JUNE 16, 2009 10:06AM

Do African-Americans Deserve Reparations for Slavery?

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The issue of reparations for slavery is a divisive one in America. While a  2002 opinion poll found that 67 percent of African-Americans supported monetary reparations, only 4 percent of whites agreed. If whites were to compensate African-Americans for their centuries of servitude, how much would it cost? According to Harper’s Magazine, the United States owes African-Americans over $100 trillion  in reparations, based on 222,505,049 hours of forced labor between 1619 and 1865, with a compounded interest of 6%.

Is there precedent for such an action?  Since 1951, Germany has paid an estimated $25 billion in reparations to Israeli Holocaust survivors. 

But let's not kid ourselves into thinking the United States will follow Germany's lead.  Whites here are much more comfortable with the idea of  spending $1.3 trillion to torture and kill dark-skinned people in Iraq than they are with using that money to recompense the descendants of the slaves who helped build our nation.

Admittedly, a $100 trillion payoff in a country with a GDP of $14.2 trillion is nigh impossible.  At the very least, an apology would be nice. But even that proved too much to bear for the 70 percent of whites who opposed last year's formal apology for slavery.

Affirmative Action?  This is yet another sore spot for whites, 74% of whom oppose  giving some racial groups preference for private sector jobs to increase diversity.

Whites support the status quo and no wonder, it has been very good for them these last 500 years.

But here is the way I view the situation: life is like the game of Monopoly. African-Americans were not even allowed to play until 1865 and then for the next hundred years whites let them roll the dice but not collect their full $200 for passing Go or inherit the money in the middle for landing on Free Parking. Today African-Americans are free to buy anything they wish; only they are unable to afford much given whites 400 year head start.

monopoly_board

The effects of slavery and Jim Crow reverberate today in the disparity between white and black wealth. According to the Consumer Federation of America, median household wealth among blacks is less than a quarter of that of whites and eighty percent of African-American children begin their adult lives with no assets whatsoever.  But according to Melvin Oliver, co-author of Black Wealth/White Wealth, "That's not the case for white kids. If they don't have financial resources in hand, they have access to them through their families. Most black kids don't have that available to them."

Oliver goes on to add that "as much as 80 percent of the wealth people accumulate over the course of their lifetimes actually begins as a gift from a relative. That gift can come in the form of a down payment on a first home, a college education, or an inheritance from a parent or grandparent."

You can see this disparity in action when comparing the current occupant of the Oval Office with the prior tenant. Bush used his familial connections to avert financial ruin, then buy the Texas Rangers and finally win the Presidency with a little help from his baby brother. Obama on the other hand had to run a nearly flawless campaign against a clearly overmatched and seemingly senile opponent to win last year's election.

And for those who think racism is no longer relevant, look at the compromises Obama had to make to win the presidency such as speaking out against reparations and throwing his own pastor the Reverand Jeremiah Wright under the bus. The compromises continue in the Obama cabinet, which has plenty of room for white mediocrities such as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Judging by the racial makeup of the cabinet, there is only one fellow African-American, Attorney General Eric Holder, competent enough to advise our President.

And we call this progress? It sounds like more of the same white mediocrities in high places to me.

If we can afford to spend nearly a trillion dollars bailing out the predominantly white bankers whose greed got us into this recession, what's another trillion to pay back the people who helped build this country through the blood and sweat of their forced labor?

To those who complain that their ancestors did not personally own slaves, I say suck it up.This country would be in more disarray that it is already if we all personally decided where our tax dollars went. Seventeen states fund abortions for poor women. What about all the pro-life people in those states who must fund a procedure they consider murder? And what about the Amish, Quakers and other pacifists currently paying for the wars of the Middle East with their tax money?

To those who contend the paying out of reparations is too complicated, I offer up the Germans who figured out a way to do it.  If the United States of America can put a man on the moon, we can surely figure out a fair way to divvy up reparations.

the-cabinet21

 

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Be sure to reddit and digg everyone. Reddit is the little alien-looking guy next to the Email icon. It only takes seconds to Reddit and you don't even need to enter your e-mail address. This has been posted to both sites already.
I guess this is a classic example of when economic realities clash with moral obligations. We all know that no amount in the trillions will ever be paid even if they should be.

I believe in affirmative action, and yes, an apology would be nice.
This is well structured and rational, and completely outside of the realm of feasibility. Personally, since I know that nothing will be done to correct past atrocities, I would like to see renewed efforts to level the playing field going forward. School systems and community development efforts within the inner city designed to genuinely address the problems... will not maintain the status quo. It will help to put things in balance. We also have to remember that we do not live in a bi-racial country. We live in a multi-racial country. Balance is needed all around.
Fox News pays millions of dollars each year to racist, bigoted people like O'Reilly and earns much more in revenue. Let's start by billing Rupert Murdoch and have America pick up the rest of the tab. And yes, a formal apology IS in order. Reddited and Dugg.
Oh...this is going to get some interesting comments. I can't remember now if you saw my recent post about Affirmative Action: Dr. Seuss Style, but it resembles you metaphor...great job. If you don't mind, I'm going to add a link to yours. Can't wait to check back on this debate. Hang in there.
It would be the right thing to do, the moral thing, but it won't ever be done, sadly. Any more than reparations will be paid to Native Americans.
Yes, reparations are in order - not only for forced labor, but also for theft of intellectual property. One of the things that (white) history text books do not talk about in terms of slavery is that the original plantation owners knew nothing about farming in the semi-tropical climate of the south. Slavers stole African people who did. It was Africans' knowledge - their intellectual property - on which southern agriculture and by extention northern industry was based.

