Barack Obama And Slavery Reparations

The Law of Punishment and Reward

Anyone who captures a free person, brings them to another country against their will, forces them to do manual labor without pay, while physically and psychologically abusing them – denying them equal rights to resources are creating a moral and ethical system by which redress is inevitable. Although the era supported this type of behavior and it was acceptable by the legitimate government one could argue that no wrong was committed – except the one who was subjected to the treatment. For them, it was not consensual therefore it's illegal and degrading. Let’s say he/she was subjected to this type of treatment suddenly and unexpectedly. The psychological ramifications would be astronomical leaving mental scars for generations to come.

Let’s go a step further to say that his/her generation for the next two hundred years or more was subjected to this type of treatment from the time they were born to the time of their death. Let’s include the notion that the captured individual wanted to return to their home land and was not only denied the right, but was brutally killed for the thought. Taken a step further, let’s say the captured individuals tried to escape the brutality of their environment but was recaptured, ridiculed and tortured in the presence of thousands. And to conclude let’s say the captured people was suddenly freed – given the rights as free people, then the individual would probably sue and be awarded a lot of money. That’s the law of punishment and reward.

It’s also the law by which Native-Americans, Korean-Americans, and Jewish-Americans were awarded reparations for lesser or equal treatment. It should be noted here that Jewish-Americans were not awarded reparations by the American government but by the German government for actions from the Holocaust. Nevertheless, their treatment were recognized and subsequently rewarded. In the year 2013 we now have an influx of immigrants into America who are moving into nice homes, attending nice schools, and receiving monetary rewards through welfare and other socio-political programs. These new arrivals did nothing more than fill out a little paperwork to receive these benefits. At the same time we have African-Americans who feel forced to compete with these new arrivals for resources they feel they’ve earned through years of mistreatment. Certainly one can understand their concerns, whether they agree with them or not.

On the other hand one can argue quite effectively that African-Americans have had plenty of time, resources, and opportunities to elevate themselves on the social, political, and economic ladder – but fail to do so, for one reason or another. One can argue that African-Americans have enjoyed freedom from slavery for more than 200+ years but have not capitalized on the same capitalistic opportunities afforded to the newly arrived immigrants. This certainly would not be the fault of the government – or would it?

The group against reparations has provided strong argumentative data to prove their point that reparations for slavery would be a major mistake and should not occur. This group feels that reparations would cause racial and ethnic divisions which would be deeper than what already exist. The group in support of reparations fashioned their argument from what they perceive to be the legality of the First Freemen’s Act created in early 1864 and signed On March 3, 1865. This act, in conjunction with others initiated by Congress and signed generations later by then President Bill Clinton gave credibility to the claims by decendents African slaves for reparations or redress for the wrongs of the government.

The demands for reparations appear to die out and regain momentum with each generation. For a large percent of White-Americans, it seems ridiculous to expect the government to award people for the sins of the forefathers. After all, it was not only acceptable by the government to use slave labor but it was also the custom of the times - and a few blacks themselves owned slaves. The majority opinion is that the Emancipation Proclamation freed the government of all wrong doings in the 1800’s. Blacks were allowed to express their freedoms and actually experienced social, political, and economic progress during the Reconstruction era. It is the opinion of some that Black progress slowed after Reconstruction because of the rhetoric of the black leaders who emphasized government support and made blacks feel that the government owed them and all they had to do was wait for their 40 areas and a mule – a promised made to them by the Government under The First Freemen’s Bureau Act rectified by Congress in 1864.

The early 1950’s, which signified the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement to the late 1970’s brought about a whole new revolution of black pride and demands of the government. As a result, Affirmative Action and the 1965 Voting Rights Act was born. However, Blacks felt that this was not enough to repay for the mental legacy of slavery. After all, Whites still owned the majority of the lands, banks, businesses, legal system, the government, and blacks were still being treated like second class citizens while racial discrimination was at its peak. Blacks who argue for reparations also cite the fact that Blacks most likely would be in a better economic position if the principles of the Freedman’s Act was honored - but it was not and as a result the land awarded Blacks (which is now considered parts of the state of Florida) in 1864 after the Civil War was taken from them and given back to whites by the same government who feared the White backlash, and possibly another Civil War. Blacks considered this a major breach which the government never resolved.

