I think if I hear one more person say that we just need to just "get over" slavery, I will just scream!! eek

I mean, I haven't heard anyone tell the Japanese that they should "just get over" Hiroshima!! Did anybody hear the gov't. tell them, "Here's your check for that concentration camp thing. Now take it and just "get over" it, okay???

Tragedies have happened to countless groups of people ... so why are we the only ones who are told that we should be able to get over it?!!?? Although, let's face it, it's mostly Caucasians that utter this obsurdity, they are not the only ones. I have heard more than a few black people say the same thing! For conservatives, it seems to be some sort of battle cry or something!! Sheeesh!!

But has anybody suggested to the Jews that they "get over" the Holocoust? I don't think so!! Or hey, why doesn't the gov't. tell the Indians to "get over" that smallpox thing? Or the slaughtering/genocide thing? Or the I'm taking your land and putting you in the desert thing??

Other tragedies have occurred right here at home. How would Americans (and especially White Americans) feel to be told to "just get over" Pearl Harbor? The men we lost needlessly in Vietnam or any other war?? Or our most recent heartbreak, 9/11?? Get over it? Like it's a headache or something!!

Is there a time limit on the pain and suffering caused by the devastating impact of an injustice such as slavery, jim crow or the governmental denial of basic civil and human rights? Is anybody else asked to "get over" the tragedies that have befallen them as a people? Or is it just Black people who are not only asked but expected to sweep their grievances under a rug??? mad

[This message was edited by EbonyRose on September 11, 2002 at 08:56 PM.]
 
 BLACK by NATURE, PROUD by CHOICE.
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Original Post
I understand your frustration. People like to shove certain issues 'under the rug' for convenience. But the lump will keep getting better until we do something about it.
Yes, I agree with you 100% EbonyRose. I tell you what, I used to have a white roomate and we discussed this stuff all the time. The same attitude of whites in the 1960's have been passed down to their grandchildren. With the market saavy of white nationalists, they perpetuate these attitudes to the masses of whites. The majority of whites think that their people have done our people such a big favor by giving us civil rights, rights that we should've had by virtue of being born in this country. But we were written out in the very constitution itself!
No I can't get over it and if we aren't careful we might find ourselves in the situation we were in during the 1960's if not before.

Those people in the White House won't even pass resolution HR 40 which would INVESTIGATE slavery, Jim Crowe and possible reparations. This has been on the table for 10 years! Placed there by Rep. John Conyers (D. Mich).

Let's face the facts, there is a museum in DC for the Jewish Holocost. A horror that happened over in Germany a whole ocean away. Not saying that it shouldn't be remembered, but 80 million black african people were brought over here during the slave trade and at the end of slavery 1865 there were only 20 million black people in the entire Western hemisphere (Norht, Central, South American and the caribbean)! The rest were killed, thrown overboard to sharks, beaten to death, committed sucide, etc. Don't feel guilty about it, just remember most whites are ignorant anyway to things that don't come in their frame of reference.

Yssys

You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.
Malcolm X, 1965
Try telling these Georgia red necks to just"get over the confederate flag" and see the reaction you'll get!

Hell no, I don't think we should just"get over it"!
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Ebony Rose,

Get Over It, because reparations for slavery will not happen today or anytime in the future!

In reality, the possibility of receiving reparations for slavery is between slim and none.

However, there are other avenues to receive redress, regarding very serious atrocities concerning violations of law against the truly law abiding of inner-city Black America and beyond, that are possible to achieve in the year 2002. Unfortunately, the legal community of Black America, the pseudo elected leadership, and apathy on the part of the community of Black America itself insure "Unequal Justice and Protection Under the Law". Many of these individuals, who have deceive, mis-represented, under-represented, and/or refuse to competently represent truly law abiding U.S. citizes of African/Black/Negro American heritage are affiliated with the Democratic Party, to which by and large the unintelligent registered voters of Black America continue to support misfits even if it "Kills or insures abject poverty" within the community of Black America.

Chase after reparations for the vestibule of Slavery past all you like, but I'm willing to bet that you are wasting your time and energy. The killing of Black people by other Black people over the years, has consumed as many if not more innocent lives than all the Black people who have died as a result of slavery within the U.S.

In addition, Black people have been enslaved by other Black people, both in the U.S. and within the continent of Africa. This being said the perpetrators of wrongdoing to enlave Black people include more than just Caucasian America, which make it exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to hold Caucasian America solely responsible for this very serious set of human violations.

Sincerely,

Michael Lofton

[This message was edited by Lofton on November 25, 2002 at 05:59 AM.]
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I couldn't help but offer an opposing view. wink

quote:
Originally posted by Lofton:

The killing of Black people by other Black people over the years, has consumed as many if not more innocent lives than all the Black people who have died as a result of slavery within the U.S.


Combining those lost in the middle passage and here, some estimate that 100,000,000 of our people lost their lives through slavery. Although your point about crime within our community is well taken, I'm not sure, respectfully, whether it is true or how it is relevant to a discussion of reparations.

quote:
In addition, Black people have been enslaved by other Black people, both in the U.S. and within the continent of Africa.


How does this impact the conversation about the injury that former slaves received here in America, and whether reparations is an appropirate redress?

quote:
This being said the perpetrators of wrongdoing to enlave Black people include more than just Caucasian America, which make it exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to hold Caucasian America solely responsible for this very serious set of human violations.


As you may have read in the past, my view of reparations is strictly about paying the families of former slaves for the lost wages of their forebears. It's not about getting an award because of maltreatment. In this way, race (both white and black) is merely an inconsequential fact of trivia. I don't hold white America responsible for slavery. I hold the United States Government responsible. Big Difference.

The United States economy and government received the benefit of illegal/free labor for hundreds of years. Slavery and it's legacy continue to unfairly subsidize the American standard of living. The government caused severe injury and damage to a specific group of American families and now is in a position to make ammends for that injury. The very same government that caused the injury can now, at least partially, "make it up to" the very same families that were injured.

Why is this wrong?

Onward and Upward!
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NO we shouldn't get over it, its part of our history and one that should not be forgotten. Now with that said, what I think we should do is not using it as an excuse for everything that ails our community. We have supposely higly educated people blaming all the ills of our community on the past legacy of slavery, yet the very existence of these highly educated people with various degrees invalidates the very notion that slavery has crippled us from moving forward, that we will continue to be victims of our past.
Are is it that selected members of our community are so how insulated from the legacy and thus are free to move forward and upward while the others of the group are somehow predisposed to suffer the ill effects and legacy of slavery and are left behind.

And why is it that these same highly educated people fail to look around and see their black peers and not realize that the basic for their belief is based more on emotion of the legacy of slavery versus the fact that for millions of blacks we have moved forward and upward from that legacy.

Just my Throughts.

[This message was edited by jazzdog on November 25, 2002 at 08:56 AM.]
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quote:
Originally posted by jazzdog:

We have supposely higly educated people blaming all the ills of our community on the past legacy of slavery, yet the very existence of these highly educated people with various degrees invalidates the very notion that slavery has crippled us from moving forward, that we will continue to be victims of our past.


Jazzdog - this is not a black or white (pardon the pun) issue. It is not a discrete, binary equation that says that there are only either two states: success or failure - and that the presence of any success definitively rules out any conditions that could in any way cause failure. Of course there is achievemment in our community. Can you deny that this is DESPITE the hostile environment that we live in as opposed to because we live in a warm and fuzzy one? Think what our community would have achieved had we not had to "swim upstream" for generations. White folks surf with the current. We swim upstream. It makes a big difference.

For me, reparations is about replacing what we would have earned/built had we not had to face the legal/cultural/societal "drag" that white America put in front of us. No one is blaming anyone for anything. Please reread that sentence. I do have a problem with white America for what they have at others' expense, not of their own efforts or talents, and because they either crafted the law, or broke it, to suit their ends. When is white America going to stop looking to the societal "handouts" that they've created for themselves and just compete and win or lose based upon their merits?

Robert Johnson is a billionaire. Good for him. If as a result of racism and discrimination he, in reality should be a trillionaire as a result of his talents and efforts - then I think he deserves what he is due. Our forbears were denied their earnings and the right to the American dream for hundreds of years. Had we had the right to education, to earn a living, to buy property, to pass wealth down to our children - since 1619 when we were dragged here - don't you think our community would be in a different place now?

Onward and Upward!
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jazzdog,

I agree with you completely.

MBM, the question about reparations is, how will you convince the TAXPAYER that they have to pay for this. You can talk about the government will pay which is what most people do, but where does the government get all of it's money?? How will this money change the state of affairs in the black community at large??? It might help a little, but more will come from personal responsiblity.

quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
Combining those lost in the middle passage and here, some estimate that 100,000,000 of our people lost their lives through slavery. Although your point about crime within our community is well taken, I'm not sure, respectfully, whether it is true or how it is relevant to a discussion of reparations.



100 million seems to be quite large, I thought it was more in the neighborhood of 10 million. I don't think the worlds population hit 1 billion until after slavery ended here. I could be wrong though. But most of the slaves that were lost in the middle passage were en-route to Brazil which ended slavery in 1888. Brazil was unlike the US in that it did not "grow" it's slave population. Places like Brazil and some in the Caribbean had to continually import slaves from Africa. The importation of slaves into the United States ended in the very early 1800's, so the growth of the slave population was through it's own perpetuation, not by importation. Also, most of the slaves that were imported here were from the Caribbean, not Africa. So basically the middle passage point, though true would apply more to Brazil than it does to the US.

I don't think anyone is saying forget about slavery. That's assinine. But what reparations opposers are saying is that you cannot change the past, but we can work for a better future. Reaparations will never happen, so it is better to focus energy on things that can happen, not on something that will not.