If we agree that not only an apology, but reparations are in order even I am not surprised that most white folks disagree - definitely check out Noah's Dr. Seuss story. The question becomes how are reparations paid out?

@Harp - I like your suggestion that reparations should be given back to communities - can you imagine what those hundreds of billions that we paid to the thieves that got us into this recession could do if invested in inner city communities, education, black cultural and economic institutions, etc?

I am grateful that you brought this discussion to OS. Rated, reddited and emailed.
Noahvose: I read your Dr. Seuss article and put it up on Reddit. I'll try to answer the other comments later but don't have time at the moment.

http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/8snbl/affirmative_action_dr_seuss_style_a_parable_on/?already_submitted=true
Who should be paid? All blacks? What if they never had a slave in their family should they be paid just because they are black? What is the responsibility of African nations who sold their own people into slavery? Should they pay as well?

Should whites who never owned slave be exempt? Why should I pay, I never owned a slave ( my parents, grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandparents who lived in Mississippi no less) never owned slaves. They did not have plantations?

The whole issue is racist in nature. It assumes all blacks are victims and all whites were the cause. It is not true. What about whites who died to end slavery. I am not going to take the blame for what some whites did to some blacks just because of the color of my skin.

All we can do as a society is correct the problems. For the past 50 years there has been a certain amount of field leveling and I have no problem with affirmative action. Perfect no, could more be done? Sure and that is true with all problems.

Obama is the future. He did not run on race. And the majority of voters did not vote for or against him because of his race. Are there still racist out there, you bet, but they are not all white. It is time to move on and embrace the future not live in the past. The task at hand is to keep the playing field level as possible. The constitution grants all the right to pursue happiness, the pursuit is guaranteed not the results.

My ancestors fled Ireland and Scotland to escape religious and economic persecution. But, that was 150 years ago. I don't expect England to make good for some past mistakes made by people who are long gone and dead.
I'm all for reperations. Any living person who can prove they were enslaved by the government of the United States should receive some kind of payment.

And if you think I am being rude consider this, my great grandfather came to this country in the hold of a ship, having been booted out of his native homeland. He worked in a coal mine to pay off his passage and living expense to the company, and had little or nothing left over. He finally escaped and homesteaded 160 acres of rough land. Everything he had he earned. Everything my grandfater got he earned. Everything my father got he earned and everything I have I earned.
The government can start with 'reparations' aimed at uplifting black communities and schools. Affirmative action aimed at not just blacks, but all those in dire poverty. Here in the Atlanta area, opportunity is defined by wealth and surroundings. Living across the county line can be the difference between excellent public schools and failing gang infested underfunded public school nightmares.

we also need a formal apology, a national museum and monument.

And, Ron Kirk, Lisa Jackson and Susan Rice are also African American members of Obama's cabinet. It's not just Holder and the President.
Ocularnervosa: Your family has had four generations to accumulate wealth in this country. The playing field for African-Americans has only been legalistically level since the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Discrimination still occurs, only it is not as blatant today. Therefore I think Affirmative Action is necessary to right both past wrongs and present ones.
Yes, they do for this reason:

"Eighty percent of African-American children begin their adult lives with no assets whatsoever. But according to Melvin Oliver, co-author of Black Wealth/White Wealth, "That's not the case for white kids. If they don't have financial resources in hand, they have access to them through their families. Most black kids [for generations] don't have that available to them, [nor will their offspring."]

Their inheritances, whether great or small, were violently usurped.
Travis: Your link for the Holocaust compensation goes to the Institute for Historical Review- a well known holocaust denial outfit and hence an altogether untrustworthy source.
As to your main point of reparations. I agree that the emancipated slaves should have been compensated somehow. But it's now 150 years after the fact. It's just way too complicated to figure out who should pay whom.
As an alternative, I think the society would benefit from a huge 'do-over' once every 50-100 years. In the bible there is the year of the jubilee every 50th year when the land was redistributed. In your analogy of monopoly, every player starts out with equal shares. Likewise I think it's healthy in a capitalist economy to have a one-time wealth redistribution every 50 years or so, and then let people compete on an equal basis the rest of the time.
Roger: Congress did issue an apology last year although the American people disagreed with it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/29/AR2008072902279.html

Harp: Thanks for the comment: the people on Reddit called me an irrational racist. Anyways I like your realistic approach.

Cartouche: And don't forget Limbaugh. He's an even bigger racist than O'Reilly. Remember the Donavan McNabb brouhaha a few years ago?

Shivaun: Thanks for the information. I was unaware of how much slaves taught their masters. This is something I was never taught in my history courses.
Travis,

The majority of families do not pass any great amount of wealth to the next generation. This is true for both white and black families. I would imagine most inheritances amount to far less than a years wages for the recepients.