African-Americans today will argue that they are not filing reparation claims based on what happened to their ancestor’s generations ago. They admit that such a claim would not hold a cup of frozen tea. By contrast their claim is based on the notion that they are injured today by the institution of slavery which denied them basic rights for self-government. This denial took away income and property which they feel they rightfully earned. These basic rights are the same basic rights behind most wars in America and other countries. If Americans can glorify the taking of and value of land ownership by the early settlers through history books then surely they can understand the plight of African-Americans.

The issue of Slavery Reparations can effectively be argued from various consequentialist viewpoints – depending on what side you’re on. Despite the assumptions of the early settlers who may have felt that slavery was a just cause, the overall institution was void of any human morality. For a country built on Christian principles they should have known better. Perhaps this was a form of individual psychological egoism in its rawest state. The government’s viewpoint appeared to have been a raw form of ethical egoism which dictates that everyone should act in its best interest or be punished, which may explain why those who knew slavery was wrong silently supported it.

In the area of reparations, it would appear that the Act Utilitarianism should prevail as the logical thought among the masses. But what about the African-Americans who are seeking billions of dollars in reparations – where do they stand on the ethical scale? Certainly their demands do not appear to be carefully thought out in the larger scheme of life. Perhaps their demands are better described as the Cost-Benefit Analysis, or End-Justifies-the Means approach. It is very apparent that Consequentialist and Non-consequentialist theories are deeply embedded in the argument for and against reparations. After all, it is a very complex, emotional issue designed around its very own independent moral system.

Over the years most African-Americans have developed a moral system of cultural absolutism which suggests that moral principles do not vary from culture to culture, or group to group. They may vary in specifics but the underlying principles for morality are the same. Therefore they are at a lost as to why it is so difficult for the government to understand their viewpoint on reparations, generations after the fact. After all, everyone wants what they feel rightfully belongs to them. Some go as far as to take it - by any means necessary.

Slavery Reparations will probably remain an unresolved socio-political issue with African-Americans for generations to come. Freedom and determinism go hand in hand in their quest for reparations. The court’s decision to throw out a lawsuit in support of reparation, in the minds of some African-Americans, is just another minor stumbling block to overcome. If they do not succeed in this generation, perhaps they will succeed in the next. However, each new generation will be further from the resolution than the previous generation. Knowing this to be true African-Americans feel they are racing against the clock – and every new day works against them.

Both Black and White Americans of the younger generation have deemed the election of President Obama as the 44th President of the United States a step closer, perhaps as close as America will come to resolving the case of slavery reparations. Perhaps President Obama has done little to resolve the issue but he has certainly given a whole new twist to the subject, perhaps making the case even harder to win.

What will the eventual outcome be.....? Time will tell!


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Comments 86 comments

goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

very well written hub jb. I don't know if there'll ever be any reparations, since the government has been jackin everyone lately. But if we imagine the reparations will happen, and obviously the forty acres would be changed to something else, what do think, or hope that would be?


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

goldentoad: Frankly, I think reparations is a lost cause. Too much time has elasped and you're right the government has too many hydraulic jacks. If reparations is ever paid, it will be in the form of useless bonds, if anything at all.


bgpappa profile image

bgpappa 7 years ago from Sacramento, California

Good Hub. Reparations in the form of scholarships? To bring equal opportunity for past wrongs, provide financial opportunity to those who then can lead the community. Just an idea, I really have no idea.


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

I think that's a great idea.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

bgpappa: I think scholarships are a great idea. This was discussed in the late seventies and the closest the government came to it was minority scholarships in the form of grants. Unfortunately the grants was not heavily promoted in the minority community. It was drowned out by other entitlement programs which lead to more government dependecy. Sad, but true!


bgpappa profile image

bgpappa 7 years ago from Sacramento, California

Good point. The government dependency argument is a strong one. But how can people become indendent from government without access to education. The same is true in other communities as well, not just African American. Hopefully, smarter people that I can figure this out.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

bgpappa:  I agree with your accessment that this is a wide spread problem beyond the borders of the African American Community.  Education is the key to independence.  It appear sometimes that the government strive on interdependence among certain segments of the population.