If anybody has a valid plan on how to convince the majority of whites, Asians, "Hispanics", and others that their tax money will fund reparations, I would like to hear it.

That Japanase reparations issue is like comparing apples to peanut butter. There are still Japanese that were affected by the enternment camps alive today. I think there would've been opposition if the descendants of these people wanted reaparations because their grand parents were in these camps.

I do agree that blacks were promised a bill of goods after slavery that was not delivered. Would things be better had it been delivered?? Perhaps. But we cannot change this. Let's not forget, but at the sametime, let's look to the future and what can be done so it is better for us all.
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Do you agree with everything that your tax dollars fund? Did you have anything to do with putting the Japanese in camps during WW2? Your tax dollars paid for that. Do you agree with the impending war on Iraq? I'd venture to say that very little of what the government spends money on would be resoundly supported by all of America.

This isn't about personal accountability or responsibility. It's about the government stepping up to plate, acknowledging that it committed grievous crimes, and doing the right thing about it. Now - the "right thing" is ususally not the popular thing. It's easy to be unethical and immoral. It's much harder to stand for something and to discipline yourself based upon principle.

Re: your point about the Japanese. IM - you've talked about your proud family history. We all have family histories. The very same families that were aggrieved in slavery are here in 2002. The very same families. The very same government.


Onward and Upward!
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MBM,

I think that they are varying degrees of success and that you are right it is not strictly black and white but mixed with shades of gray. But my comments were directed toward the obivious fact that we have a large and growing middle and upper middle class social group in this country. Now that does not invalidate the fact that there are also a growing number of poor and working poor in this country. There are number of things that one could point to, to highlight the differences between those two groups some of them being education, where you live, access to opportunity and just plan old luck. However, what I was trying to get across was that the ills of slavery are not one of those factors, and if one wanted to prove that there were, they would also have to demostrate why alot of us have not fallen victim to that legacy.

I hope that I didn't implied my throughts on reparations but simply my ideas on the issue on the legacy of slavery and how purports to impact us today.
quote:
Originally posted by jazzdog:

I was trying to get across was that the ills of slavery are not one of those factors, and if one wanted to prove that there were, they would also have to demostrate why alot of us have not fallen victim to that legacy.



Here's something to think about. Africans came to this country in 1619. Up until 30 or so years ago, we were largely prevented from owning property - which is the single greatest vehicle for wealth creation in this country. Whites, of course, have been earning and investing and buying property freely. They have also been passing property and other wealth down to successive generations for hundreds of years. We have not.

Today, there is a significant average family net worth disparity between white families and black families. A good portion of this comes from the fact that black home ownership, while rising, is significantly below that of white families. Even after slavery, red lining - which was a part of the Black Codes and other laws that denied blacks rights after reconstruction, was a major factor at keeping blacks from the very tool that can pull the poor up into the middle class.

I post this as an illustration of how slavery and discrimination have had a direct economic impact on black America today. With greater wealth comes greater access to health care and education and entrepreneurial and investment opportunity. We own more of our neighborhoods and our over-all standard of living and health is higher and crime rates are lower, disease and health problems are lower etc., etc., etc.

Also - re: success within our community - no one people are equal in all aspects. Some blacks have had greater historic opportunity, some greater resources, some greater innate skills and ability. All these naturally impact "success". IMO - slavery and discrimination have held all of us back, but to varying degrees based upon our personal circumstances. Again, we're all swimming up stream. Some of us are just stronger swimmers than others, but we are all faced with an oncoming current. The house slave who was taught to read and earned a few dollars here and there before EP entered freedom in a far better place than the slave who did not have those advantages. It makes a difference.

Onward and Upward!
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While I agreed that slavery and discrimination have had an economic impact on blacks in this country. What about intergration? There are those who would said that intergration hindered black america's growth in that while we were seperate from white america, we developed our own banks, stores, we had our own doctors and lawyers. That for all purposes life in black america mirrored white america the only difference was that we had our own communities and they had theirs. And that in intergrating with mainstream white america we lost that drive to succeed on our own merits and by our own hands. I'm sure how everybody has heard of Harlem in its heyday when it was one of the most properous communities in america black or white and that only today is it returning to its rich paste. Did intergration destroy that or was it something else.

I'm curious as to your thoroughts and anybody else's if they want to join in.
In principle MBM is right:

quote:
The United States economy and government received the benefit of illegal/free labor for hundreds of years. Slavery and it's legacy continue to unfairly subsidize the American standard of living. The government caused severe injury and damage to a specific group of American families and now is in a position to make ammends for that injury. The very same government that caused the injury can now, at least partially, "make it up to" the very same families that were injured.

Why is this wrong?


However, I don't think reparations will ever happen, if it does, great but I'm not sure if we as a black community should invest much of our political capital and energy on reparations.

The fight for reparations is just and should press on.

But, what about other issues, we have so many systemic matters to work on as a community, regarding family, education, economic development, political representation, cultural enhancements.
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Hello Mr. IndependentMan, Mr. MBM, Mr. jazzdog, Mr. JuneBug, and all others,

"MBM, the question about reparations is, how will you convince the TAXPAYER that they have to pay for this. You can talk about the government will pay which is what most people do, but where does the government get all of it's money?? How will this money change the state of affairs in the black community at large??? It might help a little, but more will come from personal responsiblity.

I don't think anyone is saying forget about slavery. That's assinine. But what reparations opposers are saying is that you cannot change the past, but we can work for a better future. Reaparations will never happen, so it is better to focus energy on things that can happen, not on something that will not.

If anybody has a valid plan on how to convince the majority of whites, Asians, "Hispanics", and others that their tax money will fund reparations, I would like to hear it."

That Japanase reparations issue is like comparing apples to peanut butter. There are still Japanese that were affected by the enternment camps alive today. I think there would've been opposition if the descendants of these people wanted reaparations because their grand parents were in these camps.

I do agree that blacks were promised a bill of goods after slavery that was not delivered. Would things be better had it been delivered?? Perhaps. But we cannot change this. Let's not forget, but at the sametime, let's look to the future and what can be done so it is better for us all. by Mr. IndependentMan


Well said. It is a waste of time and energy to achieve a cause of action that is impossible to reach. Reparations for slavery is a "Dead Issue". There are numerous avenues to seek redress for the wrongs of government that are well within the possible that have occured during contemporary times. This being said, although the wrath of slavery will forever be a part of our history, seeking reparations for it is a lost cause. Like you state, conflicting issues of who is going to be responsible for payment, and who will be specified to receive payment will only further compound the problem to successfully receive so much as a dime in compensation for the vestibule of slavery past.

Directly from the U.S Constitution, Amendment XIV, Section 4, specifically states with regard to any payment of public debt "But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void."

The United States Constitution is the Supreme Law of the U.S. Amendment XIV, Section 4, still carries weight because it has yet to be amended or repealed. There you have it, plain and simple reparations for slavery will not be shouldered by the U.S. government. It is not how an individual would wish things to be, but rather what legal recourse do you have to pursuit your interests to make things happen. In the interest of reparations there is no legal recourse, period, period, period, as defined by the U.S. Constitution which is the Supreme law of the U.S.

In so many words the U.S. Constitution states, that compensation for slavery will not be paid by the U.S. government, be it for any slave, any slave owner. Should this same trend of thought or writing be expanded, the same can be used to deny such compensation to any decendent of any slave or slave owner.

Those who choose to continue this pursuit of receiving so much as a dime for reparations will only waste time and effort that could or should be spent achieving the possible over the impossible.

Sincerely,

Michael Lofton

[This message was edited by Lofton on November 25, 2002 at 02:20 PM.]
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quote:
Originally posted by Lofton:

Those who choose to continue this pursuit of receiving so much as a dime for reparations will only waste time and effort that could or should be spent achieving the possible over the impossible.



I have yet to hear an argument that refutes the specifics of a position in favor of reparations in compensation for past unpaid wages to families that suffered from slavery and discrmination from the U.S. government.

I have also never suggested that reparations is a panacea.

Onward and Upward!
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quote:
Originally posted by JuneBug:

But, what about other issues, we have so many systemic matters to work on as a community, regarding family, education, economic development, political representation, cultural enhancements.


You're absolutely right. But, do you think:

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

  • a fund creating scholarships for private schools, colleges, and vocational training

  • creating more and more valuable economic empowerment zones encouraging the start of new businesses

  • a venture capital fund designed to capitalize new businesses

  • a fund devoted to investing in the development of neighborhoods and communities

  • a fund designed to create more localized and better quality healthcare

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

    Wouldn't something like this (admittedly off the top of my head) directly address quite a few of the issues that we face?

    Onward and Upward!
  • I don't know where in my initial post you saw anything that might remotely have to do with reparations, but I can assure you, that subject is included no where in my statement!! eek

    Also, (and may I add, as usual) you went off into your "black folks killing black folks" and "violations of law against the truly law abiding of inner-city Black America and beyond" diatribe, and although I know you feel very strongly about these issues, I am truly bewildered as to why you think they have relevance on this issue.

    What I am speaking about is the societal viewpoint that anytime anything is asked for by Black people, and I am basically talking about basic civil rights, equality and justice, economic, educational, employment and housing fairness, etc. (not about reparations, but since you brought it up, you can throw that in the bucket as well!) Caucasions, primarily, want to divert and/or avoid and ignore the issue by trying to say that slavery happened so long ago that it's over with, it's in the past, and basically, that anything that happened so far in the past has no relevance!

    If you believe this, as well, then I have to ask you ... do you even understand the atrocities that were committed during the enslavement of Black people in this country? Can you even grasp the concept of rape, torture, murder, abuse, oppression, degradation, enslavement, discrimination, brutality or institutional racisim? You can pick any one of them you like, but they ALL happened as a whole to us as a people! How can your mind wrap around and embrace and accept that any of that is acceptable for anybody, anytime, anywhere?