This idea that whites collectively have had 4 generations to generate their wealth in my estimation does not hold any merit. The majority of this country are poor, working class, and lower middle and middle class families. What my great great great grandfather did or accumulated has no impact on my personal wealth. And I don't think this is atypical of most whites in this country.
I am deeply sorry that extremely wealthy white people saw fit to enslave Africans for hundreds of years, but I don't agree with reparations. I find it sickening that you propose to put a dollar amount on human suffering. What, really, is a hundred trillion dollars? The people who were enslaved will certainly not be improved by their distant relatives receiving funds, and those who do receive reparations will be reminded that they can still be bought and sold.
Bikelizard,

The whole idea of reparations is racist. It is making the assumption all white people participated in slavery. And it seeks compensation from the government (tax payers) not the individuals who practiced slavery. Why should your taxes go up for something a person did 150 years ago to a person who is dead?

Throughout this country's history it has tried to correct this evil that was once accepted in the world. Not just in the white world, but the entire black, white, Asian, Middle East and Latin world. We tend to think of slavery as a uniquely white enterprise, but truth is almost every civilizations in the new and old world including Africa has practiced slavery.

Frankly I am not going to take the rap or pay for someone else's actions white or black. Sorry I don't have this collective guilt about racism because I am white. My responsibility ends at my actions not the actions of others.

A 100 trillion dollars, please what a crock. Why not just say a gazillion since it is all made up numbers anyway.
M Todd: This is from USA Today:

The Consumer Federation of America report found that median household wealth among blacks grew 321% between 1989 and 1998, from $3,680 in 1989 to $15,500. However, that still was less than a quarter of the $71,700 accumulated by the typical American household.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/general/2002-08-30-black-savings_x.htm

The $100 trillion figure comes from a reputable source: Harper's Magazine as well. It wouldn't be that difficult to arrive at a figure. Simply determine the number of slaves then times that by the minimum wage level for that time period, etc.

But like I said in the article, that would be an impossible figure to pay back. I think affirmative action is a worthwhile compromise.

BikeLizard: Reread my first paragraph. Sixty-seven percent of blacks feel reparations are in order. That hardly sounds like they consider "it a reminder they can be bought and sold".

Insurance actuaries put a price on human suffering every day. It's not sickening but a necessary part of life and death sometimes.

Do you propose we do away with life insurance because it is too sickening to determine how much a human life is worth?
Another hornets nest here. First, if reparations were to be made the native Americans should get them first. They were the original people that were harmed when Europeans colonized the land, second the first slaves imported, bought and sold in the new world were the Irish, notably white folks. Your post suggests that since my skin is white that I somehow owe you an apology and cash for what happened to your distant ancestors. Would that not be the same as asking slaves descendants to pay this reparation to you? Long after African slaves were freed, the Irish and Italians were still being enslaved by the process of indenture. Are the descendants of those people in debt to African Americans too? I don't hold any truck with slavery, it was and is wrong. Those people who were enslaved in name or by condition are owed an apology, but that should not come as a blanket resolution to hold all white people responsible. If you deny the slavery of my ancestors then how are you different from those who claim that your people were in fact helped by being brought here? What of the responsibility of the people who captured, imprisoned, and sold your ancestors? Many of those people were Africans too. Do the descendants of those people owe reparations as well? They are not "white men". Would this excuse the practice of kidnapping people and selling them? Did you know that Jim Crow was not just for African Americans? It applied to the Jews, and Irish and Italian Catholics as well. We were in fact considered to be "colored people"? How would you go about excluding those "white" people who were either by conditon of life or residency from being punished for the actions of those who did hold slaves? What about reparations for the others who were slaves? Would you only pay them to those of African descent? Where is the fairness in that? The Klan targeted Catholics and Jews too, since more African Americans were injured by their actions does that diminish the harm done to the others?

Reparations were owed to those directly harmed by slavery, not their descendants. No one owes me a thing for the harm done to my ancestors. I never lived in that world. What happened in those times was morally reprehensible to both of us. You , however, make the claim that since my skin is lighter than yours that I carry the guilt that rightfully belongs to the same people that held my ancestors in bondage.
I did have ancestors here in the early days of the country. One was a general in Washingtons army. My direct ancestors came here in the late 19th century and worked in coal mines. They owned no slaves. Would you have me pay reparations to you? For no reason other than the color of my skin?
I mean you no disrespect. My questions are meant to provide food for thought on this sensitive subject. The issue is not so cut and dried as it would appear on first glance. The history on the treatment and conditions that met my ancestors is available but is widely ignored.
Tavis,

For example minimum wage did not exist. Most worked for enough to eat and a place to live, period. So if you are going to use a wage factor you have to back out room and board since slaves did not pay either. Also, what about slaves who had greater value as workers, or skilled workers? Should they be compensated more than say a laborer? Or is it a sort of communist idea of all are equal?

The problems with formulas is that they mean nothing. 100 trillion dollars is assuming everything is constant. People make and loose fortunes all the time. White farmers who share cropped lived hand to mouth and also had to accept the risk of a failed crop. Again if we are going to apply some formula you have to account for variations in economic conditions.

I am not denying blacks in the past faced hardships and unfair labor and economic discrepancies. Today, we have free education for almost anyone who wants it and if you are poor you access to college grants and loans. But, how many (white and black) make the most of the opportunity? Our society just can't keep blaming the past for the present problems in communities and families for ever.

There is no dispute there are more middle class and upper middle class whites and they will provide more opportunities for their families. It is not about race it is about family ties. I am not working for the white race. I bust my hump for my family not the next door neighbor's family. And blacks are no different. They are working for their families, not some cosmic black community.

