be paid to the descendants of slaves' per se but] would be paid into a large charity fund that would be used ˜for the benefit of the poorest blacks:' those who have ˜not benefited from affirmative action.' Ogletree compared this reparations plan to the Marshall Plan. According to Ogletree, the fund would help to rebuild America's black communities much as the Marshall Plan helped to rebuild Europe.

    http://www.dartreview.com/archives/2002/02/04/the_repar...e_on_campus_weak.php
    Now, knowing that or considering that (whichever the case may be), these questions about WHO Reparations would/should go to are largely, and for quiet some time, RESOLVED. There is a difference between someone earnestly asking questions for information or in trying to lay out the complexities of an issue and people who are just either regurgitating shit they haven't actually thought about researched and/or people are purposely trying to detract by confounding the issue, in this case, as if the question has not been addressed even well after these same little line of [WHITE] questions have been in the media from day one.

    So, NO! IMO, there is no excuse for that BS!

    Oh and here's Ogletree's site:
    http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/people/ogletree/articles_l...ating_the_legacy.htm
    Native Alien ... I have a question for you! Smile

    Do you not believe it is necessary and/or possible and/or would be advantageous for us to both receive governmental reparations and establish a movement which works to uplift ourselves?

    Right now, we have neither one ... but would it not/could it not be more beneficiary to use the available resources of one to supplement the success of the other? Or do you believe that the twain should not meet? That there should be only one way by which we accomplish our goal? Confused
    quote:
    I'm not gone. Just won't be chatting with Nate. In reviewing his posts on this topic he seems full of bombastic rhetoric, belittling those who disagree, and name-calling. All of which I am too flipp'n old for.


    Don't take it to heart. It's all in good fun Big Grin

    quote:
    My point isn't one of simply picking ones self by their bootstraps... as I know firsthand that many lack the boots to get started.


    Okay, if you acknowledge that point, then do you see how your next statement seems a bit impossible?

    quote:
    It is about fully taking advantage of the programs, policies, and opportunities that currently exist without yet another "handout" (as it would be seen to many)


    How can people, en masse, take full advantage of programs, policies, opportunities, etc without even having a solid foundation to progress from ("the boots," if you will)? That is where you begin to look at why these people don't have that foundation and what we need to do to put that in place and keep it in place for future generations. Reparations are the boots.

    From the organization Nmaginate mentioned:
    quote:
    In order for reparations to make us whole, it must remove blacks from dependence on others (the government, and the descendants of slave owners and colonizers), to create our jobs, manufacture the goods we consume, feed, clothe, and shelter us, build our institutions, and oversee our money.

    ...

    We must study how reparations can be used for our liberation for seven generations to come, and not for a one time shopping spree. We must use this time to develop ways to keep the billions of dollars, which we now earn, in the black community.


    quote:
    I think the time has passed for reparations to look like anything other than a hook-up, a hand out, a money grab.


    I think a lot of people share this concern, which is why I think it's really beneficial to present reparations as seed money for something greater and not as a potential downpayment for a shitload of Bentleys.

    quote:
    My concern is the affects of money changing hands on both black self-respect and white perceptions of blacks.


    White perception aside (because IMO there is very little Black people can do to shape white perception of them), this is what I was sort of touching on earlier. The idea that accepting reparations is in some way a poor reflection on who we are as a people. I'm not entirely sure how to respond to that. And I don't think it's as simple as saying "Well, those who don't want it, don't take it and go kicks rocks somewhere" because the movement still needs a lot of support.

    quote:
    If we both assume positive intent in what we say we might learn something during this interaction. I am hoping that I do.

    Chuck


    Me too, Chuck! I'm treading sort of carefully because I honestly haven't spent too much time sorting out reparations except to know that "I can dig it" Wink Bear with me.
    Chuck,

    "Assuming positive intent" has nothing to do with you answering for the way you characterized things UPON YOUR ENTRY. "Assuming positive intent" will not equate to taking things completely at face value and/or pretending like things aren't problematic at their root, things like your odd characterization. No, you have to answer for that. That stuff won't be excused because you don't want to answer for it.

