Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I'm In Favor of the Payment of Reparations

Because of the evils of slavery, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and other African-American leaders have come out in favor of reparations payments. I agree with them.

Yes, I agree that African-Americans should pay reparations to the rest of us. The only questions are: how much should be paid and how to apportion the money to descendents of the men and women who freed the slaves. In my case it is going to be a little difficult, because only my grandfather on my father’s side is descended from citizens who were here during the Civil War. The ancestors of my two grandmothers and my other grandfather were not here, but they were living in other countries which, at some time, practiced slavery.

In fact, every civilization throughout history has practiced slavery at some time or other, and only the slave-owners of Western and American culture became abolitionists and set their slaves free. Some of the tribal chiefs who captured and sold their brothers into slavery actually tried to convince Western leaders not to stop the slave trade. Be that as it may, although the slaves themselves suffered terribly under slavery, and every thoughtful American regrets that it ever occurred here, their descendents owe the rest of us a lot for rescuing them from the horrors of present day Africa and for providing them with the freedoms, the security and the prosperity of modern America. It did, after all, cost us more than 600,000 lives.

As Muhammed Ali, not only a great heavyweight champion but also a perceptive and eloquent person, said, upon his return from a prize fight in Africa, when asked how he liked it there, “Thank God my granddaddy got on that boat”.

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At 11:44 AM, Anonymous steve said...

Despite the horrors of slavery in decades past, I also think it's absurd that any payment be owed for anything that someone did or did not do 100 or 200 years ago.
I try not to be racist in my thinking but it bothers me when I hear someone carrying on about how badly they had it (then) and who should owe them (now). The people who should be owed are dead. It's (bad) history, get over it.

At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although my grandparents didn't come over till 1875, and I don't qualify for reparations, I think you have a good idea there, which I support 100%.

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