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MBM wrote:

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.

Chuck
quote:
Originally posted by NativeAlien:
MBM wrote:

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.


Reparations is the solution to the debt owed. That's the only problem it is meant to rectify.

Once upon a time, agitating for civil rights was seen as unrealistic. As a result, it was the courageous Africans in America who were willing to march, boycott, protest, sit-in, etc. The rest of them sat back and reaped the benefits.
Insome wrote:
quote:
Reparations is the solution to the debt owed. That's the only problem it is meant to rectify.


Respectfully, I have an issue with that. I don't see anything as being owed to me except a fair chance at the things I need. I, personally, didn't earn it. That doesn't mean I think what happened was good or fair. It is just that I did no work for it and no one promised me, personally, money for it.

quote:
Once upon a time, agitating for civil rights was seen as unrealistic. As a result, it was the courageous Africans in America who were willing to march, boycott, protest, sit-in, etc. The rest of them sat back and reaped the benefits.


(removing egg from face) Well said.

But I think the general political climate was different in that the south (and by association, the more conservative wing of the GOP) held significantly less legislative power in the federal governement during that time. Now you have a party moving towards the far right of its fringes and consolidating hold on power that may last a generation or more.

Even with that said, I stand corrected on your second point and will refrain from using that line of dissent in the future.

Your first point though, is a point I just can't get past. I have worked hard to place a different ethos in my kids regarding work, expectations, and compensation. If that is the central line of reasoning behind the call for reparations then it is folly for me to continue to discuss the issue, as it is a point that I can not, personally, level with my beliefs.

I appreciate you taking the time to help me walk through this issue.
quote:
Originally posted by NativeAlien:
Isome wrote:
quote:
Reparations is the solution to the debt owed. That's the only problem it is meant to rectify.


Respectfully, I have an issue with that. I don't see anything as being owed to me except a fair chance at the things I need. I, personally, didn't earn it. That doesn't mean I think what happened was good or fair. It is just that I did no work for it and no one promised me, personally, money for it.


Reparations includes recompense for that fair chance that you want, and that those before you did not get. The wealth gap in this country can be directly linked to the headstart afforded slave owners by free slave labor, businesses run and owned by white folks that profited from the slave trade, Jim Crow, discriminatory hiring, etc. The effect of that disenfranchisement was that whites were able to prosper in great numbers, compared to the formerly enslaved and their progeny, and then pass the wealth on to the next generation. (I posted the excerpt from an article about the descendant of a slave owner and it alluded to the cummulative effect of wealth handed down.)

However, I think you may also be under the impression that the payment is a personal check in your hand. It is not. (If it were that would be a whole other can of worms to discuss.) White people put that out there to scare other white people, and since the MSM (main stream media) is broadcast far & wide, we are innundated with the same misinformation.
quote:
Originally posted by NativeAlien:

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?


Here are some thoughts from a post from awhile ago to kick start things:

quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:

How do we decide to disseminate them? In other words, who gets what and how?


I'll, of course, offer my thoughts. brosmile< !--graemlin::brosmile:--> I look forward to others' thoughts as well!

Who gets paid? Slave descendants. How? There are a variety of potential schemes to do so. Some are tax incentives and are therefore cash flow negative. Here are some others:

  • a home mortgage fund designed to collateralize the down payments of first time mortgages

  • a fund creating scholarships for private and public schools, colleges, secondary schools, vocational training, etc.

  • creating more, and more valuable economic empowerment zones encouraging the start of new businesses in our communities

  • a venture capital fund designed to capitalize new businesses in our communities

  • a fund devoted to investing in the development (physical infrastructure etc.) of neighborhoods and communities

  • a fund designed to create more localized and better quality health care in our communities

  • individual payments - in the form of cash or special bonds that might encourage long-term investment to maximize their appreciation

    ETC.

    quote:
    Do those who were against the concept benefit? (Ward Connerly, C. Thomas, Tiger, etc.)


    Sure. Why not. If they want to donate their proceeds to some other cause, God bless them!

    quote:
    Do those who "don't need the money" (pro atheletes, entertainers), benefit?