    If that is the case, then you should know how to slow your roll better than that and stop speaking from your unexamined sentiments, thinking (I guess) that that stuff just automatically resonates or is something that just suppose to be accepted without question.

    Oh and why did I even come back and read this:
    quote:
    My concern is the affects of money changing hands on both black self-respect and
    white perceptions of blacks.
    How in the hell...

    Forget it... That's your Decorum Pass For The Day... Big Grin
    (Hey, you were upfront with that. Have to give you credit.)


    BTW, Frenchy... NCOBRA apparently has two sites:
    One old: ncobra.com? One new(er): ncobra.org

    Also, please my thread on AUTONOMY here. The link to the University of Dayton has a lot of article on Reparations and other topics if you manuever around...
    Last edited {1}
    quote:
    Me, I just don't understand it. How are you going to raise [intelligent] questions about something when your views/questions arent' informed by what is actually being presented?


    Simple: Because they don't know what all's been presented. This is where you and others as well-informed as you come in tfro Now, that is not an invitation to start lighting up the screen with links like your boy Lofton Razz, but I certainly appreciate the information you present.

    quote:
    Either you're a constructive and willing part of the process whether wanting to receive or not... or you are not.


    I agree, but people aren't born for or against reparations. They have to be persuaded. They have to be educated.

    quote:
    It's not about them. PERIOD.
    To act like after seeing NOLA & Katrina and to act like all the things we talk about improving in the Black community - i.e. things that are "bad", economically, culturally or otherwise - can't be addressed or shouldn't be addressed via Reparations, as proposed (to whatever extent possible) over some personalized, individualized Fool PRIDE is just flat stupid.


    Whether or not anyone thinks it's stupid, I think there are enough people that feel that way for whatever reason to make it genuine topic of discussion. Are there currently enough people in this country who would vote for reparations if we held a vote tommorow? If not, then there is work to be done and we cannot just dismiss those we cannot relate to or agree with as a pure waste of time. Unless you plan for us to arm ourselves and take reparations by force. Wink

    quote:
    How is it and by whom is it not presented as something going towards those most in need? Again, reference Charles Ogletree.


    Well, reparations in the media is frequently presented as a check going to every black person. Ogletree says reparations will be put into a fund for the poorest Blacks, period. NCOBRA says they will go to everyone descended from a slave in the US, excluding Black people who's families are from other nations and those who don't want them. There are differring opinions on who the money/land/whatever is going to go to. All I'm saying is, it isn't unreasonable for someone to be coming from a completely different direction.
    quote:
    I agree, but people aren't born for or against reparations. They have to be persuaded. They have to be educated.
    Well, Frenchy... that's where my disconnect is. One, because that's just not "me" so to speak. I mean, if someone legitimately wants to know what little I know, I'm more than willing to share. But, as a guy another forum would say (particularly about 'White folk') "Unless They Come On The Humble Tip..." See, I just don't excuse all that "I think I'm right but I want to learn" stuff.

    True, people may not be born one way or the other but from where I come from, when you "went to school" you sat you tail down and shut your mouth and only openly it after you said/paid the proper respects. Big Grin

    Seriously, fundamentally, I'm just not the one. So, how bout I talk to you and you talk to them? Wink

    quote:
    Are there currently enough people in this country who would vote for reparations if we held a vote tommorow? If not, then there is work to be done and we cannot just dismiss those we cannot relate to or agree with as a pure waste of time. Unless you plan for us to arm ourselves and take reparations by force.
    Well, I may be a littl partial to the latter... but I don't think educating and placating should be the same and I don't hold to the view that Reparations is something that's going to get voted in. Or that there is going to be a vote on it. I don't think there has been any such referendums in any other such case. So I don't under that logic or that goal. I'm just no that one. Not that one to take that posture particularly because I don't feel it going to happen via an election of sorts.

    Civil Rights, either at Emancipation or in the 60's didn't really make it to the ballot. And, IMO, it was a Confluence of forces those educating and others that caused those historic moments.

