Home > Uncategorized > No one owes black people anything

No one owes black people anything

Recently I heard a speaker trying to make a case for the government of the united states making reparations to black people for the governments role in sanctioning slavery. This is nonsense. No one alive today was alive to have kept slaves and no one alive today was kept as a slave. Guilt ends there. You should only feel guilty for things that have happened on your watch or in your name.

To pay any reparations for anything done by those in the past would be akin to exacting a penalty on me for a relative I had in the past who did wrong. A payment out of government funds to blacks or Indians or any other group for wrong committed over 140 years ago in the case of blacks and even longer in some cases for Indians, IS a penalty on me.

Recently Congress passed a bill giving reparations to black farmers who felt they had been discriminated against. Whether or not its true and whether or not it is a well written bill designed in such a way that would prevent fraud doesn’t matter. It addresses a recent activity and if its true than reparations are indeed owed.

(The government shouldn’t be involved in giving loans to blacks or whites or anyone else anyways, but that’s a different post.)

Obama has decided to accept a UN resolution on the ‘rights of indigenous peoples”, whether or not this would bring will bring about any litigation, I don’t know. I haven’t had time to digest it yet. The fact remains that unless we are talking about something that is very recent reparations are inappropriate. To have us pay now for wrongs hundreds of years ago seems to say that ‘corruption of blood’ is a legitimate legal concept.

My family has only been here for 80 years, should my taxes be awarded for wrongs done before I or my family were even here? Should a son have to pay his father fines? A granddaughter her grandmothers?

I would say no.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. 2011/01/09 at 22:10

    I was listening to NPR a while back and they were interviewing people on what it was to be “african-american”. The people in the room were a good number of U.S born african-americans and several immigrants that physically were from Africa. One of the immigrants asked since he and his parents were born and raised in an African country and he then migrated to the U.S. was he not an “African-American”? To my astonishment the U.S. born African-Americans all said no together and nearly instantly at that.

    I’m not racist nor am I even prejudice about one skin color or another. I just thought that this demonstrates the perpetual hypocrisy and double standards on both sides.

    To the question of whether you owe reparations to African-Americans, as an individual I would say no. To the native-Americans the answer is again, no.

    But we’re not talking about individuals, we’re talking about as a whole. The reparations to African Americans is debatable differently but the debate over the native Americans is almost cut and dry to me. As a nation we do indeed owe something to the native Americans because the United States displaced and almost attempted to exterminate what essentially amounts to another nation. The United States itself, in other words, owes a historic responsibility for displacement and indiscriminate killings it directly initiated.

    reparations to the African descended Americans is a little different. Did the U.S. government sanction and act directly in the slave trade? I haven’t done enough research to give a definitive answer. I think it is probably a yes but I cannot say for sure. In either case it’s probably irrelevant because the U.S. government acting as the U.S. government did oppress the minority population and officials acting for the U.S. routinely overlooked or openly promoted hate crimes, segregation, oppression and killings. Though this would be a separate issue from reparations for the slave trade of course.

    The issue is quite a bit more complicated than you seem to acknowledge or are willing to show.

  2. 2011/01/09 at 23:15

    As an individual anything the government pays out has my name on it. I pay taxes, if reparations are paid I’m doing the paying. That means less money and while reparations may sound good the result is punishment for me for bad acts I had nothing to do with.

  3. 2011/01/14 at 00:54

    You should also remember that the actual “slavers” were also black. The people who rounded up the majority of Africans to be sold as slaves were Africans typically from opposing tribes. Should the countries that control the territories where those slaves were taken pay reparations?

    Certainly we are a different country now than prior to the civil war. The country that now exists is made of United States, the north, that invaded, defeated, occupied and absorbed a separate country, the Confederate States of America, into itself. I would say any reparations owed were paid in blood by the United States of America.

    As the Confederacy no longer exists you end up talking about a simple fact of who now controls that territory, the USA not the CSA. There is the case for current African nations also paying reparations if the USA were ever to do so. I think its a good one.

    Even in the two years prior to the Emancipation Proclamation, 1861 to 1863, Slaves were declared to be ‘spoils of war’ for the north, were slavery was illegal. This made them free men as they were no longer subject to return to their original owners. Very clever lawyer trick actually.

    That last bit was just a historical curiosity.

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