I have no problems with paying taxes for schools and roads and hospitals. There is no problems in my eyes with giving minorities a leg up in the way of grants and other economic opportunities. Not because I feel guilty for some past offense in history, but because it is the only way to even out the discrepancies. If someone does not take advantage of the opportunity, then tough. There will be no free check for something that may or may not have happened to their great, great great grandfather.
hmmm, and what about the indentured servants (a form of slavery) from England sent to America? Should they be paid?
Not to throw a boulder into the puddle but....

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USASafrica.htm

"British merchants became involved in the trade and eventually dominated the market. They built coastal forts in Africa where they kept the captured Africans until the arrival of the slave-ships. The merchants obtained the slaves from African chiefs by giving them goods from Europe. At first, these slaves were often the captured soldiers from tribal wars. However, the demand for slaves become so great that raiding parties were organised to obtain young Africans."

So, following the line of reasoning behind reparation, a good few African countries *also* owe reparation to the descendants of slaves. Considering the financial/social disarray of most African countries, I can't see that one working out well.

Slavery is/was wrong *however*, the mores of the day were such that the whites, initially, were merely taking advantage of a system that had been in place in Africa for millenia.

Finally, ask yourself this: would you rather be a descendant of a slave, who now has a home, electricity, clean, running water, an education and all the perks of "civilised" life *because* your ancestors were brought over to America/Britain, or would you rather be a descendant of one of the African tribal slave traders, who faces unspeakable horrors every day, no clean water, no electricity, little to no education available etc?

If anyone wants to go forward with reparation, give the money towards fighting the modern slave trade. Those are the only slaves that need help nowadays.

*sigh*

Webbi
Then women would have to get reparations for being the most oppressed people on Planet Earth, not only in the past but today as well.
In most countries they are still slaves, can't drive, can't go to school, must carry and bear many children and do all the work.

It was only 60 years ago that women couldn't go to college in the U.S.

But you don't hear us asking for reparations.
I am American Indian and African Native... and yet under your demand for reparations *I* would be forced to pay YOU for something that I am not guilty of. HOW, precisely, are you going to prevent people who are something other than white from paying? Charging someone who is Chinese to pay for reparations to blacks would be morally reprehensible when you consider that early Chinese settlers to the US lived in conditions that were in many ways worse than those of former slaves. Equally, charging someone who is American Indian to pay reparations for slavery is morally reprehensible given the treatment of American Indians by both blacks and whites JUST since the Civil War.

Racism is an UGLY thing no matter the color or the person guilty of being racist. A black person calling me a "filthy redskin" is JUST as guilty of racism as a white person calling me a "filthy redskin".
Mrs. Raptor: Seventeen states fund abortions for poor women. What about all the pro-life people in those states who must fund a procedure they consider murder?

And what about the Amish, Quakers and other pacifists currently paying for the wars of the Middle East with their tax money?

My point is we don't get to choose where our tax money goes. And yes, African-Americans will partly be paying for their own reparations. Ironic, I know.

JK Brady: I mentioned the apology, which 70 percent of white America opposed, in the original post.
If you can find a person alive today who was a slave, maybe he/she should receive something. On the other hand, we should not be handing out money just to assuage someone's white guilt.

LOL @ cartouche.......I'm not sure how Fox News fits into this idea. But, at least I had a good laugh.

Do you even know the real meaning of "racist"? Or do you prefer the one that Al Sharpton says covers just about any remark made about a black person?
Sorry, I can't agree with much of this. While you're on point about the plight of minorities, and that discrimination is still prevalent, the last thing we need is try legislating our way out of it.

With all due respect, you're sounding like a liberal, and the only thing as bad as a liberal is a conservative...

My response to your "suck it up" comment, is suck it up and work hard to make the wealth your ancestors couldn't make. What happened to the African Americans was abhorrent, as was what happened to the Native Americans, the Women, and many many others... But what's past it past. You can't turn back the clock, and frankly you shouldn't try. Who gets to decide what's fair and equitable for such past evils? Who do you trust to make that call?

The fact of the matter is, there's immigrants coming into this country every day with nothing but the shirts off their backs and a dream. And yet, they manage to carve out a life for themselves through hard work, and hopefully the next generation does a little better then the last...

My own ancestors were only in this country for maybe two generations, but they worked their tails off farming and did the best they could. And now, I'm carrying on that tradition. I DO NOT want you or anyone else trying to tailor the perfect society or correct past ills with your half baked social programs.

Yes, we MUST keep a vigilant eye out against discrimination against sex, race, gender, ect... We must struggle to keep the playing field as even as possible... But the lesser of two evils is and always will be keeping the governments nose out of our affairs as much as possible. I don't care what your party affiliation is, they're ALL crooks, and not ONE of them has the answer for social ills. And if they say they do, they're lying.
Racial discrimination in America against blacks is deep and multi-layered. The slaves not only had the skills to farm, but were also part of the original contingent of cow herders/cowboys who shaped the west.

"No less than twenty-five percent of all cowhands were Black. In fact, the label “cowboy” is thought to have originally been a derogatory term used to describe Black “cowhands”. As the word “cowboy” has grown immeasurably in popularity, the Black cowboys the term described have been stricken from the record with extreme prejudice. "

Blacks dominated America's first national sport--horseracing. Arthur Ashe wrote about them in his book ''A Hard Road to Glory: A History of the African- American Athlete.'' Blacks were forced out of horseracing because they were black.

