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Fixing a Broken System: Going Beyond Reparations

May 10, 2019 | Politics

Reparations for descendants of slaves is laudable. As I look through thousands of photos to post with this article I am overcome by a great sadness and shame. These are a people who certainly suffered horrible transgressions; however, in my opinion, if someone wants to put a monetary value on that suffering, they can, but to me it corrupts the atonement. It also sets an impossible precedent. One the country couldn’t possibly afford. We would be talking about trillions of dollars in atonement for just descendants of slaves.

If we pay for forgiveness for these transgressions, then what of reparations for the American Indians, the Chinese, and so many others who have suffered because of abusive government power and bad people? It’s an honorable notion, but one that isn’t feasible.

First, where would the money come from? Who is to pay? We cannot ask the slave traders and slave owners to pay because they are gone. Should we assess the payment on the descendants of the slave owners? Should we ask the descendants of the scientific community to pay who perpetrated the myth that slaves were racially inferior? This, at least, would make the many immigrants that escaped war torn countries and poverty exempt. Still, most of those slave owner descendents are now living paycheck to paycheck and those who aren’t…they are not their ancestors. What about the Government? The government and tax payers couldn’t afford it and should they have to?

There are 325 million US citizens with 14% being African American. There could be more than 45 million descendants. What would the price be to each? $1,000? $2,000? $3000? That would be an insult as a trade off for what this group of people’s ancestors had to endure. Plus, who in each family line is to receive these funds…The Matriarch or Patriarch of the family or should it be every member of each family’s down the line who are alive?

I would love to repay all who have suffered, but I fear that is not possible. We have so many other issues that need to be front and center, issues that will impact all of us, regardless of race or creed or country of origin. We must build upon the foundations of what we now have and make it better.

These ancestors would be more served if their descendant’s lives became better. In communities that are a result of slavery and discrimination, we should pay for better PUBLIC schools where their children, and all children from all walks of life, can study in a safe and secure environment and with the supplies and resources they deserve. The money can be spent on developing city centers and neighborhood infrastructure, as well as, updating public housing so that families can live together in affordable, quality living spaces. We should support black businesses and make it easier for them to get funding. We should work to raise the minimum wage in those and all areas. If we raise the quality of living for those, who by design, have been deprived of our great economy and so much more, it would go a long way toward true and lasting reparations. That would be my focus, those would be the reparations that I feel can and should be done.

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