Point of View Columns

The Case for Reparations – Again

There have been news reports to the effect that the Biden administration is moving rapidly to set up a process whereby the immigrant families that were forcibly separated during the Trump administration will be compensated financially for their suffering. And there should be no doubt that there was suffering when children were taken from the arms of their mothers and disappeared into a bureaucratic black hole.

And there should be no doubt that these men, women and children being compensated is an indication of basic humanity, even though compensation will never fully address the pain and suffering that has been, and still is being endured.

It is quite likely that, while there will be some kind of uproar and disapproval from MAGA nation, most Americans will support this initiative as being fair and humane even though they were not personally involved in any aspect of this atrocity. The governmental system is at fault and therefore the American people will pay for these misdeeds.

Which brings to mind that this latter day reparations initiative should be seen as analogous to the reparations that have yet to be paid to Black Americans. Somehow centuries of brutal slavery, dehumanization and outright murder and genocide don’t seem to require any reparations in the view of too many Americans. Somehow the denial of the right to vote, the right to own property and even the right to live does not warrant direct compensation to the descendants of the survivors of this American nightmare.

Some Americans, like Senator Mitch McConnell, will argue that the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments along with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 are all the reparations that Black Americans ever deserved. This is an atrocious lie told by an atrocious human being, who knows damn well that the constitutional and legislative items mentioned simply acknowledged rights for Black Americans to which they were always entitled as human beings and as citizens.

There will be many Americans who will say that they never benefited from slavery, domestic terrorism and discrimination that exists to this very day. But there can be no doubt that the Constitution, the laws of this nation and the men and women who are citizens of this nation’s government were not only complicit in this barbarism – the entire system of government and the American way of life created and perpetuated this hell on earth for centuries.

To suggest that reparations are not in order raises the question as to how reparations for Black American people is not appropriate, but it is right and just to support reparations for the immigrant families so recently abused by the United States government to receive monetary reparations?

And why is it right and just for the Japanese Americans who were stripped of their property, businesses and homes and imprisoned during World War II to receive reparation but it is not right to compensate Black Americans who are descendants of men and women who were stripped of their property, businesses, homes and freedom?

Why is it right and just for the state of Israel to receive monetary reparations from Germany for the atrocities visited upon the innocent Jews of Germany and Europe but it is not right and justice to acknowledge the pain and suffering of millions of innocent Black Americans by means of monetary reparations?

It is useless, futile and unintelligent to compare the pain and suffering of one group of human beings to the pain and suffering of another group of human beings. It should be enough to acknowledge that people who have suffered and have endured pain through systemic machinations are entitled to reparations.

Of course, for that to become a reality in American it will first be necessary for the majority of white Americans to fully acknowledge the humanity of Black Americans. Clearly this is a task that has too difficult for too many people for too long.

America has been called the land of hope and promise. Black Americans can only hope that one day America will deliver on the promise of liberty and justice for all by supporting, endorsing and implementing reparations for Black men, women and children.

Standard

6 thoughts on “The Case for Reparations – Again

  1. Lee A. Daniels says:

    Excellent. As with so much about “repairing” the many rents in the fabric of the American polity vis-a-vis Black Americans, the White Majority is still determined to default on the “promissory note” it owes. Compelling that payment for the Great Wrong is, in fact, the life’s work of African Amecans.

  2. Frederick Wiley says:

    Excellent point. Why is it so humane to compensate others, however it seems too complicated to even start a dialog about reparations, in a meaningful manner? This reluctance is due to the majority of elected people in offices, who make decisions for us, yet…who do not believe in our equity, and definitely don’t believe in our compensation? Corrections are in the votes, and getting to the table where decisions are made.

  3. Gene Booth D'57 says:

    In the “olden days” there was a saying: if you WHITE YOU’RE ALL RIGHT; if you BROWN STICK AROUND; If you BLACK GIT BACK!!! So goes our “reparations”!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s