It is time to talk about reparations

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    • #323728

      and to keep on talking and telling until we/they/US settle up for 401 years filled with slavery, lynching,  persecution, disenfranchisement, racist discrimination and most of all, a racist police state that has come a long way since Rodney King.


    • #323747
    • #323751

      How would you even determine who gets a check?  Do biracial people get half as much?  If a white person took a dna test and found to have distant ansestors who were slaves, do they also get paid?  It’s a pipe dream.  Back to reality.

    • #323760

      With respect, the responses thus far represent a knee-jerk voluntary ignorance of the matter. Very disappointing for a supposedly progressive Web site.

      Regarding money as a solution, one of the most profound problems in this country is not income inequality; it’s wealth inequality.

      As for who gets a check, that’s a tried-and-true conversation stopper that reveals a basic cluelessness on the whole question. Do people honestly believe that those advocating for reparations haven’t grappled with questions like these? Of course they have.

      As with most pressing issues and problems, there are a number of perspectives and possible solutions. Here are just two of quite a few:

      National African American Reparations Commission preliminary 10-point reparations plan

      Marianne Williamson – A Plan for Reparations


      • #324151
        Babel 17

        President Obama is half white, and is not descended from slaves, so he’d owe. His kids would owe because of him, but be entitled due to Michelle.

        How would you check the genealogy and genetics of blacks in America to see to what extent that they were descended from slaves, and not never slaves from Africa?

        How do you ask the descendants of Union soldiers to pay? Some families lost a lot of people in order to destroy the Confederate Army.

        Immigrants to non-slave states would owe as much as the descendants of those who owned slaves? Would only white people pay, or would the descendants of exploited Mexican and Chinese laborers also be expected to kick in? Would every new refugee be handed a piece of paper showing what they owed?

        I glanced at the link, and it has a lot of non-starter ideas.

        A. Substantial tracts of government/public land in the South and other regions of the country be transferred to the National Reparations Trust Authority with full autonomy in terms equivalent to the sovereignty granted to Native people over reservations awarded to them. These lands are to be utilized for major educational, commercial, industrial, economic/business and health/wellness institutions and enterprises to benefit people of African descent.

        B. Funds to support the restoration and enhancement of agricultural development including, grants and loans to limited resource farmers to enable them to expand and compete in the U.S. and global economy.

        This reparations movement’s only real guaranteed beneficiaries are those who get employment and/or grants from espousing it. It’s only utility is if it aids in getting something actually helpful pushed forward, like a UBI, or massive infrastructure projects. To the extent that that it distracts from those, it will be serving as a scam, and those pushing that would be acting as grifters.

        But it is something that’s very easy to point to.

    • #323761

      are a one time thing and will not change anything. They also do nothing to change attitudes that have caused these problems for the entire life of the country. Also it will be a nightmare regarding who gets it. Part of my family can trace their heritage back to John Bonga who was a slave who   married into a Native American tribe. Are they even going to look at that?

      Reparations is fine but not if it is standing alone. That will be like the $1200 relief checks. Gone in no time and nothing changes.


    • #323772
      NV Wino

      Living wages and removing massive wealth inequality are a better answer if you want to equate the problem to money.

      Education, restructuring law enforcement, equal protection under the law, and decent living conditions are an even better approach.

      And if you still want to talk about reparations, what about the Native Americans, Japanese and Chinese (to mention a few) who have suffered, and still suffer, discrimination and physical harm?

      “As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.” Barbara Lee
      “Politicians and pro athletes: The only people who still get paid when they lose.” William Rivers Pitt

      • #323780

        It isn’t simply a matter of lump-sum payments. Most plans include proposals for a number of fundamental structural changes.

        Ironically, the misunderstanding – and occasional deliberate distortions – surrounding reparations reminds me a lot of the complaints about “free stuff” that dogged Bernie Sanders.

        This is precisely why we need to have this conversation.

        • #323782

          Should Fist Nations ask and accept money for broken treaties, stolen lands, genocide, and thus give up demanding that US respects the treaties, respects the holiness land, water and air?

          How would that help European colonialist culture, which is sick and corrupt to the core and in desperate need of healing?


          • #323787

            You ask some good questions and make some provocative points, but we have to start somewhere.