    There's a conflict in the ideas you've presented. At once you said we can only have so much if any control over how White people view us but here, if you're talking about getting enough votes for Reparations then...

    quote:
    Well, reparations in the media is frequently presented as a check going to every black person.
    And that's my point. How come Ogletree or NCOBRA, no matter what differences there are between their views, aren't that ones being referenced when people, BLACK people talk about Reparations?

    NCOBRA says the point it for Reparations is to build institutions... that hardly sounds like mere Cash In Hands (and I might be able to find an opinion that says something like $35K per household, and?). So why are people referencing characterizations on a "Black" wherein their only apparent source is the WHITE MEDIA. That's patently irresponsible. I don't care how much education you need or want.

    quote:
    All I'm saying is, it isn't unreasonable for someone to be coming from a completely different direction.
    But, frankly, that's not the matter. We can clearly, with N-Alien as an example, that he is approaching this from an entirely White Frame Of Reference or from the idea that what's reported in the WHITE MEDIA is the authoritative word on the subject. All those questions, verbatim, stuff I've seen over and over... in the WHITE MEDIA (and coming out of the mouth of White people against Reparations).

    Now, if someone can repeat that stuff and know that stuff without missing a line (I'm sure he got all the questions from the Talking Points covered) then they can do a hell of a lot of a better job being more acquainted with what either or both Ogletree and NCOBRA says. Frankly, there is nothing really inconsistent with what both said.

    There is no reason to think that everyone would get the same thing across the board when the impetus for Reparations is what it is. And at the very least, both should dispell the Big Hand Out WHITE MEDIA propaganda.

    No matter how N-Alien feels personally, nothing about him and his ideology or personal philosophy in life gives him reason to shit on the intentions of Black people who just don't happen to share his view and have honorable motives. Now, we can certainly be mindful of those who may be "opportunist" but I'll be damned if that stuff is going to be in any way shaped by the WHITE MEDIA and someone Black or otherwise is going to, as I said, shit on honorable people poppin some BS like that when, in some way, they got that from a questionable source in the first place.
    On that last point...

    It's not a matter of someone coming from a different angle. This whole forum comes with views on Reparations from different angles. The issue comes in when their ideas are based on false premises or perceptions... When that is done by someone claiming in some way to be FOR Reparations then that's completely different from the difference between Ogletree and NCOBRA.

    And to also be pumpin' some WHITE SCRIPTED questions... Sorry, but there is no excuse for that. I approach all of these conversations with the presumption that people have a brain. I would apologize for being Intolerant but I'm a little stuck on that idea that I should be able to expect people to think... lol

    So, that's all the more reason why I am not the one.
    quote:
    True, people may not be born one way or the other but from where I come from, when you "went to school" you sat you tail down and shut your mouth and only openly it after you said/paid the proper respects. Big Grin


    laugh

    quote:
    Seriously, fundamentally, I'm just not the one. So, how bout I talk to you and you talk to them? Wink


    nono That's not very nice. Big Grin

    quote:
    Well, I may be a littl partial to the latter...


    Yeah, me too, but let's drop that convo before we both end up in Guantanamo Bay or some cave in Tora Bora.

    quote:
    There's a conflict in the ideas you've presented. At once you said we can only have so much if any control over how White people view us but here, if you're talking about getting enough votes for Reparations then...


    If reparations are to happen by some kind of vote, then I do think it's important that the plan is presented in such a way that is palpable to white people because we'd need their vote. But when I said to Chuck that I don't think there is much Black people can do to change white perception of them, I was speaking more along the lines of "let's not be concerned with how much white people like us, because that is already sort of set in stone." I think it's entirely possibly for white people to both dislike us and vote for reparations, so trying to make them our friends isn't really necessary.

    I hate to presume to speak for Chuck, but it seems that he has such intimate knowledge with the typical white concerns re: reparations because he cares what white people think, of him, of us. It is like the college freshman who goes out of his way to show that he deserves his spot because he knows every white person is thinking he's only there because of affirmative action and that makes him feel somewhat worthless.