"For 120 years, white America has gone to extraordinary lengths to discredit and discourage black participation in sports because black athletes have been so accomplished. The saddest case is that of the black jockeys. When the first Kentucky Derby was run in 1875, 15 thoroughbreds were entered and 14 of their riders were black. Black domination of horse racing then was analogous to the domination of the National Basketball Association today. Subsequently, the Jockey Club was formed in the early 1890's to regulate and license all jockeys. Then one by one the blacks were denied their license renewals. By 1911 they had all but disappeared."

This country also owes much to a multitude of black inventors who's intellectual property and licenses have been stolen by corporations.

The white folks who say their ancestors worked hard to get what they have are not taking into account that the government gave them a leg up with land, loans and other social services that were not made available to blacks. It's interesting that Obama explained how his grandparents got an FHA loan--well this was not available to black people at the time--it benefited Obama that he was half-white. Half the of the white privileged that whites take for granted.

A study published in the July issue of Public Affairs Quarterly by two Oregon State University faculty members in 2008 concluded that "Black Americans Should Get Reparations for Housing Discrimination."

"Historic housing and lending discrimination against black Americans has created a significant discrepancy in their overall wealth – a gap that may take reparations to close, according to research published by two Oregon State University faculty members.

...The FHA made home ownership possible for many Americans by introducing low down-payment, long-term fixed-interest, self-amortizing loans. In 1938, the creation of the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) provided a market for Federal Housing Authority (FHA) loans, increasing liquidity and further decreasing lender risk.

As Kaplan explains, black Americans were almost completely excluded from benefiting from these loans because the FHA assigned “risk” rating to neighborhoods, based on various demographic factors, especially race. Mixed and predominantly black neighborhoods were rated as “riskier” and were generally not eligible for FHA loans.

Valls said after World War II, the G.I. Bill led to a housing boom where returning soldiers bought new homes in the newly-formed suburbs. However, black veterans were largely excluded from the housing benefits of the G.I. Bill.

“The FHA manual at the time stated that ‘If a neighborhood is to retain stability, it is necessary that properties shall continue to be occupied by the same social and racial classes,’” Valls said. “So for a home to be insurable, a neighborhood had to be white and to stay white.”

To ensure that stability, the FHA actively promoted the use of racial covenants – legal restrictions on who houses could be sold to – in order to protect against transitions to mixed neighborhoods. According to Kaplan and Valls, by some estimates 80 percent of new suburban housing developments in the 1930s and ’40s included such covenants.

“So even if you wanted to sell your home to a person of color, you couldn’t,” noted Valls. Valls said he recently found a racial covenant in the original deed for his 1949 home that stated that the home was 'not to be sold to blacks or Asians.'"


Whites could live in whatever neighborhood they could afford or get the loans to open businesses.

Even when blacks were able to build their own communities and businesses to support themselves, there have been documented cases of entire communities being burned out and their residents massacred. One example was The Rosewood Massacres.

Did I mention the centuries of crimes against blacks by whites that went unpunished? Violence, murder, Jim Crow and other atrocities were legitimized by "law enforcement", who were often leaders in the KKK in Southern states like Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee... Then there was the resurgence of the Klan in the 1920s "in response to urbanization and industrialization."

"'By mid-1949, there were so many charred house carcasses that the area [College Hills] was informally named Dynamite Hill." Independent Klan groups remained active in Birmingham and were deeply engaged in violent opposition to the Civil Rights Movement.

The Klan had major political influence in several states and was influential mostly in the center of the country. The Klan spread from the South into the Midwest and Northern states, and into Canada where there was a large movement against Catholic immigrants. At its peak, Klan membership exceeded four million and comprised 20% of the adult white male population in many broad geographic regions, with 40% in some areas. Most of the membership resided in Midwestern states.

The KKK controlled Southern legislatures and the governments of Tennessee, Indiana, Oklahoma, and Oregon. In Indiana, Republican Klansman Edward Jackson was elected governor in 1924."


Many of the discriminatory practices described above still occur. These are not long ago practices that are now a part of American History. Generations of blacks still suffer from what one psychologist calls, "post-traumatic slave syndrome." "Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing" by Joy Degruy Leary

Do African-Americans Deserve Reparations for Slavery?
Yes! They also deserve reparations for the hell they've been catching since "legal" slavery ended.
Racial discrimination in America against blacks is deep and multi-layered. The slaves not only had the skills to farm, but were also part of the original contingent of cow herders/cowboys who shaped the west.

"No less than twenty-five percent of all cowhands were Black. In fact, the label “cowboy” is thought to have originally been a derogatory term used to describe Black “cowhands”. As the word “cowboy” has grown immeasurably in popularity, the Black cowboys the term described have been stricken from the record with extreme prejudice. "

Blacks dominated America's first national sport--horseracing. Arthur Ashe wrote about them in his book ''A Hard Road to Glory: A History of the African- American Athlete.'' Blacks were forced out of horseracing because they were black.

"For 120 years, white America has gone to extraordinary lengths to discredit and discourage black participation in sports because black athletes have been so accomplished. The saddest case is that of the black jockeys. When the first Kentucky Derby was run in 1875, 15 thoroughbreds were entered and 14 of their riders were black. Black domination of horse racing then was analogous to the domination of the National Basketball Association today. Subsequently, the Jockey Club was formed in the early 1890's to regulate and license all jockeys. Then one by one the blacks were denied their license renewals. By 1911 they had all but disappeared."