    IMHO, Africans who succeeed in America do so in spite of racism and discrimination and not because there is an even playing field. Therefore, the people who succeed, still only do so despite "swimming upstream". I wonder what Oprah or Reginald Lewis or Bob Johnson would have acheived if they hadn't had to deal with the racial 'drag' created by our society. Oprah has $1B, maybe she would have had $$2B. She deserves a reparation. IMO, all slave descendents should receive a benefit.

    quote:
    Do those whose families that were not enslaved (i.e. immigrants) get a piece of the pie?


    No. Although they were aggrieved, it was not by the U.S. government in the same way. I would, of course, support them in their effort to recieve reparations for thieir specific situation.

    quote:
    How much should we get?


    Here's a post of mine from 7/7/03

    Originally posted by MBM:

    As you've read I characterize slave labor as an "investment" in America. I've also described it as America's 'start-up capital'. To continue that analogy a more appropriate way to think about this would be to calculate the total unpaid wages and think of it as an actual investment in the United States. Doing so would create an equity (ownership) percentage in the United States' economy. That gives slave descendants ownership in the current Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our economy. So, for the sake of argument, 250 years of slavery for 5 million or so slaves generates a one third equity stake in our economy. Naturally, economists and historians would produce the appropriate numbers to create a more precise figure. First quarter 2003 U.S. GDP was $10.7 trillion. Let's guess that 2003 total GDP will be $45 trillion. 33% of that is $14.85 trillion. Following the logic of this thinking, descendants of slaves would have an equity interest worth almost $15 trillion!
  • quote:
    Originally posted by jazzdog:
    quote:
    Originally posted by blackbutterfly:
    Am I mistaken or did the Japan as well as the Jews receive reparations?


    Japan the country did not receive reparations, Japanese Americans who were interned during the war without due process were for the loss of homes and businesses.


    But then again, the country of Japan did get re-built after the war. Does that qualify as reparations?
    MBM:

    I was going to send this in a private message, but I figured that I probably needed to post it publicly.

    The message follows:

    MBM:

    Hmm. I am certainly not above admitting that there are some specifics that you detail that I had not considered. Which is why I asked you those questions.

    I have much to think about... as well as a little less talking and a little more listening to do.

    To give you some background: It has been hard-wired in me by my Grandparents, Mom, Aunt and Uncles that I wasn't owed anything by anyone in this life and that if I wanted something I had to be the one to go out and get it. Period. Education was stressed in my family as the great equalizer, rightly or wrongly, in a capitalist system. And even then you couldn't trust those in power not to undercut you. I understood that we had to work twice as hard to gain half the success, and I took that as a challenge... not an obstacle. People who know me will tell you that I am extremely focused, excessively driven, and absolutely unflappable. So, I guess it is hard (no, extremely difficult) for me to grasp that people don't look at the situation as I do and just take it on? It is what it is... now go!

    To illustrate this I'll share this personal example; when I am in Gary IN, where my folks live, and I hear brothas gip'n about how bad the white man this... how bad the white man that... my response is, "So. What are you going to do? What if everything you say is true? What are you are going to do about it? You either stand here and whine or you make a plan and go about it." It's what my grandfather used to say to people. Same thing. I always get the most incredulous looks. It isn't that I have an affinity for the white man, I just know how he is and I'm not intimidated by him or anything he can throw up in my way. He will not stop me.

    Something so strongly engrained doesn't disappear overnight... but you have given me insights to consider.

    Thank you for your time.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Blacksanction:

    My parents taught me the same thing- that success is earned through hard work. The only person that can deny you success is yourself.


    If your hard work and perseverance earned you X, but had there not been racism and discrimination you would have earned 3X - would you be interested in recouping the other 2X that was lost - that you had fairly and squarely earned? This is how I view reparations.

    Moreover, it is interesting that some of us are concerned with this broad concept of fairness - of getting only what we earn (which is quite noble I might add), yet white folks are where they are today, largely, because they did so on the backs on black and brown people. To be clear, they didn't earn it, they stole and exploited it.

    As I see it, we invested in this nation and deserve the right to cash that investment in. It's that simple. bsm
    quote:
    Originally posted by NativeAlien:

    It has been hard-wired in me by my Grandparents, Mom, Aunt and Uncles that I wasn't owed anything by anyone in this life and that if I wanted something I had to be the one to go out and get it. Period.


    Does the bank "owe" you the money you deposited in it? Do you feel guilty about withdrawing it at any time?