    If you believe that the actions of a corrupt public official are more potent than the actions of beating a man to death in front of his family simply to make him submit to you just because the color of his skin is black and you feel he should, then your level of understanding is such that you will never "get it" and the expression of "get over it" of which I speak will never have meaning to you, because you have not yet arrived at the point where you have anything to get over!!

    roll eyes
    I, personally, do not subscribe to the belief that slavery should be used as an excuse for the plight of Black Americans, either. In fact, if you look at it real closely, I really don't see how such an argument can be made, let alone proven, due to the fact that we are an intelligent, resilient, and most remarkable race of people!! I've no doubt that had we not come here in chains and with the malicious intent of our oppressors to be broken in mind, body and spirit as we were, that our achievements and ideas and inventions would not have shown that much sooner than they did!! Even with the hideous oppression leveled upon us, our brilliance did and continues to this day to shine ... most obviously in those "highly-degreed" individuals which you speak of!

    However, I also don't believe that you can look at slavery and recognize it as the greatest crime against humanity that has ever existed, an atrocity against all that is moral and dignified .... yet with the same breath say that it is possible for it to lack relevance, or that you can "forget" that it happened, or that you can "get over it", or that the effect of something that is really quite undefinable, that is so horrifying in its scope is something that can somehow have a time limit, something that can eventually lose its effect and become a non-issue.

    It's not like the 16th Presidential election, where you can forget who won and by what margin. I'm sure at the time it was a big deal, but today, who really cares? Slavery had an impact on every single issue that had any relevance on the creation of this country ... from the Constitution on down. From the economic development to the social fabric of the citizenry, the institution of slavery impacted it. After all, it was government-sanctioned.

    What slavery did broke this country, and if something is broken it needs to be fixed. What slavery broke has not been fixed yet. It broke at the very Constitution that is supposed to make this country what it is. The question is how to do it. Not to pretend that it's all better just to avoid trying to resolve the matter and putting in the effort necessary to do so.

    Slavery has hindered the development of Black people. There is no way that it could not have. It did not break our spirit. It didn't break our determination. It did not break our ability to accomplish or excel. But it did/has stiffled our development as a race, and as citizens. The two cannot be separated. And that's why it will never be "gotten over"!!

    [This message was edited by EbonyRose on November 26, 2002 at 12:42 AM.]
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    Ebony Rose,

    "If you believe that the actions of a corrupt public official are more potent than the actions of beating a man to death in front of his family simply to make him submit to you just because the color of his skin is black and you feel he should, then your level of understanding is such that you will never "get it" and the expression of "get over it" of which I speak will never have meaning to you, because you have not yet arrived at the point where you have anything to get over!!"

    I believe I addressed this, in that violations of the nature you describe are current, serious, very illegal, to which the possibility of receiving redress is in fact possible, provided the individual who received such a beating, or any other form of criminal or civil wrongdoing is not a law violator his or herself.

    Should an individual use the reasoning that they were beat down because of their ethnicity as rational for seeking one dime in redress, then again the chance of winning so much as one dime in compensation for such serious violations of law and/or U.S. citizenship rights will be between slim and none.

    Maybe this is the problem. Instead of charging the perpetrator or perpetrators with assault, theft, fraud, attempted murder, etc., individuals such as yourself would prefer to state as their claim for redress, "Police officers beat down me because I'm Black", is the problem. Should any Black man or woman interfere with another's rights, you can be rest assured that the victim is not going to use, "He or she beat, stole, robbed, etc., me because I'm Caucasian or otherwise..." but rather the individual responsible will be indicted for the crime or civil wrong actually committed.

    Reparations on the other hand is not current, the possibility of receiving one dime in reparations for slavery from the government is between slim and none, because the U.S. Constitution make such a cause of action null and void. Go ahead. Try to collect your reparations, and I'm willing to bet you will leave the earth without so much as a dime for your effort.

    Sincerely,

    Michael Lofton
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    Taking a step out of the fury of debate, Ide like to tender an equation of my own!

    Hell NO WE BETTER NEVER JUST GET OVER IT!!! Are you crazy the one binding between us, as tragic as it is is our common suffering!!! and NEED for renumeration not redressing!

    1st Africa was robbed of countless generations of humans, genetics and families so the loss to our HOMELAND is staggering 100,000,000 calculated for American bound Africans to be slaves

    2nd NO ONE takes into account that America was one of many slave ports!, That makes this an INTERNATIONAL CRIME!, not just and American governmental crime!

    3rd Reperations is not in our sights or in our reach because of our own vision of self. Why should we get money from the US to give it back to them in, a Bling Bling Spending spree.

    4th Any renumeration should be aimed at the development of AFRICA in phases as to increase our own personal INVESTMENT in a VIABLE self designed market place and people(US).

    5th All this aside the reason we are urged to "just get over it!" is because we are still the worlds BUMS, free loading off white america, we are the slaves let loose and the same slaves who decided to stay on and learn to love their killers, beg their killers to educate their children, beg their killers for the right to vote for another white killer for the white house!, what slaves ever in history stayed on and helped defend their slavers and continue to work for his cause!? TRUE SLAVES, thats who, TRUE SLAVES TO THE BONE.

    So why would some not care of our past accomplishments globally(and discredit us) and our destruction by slavery?, because we sit here and beg on our knees for scraps and debate the lesser of the white boys evils

    Get over it!!!, is right, get over it like Mike jackson, get over it like OJ and marry a white woman, get over it like Colin and goto Africa as an American and not a Grandson GET OVER IT if you have the guts to forget the middle passage, get over it if Ude rather vote than act for self
    G E T O V E R IT!!!

    Peace Love Light----->FIGHTING OVER IT!
    Khem Saqa
    In the memory of those before us, with us and those to come!!
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    Whether or not reparations are ever paid, has absolutely no bearing on the reality that they are owed.

    Say what you want to. The fact still remains that a grevious wrong was committed, and no redress, compensation or even so much as an apology for it has been forthcoming.

    Whether it does or not is NOT the wrong here. That something as horrendous as slavery ever happened IS. That the government that sanctioned it refuses to acknowledge that IS. That they don't even have the guTs to apologize for something so sick just to try to allieviate a financial burden IS.

    And it's a shame that you really can't see that.
    Ebony Rose,

    "Say what you want to. The fact still remains that a grevious wrong was committed, and no redress, compensation or even so much as an apology for it has been forthcoming."

    It is not what I say that matters, but rather the legality of it, meaning unless the U.S. Constitution pertaining to the fourteenth amendment is repealed or revised, all the lobbying, marching, shouting, spending, effort or otherwise on earth to pursuit reparations for slavery will not make any difference.

    In the United States of America, court decisions are rendered on the rule of law, case law, and not according to an individual's feelings, wishes, dreams, etc.

    This excerpt is taken directly from the U.S Constitution, Amendment XIV, Section 4. The excerpt is as follows:

    ....with regard to any payment of public debt "But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void."

    The United States Constitution is the Supreme Law of the U.S., meaning federal laws take precedence over any state, county, or city legislation.

    In so many words the U.S. Constitution states, compensation for slavery will not be paid by the U.S. government, be it for any slave, any slave owner. Should this same trend of thought or writing be expanded, the same can be used to deny such compensation to any decendent of any slave or slave owner.

    Getting angry with me will not move you any closer to your goal. Should you have the clout or connections to change the meaning and wording of the 14th amendment, Section 4, then there just may be a possibility to realize reparations for slavery.

    I'm not wasting my energy on this path that will not happen today or anytime in the future unless the laws, namely the U.S. Constitution are repealed or revised, to which such an endeavor has a very slim chance of happening. Black people alone do not have the political clout, numbers, and/or mutual goals to achieve this end. Other ethnic groups will not support this cause for reparations for slavery, because it does not benefit them in any regard.

    Knock yourself out. Be your own guest. Waste your time, and energy. Redress for reparations for slavery will not materialize. Some dreams come true, but this is one dream that has yet to come true, and the cause for reparations will not become a reality be it today, tomorrow, next year, or one hundred years from now.

    Sincerely,

    Michael Lofton

    [This message was edited by Lofton on November 26, 2002 at 07:25 PM.]
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    Mr. MBM,

    Leaving this topic of reparations, here is recent litigation to show or prove that the court system is no joke. Should anyone seek redress for any legitimate grievance, be it as an individual, group of individuals, and/or an organization:

    A. Valid evidence must exist and must be presented to prove the claim or argument(s).

    B. The plaintiff(s) must law abiding.

    C. In the event witnesses are used as supportive evidence the witnesses must be credible.

    D. Be it as a plaintiff or a defendant, the chance of winning is between slim and none should one lack competent representation.

    E. The claim or litigation must be timely and properly filed.

    F. Anyone who thinks otherwise will have their claim or case rejected, and rightfully so.


    82 Rampart Cases Rejected for Lack of Evidence, Other Problems", D.A. says many would depend on the testimony of Perez and Durden, who aren't credible. By Scott Glover, Times Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, part B, November 26, 2002

    The information above is current, to which the chances for redress are very possible, should the circumstances be supporting by facts, competent representation, etc.

    Reparations for the vestibule of Slavery on the other hand, will be exceedingly difficult to achieve or prove, because the witnesses are dead, many of the witnesses decendants are dead, many facts to prove criminal wrongdoing and/or intent don't exist, and/or the present laws, namely the U.S. Constitution, do not support this end.

    Should the effort of Black America concentrate on the atrocities of today over those of over one hundred fifty years ago, as it pertains to this mission impossible reparations cause, vs. the many instances of unwarranted or illegal police abuse, illegal incarceration of the innocent, wrongful death, unwarranted or illegal property damage, family destruction of many truly law abiding families of Black America, the chance of victory, and the monetary awards will be more than enough to compensate Black America for the wrongs of slavery past.