This country also owes much to a multitude of black inventors who's intellectual property and licenses have been stolen by corporations.

The white folks who say their ancestors worked hard to get what they have are not taking into account that the government gave them a leg up with land, loans and other social services that were not made available to blacks. It's interesting that Obama explained how his grandparents got an FHA loan--well this was not available to black people at the time--it benefited Obama that he was half-white. Half the of the white privileged that whites take for granted.

A study published in the July issue of Public Affairs Quarterly by two Oregon State University faculty members in 2008 concluded that "Black Americans Should Get Reparations for Housing Discrimination."

"Historic housing and lending discrimination against black Americans has created a significant discrepancy in their overall wealth – a gap that may take reparations to close, according to research published by two Oregon State University faculty members.

...The FHA made home ownership possible for many Americans by introducing low down-payment, long-term fixed-interest, self-amortizing loans. In 1938, the creation of the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) provided a market for Federal Housing Authority (FHA) loans, increasing liquidity and further decreasing lender risk.

As Kaplan explains, black Americans were almost completely excluded from benefiting from these loans because the FHA assigned “risk” rating to neighborhoods, based on various demographic factors, especially race. Mixed and predominantly black neighborhoods were rated as “riskier” and were generally not eligible for FHA loans.

Valls said after World War II, the G.I. Bill led to a housing boom where returning soldiers bought new homes in the newly-formed suburbs. However, black veterans were largely excluded from the housing benefits of the G.I. Bill.

“The FHA manual at the time stated that ‘If a neighborhood is to retain stability, it is necessary that properties shall continue to be occupied by the same social and racial classes,’” Valls said. “So for a home to be insurable, a neighborhood had to be white and to stay white.”

To ensure that stability, the FHA actively promoted the use of racial covenants – legal restrictions on who houses could be sold to – in order to protect against transitions to mixed neighborhoods. According to Kaplan and Valls, by some estimates 80 percent of new suburban housing developments in the 1930s and ’40s included such covenants.

“So even if you wanted to sell your home to a person of color, you couldn’t,” noted Valls. Valls said he recently found a racial covenant in the original deed for his 1949 home that stated that the home was 'not to be sold to blacks or Asians.'"


Whites could live in whatever neighborhood they could afford or get the loans to open businesses.

Even when blacks were able to build their own communities and businesses to support themselves, there have been documented cases of entire communities being burned out and their residents massacred. One example was The Rosewood Massacres.

Did I mention the centuries of crimes against blacks by whites that went unpunished? Violence, murder, Jim Crow and other atrocities were legitimized by "law enforcement", who were often leaders in the KKK in Southern states like Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee... Then there was the resurgence of the Klan in the 1920s "in response to urbanization and industrialization."

"'By mid-1949, there were so many charred house carcasses that the area [College Hills] was informally named Dynamite Hill." Independent Klan groups remained active in Birmingham and were deeply engaged in violent opposition to the Civil Rights Movement.

The Klan had major political influence in several states and was influential mostly in the center of the country. The Klan spread from the South into the Midwest and Northern states, and into Canada where there was a large movement against Catholic immigrants. At its peak, Klan membership exceeded four million and comprised 20% of the adult white male population in many broad geographic regions, with 40% in some areas. Most of the membership resided in Midwestern states.

The KKK controlled Southern legislatures and the governments of Tennessee, Indiana, Oklahoma, and Oregon. In Indiana, Republican Klansman Edward Jackson was elected governor in 1924."


Many of the discriminatory practices described above still occur. These are not long ago practices that are now a part of American History. Generations of blacks still suffer from what one psychologist calls, "post-traumatic slave syndrome." "Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing" by Joy Degruy Leary

Do African-Americans Deserve Reparations for Slavery?
Yes! They also deserve reparations for the hell they've been catching since "legal" slavery ended.
Do African-Americans Deserve Reparations for Slavery? Yes! They also deserve reparations for the hell they've been catching since "legal" slavery ended.

Blacks Deserve Reparations for Slavery
Reparation for slavery in what is now the United States is a complicated issue. Any proposal for reparations must take into account the role of the, then relatively newly formed, United States Government in the importation and enslavement of Africans and that of the older and established European countries that created the colonies in which slavery was legal; as well as their efforts to stop the trade in slaves.

- Ryan from online dating service
we all know that no amount of money can repay

the duration of our holocaust..the most significant

part of jewish reparations on behalf of the

germans and the UN was the freeing up of jewish

thinkers.. allowing them to think for a national

behalf...what we africans in a america need

more than ever is a place to go lick our wounds

to come and learn who we are and what we

must peacefully do..we need an instituition that

is our own to cure the mental disease of slavery.

