ANSWERS: 1
  • That feels more like a statement than a question, but frankly, it's too late to pay reparations. What I mean by that is that reparations should have been paid after emancipation. The people who laboured and died under the policy of legal slavery should have been compensated, at the very least, for the work that they had done. The fact that those people never did receive anything fair from society only reinforced the fact that society didn't care about them- that their existence was seen as an inconvenience even to those who put forth the political efforts to ban slavery. The fact that their children also went unacknowledged and treated as second-class citizens set up the societal precedent that the former slaves were not only unwanted, but that "their kind" would always be treated unfairly by our society. So, here we are over a century and a half later, living in a society that resulted from the damage that the previous society had refused to acknowledge that the society prior to them had done. Would reparations fix that? Hell no. But nothing can fix it. Might as well track down the descendants of the victims of Bastille Day and offer them gauze bandages.
    • Linda Joy
      Well I could have phrased it how do you feel about... But I wanted to put you on the committee as someone who had to come up with the answer, not just someone with an opinion as you answered. I don't think selling your services as an indentured servant for a few years to pay off a debt is the same as being captured by a rival tribe and being forced to be a slave. And Its different from keeping someone beyond their original servitude as agreed upon. And people still buy and sell debt. I think African Americans today have been given many opportunities other races have not and are just as capable to succeed as anyone else. But if we give reparations to African Americans, shouldn't we also give them to Mexicans and Native Americans whose land we occupy, and Asian Americans who were put in internment camps? Frankly I think if people keep living and mourning over the past they will never move on and achieve the success of which they are capable. That's where we need to focus the energy. Give them opportunity for success, not a government teat to suck off of with just enough to keep them pacified for now so they don't strive to succeed for themselves!
    • bostjan64
      "But if we give reparations to African Americans, shouldn't we also give them to Mexicans and Native Americans whose land we occupy, and Asian Americans who were put in internment camps?" Very good point. Some of those people might still be around, or, at least, their children are. But again, there are problems with the idea of paying reparations for things that happened multiple decades ago. "Frankly I think if people keep living and mourning over the past they will never move on and achieve the success of which they are capable." I agree wholeheartedly, but I also don't know how we can achieve that. It might be unachievable, considering the fact that many people whose ancestors were not directly wronged by US policy are also unable to attain "success" however they/we define that. No one alive today is going to want to be the first in line to apologize for slavery. No one alive today knew anyone personally who was directly affected by slavery. Whether the people alive today who are great-grandchildren or further decedents of those directly affected by slavery are better or worse off than those same people would have been if they had not been taken as slaves is likely a debate, but, like you said, looking forward is better than looking back. So what should be done differently? I think it has to start like anything else- step one needs to be to identify the problem in specific terms. You can't find the root cause of the problem until you know what, exactly, the problem is that you want to address.
    • Charin Cross
      I used to think that was impossible. but the way Congress throws around "trillions" now for everything they want, a fraction of that could give every black person in America, $2-3M for reparations.

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