    Sincerely,

    Michael Lofton

    [This message was edited by Lofton on November 26, 2002 at 08:48 PM.]
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    As valid as your argument is and without, in any way, trying to contradict the substantive evidence of your statment, there are two points in fact in the statement here that I am trying to make.

    #1 is that it is not a major sticking point with me whether or not reparations get paid. It's not like I would trust the government to keep it's word even if it gave it!! I mean, if I thought that, there are how many black farmers in this country that could justifiably laugh in my face and ask me when I had taken leave of my senses!! To tell you the truth, an admission of guilt would be as sweet to me as the payment for the undeniable wrong that was commited .. because, let's face it that's about all one can ask for and reasonably expect to get from the decendents of the same people that found nothing wrong with it in the first place! eek eek

    My point is: Black people are owed reparations for the undisputedly inhuman act of slavery. Period. Whether the government is honorable enough to pay them is a whole other discussion!

    #2 - As far as the soverenty of the Constitution ... well, we need to go back no farther than the 2000 Presidential elections to see that changing it -- whether by repeal, revise, or just the plain old whim of the current Commander-in-Chief -- is really not that difficult!! Hell, Bush is stepping on it and smashing it into the ground and reviving it into his own image of what it should be daily!! He is living proof that the "government" can do what it wants, when it wants, and how it wants! It's "we the people" that have no power to bend the Constitution to our will!

    But if you want to go back, let's look at the Declaration of Independence, shall we?? The very document that started it all was based on a lie. You are familiar with the "all men were created equal," part, right? And the "every man is entitled to the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" -- yada, yada, yada -- part, don't you?" Well, claiming that we weren't (hu)man didn't make it true, and as such Black people were indeed entitled to all rights as they were extended by the Constitution!! But we all know the actual end result of that!! roll eyes

    It is also the law of the land that there shall be redress, compensation and punishment for wrongs committed against it's citizens. The gov't shouldn't have to be sued to pay the reparations owed to the African-America citizenry. It should be trying to make the proper restitution on it's own to compensate for it's part in the crime!! eek But, that's another sad story!

    Your argument was eloquently put, and the validity of it is unchallenged. But if I were not watching my Constitutional rights being head-slammed into the nearest brick wall with each passing day, you might be able to convince me that the whole reparations thing is just a pipe dream. But, fickleness of the Caucasion powers that be in this country has always been substantial, and if they can be convinced that we don't have tails and swing from trees in our spare time, (although if it weren't for scientific proof that may still be a difficult task!!) then pretty much anything is possible!
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    EbonyRose,

    "It is also the law of the land that there shall be redress, compensation and punishment for wrongs committed against it's citizens. The gov't shouldn't have to be sued to pay the reparations owed to the African-America citizenry. It should be trying to make the proper restitution on it's own to compensate for it's part in the crime!! But, that's another sad story!"

    Indeed, the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, "...no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall property be taken for public use, without just compensation." However a government entity fights to keep, maintain, and/or hold its assets, just as any individual or business organization does. This is why it is imperative that our own elected representatives, as it pertains to the elected officials of Black America, competently serve our community.

    It is not in the best interest of any other ethnic group to be the first to step up to the plate in the best interest of Black America, especially where Black people stand to gain, and the individuals who stand to lose assets are Caucasian, Hispanic, Korean, Arab, Chinese, Japanese, etc. Civil rights protections are provincialistic in nature, based on consanguinity, meaning each ethnic must strive to protect their own best interest first and foremost, because it is not in the best interest of any other group to be the first to risk a life, limb, fortunes and/or pursuit of happiness for the sole benefit of any other ethnic group.

    This being said the typical Black elected officials have in fact betrayed our community, because many of these individuals bend over backwards to serve every other community but the community of Black America that voted them into the position of elected representative.

    Be it an individual, a group of individuals, an organization, a group of organizations, or the government, not a one these individuals or entities is going to hand over owned assets without a fight. Unless left with no other option, in that it would be less painful should the conflict be settled out of court, would be one of the few times assets change hands without civil lawsuit for damages, and/or criminal prosecution.

    To think that assets or other property rights belonging to another are going to be handed over without resistance equates to the mentality of a "typical welfare recipient". Even when clear violations of law are committed, the perpetrators will not own up to civil or criminal wrongdoing unless forced to do so, via civil lawsuit for damages and/or criminal prosecution, through evidence that convicts them beyond reasonable doubt, by the parties in pursuit of equity.

    More so than not, the court system, be it criminal or civil, is used to resolve a dispute, to which the victor gains assets or is released of all obligation connected with the dispute, and loser(s) must give up assets, serve jail time, and/or be subjected to the whims of a probation officer, depending on the circumstances.

    Sincerely,

    Michael Lofton

    [This message was edited by Lofton on November 26, 2002 at 11:12 PM.]
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    Correction: "It is not in the best interest of any other ethnic group to be the first to step up to the plate in the best interest of Black America, especially where Black people stand to gain, and the individuals who stand to lose assets are Caucasian, Hispanic, Korean, Arab, Chinese, Japanese, etc. Civil rights protections are provincialistic in nature, based on consanguinity, meaning each ethnic group must strive to protect their own best interest first and foremost, because it is not in the best interest of any other group to be the first to risk a life, limb, fortunes and/or pursuit of happiness for the sole benefit of any other ethnic group."

    MLL
    quote:
    Originally posted by IndependentMan:
    quote:
    Originally posted by MBM:_
    Combining those lost in the middle passage and here, some estimate that 100,000,000 of our people lost their lives through slavery. Although your point about crime within our community is well taken, I'm not sure, respectfully, whether it is true or how it is relevant to a discussion of reparations.
    _


    100 million seems to be quite large, I thought it was more in the neighborhood of 10 million. I don't think the worlds population hit 1 billion until after slavery ended here. I could be wrong though.


    No, you're right; MBM is wrong. A lot of black folks who argue for reparations from an emotional standpoint end up pulling arbitrary and ridiculous numbers out of their asses to make their point. I call it the "just keep adding zeroes school of African mathematics." Add a harmless zero and that 4 million slaves becomes 40 million slaves. Add another and it's 400 million slaves and so on. The possibilities are infinite, especially when you need to get your point across in true marxist-revisionist fashion.
    No, you're right; MBM is wrong. A lot of black folks who argue for reparations from an emotional standpoint end up pulling arbitrary and ridiculous numbers out of their asses to make their point.---EgberSouse

    Speaking of emotion and anal extraction...

    Your post on the 'ethic' issue of reparation, your selection of 1850 for defining/demonstrating economic impact was at the very least ill-informed, and delivered with a lot of emotion.

    I repeat.

    Do you have a better year for examination?


    PEACE

    Jim Chester
    quote:
    Originally posted by EgbertSouse:
    quote:
    Originally posted by IndependentMan:
    quote:
    Originally posted by MBM:_
    Combining those lost in the middle passage and here, some estimate that 100,000,000 of our people lost their lives through slavery. Although your point about crime within our community is well taken, I'm not sure, respectfully, whether it is true or how it is relevant to a discussion of reparations.
    _


    100 million seems to be quite large, I thought it was more in the neighborhood of 10 million. I don't think the worlds population hit 1 billion until after slavery ended here. I could be wrong though.


    No, you're right; MBM is wrong. A lot of black folks who argue for reparations from an emotional standpoint end up pulling arbitrary and ridiculous numbers out of their asses to make their point. I call it the "just keep adding zeroes school of African mathematics." Add a harmless zero and that 4 million slaves becomes 40 million slaves. Add another and it's 400 million slaves and so on. The possibilities are infinite, especially when you need to get your point across in true marxist-revisionist fashion.


    First, if you have read anything of the hundreds of posts that I have on the topic, you'd know that there is little that is "emotional" about my position on this. In fact, a primary purpose of my position is to remove as much of the emotion from the debate as possible. As such, for example, I have called for the reparations argument to remove the concept of collecting for the equivalent of "pain and suffering" from the debate.

    Second, there are plenty of historians who argue that there were 100 million Africans lost - not just through the entire institution of slavery - but in the Middle Passage alone. Spend some time on Google; there's plenty data to sift through which suggests this.

    Third, what is the point of your position/post? What purpose of yours does it serve to minimize the impact of slavery? Why is this your objective here?

    Fourth, I always think it curious that when black folks talk about slavery their position is dismissed/minimized by arguments like ES's suggesting that the position is "emotional". On the other hand, I have NEVER seen a serious article describing the plight of the Jews as "emotional". Tragedy is tragedy and I certainly do not seek to minimize the plight of the Jews (or anyone), but the Holocaust does not compare to slavery in terms of its over-all impact and the degree of the crime committed. Yet Jews are not dismissed in the way you attempt to do here.

    Fifth, ES - it is humorous that you attempt to defend something which has no defense. You've done it before, so it does not surprise me. But please tell me what is "Marxist" or "revisionist" about what I have said? Perhaps that is your feeble attempt to denigrate the position, since you apparently have no capacity to argue against it on the facts. Too bad. downT

    Apparently you are OK with the US government stealing people and labor for hundreds of years merely for the purpose of lining its pockets with greater profits. Yet it is somehow Marxist to seek payment for that labor which subsidized the standard of living for the nation? You are OK with the free ride that America has gotten from slavery? That's OK? How is this a morally or ethically defensible position?
    Last edited {1}
    Obviously, someone (Egbert Souse) is trying to diminish the number of African slaves that arrived to the New World. Now they say that 11 million slaves were brought to the Americas. The 11 million were the ones that SURVIVED the trip here. Tens of million more perished, but no one is admitting to that tragedy.
    quote:
    Originally posted by MBM:

    ...there are plenty of historians who argue that there were 100 million Africans lost - not just through the entire institution of slavery - but in the Middle Passage alone. Spend some time on Google; there's plenty data to sift through which suggests this.