    Chuck, if white people were to fall and bump their head and wake up tomorrow in support of reparations, would it make it easier for you to support it?
    My point isn't one of simply picking ones self by their bootstraps... as I know firsthand that many lack the boots to get started. It is about fully taking advantage of the programs, policies, and opportunities that currently exist without yet another "handout" (as it would be seen to many) being created specifically to address an issue that many whites feel unresponsible for.

    I think the time has passed for reparations to look like anything other than a hook-up, a hand out, a money grab. But I also will admit to not having heard every possbile scenario in this regards. My concern is the affects of money changing hands on both black self-respect and white perceptions of blacks. My essay alludes to this point.---Native Alien

    That has been a concern about 'management of the money' since reparations first was discussed here on the board.

    I think it is self-defeating to become bogged down with the anticipation of problems. It smacks of 'paralyzed hand-wringing'. Sort of a 'what will I do?' kind of fear.

    There is no logical reason for reparations to be expanded into the criminality of the exploitation of Africa. That is a valid, but separate issue.

    The reparations of concern are those demand in the petition to the courts in the United States for the wrongs of using the labor,and determined asset-vallue of African American-Americans in the businesses and commerce of the United States.

    The United States of America did the deed. The claim is against the United States of America.

    Reparations is a very narrowly focused issue. There is 'pain and sufferieng' in the calculation.

    The sole issue is money.

    There is no shame in claiming, or demanding, that which is your just due under law.

    Many of us are beginning to treat this thing like we do religion with issues of morality, and psychological self-worth, etc.


    The issue is money.

    Money taken, and money owed.

    It's the system in which we were abused.

    It is the system in which we must seek reimbursement.

    PEACE

    Jim Chester
    Thanx James/Frenchy...

    Good stuff. I have reading to do! I appreciate the time you took to respond.

    But, let me ask, why is any opinion contrary to those spoken the loudest (you know lots of bold and capitalized letters) on this board automatically devalued as that of coming from "The White Media" or that the person raising it somehow is a mouth-piece for whitey? Is it so hard to believe that a black man could have come to a conclusion that doesn't map to the official black playbook? And I don't mean that in a snide manner. I am honestly trying to figure out the limits of the banks of the river in which I stand here. If it is that easy to overflow then this isn't the place for me.

    It is a shame that particular generalization seems to rear up often in the threads of certain folks. And is used to cut off any dissention or debate, or to devalue the speaker or the message. This isn't an exchange of ideas... it is bullying: self-congratulatory back smacking of monolithic thinking.

    I joined this forum after lurking for some time because I sensed that some real thinking and talking was taking place about important issues. Now I am beginning to think I hadn't read far enough to see the kind of smug, adolescent Let me know when you get it kind of responses some consider intellect.

    Again, I am prodding to find the limits of where we are allowed to go, conversationally, and still be considered black by those like Nate who clearly are ordained by a higher power to judge the blackness of those who disagree with his obviously flawless and pristine logic.

    I remain excessively unimpressed by people like him.
    quote:
    But, let me ask, why is any opinion contrary to those spoken the loudest (you know lots of bold and capitalized letters) on this board automatically devalued as that of coming from "The White Media"
    Why is it that I can find those questions you listed verbatim in the WHITE MEDIA?

    That's all I'm asking...

    quote:
    I am prodding to find the limits of where we are allowed to go, conversationally, and still be considered black
    I have not considered you as anything other than... I questioned your source. What seems to be the problem? Sounds more like a personal one to me.
    Native Alien ...

    I don't mean to be pushy ... but, I wasn't sure whether you were just ignoring me or didn't see my previous question! Smile If you were ignoring me it's okay ... I get that a lot around here ... but just figured you were too new here to have picked up on that already! Razz

    Anyway, I would very much like to know your thoughts about my question below. I haven't been able to get one from other pro-"let's do it ourselves" persons. I guess most believe that there is only one way or that the one way is the best way ... so I'd like to know if you ascribe to this as well.

    Thanks!