            More than 40 years ago, people who advocated for solar energy were routinely laughed off or shut down with dismissals that it was impractical, pie-in-the-sky, and, from concern trolls, “just not there yet.” Ironically, all these dismissals became self-fulfilling, and we squandered a huge amount of time.

            The same could be said for reparations discussions. It’s time to face our past squarely — all aspects of our past.

    • #323779

      Asking for reparations from state is not dignified, especially when slavery continues stronger than ever. As long as constitution de jure allows slavery, talk of reparations is nothing but cover up pretending that slavery has ended and legitimizes real slavery that continues to exist. Begging for reparations from the current slaver means selling out, selling your dignity and honesty for fraudulent money which is just another tool of slavery.


    • #323786

      This is a religious perspective, and I’m not religious. Nonetheless, I think it makes some excellent points.

      5 Reasons Why Reparations Talk Makes White People Crazy

      1. Reparations talk messes with our social boundaries.
      2. Reparations talk messes with family pride.
      3. Reparations talk messes with our religion.
      4. Reparations talk messes with our patriotism.
      5. Reparations talk messes with our politics.

      “In America, there is a strange and powerful belief that if you stab a black person 10 times, the bleeding stops and the healing begins the moment the assailant drops the knife.” — Ta-Nehisi Coates

    • #323794

      Many years ago, the Puyallup Tribe received a big settlement from the Port of Tacoma (WA). It amounted to about $20k for each tribal member, which was not a bad chunk of change in the 1980s. Of course, many members advocated splitting the pot evenly and giving each member $20k. But the elders would not do it. One of them explained by saying something pretty wise. I’m paraphrasing here, so this is not an exact quote. “We know what will happen. Our young men will spend the money on liquor and cars. Many of them will get drunk and wrap the Camaro around a tree at 2:00 in the morning. The money will be gone and so will many of our people.” On edit: found a link.

      • #323869
        Cold Mountain Trail

        same reason native ams were encouraged to divide the res into private plots: privatization destroys solidarity, individual entities can’t stand up to or against organized power, they’ll be steamrolled unless they stay in solidarity.

        americans, even white americans, are a colonized people.

        colonized bodies colonized minds

        the world is a colonized people.

        • #324086

          Yes. In fact people of European origin are the most colonized of all. It’s essential to understand that colonization is an unsustainable productive and administrative system, which colonizes more land and ecosystems for unsustainable extraction and destruction, colonizes the minds of it’s conquered subjects into colonizers. Europeans just have been suffering under the system longest time, but becoming and being a colonized colonizer has nothing to do with ethnicity or color of skin as such.

          Decolonization is gradual and primarily mental process of becoming indigenous children of Earth, and Europeans just have most decolonizing to do. The narratives of white privilege and condescending identity politics of “guilt” and “helping” of peoples whom the system has colonized later than Europeans is not very helpful towards vital process of decolonization and recreating sustainable ways of life, on the contrary it often helps to uphold and reproduce colonialist narratives and self-images.


    • #323799
      game meat

      What problems would reparations solve that universal solutions couldn’t accomplish in a way that is more practical? Why go out of your way to brand necessary reforms with a loaded term which will inevitably and justifiably have other demographics who have their own very real grievances asking, “What about us?”  There’s a long list of various identities who got the short end of the stick at some point in US history. Sure, you could argue all day over who had it the worst, who’s the most deserving, who’s still suffering today, and so on, but what good will it do? Why bother when it’s entirely possible to focus on improving the lives of everybody?

      Racial problems may be real but are an oversimplification of the structural problems present in American institutions. We’re talking about broken fundamentals on the most basic level:  toxic organizational cultures where the appearance of racism is but one result of that dysfunction rather than the cause. For instance, we have a police force who has proven to show little concern for black lives, but that same police force had zero qualms with pushing a 75 year old  white male to ground for no reason whatsoever. This is a country where extreme poverty persists both in diverse urban areas and mostly white rural areas.

      Various forms of identitarian politics has been the dominating ideology for decades now, and has been mostly ineffective at solving practical problems after the initial gains of the civil rights movement. At what point do we concede such politics is a dead end and try a new approach?


    • #323833

      Use democratic means to achieve a better society.

      I do not support reparations of the kind that have been discussed in the MSM over the last few years and decades.  I’m not persuaded that reparations of these kinds would do much of anything in terms of eliminating racism.

      But again, I am certainly open to listening to what people have to say.