    MBM,

    Yeah, "plenty of historians" - probably all of them black - and not one with any familiarity whatsoever with maritime history and tradition. Heck, I'll bet none of them can even swim!

    There's no way on this earth the puny, wind-powered sailing vessels of the slave trading era could have made that many trans-Atlantic voyages and laden-on-board that much human cargo to even get close to your wacky 100 million Africans figure. Only a landlubber such as yourself (and these so-called Afrocentric historians) could even posit such a ridiculous number.

    Besides, as the earlier poster stated, the human population of the ENTIRE earth had not yet reached one billion by the end of the U.S. Civil War. Your crazy 100 million slave captives number would have left the whole African continent devoid of humanity. We know that didn't happen, as the majority of slaves shipped to the Americas were sold by the African slave traders and chiefs of several west African kingdoms, mainly Senegal, Ghana, Benin and Dahomey.

    As for the rest of your arguments, I refer you to the following:

    http://www.weirdrepublic.com/episode23.htm

    This author sums up my feelings on the crazy notion of slavery reparations to a tee. If you dare to read him, you might learn something.

    Finally, in the last chapter of his autobiography, Malcolm X laments:

    "Since the Civil War's 'freedom,' the black man has gone down so many fruitless paths."

    Regretfully, I happen to think the current movement for slavery reparations is simply another "fruitless path."
    Funny how you think blacks can't be informed and dispassionate about slavery but whites can! Whites at this point have certainly much more to protect and to gain in the form of their own fragile sense of morality than do descendants of slaves.

    Finally, with regard to your last comment, thankfully, the effort for reparations does not hinge upon either your efforts, support, or intellect. No doubt you would have been with the sorry folks who told blacks that they shouldn't seek equal rights either.
    Last edited {1}
    quote:
    Originally posted by MBM:

    Finally, with regard to your last comment, thankfully, the effort for reparations does not hinge upon either your efforts, support, or intellect. No doubt you would have been with the sorry folks who told blacks that they shouldn't seek equal rights either.
    All of which is based on emotional sentiments.

    What silly White (and Black) people consider "fruitless" about Reparations is nothing but the emotional discomfort with the idea of what Reparations will do. That is, what would Reparations elicit in the emotional attitudes of Whites and how, presumably, will Blacks be effected by the way Whites respond to it.

    Matter of fact, the whole argument against Reparations is fashioned around the way Whites respond to it now and would respond to it when it comes to fruition. And all that speaks of is the fragile state of Whites emotional stability and how we should be scared to upset that.

    Opponents of Reparations have no logical arguments. All of their arguments are based on emotion-based rationales with no regard to the lgical dictates of what justice is. They want to circumvent justice to their own ends. Somebody needs to tell them that we don't approach this situation out of fear and we are not afraid... They are.
    quote:
    Originally posted by EgbertSouse:
    quote:
    Originally posted by MBM:

    ...there are plenty of historians who argue that there were 100 million Africans lost - not just through the entire institution of slavery - but in the Middle Passage alone. Spend some time on Google; there's plenty data to sift through which suggests this.


    MBM,

    Yeah, "plenty of historians" - probably all of them black - and not one with any familiarity whatsoever with maritime history and tradition. Heck, I'll bet none of them can even swim!

    There's no way on this earth the puny, wind-powered sailing vessels of the slave trading era could have made that many trans-Atlantic voyages and laden-on-board that much human cargo to even get close to your wacky 100 million Africans figure. Only a landlubber such as yourself (and these so-called Afrocentric historians) could even posit such a ridiculous number.

    Besides, as the earlier poster stated, the human population of the ENTIRE earth had not yet reached one billion by the end of the U.S. Civil War. Your crazy 100 million slave captives number would have left the whole African continent devoid of humanity. We know that didn't happen, as the majority of slaves shipped to the Americas were sold by the African slave traders and chiefs of several west African kingdoms, mainly Senegal, Ghana, Benin and Dahomey.

    As for the rest of your arguments, I refer you to the following:

    http://www.weirdrepublic.com/episode23.htm

    This author sums up my feelings on the crazy notion of slavery reparations to a tee. If you dare to read him, you might learn something.

    Finally, in the last chapter of his autobiography, Malcolm X laments:

    "Since the Civil War's 'freedom,' the black man has gone down so many fruitless paths."

    Regretfully, I happen to think the current movement for slavery reparations is simply another "fruitless path."


    If the land-locked African country of Rwanda can have a million dead Hutus and Tutsis in less than four MONTHS, I'm quite sure that it's possible for 100 million Africans be taken away from the continent for over 300 years. Averages up to 300,000 people a year! Slave-trading was a business! It wasn't just one slave company with one ship; there were many companies with SHIPS...MANY SHIPS. One ship could fill up to 300-400 people. Slavery was the 15th-18th century "dot-com" business. So, if you have 4 or 5 trading companies, each with an average of 10-50 ships filled with enshackled Africans (men, women [some pregnant] & children), and making more than one trip, (one-way trip from England/or the Caribbean to the African continent was 3 months) thenHELL YES it's possible for 100 million Africans can be snatched away.
    quote:
    Originally posted by EgbertSouse:

    As for the rest of your arguments, I refer you to the following:

    http://www.weirdrepublic.com/episode23.htm

    This author sums up my feelings on the crazy notion of slavery reparations to a tee. If you dare to read him, you might learn something.



    I'll not only "read him", I'll post his article here and refute each point - with glee.


    The Case Against Reparations

    Sometimes a bad idea is so pregnant with mischief that it compels our attention. One such idea is now propelling a movement to secure reparations for American slavery. The seeming simplicity of this plea is truly seductive. In skeletal form the argument looks like this: Once upon a time some white people enslaved some black people; the institution of American slavery robbed "the black community" of its inheritance; the long years of servitude produced enduring harmful consequences for "the black community"; reparations are necessary to make "the black community" whole once again. It sounds reasonable and it sounds moral, but is it? Is a reparations program workable? Would attempting to carry out such a plan cause more harm than good? As usual, the Devil is in the details.

    Before any wealth changes hands, these five questions must be answered with finality:
    1. At whose expense will reparations be paid?
    2. Who will receive the reparations?
    3. Who will administer the transfer of wealth?
    4. What will be the total cost?
    5. What will signal the end of all reparations payments forever?
    Let's look at these questions one by one.

    First, who pays the bill? Many people would say "the government", but the government has no wealth of its own to give away. The government does not own a single shop, or factory, or farm. The government gets its funds by seizing the earnings of its citizens under duress. So who would really pay? Perhaps all citizens without regard to their income? Only citizens earning above a certain amount? Only white citizens earning more than a certain amount? All white citizens regardless of whether their ancestors owned slaves? Only the descendants of slavemasters? Who would have the authority to decide who pays the bill?

    Because the notion of indebtedness is at the very heart of the reparations issue, the questions of who pays and who receives payment are inseparable. So to answer question two we must resolve the matter of who is worthy of receiving the debt payment. Will the debt be paid to all black people now living in America, to what is loosely called "the black community", on the assumption that all blacks have been equally disadvantaged by the legacy of slavery? Or will the payout exclude those blacks who came to America voluntarily seeking The Land of Opportunity? Will prosperous black folks get a cut? Will the payouts be confined to only the descendants of slaves? Perhaps individual black people would be excluded from the program altogether, with all the wealth being funneled into black institutions to fund "good works".

    Every potential compulsory donor and every potential recipient will have a strong opinion about the worthiness of his claim to inclusion or exemption. The potential for acrimony and bitter name calling is beyond imagination. Historians will join the debate to clarify points of American and slave history. The result will be an even deeper confusion. The first casualty will be the notion that slavery, even American slavery, was a simple black-and-white racist institution.

    White folks did not invent slavery; they didn't even invent slavery in America. American Indian tribes were practicing slavery long before Columbus waded ashore. The Atlantic slave trade began in earnest in the seventeenth century when some Dutch merchants hatched the idea of sailing down to Africa to buy a boatload of Negroes, who would then be transported to the West Indies where they would be traded for molasses. The molasses would then be sold in Europe for a profit. Then the process would be repeated. The Dutchmen went to Africa because that's where the slave markets were. The African and Arab slave merchants had been open for business for centuries before the Dutchmen arrived. Other European governments with colonies in the New World increased their use of African slave labor. Of the roughly 11 million slaves who reached the New World between the mid-1500s and the mid-1800s, only 4.5 percent (500,000) set foot in North America. Some historians estimate the number to be as low as 400,000. Either estimate is less than half the black population of a single American city, Chicago, spread out over two and a half centuries. A mere twenty-five years after the end of the Revolutionary War (less than half a human lifetime), the importation of slaves into the United States was declared illegal (1808). In fact, all the states had ended the importation of slaves by 1803. Superior living conditions in America resulted in an impressive two percent annual growth rate in the slave population with 50-plus births per 1000 population and only 30 deaths per thousand of the slave population. The effect of slave smuggling would have been cancelled by the roughly 15,000 slaves who were freed each year.

    In 1819 President James Monroe supported legislation to allow the creation of Liberia. In 1824 the capital city of the new colony was named after him: Monrovia. Very few slaves wanted to go to Liberia, even to gain their freedom. To this day almost no black people , free or slave, have evinced any desire to go to Africa. As strained as life could be living close to whites, they have always preferred it to this available alternative. Indeed, the trickle of black Americans emigrating to Africa is lost in the comparative tidal wave of black Africans seeking a better life in Europe and North America, especially Africans with advanced degrees who can find no market for their skills in Africa.