    Well it's the difference between someone owing you something and it being yours. Your forbears built this country, and in so doing, created an asset in this nation that your family owns. Like all other assets it passes down through the generations. You may not have been able to claim it yet, but it is yours, no doubt!
    tfro

    BTW - to be clear - nothing that I am saying in any way contradicts what your wise family taught you. I was taught the exact same thing - as probably all of us have. tfro
    MBM

    What you are talking about is unquantifiable as in most cases you will never know how much you were really discriminated against therefore whether you earned x as opposed to 3x does not matter unless you can clearly prove that a systemic block caused your loss of earnings.
    There have been cases where this has happened but they tend to be the exeption not the norm.

    Yes you could make up arbitrary figures of selfworth or you could focus on changing the rules and playing your own game. I will keep saying it over and over focus on what you have and can prove . You have a mountain of suspicion and a molehill of proof.
    Not to throw another group of the victimized but lets take the Chinese immigrants who built the railroads in both the US and Canada, they had to pay a head tax to work on the RR and many lost their lives working in very unsafe conditions. The RR opened up the west to industry and then mining and such. So my question should reparation be given to the families of the Chinese who worked to make the RR rich and powerful? and if so how much would be enough?
    Yes I know our people worked in the same conditions at the same time I just wanted to contrast...

    Perhaps I am a bit jaded by the things I see at work and around me. The attitude of "you owe me"

    Morally yes something should be done to recognize the evil profit of the slave trade and industry but that does not mean at the cost of undermining the numerous achievements that our brothers and sisters have made over the past 60 years.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Blacksanction:

    Morally yes something should be done to recognize the evil profit of the slave trade and industry but that does not mean at the cost of undermining the numerous achievements that our brothers and sisters have made over the past 60 years.


    How would reparations undermine anything?

    BTW - I don't imagine it would be too hard for a group of economists and historians to come up with a cumulative value that slavery added to the US economy. Either take that value and discount it at an appropriate rate to come up with a value in current dollars or turn that value into equity in the economy/government. The dollar value of X% today would be worth considerable more than X% historically.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Blacksanction:
    MBM

    What you are talking about is unquantifiable as in most cases you will never know how much you were really discriminated against therefore whether you earned x as opposed to 3x does not matter unless you can clearly prove that a systemic block caused your loss of earnings.
    There have been cases where this has happened but they tend to be the exeption not the norm.


    You base that objection on a personal reward. That is not the form of payment sought. Next!!

    quote:
    I will keep saying it over and over focus on what you have and can prove . You have a mountain of suspicion and a molehill of proof.


    You don't know what proof there is because when you're not knowledgeable on the subject. Next!!

    quote:
    Not to throw another group of the victimized but lets take the Chinese immigrants who built the railroads in both the US and Canada, they had to pay a head tax to work on the RR and many lost their lives working in very unsafe conditions. The RR opened up the west to industry and then mining and such. So my question should reparation be given to the families of the Chinese who worked to make the RR rich and powerful?


    What about them... and what about them... and what about those folks over there? Were immigrants forced into bondage? No, the very definition of immigrant is someone who migrated of their own free will. When they chained & shackled Africans, threw them in a ship's cargohold, transported them across the sea, lined them up like so much cattle, sold them, separated children from mothers, husbands from wives, and forced them to work (including suckle white babies), does that equate to immigration to you? Why would you put forth such a clearly unthoughtful objection? Next!!

    quote:
    Perhaps I am a bit jaded by the things I see at work and around me. The attitude of "you owe me"


    I detect insincerity. Pretentious claims of self-sufficiency seem to be said mostly for the approval of unalikes, not out of any real belief that a debt is not owed. Next!!


    quote:
    Morally yes something should be done to recognize the evil profit of the slave trade and industry but that does not mean at the cost of undermining the numerous achievements that our brothers and sisters have made over the past 60 years.


    You just shot down every last one of your own objections.

      In 1979, the Aleuts of the Pribilof Islands received $8.5 million in partial compensation for the unjust treatment to which they had been subjected under federal administration between 1870 and 1946. In 1988 the Aleuts who had been forcibly removed from their islands during World War II... That act also authorized up to $15 million to compensate the Aleuts for the loss of Attu Island, which had been made into a wildlife sanctuary.

    Hmmm... now would you object to those people getting their due, since clearly not one of us profited from their forcible removal or the loss of their land, and no one from 1870 was alive in 1979. Would you have had the same objections to their reparations?