    Oh and P.S. It's not that I'm ignoring your question above, but I can't and won't answer any questions considering conversations with "Nate". I simply don't go there, sorry! Smile But I will tell you, if you are going to judge or measure what you say by the dissenting response of one or two other members on the board, you will never be able to fully express nor explore yourself nor your thoughts and may miss out on the valuable ideas and information that you will find runs rampant on this board!

    Just food for thought. Smile

    quote:
    Originally posted by EbonyRose:
    Native Alien ... I have a question for you! Smile

    Do you not believe it is necessary and/or possible and/or would be advantageous for us to both receive governmental reparations and establish a movement which works to uplift ourselves?

    Right now, we have neither one ... but would it not/could it not be more beneficiary to use the available resources of one to supplement the success of the other? Or do you believe that the twain should not meet? That there should be only one way by which we accomplish our goal? Confused
    quote:
    Is it so hard to believe that a black man could have come to a conclusion that doesn't map to the official black playbook?


    No, but barring something really original, if it doesn't come from the official Black playbook, it usually comes straight from the white one. Razz

    quote:
    If you were ignoring me it's okay ... I get that a lot around here


    That's not true at all!! What was your name again? Big Grin

    quote:
    But I will tell you, if you are going to judge or measure what you say by the dissenting response of one or two other members on the board, you will never be able to fully express nor explore yourself nor your thoughts and may miss out on the valuable ideas and information that you will find runs rampant on this board!

    tfro
    Native Alien:

    You know your moitivation.

    Everyone else is guessing.

    Be confident in yourself, and with your 'eyes and ears open'.

    Take what is good. Throw the rest away.

    We all stand in different places in our understanding of our circumstance, as a people.

    We, each, move at a different pace.

    Some of us will never come to resolution, and for reasons no one will ever be able to articulate.

    Your job is to heal yourself.

    No one else can.

    We are all trying to help each other.

    Hopefully.

    PEACE

    Jim Chester
    I am sorry, EbonyRose. I didn't see your question. You know... the noise around here being what it is. Wink

    I certainly will respond... but I just walked in from a very busy day at work and my wife has dinner on. If she knew I snuck in through the office to write this she would have my head.

    Uh oh... she knows! Gotta go. I will respond later as yours is a good and fair question.

    Chuck
    quote:
    I am sorry, EbonyRose. I didn't see your question. You know... the noise around here being what it is.
    Dude you tried to feign the position that you would seek to speak to and with other people... You have no excuse.

    But, we're... I mean Frenchy's still waiting...
      "They benefited, now [it's] our turn"

      [1] What do you mean by that?
      [2] You seem to be drawing some paralell between the way white people benefitted from slave labor and how Black people will benefit from reparations. Please expand on that.
    What? Is that too loud? Hearing your own words (and having to answer for them) pain you?

    C'mon dude... And to think you actually said this:
    quote:
    I will even expose my own thoughts on the subject to critique (and ridicule?) to jumpstart the conversation to a more respectful level of discourse.
    And now you're complaining? You got the nerve to complain about the obvious source of your questions (the WHITE MEDIA) after you said you would EXPOSE yourself to critique/ridicule?

    Yes, you should be ridiculed for regurgitating things like that verbatim with nary a variation or deviation. From the Civil War Soldiers to HOW MUCH BLACK (oh we can be bothered about BLACKNESS then)... that type of stuff relates to a Frame Of Reference worthy of Ridicule.

    And you know if you're honest you and I both know where you got that list from. That's why you want to try to make it sound like I'm questioning your "BLACKNESS" when it was clear I was directly questioning where you got that shit from.

    Tell the truth. Where did you?
    Don't be ashamed to tell the truth.
    Taking a break from the mini Freaknik convention to come back to my original thought here.

    How do we convince those that feel reparations devalue Black capability? How do you reconcile the message of "We have come so far and surmounted the insurmountable by our damn selves and we will succeed regardless" with the idea reparations? The thought is "If we need reparations, then we as a people are not as strong/capable as we think we are."