    The very existence of slavery kept the South economically backward. Because plantation businesses were immunized against fluctuations in labor costs, the South never felt any pressure to consolidate or mechanize or improve efficiency. The North invested in innovation to reduce costs while the South stagnated. The slaves were always there to answer any labor need at their own slow, unenthusiastic pace. The planter aristocrats grew rich, but southern development languished. By the time of the Civil War the state of New York alone had eight times the industrial productivity of all the Confederate states combined. The South remained the most economically backward region of our country until recently. Slavery itself was the key to the South's early strength and its later downfall.

    To those who argue that the United States (meaning "the government") didn't do enough to abolish slavery, the simple answer is that it was powerless to do so. The very creation of something called The United States of America necessarily demanded the inclusion of states where the institution of slavery was well entrenched. When men argued that slavery contradicted the modern notions of human dignity and the God-given right to individual libery, the slave holders responded that slavery was supported by ancient tradition and by the example of almost the entire world outside America. Most of the world's people, Europeans included, had always lived in various states of un-freedom. Nowhere else in the world was there a clamor to end slavery, least of all in mother Africa who's countless Arab traders and black potentates had grown fabulously wealthy on the time-honored slave trade since the dawn of history. It was clear to all that there would never be an agreement about forming a "United" States of America if a necessary precondition was the dismemberment of slavery, root and branch, and the consequent collapse of the southern economy and the impoverishment of the wealthy planters who were so well represented among southern politicians. So the question of slavery was side-stepped like a sleeping mad dog that everyone knew would someday awaken.

    Because the amount of political influence a state has in the House of Representatives depends upon the size of that state's population, the slave states wanted to include all slaves as full citizens for the purpose of apportioning political representation, even though the notion that the slave-state politicians would represent the slaves' best interests was a preposterous fiction. The anti-slavery forces responded that to argue for the right to hold slaves as property on the one hand and then to argue for the inclusion of slaves as full citizens on the other hand, was a logical contradiction and repugnant to boot. The abolitionists wanted to minimize the political influence of the slave states, and therefor argued that the slaves should count for nothing in the matter of apportioning members to the House of Representatives. In the long political struggle against slavery it would have been better for the slaves if their value, for apportionment purposes, had been zero. A compromise between the opposing sides allowed each slave to count as three-fifths of a citizen. Racial arsonists such as the Reverend Jesse Jackson and the Reverend Al Sharpton repeatedly demonstrate their high ignorance (or low political cunning) by misrepresenting the "three-fifths" compromise as emblematic of white racism when, in fact, it was one of many stepping stones along the path leading to that glorious white-boy invention: institutional anti-racism.

    The simple truth is that white folks, Europeans and people of European descent, were the first people in human history to find slavery morally repugnant and to stomp it out in their part of the planet. They also mounted a crusade to end slavery wherever they had influence. It was a frustrating, bloody struggle, but in historical terms it was revolutionary. The period 1772 to 1865 saw slavery swept out of the English-speaking world. That's only 94 years, or one generous human lifetime. It was a true moral revolution. Once anti-slavery sentiment was established in the West, the West began to export it by example, by bribery, and by force.

    On June 22, 1722, Lord Chief Justice Mansfield abolished the legal status of slavery in England. He called the institution of slavery "odious". Scottish judges followed his example six years later. By 1778 slavery had ceased everywhere in the British Isles, making Britain the first-ever slave-free area on the planet. Thereafter Britain became a home and a staging area for anti-slavery activists and committees. Many writers argued against slavery, including Daniel Defoe and Alexander Pope. Samuel Johnson attacked slavery at every opportunity. Member of Parliament William Wilberforce devoted years of his life to the promotion of anti-slavery legislation. When his anti-slavery Bill came for final consideration, the entire House of Commons, including his old adversaries, cheered the diminutive Mr Wilberforce, who sat bent in his seat with his head in his hands and tears streaming down his face.

    Soon after, Henry Brougham authored and promoted the 1811 Felony Act, a sweeping and severe law that inspired terror. The Act threatened any British subject anywhere in the world who bought, sold, or transported slaves. The law also applied to foreign nationals in British territory. The penalties were severe and the law was diligently enforced. It was a stunningly effective piece of legislation and it demolished the slave trade throughout the British Empire.

    Much of the heavy lifting fell to the men of the British Navy, who struggled to suppress the slave trade on the high seas and in the dangerous shallow African coastal waters. The entire coast of Africa was carefully mapped all the way to the Persian Gulf so that anti-slavery operations could be conducted more safely. By all accounts, these British sailors were Christians imbued with anti-slavery sentiments who regarded their efforts to crush the slave trade as a holy mission. For the most part they received little reward other than personal satisfaction. Crews operating in African equatorial waters were decimated by tropical diseases to which they had developed no immunity. It was not unusual for more than half of the officers and men to die from disease on a three year voyage to Africa.

    In 1820, Commodore Sir R.G.Collier presented his report on the status of anti-slavery efforts: "England, certainly, the whole world must acknowledge, has most faithfully abandoned the trade. America must be considered next in good intentions." He reported that the United States had sent naval units to Africa and elsewhere and "is engaged in its suppression with great sincerity." In other words, the English-speaking world was expressing is best self by struggling to suppress the Atlantic slave trade at considerable expense to itself in money and lives.

    All of this is noteworthy for several reasons. First of all, you probably weren't taught these facts in school. Your children have an even smaller chance of being taught these truths. It is not politically correct to explain to children that white Europeans and Americans invented institutional anti-racism and were the heroic vanguard in the struggle against the ancient and once universally accepted institution of slavery. At no time did black Africans mount any organized effort to suppress the slave trade. On the contrary, after the England abolished slavery throughout her empire and France did the same in 1848, the tribal leaders of Gambia, the Congo, Dohomey, Senegal and other African nations sent delegations to London and Paris to vigorously argue for the continuation of slavery. The black Africans felt that the very foundation of their traditional way of life had been called into question. They fretted that anti-slavery efforts by Europeans would destabilize their world. Africans never opposed slavery in principle, they only opposed their own enslavement. One English anti-slavery activist in the Sudan found Africans completely unreceptive to moral persuasion: "It was in vain that I attempted to reason with them against the principles of slavery. . .they thought it wrong when they were themselves the sufferers, but were always ready to indulge in it when the preponderance of power lay upon their side."

    An excellent example of this African perspective was unintentionaly laid before us by the artistry of the oh-so-liberal director-as-educator Steven Speilberg in his somewhat fictional docu-drama Amistad, which purports to be the true story of a slave ship that dropped anchor in a New England harbor. What was to be done with the slaves aboard the ship? Were they children of God, endowed by their Creator with an unalienable right to liberty, or were they some guy's property? Well, duh! Many fine and completely fictional speeches later, the radiantly beautiful center of attention, the slave Cinque, is set free in accordance with the highest moral principles of the New Englanders. The curtain falls. There isn't a dry eye in the house. But what Mr Speilberg concealed from you, and what history records, is that the beautiful Cinque returned to Africa and, in the best African tradition became a slave trader. This film is shown in American classrooms where it serves to fuel the demand for reparations, even as it conceals the African lust to keep the slave trade thriving.

    Clearly, in 1820 the young United States was in the paradoxical position of suppressing slavery beyond its borders, while slavery still existed in some regions within its borders. The truth is that before the 1850s the anti-slavery forces within America did not possess sufficient political power to overcome the wealthy planter aristocracy of the South, which itself was only a fraction of the mere five percent of southerners who owned a slave. Because the slave states could include three-fifths of their slave populations for the purpose of assigning members to Congress, the South enjoyed more political influence in Congress than the size of its free population would warrant. From 1789 to 1860 southerners dominated the federal government. Eight of the first fifteen presidents were slave owners and three more were notherners with southern sympathies. The South had also dominated the Supreme Court.

    The balance between free and slave states, which favored the South, had been maintained by admitting a new free state to the Union every time a new slave state was admitted. In 1819 there were 22 states, eleven free states and eleven slave states. Missouri sought admission as a slave state, thereby threatening the delicate balance. Northerners proposed admitting Maine as a free state. So far, so good. But the northerners also wanted to impose constitutional restrictions on Missouri that would turn it into a free state. Southerners feared that if the North got the edge, the North would engineer the progressive emancipation of the South. (Yup!) The Great Missouri Debate in Congress lasted from early December 1819 until late February 1821. In February 1820 President Monroe wrote to Thomas Jefferson: "I have never known a question so menacing to the tranquility and even continuance of the Union as the present one." Finally, the southerner Henry Clay proposed a compromise, which was accepted: Missouri would be admitted as a slave state, Maine as a free state, and slavery would be unlawful in the Louisiana Territory north of latitude 36 degrees 30 minutes.

    The Missouri Compromise favored southern interests but, more importantly, it postponed any further threats to the unity of the nation for almost thirty critical years during which the North prospered, industrialized, and swelled its population. Forty years after the Missouri Compromise the North possessed the power to compel national unity. We are accustomed to speaking of the United States, but prior to the Civil War most Americans spoke of these United States. The Civil War made that difference. So to those who argue that the United States is responsible for American slavery, the answer is that prior to 1860 the United States, as we mean the term today, did not exist for purposes other than foreign diplomacy. No sooner did the free states attain the political and economic edge over the slave states than all hell broke loose and the anti-slavery crusade was on. The War Between the States dragged on for four years and left six hundred thousand Americans dead on American soil. African-American participation in the war came late and was never necessary to the ultimate outcome of the Civil War. At the end of the war the federal forces still had in reserve an armed force equal to the one they had in the field, while the Confederate Army was in rags and had nothing in reserve. Any suggestion that African-American participation was necessary for the preservation of the Union, or that blacks freed themselves, is nonsense.