institutions as grand and dedicated

as the colonial europeans were to creating the

condition of slavery..peace
I'm white, in favor of reparations, and amazed so many white people don't wish to be repaid for the slavery of their ancestors. If you're a typical white American, the rich liberal media elites who preach that you owe money actually owe YOU money. They're trying to get you to pay off THEIR debt. That's why this guy's talking about payment from the GOVERNMENT. That would be all of us paying for the sins of about 5 percent of colonial whites. How would that be fair? He has some racist things to say, like our President should not have disavowed somebody who said our country deserved 9/11, but frankly, I don't remember Obama ever publicly disagreeing with Wright on that. Guess that proves you're not senile, to run for President and stand by a pastor who preaches hate against whites... if you still win the election. Anyway, white people need to read "They Were White and They Were Slaves" by Michael A. Hoffman. There are scores of other books on the subject, but his is the best place to start, and then see if you truly don't support reparations. In today's economic times, couldn't you use that extra paycheck? I don't think Africa is having a reparations debate, so I apologize to you descendants of whites enslaved by Africans.
A huge amount of modern Americans had themselves ancestors who arrived on American shores long after slavery had been abolished, and even those who can trace their roots to earlier times, plenty lived lives not much better than those who were enslaved. Indentured servitude was awful, but at least some did manage to escape the system, either by running away or fulfilling their obligations.

Since so much of our American wealth has been created relatively recently I fail to see an argument that everyone owes the descendants of former slaves a check.

What's next? Egyptians writing checks to the Jews for driving them out of town? Or how bout some old Greek and Roman conflicts? At some point one must draw the line.

Logic lacks in the comparison to German reparations to the Jews. In many cases these people were still alive, or at least their direct relatives and descendants. Even today over fifty years since the liberation of the camps, there are still a few survivors. It's not as if the descendants of slaves can knock upon the door of the families who had once "owned" them. Most of those families eventually lost their fortunes after the "War of Northern Aggression."

So, once more, NO. There must be a cultural statute of limitations and surely that has been met. I'd like to see helping hands extended to everyone who needs it regardless of their cultural/racial heritage. Move on everyone, spend the energy on something worthwhile!
I'm surprised so many people think reparations is a black issue. Since there were more white slaves than black ones, it would mostly benefit white people. Want to help the poor? How about the poor white people in this country who descended from slaves? Once again, read "They Were White and They Were Slaves" by Michael A. Hoffman.
I believed in reparations until I did some actual historical research on the history of slavery. Turns out the real root cause of slavery starts with Blacks capturing and selling other Blacks. While they found a market in America with Whites in America, there were also Black slave owners. The other factor not figured in to reparations is how many people gave their lives to fight for our freedom. Would the White ancestors of those soldiers be given reparations too? or would they just be funding them. It's time to pony up and be grateful for freedom and opportunity.
This country may have been build by the backs of slaves, but it was also build on the dead bodies of millions of indigeous people. Entire indian nations were wiped out in a matter of days or weeks. American Indians have the highest rate of drug & alcohol addiction, suicide rates, teen pregency, dropout rates, gang involvment, rape and imprisonment of any minority in this country. The US goverment took Indian Children from their family beginning at the age of six years old and shipped them across the country, forced them to cut their hair, stop speaking their languge and forget their spritial upbringing. In the 40s/50s US goverment had a policy to take Indian children born in US gov hopsitals from their families and put them up for adoption - without their parents permission, the policy also included force sterilzation of the mothers. The US goverment "manged" Indian oil, gas and land lease money and the "lost" billions and billions of those dollars owned to Indian families and to this day, still can NOT account for that money.
Every treaty, absolutly every single treaty signed by the US goverment to an Indain Nation has been BROKEN, EVERY SINGLE ONE.

If reparitions are made. the Indians are the first in line.
wow that's a big money there. i hope the about racism in America will end. there's no point if the white will pay the african american about their slavery that was already done long ago. why not focus on the issues today? America has a big problem in the economy than that.
In my own opinion, African-Americans really deserve reparations for slavery. Years have passed by and most of them are in the top market now. Superstars and Rock-stars really do implement an icon out of them.
Actually, the Blacks in America are obliged to pay a huge amount to the English speaking Whites for the tremendous improvement that has come their way, when compared to the immensity of people who reside in other nations of the world.

I am simply quote from a comment I posted on huffingtonpost

What American Blacks, (Blacks who claim bloodline to the Black Africans where were forcefully brought to US) have achieved over the years is quite the most enviable experience compared to what an immensity of others all around the world have experienced.

Close proximity to English systems, English dressing standards, White native-English speakers as classmates, best educational systems, personal and social liberty that cannot be even imagined in most Asian, African, SouthAmerica, and even some European nations. They can address social superiors by their name, with or without a Mr., Mrs, Miss prefixed. Among 99% of the rest of the world population in Asian/African/South American nations, this is not possible or even conceivable.

At best, slavery existed only for around 75 years after the formation of the US. In most other nations, it existed for centuries, without any chains, but only shackled by words and usages; and still continues. In the US, Whites fought for the abolishing of slavery. GB did this much earlier.

In spite of all this, a certain percentage of Blacks are still bearing a creepy antipathy for their benefactors. Not only blacks, many non-native-English-speaking whites and Asians, also have improved.