    Has this been covered before? If so, please ignore and point me in the direction of that thread.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Frenchy:
    Taking a break from the mini Freaknik convention to come back to my original thought here.

    How do we convince those that feel reparations devalue Black capability? How do you reconcile the message of "We have come so far and surmounted the insurmountable by our damn selves and we will succeed regardless" with the idea reparations? The thought is "If we need reparations, then we as a people are not as strong/capable as we think we are."

    Has this been covered before? If so, please ignore and point me in the direction of that thread.


    Since your post was not directed to anyone, I'll 'chip in'.

    I don't think those who believe that will be convinced. I say 'will' rather than 'can', because I think those who think that way need to think that way. I believe they have convinced themselves that it is a part of who they are.

    An example: I grew up in a 'fundamentalist' denomination. Tithing was integral.

    A friend of ours 'new' in the church adamantly refused to claim his tithes on his income tax return as allow by law.

    It was a part of his religion, and he was therefore convinced that he could not accrue worldly benefit from it.

    Case closed.

    I think people who have reached the conclusions you describe have assimilated the information on the level of, or in the manner of, religion.

    The conclusions have nothing to do with reason.

    PEACE

    Jim Chester

    Logic, and the facts say we, as the exploited party, are entitled to compensation.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Frenchy:

    How do we convince those that feel reparations devalue Black capability? How do you reconcile the message of "We have come so far and surmounted the insurmountable by our damn selves and we will succeed regardless" with the idea reparations? The thought is "If we need reparations, then we as a people are not as strong/capable as we think we are."

    Has this been covered before? If so, please ignore and point me in the direction of that thread.


    IMHO the argument rests on the realization that had African Americans been afforded the Constitutional protections that other Americans had, since our arrival in 1619, then we would be significantly ahead of - as a people - where we are today. There are still a good deal of us who are buying the first homes of anyone in our families, who are earning the first college degrees, who are starting the first businesses, etc. Had we not suffered through slavery, Jim Crow, and the discrimination that continues to this day - then we would have had the benefit of generations and generations of things that white Americans take for granted.

    Home ownership is the single most effective means of entering the middle class in America. Out of the almost 400 years that we've been on these shores, we have only been able to universally own property for about the last 50 or so. All that time white families were earning a wage for their labor, were attending colleges and receving training, they were starting businesses, etc. - all creating wealth that has been passed down from generation to generation to generation. Black folks have not had the benefit of this phenomenon, hence no one should be surprised that there is a sizeable gap in home ownership and average family net worth statistics in America.

    Reparations has nothing to do with capability, because in reality what African Americans have achieved here DESPITE the extraordinary obstacles is absolutely phenomenal and awe inspiring. Our achievements are truly remarkable and to think otherwise is to be ignorant of what we have done and what we have had to overcome. Despite this, I often wonder what we would have achieved had we not faced the non-stop tidal wave of racism, etc. here. It is this difference between what we have achieved and what we could ahve achieved that, IMO, reparations should address. Some may say that there is no discrimination - look how much money Oprah has. Well, with her talents and abilities - without racism - perhaps she would have made five times as much. $$ Who knows? Reparations is designed to provide some return on the investment that we made in this country not just in the form of our blood, sweat, and tears, but more importantly in the form of our hard labor which effectively built this nation - subsidizing the over-all economy and standard of living that Americans have come to - no doubt - take for granted. As a nation, we are rich largely because during the formative stages of our economy and our nation - America had a wellspring of free labor to call upon to enrich it. Well, now America has an opportunity to pay back the investment made in this nation by slave families. It should do so because it is right and it is just. Now - if some slave descendents do not feel like they need reparations - they're right. Nevertheless, they deserve it - whether they realize it or not! bsm
    Thanks Jim. I sort of feel the way that you do, but IMO there seems to be a significant amount of people who have that attitude ("I'm not taking nothing from nobody whether I deserve it or not because I can do it all by myself") and in order for the Reparations movement to go further, those people must be brought into the fold. I mean, these are not really the bootlickers, they are perhaps the most proud Black people in the community.