    Some black academics insist that the reparations package include an apology for slavery. If the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, together with the 14th and 15th Amendments which made explicit the civil rights of all black citizens, together with six hundred thousand dead white folks aren't apologies, what on Earth is? Six hundred thousand white people is fifty percent more than the estimated 400,000 black people who were brought to North America on slave ships!

    The simplistic scenario of slavery as a morality play in black and white is completely false. The American slaveholder class was the original Rainbow Coalition. Any hope that black America can simply milk white folks for reparations and then move on is doomed to founder on this one fact alone. Many American Indian tribes, including the Choctaws, Chicasaws, Cherokees, Creeks, and Seminoles owned black slaves. What will it do to racial harmony in America when today's black folks, who were never slaves, present these Indian tribes with a demand for reparations now in the twenty-first century? Cherokee slavemasters were notoriously cruel. By the time of the American Revolution, the Cherokee had abandoned their practice of enslaving other Indians, and thereafter kept black slaves exclusively. The Cherokee also proved to be excellent slave catchers and sold their services as such. Perhaps Jesse Jackson should present an extra stiff reparations bill to the Cherokee Nation. Or perhaps he should demand cash from the Choctaw, who chose to fight for the Confederacy. The Choctaw and other tribes continued to hold black slaves even after the fall of the Confederacy and only reluctantly abandoned slavery after signing a treaty with the U.S. government in 1866.

    The United States also included a large population of free blacks, among them a considerable population who had never been slaves. Free blacks were permitted to own slaves in every state except Delaware and Arkansas. In 1860 there were half a million free blacks living in America, half of whom were living in the South. Many free blacks used the vocational skills they had acquired on the plantation to earn a living and build bank accounts. They worked as carpenters, masons, blacksmiths, tailors, butchers and shoemakers. Over time, thousands of free blacks acquired the means to purchase property. Thousands of them chose to purchase black slaves. There are records of blacks buying their own relatives and then selling them again for a profit. Some blacks owned slave plantations or rented slaves to their white neighbors. They advertised in newspapers for the return of runaway slaves. The black planter Andrew Durnford owned nearly seventy-five African slaves and was forever complaining about his "rascally Negroes". The Negro planter William Ellison owned over a hundred slaves who were, by reputation, the worst fed and the worst clothed in his part of South Carolina. Though Ellison himself had been a slave, he never permitted even one of his slaves to duplicate his own experience. He never freed a single slave. Black slavemasters contributed funds and support to the Confederacy. One even boasted of his plan to capture Abraham Lincoln and raise the Confederate flag atop the U.S. Capitol building. Collectively, these black slavemasters owned over ten thousand black slaves.

    Why weren't you and your children taught these undisputed facts about the black slavemasters in your local school? The answer is this: the truth confuses the simple morality tale of sinister whites and saintly blacks. The truth about black complicity in the slave trade in both Africa and in America might hurt black self-esteem, not to mention a certain tendency toward pious self-righteousness.

    Given the earlier sexual maturation of African Americans, and the fewer number of years between African American generations, and the tendency of African Americans to have more offspring than whites, we can calculate that the black slavemasters could easily have at least two million descendants living in America today, which begs the question: should the descendants of slavemasters be allowed to collect reparations for slavery? If the answer is yes, then the whole project is morally contradictory and idiotic. If the answer is no, then millions of blacks would remain empty handed while their neighbors received a windfall. This would send waves of resentment through the black community. Would the damage to black unity be worth the price? Perhaps all applicants for reparations should be required to prove that they are not descended from slavemasters. All the consequent delving into America's past would quickly expose the true complexity and moral ambiguity of the reparations issue. The early enthusiasm for making a quick buck from the suffering of one's unknown ancestors would soon cool and turn to embarrassment. The vision of Jesse Jackson, Kweisi Mfumi and others demanding that millions of white people, whose ancestors never owned a single slave, hand over their earnings to millions of black folks who are descended from black slavemasters, is priceless.

    At the heart of the reparations demand is the morally repulsive notion that white people share some sort of hereditary guilt for slavery in America. If the black community embraces this notion of hereditary guilt, then shouldn't they start the ball rolling by demanding that the black descendants of black slavemasters pay reparations also, thereby shifting earnings from one part of the black community to another part of the black community. Or would such a logically consistent plan of action split the black community into resentful factions? The reparations idea is, indeed, pregnant with mischief.

    What Jesse Jackson & Company really want is for lots of white folks who never owned slaves, and most of whose ancestors never owned slaves, to give buckets of their earnings to lots of black folks, many of whose ancestors were black slavemasters. The Indian tribes whose forbears were enthusiastic slavemasters would not have to pay a penny in reparations because they are sainted minorities whose past moral shortcomings are best left unmentioned. And please don't mention the African kingdoms whose thriving slave markets lured European merchants to Africa in the first place. And don't disturb the Honorable Louis Farrakhan by mentioning the role of Arab slave traders throughout the African continent. Mr Farrakhan doesn't like to be reminded that the prophet Muhammad himself was a slavemaster. No, let's just stick it to whitey because whitey has those beautiful deep pockets.

    The third question that must be answered is: Who would administer a reparations program? Because the collection of reparations funds would not be voluntary, and because the only entity that can legally use force against the citizens is the government, it would naturally fall to the already hated taxing authorities to compel the payment of reparations. (In 1994 alone, according to the Internal Revenue Service, more than twenty thousand blacks wrote "exempt" on their federal tax returns on the grounds that the descendants of slaves should receive money from the government.) But would America's "black leaders" sit idly by while The Great White Sugar Daddy of government dispensed riches to the chosen recipients. Every "black leader" knows that his influence fluctuates in direct proportion to the amount of goodies he brings home to his community. It's hard to imagine that established black organizations would not insist on playing a central role in dispensing the reparations booty. They would soon begin squabbling among themselves over who was better qualified to be the king of the mountain of cash, thereby stirring up more resentment.

    Further complicating matters is question two: Who receives reparations? Some advocates of reparations have argued that all monies should be funneled into black organizations, rather than going to individuals, because individual recipients would simply pump their windfall back into the economy with no lasting benefit to the black community. They have a point.

    Some years ago, Oprah Winfrey gave fat cash lump sums to several Chicago welfare families in the hope that they would use it as seed money to pull themselves up and out of poverty. Most of the recipients went on spending binges, filling their apartments with gleaming appliances and consumer electronics. (Oprah doesn't talk much about her experiment.) But if black organizations are to be the recipients of all the reparations money, how can they also be the administers of the program? That would be insane !

    The most respected of black organizations, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, has an established history of ineptitude, inefficiency and corruption. For years the organization has been plagued by scandal, multi-million-dollar deficits and bitter in-fighting. Former Executive Director Ben Chavis used three hundred thousand dollars of NAACP funds to avoid a sexual harrassment lawsuit brought by a former NAACP female attorney. What sort of idiot sexually harrasses an attorney ! During his tenure Chavis sought to broaden the NAACP's constituency by making overatures to gang leaders, black separatists and Nation of Islam bossman Louis Farrakhan, all of which alienated more traditional members and Jewish supporters. (see Nation of Islam in this series) Former board chairman William Gibson charged $110,000 in questionable expenses to the NAACP. The organization is now led by Kweisi Mfume (born Frizzel Gray) whose modestly self-bestowed name means "Conquering Son of Kings". Mr Mfume, who was hired to be the organization's new moral compass, is notorious for having fathered five children by four women in only 21 months. One of Mr Mfume's first projects was a lavish shindig for boxing promoter Don King, who is notorious for cheating his boxing talent out of millions of dollars of earnings. At not time during the festivities did Mr Mfume mention that Mr King was also a convicted murderer. More recently, Mr Mfume undertook a noisy media offensive against the television networks, accusing them of racial discrimination in hiring black talent. It was later revealed that the campaign was just a tool to pressure NBC into giving Mr Mfume himself an Oprah-Winfrey-style talk show of his very own. He had already taped a pilot program. But when it comes to shakedowns, the all-time racial racketeer is Jesse Jackson, whose numerous anti-discrimination crusades against wealthy American corporations miraculously vanish the instant those corporations make generous "contributions" to Mr Jackson's chosen "charities". Among his victims are Viacom, SBC and Ameritech, GTE and Bell Atlantic, AT&T and TCI. Jackson accepted $763,000 in taxpayer funds for the purpose of enrolling low-income children in the KidCare program. Operation PUSH signed up only 151 families. Other community groups would have charged only $7,550 for the same service. In 1996 Dorothy Rivers, who sat on the board of directors of Rainbow Push, was convicted of helping herself to $1.2 million dollars of taxpayer money and spending it on furs, Neiman Marcus clothing and a Mercedes Benz. She was later pardoned by Jackson's close friend Bill Clinton. It was recently revealed that the Reverend Jackson had been looting his own Project PUSH to pay off his long-time mistress and the mother of his love child, Karin Stanford.

    Could such people be entrusted to manage a reparations fund that some advocates insist should run into the trillions of dollars? W.E.B. DuBois' Talented Tenth has turned out to be quite a collection of muttonheads. By what right could any organization claim a share of the reparations money, anyway? If the money is meant to replace a lost inheritance, then it should go to the descendants of slaves alone, and it's nobody's business how they spend their inheritance.

    Should black people vote on how the money is to be distributed? Who gets to vote, all blacks, or only the descendants of slaves? Do whites get to vote on who pays reparations, or are they simply compelled to pay as a consequence of some side deal made between black leaders and sympathetic politicians hungry for black votes? Just imagine all the nastiness these issues would stir up.