Time to come out with some words acknowledging gratitude.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Victoria_Institutions/trayvon-martin-case-georg_n_1381322_143964692.html
First you should have to trace your ancestry to prove they were here then & how long. I have traced some of mine. I do know that there are cases of real white slavery that are not endentured servitude. My particular Duncan ancestor may have been one of those unlucky children kidnapped off the streets of Scotland. So where is MY share? Besides the slave traders did non of the capturing-the African's and Arabs captured and kept Africans as slaves and sold many to slave traders and if one was to be a slave somewhere, it would be better to be on a plantation in America than as a eunich or sex slave in arabia somewhere where the death toll was about 90% at best and even then not for long. They did not believe in "breeding". They just discarded & bought more. Many of the Founding Fathers wanted to abolish slavery right away. Some northern states did within a few years. So just because you have darker pigmented skin does not mean that you have a monopoly on generational misery from ancestral slavery. Peoples of any color can claim that they may have had ancestors who were slaves because it has happened everywhere by everyone. Europeans were not the first to invent it but were the first to officially abolish it. African & Muslim nations-not so much-just google their recent abolishment dates!
First you should have to trace your ancestry to prove they were here then & how long. I have traced some of mine. I do know that there are cases of real white slavery that are not endentured servitude. My particular Duncan ancestor may have been one of those unlucky children kidnapped off the streets of Scotland. So where is MY share? Besides the slave traders did non of the capturing-the African's and Arabs captured and kept Africans as slaves and sold many to slave traders and if one was to be a slave somewhere, it would be better to be on a plantation in America than as a eunich or sex slave in arabia somewhere where the death toll was about 90% at best and even then not for long. They did not believe in "breeding". They just discarded & bought more. Many of the Founding Fathers wanted to abolish slavery right away. Some northern states did within a few years. So just because you have darker pigmented skin does not mean that you have a monopoly on generational misery from ancestral slavery. Peoples of any color can claim that they may have had ancestors who were slaves because it has happened everywhere by everyone. Europeans were not the first to invent it but were the first to officially abolish it. African & Muslim nations-not so much-just google their recent abolishment dates!
First you should have to trace your ancestry to prove they were here then & how long. I have traced some of mine. I do know that there are cases of real white slavery that are not endentured servitude. My particular Duncan ancestor may have been one of those unlucky children kidnapped off the streets of Scotland. So where is MY share? Besides the slave traders did non of the capturing-the African's and Arabs captured and kept Africans as slaves and sold many to slave traders and if one was to be a slave somewhere, it would be better to be on a plantation in America than as a eunich or sex slave in arabia somewhere where the death toll was about 90% at best and even then not for long. They did not believe in "breeding". They just discarded & bought more. Many of the Founding Fathers wanted to abolish slavery right away. Some northern states did within a few years. So just because you have darker pigmented skin does not mean that you have a monopoly on generational misery from ancestral slavery. Peoples of any color can claim that they may have had ancestors who were slaves because it has happened everywhere by everyone. Europeans were not the first to invent it but were the first to officially abolish it. African & Muslim nations-not so much-just google their recent abolishment dates!
First you should have to trace your ancestry to prove they were here then & how long. I have traced some of mine. I do know that there are cases of real white slavery that are not endentured servitude. My particular Duncan ancestor may have been one of those unlucky children kidnapped off the streets of Scotland. So where is MY share? Besides the slave traders did non of the capturing-the African's and Arabs captured and kept Africans as slaves and sold many to slave traders and if one was to be a slave somewhere, it would be better to be on a plantation in America than as a eunich or sex slave in arabia somewhere where the death toll was about 90% at best and even then not for long. They did not believe in "breeding". They just discarded & bought more. Many of the Founding Fathers wanted to abolish slavery right away. Some northern states did within a few years. So just because you have darker pigmented skin does not mean that you have a monopoly on generational misery from ancestral slavery. Peoples of any color can claim that they may have had ancestors who were slaves because it has happened everywhere by everyone. Europeans were not the first to invent it but were the first to officially abolish it. African & Muslim nations-not so much-just google their recent abolishment dates!
I did see a post by a Native American decendant. I am sorry if any of my ancestors harmed or had anything to do with slavery or harming the Native Americans. That being said. Native Americans also fought each other and took slaves after battles. Chief Sequoia was said to have 1000 black slaves. I would think that would be highly exagerated. Like I said war, killing, atrocities and slavery have been perpetrated on everyone by everybody. Even Native Americans did it to Native Americans long before Europeans got here. There were just a whole lot more of us. Sorry but that is the truth. Everyone knows it. But there is slavery still going on mostly in Africa that we should do something about though. Its real. Its not 3-400 years ago and its not indentured servitude or the philosophical kind. It's the disgusting kind.
txndngrl is right. If there are any reparations owed to anyone it is the Native Americans. We have dishonored our treaties with the Native American Nations. Yes, they are Nations in their own right, but Americans as well. They do deserve that special status. We kept pushing them to the side until we decided we liked that particular corner that we pushed them to and then we pushed them somewhere else again until the land that they ended up with isn't so nice and when we find minerals or oil, then we take that too and don't pay them what we agree upon. America has tarnished in many ways. It does make me sad to think of what we have done to our Native American brothers and sisters. God settles up all arguments eventually, so we had better be careful how we conduct ourselves and if we are taking advantage of another, He will have much to say about that to each of us who may be guilty.
Travis D'arby is a" GREAT AMERICAN" IF OBAMA OR MITT WOULD NOT DO WHAT "GOD AND THE DEVIL" WANTS THEM TO DO, TO TAKE AMERICA TO THE NEXT LEAVE.

OUR BEST WILL NOT COME UNTIL WE CORRECT THE PASS AND LAY A SUSTAINABLE FOUNDATION FOR OUR FUTURE.

WE THE PEOPLE, LIFE- LIBERTY AND HAPPINESS!!!