    MBM, I understand what you're saying in and of itself but my little brain can't really draw the link between what I asked and what you wrote. Wink I'm saying that for the people who look at the situation that you described and say "So what if Oprah could've been worth a trillion instead of a billion? She's accomplished so much, as have the rest of us. She didn't need them and neither do the rest of us! To take reparations is admitting defeat." We can't, or at least I can't completely reconcile, pushing both the "'The Man' is not going to keep us down!" and "We need his money to progress."

    Edited to Add: Sorry MBM, I just saw that you added on more to your post so some of what I wrote is probably now irrelevant. But I would pose to you the same question I posed to Jim? Do you think the number of these people that are too "proud" to take reparations is so miniscule that the reparations movement can succeed without their support? Because it seems to me that everywhere I turn the message is "We don't need anything from anybody!"
    quote:
    Originally posted by Frenchy:

    Do you think the number of these people that are too "proud" to take reparations is so miniscule that the reparations movement can succeed without their support? Because it seems to me that everywhere I turn the message is "We don't need anything from anybody!"


    Honestly, the reparations movement does not hinge on the few people who might not want it. Ward Connerly can forgo his reparations, I'm fairly sure that someone who has little to nothing is not going to turn it away. bsm
    Frenchy,

    The framing is all wrong with that question.
    Reparations is not about "need". It is about what's right. Period. Someone steals from you, employing that same self-respect ethic, it is beneath such self-respect, as Kevin says... To Let That Shit Go On The House.

    Now, how exactly demanding a return of what was stolen/taken from you equates to begging for a "hand-out", I don't know. But that's where the framing is all wrong.

    Those ideas, whether consciously or not, legitimate the deeds of Slavery and Jim Crow. And since we know quite a bit of this "framing" comes from other than complete and authentic Black sources, sources that consult and value Black life (consider the value given to WHITE Civil War soldier, their deaths... yet no such value was given to Black Lives Lost In The Struggle For Freedom)... We know the framing is off and not at all one that reflects the self-respect it pretends to project.

    All we have to do is reference the attendant concern (overconcern) for how White folks view us. Well, self-respect, genuine self-respect is hardly concerned with how others view you. And it's pretty ironic, how out of all people, it's the very people, in essence, who were/are responsible for the circumstance wherein Reparations are justified (and denied) in the first place.
    I came across this in an article on reparations and thought of this thread:

    quote:
    It's a coincidence worth noting that demands for reparations have followed a drive to reduce or even eliminate estate taxes and allow for tax-free transfers of wealth between generations. George W. Bush, who essentially inherited his place at Yale and hopes to inherit the presidency, opposes the "death tax." I suspect that like many aristocrats, including Al Gore, Bush feels deserving of the privileges he's inherited. I suspect he is irrationally proud of what he considers to be the accomplishments of his father and grandfather (accomplishments for which he can claim no credit); maybe he's proud of his "bloodlines."

    I have no quarrel with noblesse oblige (it helped shape Franklin D. Roosevelt). But noblesse oblige reflects a commitment to making yourself worthy of what you've inherited, a commitment to earning your privilege with your own labors--not justifying it with the labors of your forebears. Bush, for one, doesn't exhibit noblesse oblige; he exhibits a sense of inherited entitlement, which is echoed in campaigns for reparations.

    Underlying the demand for reparations is one of the great taboos of American politics: the demand for redistribution of wealth. The compensatory programs envisioned by reparations advocates are essentially redistributive; they're intended to raise the economic status of blacks. As Robinson suggests, they would acknowledge and undo the "mechanisms" that have pushed blacks to "the back of the line." But if the problem is a system of inherited poverty and inherited wealth, why not address it directly?

    If I were queen, just before abolish-ing my office, I'd raise taxes on intergenerational transfers of wealth and use the proceeds to help build a meritocracy. May be I'd devote the additional revenues to public education, health care, or transportation. Maybe I'd compensate people victimized by racial profiling. Maybe I'd fund some of the public initiatives proposed by Robinson, but I wouldn't call them reparations. We shouldn't have to justify equality.

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