    The fourth question is: How much reparations is enough? The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations (N'Cobra) demands that blacks be exempted from income taxes forever. The highest lump-sum demands now run into the trillions of dollars. Two scholars, Larry Neal and James Marketti, have suggested estimates of $1.4 trillion and $4.7 trillion, respectively. Imagine stuffing one million dollars into a box. Now imagine stuffing one million dollars into each of one million boxes. That's one trillion dollars. The good people (mostly white people) of America have already spent several trillion of their dollars on Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty. It didn't create paradise on Earth. It didn't heal the problems of the black underclass. It didn't mend the fabric of the black family. On the contrary, the arrival of a gush of gift money diminished the need for family cohesion in the face of adversity. A black woman had no need of a black man as long as the government (white taxpayers) gave her a check every month. In the 1920s eighty percent of black children were living in stable two-parent homes. The black family had survived slavery intact. The Great Depression and the welfare state it inspired, were far more destructive. After decades of government largesse, seventy percent of black children are now born out of wedlock. There is such a thing as poisonous compassion. To blame slavery for the sorry state of the black family is to disregard the historical record. What is ailing the black community can't be cured with money.

    The fifth and final question is: What will signal the end of all reparations payments forever? The question is morally problematic. Do the black people now living have the right to strike a one-time deal regarding reparations that all future generations of blacks must accept? What if, after receiving trillions of dollars, the black community decides that it hasn't been properly healed? Can they keep demanding more money until they decide that they are finally healed? If future generations of blacks are unhappy with their lot, can they re-open the reparations issue? Clearly, an open-ended deal is no deal at all. No self-respecting people would allow themselves to be used as a perpetual cashcow, and no self-respecting people would allow themselves to degenerate into a posture of permanent parasitism. No, the only acceptable reparation would be a fixed sum transfer. After that, the door would be slammed shut on the reparations issue forever. But when the transient swell of cash has been spent will the black community be healed and whole and happy? Will they feel victorious?

    In practical political terms the five questions asked in this article present an insurmountable barrier to any cash-transfer reparations project. What purpose would it serve anyway? Three quarters of black America is already living a middle-class American existence, which places them head and shoulders above most of the world's population. The black underclass is not starving, it is just the underclass. Ninety-seven percent of America's officially poor people own a color television set. Starving people do not own consumer electronics.

    Only education can elevate the underclass. The underclass must embrace education. That won't happen as long as anti-intellectualism remains the hallmark of black "street culture", and as long as black street culture defines what it means to be authentically "black" in contemporary America.

    To put it more bluntly, American blacks have already profited handsomely from the suffering of their ancestors. Those ancestors were already slaves before they were transported to America. Slaves in Africa had little chance of gaining their freedom. But the community of blacks in North America would become the beneficiaries of a philosophical and moral revolution that was developing in the Western World, a revolution that created institutional anti-racism and expressed its democratic sentiments in powerful legislation such as the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, the American voting rights acts, the English anti-slavery Bill and the 1811 Felony Act. Again and again Western governments demonstrated their resolve to enforce these laws. African folkways, by contrast, did not favor democracy. There was never an African abolitionist movement. Slavery is still practiced in Africa today. American journalists have gone to Africa and purchased black African slaves. White abolitionist organizations are buying the freedom of African slaves today. With few exceptions, contemporary black America has maintained a posture of studied indifference to the plight of today's African slaves, preferring to spend its energy pestering white America with pleas of "What have you done for me lately. Talking about the real suffering of real slaves today would diminish contemporary black America's claim to number-one victim status. Lord knows, they have a hard enough time trying to trump Jewish suffering during the Holocaust.

    The left-wing leadership of black America wants to sue the very culture that freed them. Lincoln said that slavery was an offense to God, and General Sherman punished the South by burning it to the ground. The United States has paid enormous deference to blacks. Trillions of dollars in welfare, scholarships and jobs have been lavished on black Americans. Black America has already elicited more charity from its so-called oppressors than any race in history.

    The argument that losing touch with old tribal traditions has hurt black America is nonsense. Africans know all about their tribal roots and folkways and it hasn't helped them to run their countries worth a darn, or fight rampant disease, or suppress their slave trades, past and present. African Americans, by contrast, have created a uniquely African American culture that is a fusion of many different folkways and a uniquely American experience. This culture has spread its influence over the whole world and will continue to influence American culture far into the future.

    A taste of possible things to come appeared in a recent article in the New York Daily News, which informs us that a black community group is "outraged" because the government won't give them buckets of the taxpayers' earnings to finance a week-long celebration of the planned reinterment of bones from the old African Burial Ground in lower Manhattan. The bones were unearthed a decade ago by construction workers.

    When he heard that the General Services Administration had denied the request for $350,000 for the big party, a spokesman for the Committee of Descendants of the Afrikan Ancestral Burial Ground, one Charles Barron, ranted: "This is the second killing of our ancestors", ignoring the abscence of any evidence that they had been killed the first time. Expenses for the hoped-for party would have included $200,000 for videotaping the shindig and $50,000 for a written obituary for the 400 skeletons. The group wanted $55,000 to pay speakers, including $2500 for the preposterous racist theorist Professor Leonard Jeffries. The videotaping would have included 10- to 20-minute interviews with each of the 31 members of the Committee of Descendants of the Afrikan Burial Ground at $1500 per interview. And it just wouldn't be a party without the requested $90,000 for an open bar at committee member Doris Porter's private club.

    When he heard that the taxpayers wouldn't be paying the enormous liquor bill, the enraged Charles Barron shouted: "We're sick of this exploitation!"

    Brace yourselves folks, this is just the beginning.


    Copyright 2001
    Thomas Clough


    Recommended reading:
    The Birth of the Modern by Paul Johnson.
    The End of Racism by Dinesh D'Souza.
    Time on the Cross by Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman.
    I just read the entire article and am struck by the degree to which the author must be in extraordinary pain about his identity as a white man living in a white supremacist nation. What other rationale could there be to explain the pathologically flawed reasoning that he presents. It's really quite a funny piece of work. Slavery is everyone else's fault but white America's. White folks are the saviors of the world. White folks actually freed the Africans by bringing them here to America where they could drink milk and honey forever and ever. The kicker for me, though, is where he suggests that those of us who were a product of our master's rape of our mothers are somehow complicit in slavery and due no reparation because of our genetic connection to the slave master. Eek Is there just a microscopic thread of logic and reason anywhere in that argument. Just one?

    Anyway, because of the length of this thing I thought my response would be a long. It actually will be quite quick. There's really not much of substance here. I'll spell out my general response.

  • Slave families "invested" their labor in the American economy for hundreds of years. They created wealth for our economy and nation.

  • Those same families now deserve a return on their investment from the same nation that they invested in.

    It's really quite that simple. Whether there were 1 billion slaves or 1, whether their investment represents $1 quadrillion dollars or $1, those descendants deserve their fair share - with interest. Period.

    All of the talk about history and England and anti-racists and all of the mush that this guy writes, while serving his apparently desperate purpose to protect his sense of personal morality and humanity, as well as buttress his fictional arguments, is actually completely irrelevant. Let's pull together a bi-partisan group of economists and scholars and business people and whomever else - and lets come up with the total investment that slavery injected into the economy. Then come up with an appropriate amount that includes interest that should be given back to slave descendants. Create another broad panel that includes politicians and clergy and scholars and business people - another cross section - to develop the plan to disseminate the reparation. There are plenty of ways and ideas on how to do that. I've suggested quite a few here over the years - it's not hard.

    This guy, and people who share his beliefs like ES, have an emotional need to try to inoculate themselves from their past. They are actually quite uncomfortable in their own skins. Hence, they lash out. Most of the time what comes out sounds like what this guy wrote: completely illogical, emotionally based, and frankly just downright stupid drivel.

    Let me answer his five specific questions:

    quote:
    Originally written by Thomas Clough:

    Before any wealth changes hands, these five questions must be answered with finality:

    1. At whose expense will reparations be paid?


    The United States government. Slavery could not have occurred without the government's complicity. The U. S. economy was the direct beneficiary of slavery. Slavery was its "venture capital". Well, it's time for slave descendants to "cash out". brosmile


    quote:
    2. Who will receive the reparations?


    All descendants of American slavery. Details about mixed race Americans can be worked out - perhaps in percentages of any direct benefit. This is a minor detail which shouldn't get in the way of the fact that for the vast majority of slave descendants - there is a direct and tangible link to slavery in their families.

    quote:
    3. Who will administer the transfer of wealth?


    The government, perhaps through specific institutions designed to administer and manage this program. Again, opponents of reparations throw things like this up as in an effort to paint the picture that reparations would be wholly unmanageable. It's a smoke screen. If it is determined that a reparation is to be delivered, then how it gets administered is but a detail. There are plenty of smart folks around that can figure this out. Think about it. Administering a reparation would be light years less logistically challenging than what it took to create and manage a centuries long, global slave trade.

    quote:
    4. What will be the total cost?


    As I said, get a bi-partisan group together and figure it out. In the same way that a criminal trial has two phases, the trial which determines guilt or innocence, and then the penalty phase which determines the sentence - this issue could be organized similarly. There should be a process which determines whether the concept is appropriate. Then there should be a separate process which calculates the amount.

    The broader answer is - isn't it a bit late to worry about that? Shouldn't you have worried about the payback when you committed the crime? Value has already been invested in the nation. Fortunes have already been made. While I completely understand how this is a difficult conversation to have, and that no one wants to pay anything to anybody, that has no bearing on what is right and just and moral to do.

    quote:
    5. What will signal the end of all reparations payments forever?



    I can 't imagine that a reparation would be calculated based upon only a portion of the amount invested. The broader, and real answer to your question though is that America should never be excused for racist behavior. You're looking for an "enough is enough" out. You want to be able to write a check and then go back to being the cave man that you were. Sorry - ain't going to happen. You now live in a world that is getting MORE brown, not less. While this makes you increasingly paranoid and threatened - you'll be so much better off om the long run if you just deal with it!

    For the record, reparations is about the past. It has NOTHING to do with the future.

    Next . . . Roll Eyes
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