quote:The way I see things, slave families contributed critical "venture capital" at the 'start-up' of the US economy. Their labor capitalized this nation and, in so doing, subsidized the standard of living for Americans from day one to the present. Those same families exist here in the United States. That same United States government exists. The same US government has an opportunity to allow the same families to cash in the investment that they have been holding onto for generations. In the same way that, say, a government bond issued in the past would be payable on demand today, in my opinion, our investment in this nation created value for this country, and deserves to be repaid. Certainly our nation is now capable of redeeming that investment. Certainly it is the moral and right thing to do.
I am not disagreeing with the reasoning behind why it is you and others feel reparations are warranted. Clearly someone was exploited and someone reaped the rewards. Additionally, the exploitation was morally reprehensible.
My concerns are more centered around the realistic prospects of obtaining them and, even if they were won, how much difference would they really make?
MBM, I will respond to your thoughful and well-reasoned points a little later today... but I would like to pose some questions for you, and others, to consider in the interim and if you like we can gather back here to discuss them this evening.
What plan have you seen that comes closest to your vision of the implementation of reparations? If you haven't seen it, can you describe what you are thinking when you say 'reparations'?
Who qualifies for reparations? How? Is there some sort of proof required? Can you be a second generation African American, for instance?
Is there a means test? Do wealthy (or even middle class) African Americans get access to the pool?
How are reparations financed? If they are long term benefits/services, how are they sustained?
What is the marketing strategy? What's in it for them (white folks)... morally, finacially, ethically? I know this is a question that some will be offended with but with only one Black Senator the message will have to resonate with an all white Senate and predominately white House of Reps, and a country moving ever-more to the right.
Much like Congress just passed laws shielding food companies and gun manufacturers from victim lawsuits, do you think that will occur with regards to companies being sued for reparations? Or, even the government itself?
Again, I am curious about how you, and others, came to think in the manner which you do. I am not disputing the reasons behind your call for reparations, just whether reparations are the solution to the issues at hand and if it is realistic to even pursue. Currently, my answer to both questions are no.