      The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

    • #323880
      David the Gnome

      Make a lot more sense?  If there are reparations – they would tax the poor to pay for them.  Certainly in this Country they would.  So, black workers would be paying themselves reparations.

      Why not universal programs that help not just black Americans or white Americans or Native Americans – but all Americans?  There is no amount of money that could pay for the crimes of the past and present.  Yet a UBI could help ensure survival.  Universal healthcare would dramatically alter things as well.

      Let the God damn idiots of the right call it socialism if they will.  That particular minority has been holding the rest of us hostage for far too long.

      Plans that benefit Americans as a whole would work a whole lot better – and perhaps not create more of what we are trying to avoid – racial tension, inequality, resentment and hatred.

      • #323987
        Ohio Barbarian

        @davidthegnome Since that would include all black people, they would have more disposable income and therefore have the means to make their own case for reparations and how such reparations would take place.

        There are some things on which most decent people will agree, like everyone should have quality education and a living income. Get everybody that first, and then there will be less economic-minded resistance to the idea of reparations. Heck, putting quality schools in poor neighborhoods should be a priority anyway. They may not be reparations, but they’re a good start.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        If Democrats don’t stand for the people, why should people stand for them?--Jim Hightower

    • #324007

      We stole their land and should make reparations to them.

      The biggest problem in this country is the great disparity in wealth. That should be the prime focus, and not let anything distract from rectifying that injustice.

      Income equality, at least approaching what Europe has should be a start. But there needs to be a major plan for wealth redistribution in the U.S. it is a severe problem, and it’s destroying the country.

      I would start with breaking up the monopolies like Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and the too big to fail banks, Federal Reserve reform. Don’t elect Joe Biden, Senator from the credit card capital of the U.S., responsible for usury interest rates. And so on down the line. It will take a revolution. Bernie could have been the one to lead the charge. Now it’s up to us.

      • #324069
        Cold Mountain Trail

        “We” stole their land

        ‘we’ didn’t.

        who owns it today?

        not me.  never owned a square inch of it.

        like everything most of it is owned by the descendants of those who actually did the stealing.

        refuse to be tarred with collective guilt that disappears the men behind the curtains.

      • #324089

        What exactly is that “we” you speak of? What kind of identity construction? We the privileged white colonizers, superior by our ethnic background and color of skin?

        Or, rather… we the descendants of generations and generations of slaves and oppressed, colonized by Roman Empire and what not, turned by the system into colonized colonizers, uprooted and alienated commodity?

        Isn’t the real issue ending the cycles of oppression, unsustainable production and looting, especially now that physical limits of imperialist growth have become obvious? Now that system can’t afford anymore to buy off its younger generations with any stake in the colonialist system?

        Central bank electronically printing more dollars and handing them to buy better conscience for ruling class – the administrative professional class of bullshit jobs that has taken over the “left” – does not repair health of land and water, health of communities, health of human minds and hearts.


    • #324040

      So who has to pay? Should poor whites pay too or just rich whites? What about the white guy that just immigrated here? Does he have to pay too?

      And who gets the money? Is it just decedents of slaves? Is it all people of color? Does it include Elizabeth Warren since she’s got 1% Native American DNA? Barack Obama is half-white. So does his reparations check get cut in half?

      And how much do you think that check is going to help? Is it a monthly amount? A few hundred dollars of month of free money is going to solve racism? That’s going to stop cops from killing black people? That’s going to stop landlords from discriminating? That’s going to stop employers from paying black employees less or passing them over for promotions?

      • #324091

        UBI to take practical steps to heal society as whole and create new more healthier social ties and attitudes, instead of identity politics of racial and ethnic divide and conquer.

        Preferably socially owned UBI monetary system, where money is directly created as UBI and banksters etc. middleman cut out and made unnecessary.


    • #324065

      My ancestors like Almost Owl Woman (Piegan) will appreciate being remembered.

      @coldmountaintrail @ozoneman

    • #324110

      OK..  native americans first

      edit- of course some here already mentioned this.   i am very sorry.   I just finished a spat with my sisters about recent events and took some of that out on y’all.    blacks could be due reparations.  IMO it would be a poor choice to make only financial.    is there a way to financially reward (by some measurable amounts) those who do well in school?

    • #329550

      shit happens to white people, they expect to collect.

      what a disgrace.

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