    Randall Robinson moved to St. Kitts, look him up on your next visit home. He has much wisdom to impart; I wish he didn't have to leave the U.S.
    So I get get dimissed because I can see both sides of an argument and agree with parts??

    Hmmm.

    There are a lots of things that are morally wrong but at the end of the day I still do not want to pay for them.

    Put simply, life is unfair, so stop wallowing in the past and work on the future.You have control of the future and no one can change the past.

    I find it amusing that alot of posters love to try to quiet desention by attacking a person's perceived level of knowledge and education on a subject. How foolishly arrogant.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Blacksanction:
    So I get get dimissed because I can see both sides of an argument and agree with parts??


    Therein lies the rub. You don't see any parts of the other side of the argument, just the oppositional side. Otherwise, you'd address the proponent side that unmistakably and thoroughly rebutts the opposition.

    Besides, which, you're not American. Why would you even concern yourself with it? That's craziness.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Blacksanction:
    I find it amusing that alot of posters love to try to quiet desention by attacking a person's perceived level of knowledge and education on a subject. How foolishly arrogant.


    And, please, for the love of Mike... you know you're not thoroughly versed on the issue. (None of us are, but others find out before making false claims.) If you were, you wouldn't have made such tepid objections - objections that have been "dismissed" years ago. Just be honest, your objections stem from your lack of information and I believe some external hostility that you've internalized.

    Oh' and one last thing, not being an American, your dissension isn't an obstacle, so know that your approval was not being courted.
    I do, because believe it or not what you all do affects not only yourselves but those of us who do not live in the land of "free speech". You do not live in a vacuum.

    Call my aguments,tepid, stupid, whatever, call it what you want. They are still my opinions and a valid as what you have put forth.

    Oh keep those attacks on my esteem coming they reveal so much. Wink
    quote:
    Originally posted by Blacksanction:
    I do, because believe it or not what you all do affects not only yourselves but those of us who do not live in the land of "free speech". You do not live in a vacuum.

    Call my aguments,tepid, stupid, whatever, call it what you want. They are still my opinions and a valid as what you have put forth.

    Oh keep those attacks on my esteem coming they reveal so much. Wink


    No, your uninformed opinions and objections have no validity.

    The other bit of circumvolution isn't going to fly, either. A push for reparations in the U.S. has no negative influence on Black folks in Canada who immigrated from St. Kitts. Get real!

    There were no attacks on your esteem coming from me. But like others of your kind, I expect no less than the shallow understanding of issues and skewed perception of reality that you've already demonstrated.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Kweli4Real:
    quote:
    Originally posted by jazzdog:
    quote:
    Originally posted by blackbutterfly:
    Am I mistaken or did the Japan as well as the Jews receive reparations?


    Japan the country did not receive reparations, Japanese Americans who were interned during the war without due process were for the loss of homes and businesses.


    But then again, the country of Japan did get re-built after the war. Does that qualify as reparations?


    We also rebuild all of Germany and most of western Europe under the Marshal Plan, I doubt if anyone would call that reparations.
    Dr. Isome I presume?

    "your objections stem from your lack of information and I believe some external hostility that you've internalized."

    I hate myself...?

    "There were no attacks on your esteem coming from me. But like others of your kind, I expect no less than the shallow understanding of issues and skewed perception of reality that you've already demonstrated."

    Others of my kind?
    Skewed perception on reality?

    My perception my reality yes very telling Her Doctor
    quote:
    Originally posted by Blacksanction:
    Dr. Isome I presume?

    "your objections stem from your lack of information and I believe some external hostility that you've internalized."

    I hate myself...?

    "There were no attacks on your esteem coming from me. But like others of your kind, I expect no less than the shallow understanding of issues and skewed perception of reality that you've already demonstrated."

    Others of my kind?
    Skewed perception on reality?

    My perception my reality yes very telling Her Doctor


    It's very telling that you either lack reading comprehension, or your powers of perception are skewed... just as I said.

    Internalizing hostility isn't necessarily hating oneself. It does however, manifest itself as believing everything white folks say, as you do with your parroted objections to reparations, and discounting clear historical evidence put forth by Black folks.

    I know, I know it is probably easier for you to embrace a throwaway line like "self-hate" than to actually examine your objections in light of the evidence that runs throughout this thread.

    Good luck with that in Canada.

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