Thanks for the comments.


troylaplante profile image

troylaplante 7 years ago from Selma, NC

I dare say that the descendants of Negro slaves are far better off today here in North America than they would be if they were still in Africa. Economically, socially, politically, and spiritually, the Negro race has far surpassed what most likely would have been ahead for their futures on another continent.

The huge difference between say Jewish people receiving reparations from Germany annually (which they do) is that millions were systematically not only forced into slavery but also exterminated. In addition to that, the survivors and their families were actually still alive and directly affected by the actions. That last sentence can also be said of Japanese imprisonment during WW2.

I take issue with the assertion that Blacks "are injured today by the institution of slavery which denied them basic rights for self-government." Considering that the institution of slavery was abolished 144 years ago, that tens of thousands of White boys died to make that happen (regardless of other factors for the war, that was indeed one major reason for it), the freedoms afforded, and the strides that were made for remediation, I would say that it is a moot point presently.

I would have a hard time justifying the concept of taxing people who were not alive more than 144 years ago, did not even have ancestors in this nation then, not to mention slave owning heritage, and did not contribute one iota to the furtherance of the institution of slavery either during its reign or after its abolition to make payment to those who are a century and a half removed.

Reparations for one's heritage is a non sequitur. Keep in mind that there are many residents in America that are Negro yet not of slave heritage. Should one have to be able to prove such lineage to be considered for reparations? How about the ironic fact that many Negroes themselves were slave owners in America? Should that have no factoring weight? How about going after the ancestors of people who sold vast amounts of their fellow countrymen into slavery between the early 1600's and the mid to late 1800's, themselves being both African and Negro?

Sadly, the government has since made a much larger and just as heinous slavery institution via dependence upon the government for substance in exchange for votes to keep the perpetuators in power. As you pointed out, education is the key to overcoming enslavement of the mind and will. The irony is that the primary perpetrators of such enslavement are of the same party that fought and died to keep physical slavery alive in the United States, fought against ending segregation, and even formed the KKK. And yet the soulishly enslaved masses vote for their captors repeatedly and vehemently.

You do have a very well written hub, which is a testament to the idea that stereotypes and possible disadvantages either perceived or real can be overcome.


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

Slavery might have been abolished troy, but YOU know the seeds of racism have injured the african american far beyond that time, and they were not even allowed into white schools into a couple of decades ago. you make it seem like the system of oppression ended centuries ago, but it hasn't and you are proof that its still alive, oh no my friend, I won't let you slink away that easily, I got my eye on you. Everytime a hub comes out that promotes hope, we can count on you to try to throw a wet rag on it, flip your little gun around, its still pointing in the wrong direction.


troylaplante profile image

troylaplante 7 years ago from Selma, NC

toad...yawn. Sorry, but a cry for reparations is not hope. It is wallowing in the past. Recognizing that there have been great strides into righting the wrongs of the past IS hope. I don't slink, I stand firm. You need a reality check.



goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

I quit listening to you troy, once you proved you don't listen to anyone else, and secondly you only pop out from your little hole whenever there is a hub written by an african american and your mission is not to prove a point, it is to attempt intimidate and spread your caca. I doubt JB here is going to be intimidated by you and see you as the one who is so dearly trying to hold on to that past in which you used hate and bigotry to suppress an entire group of people, wallow about your future and take a back seat, you no longer run the game, in fact, the likes of you are out of it.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

troylaplante: Thanks for your comments. You make some strong argumentative points, unfortunately they are technically oriented and therefore evade the underlining problem. Reparations is not a technical issue and to approach it as such robs the individual of the human aspect of the problem thereby giving  them an out without any serious considerations for those affected. It's like blaming a female for being raped because she wore tight jeans in public - or - blaming a child for being abused because they could not defend themselves. 

In closing, I want to refer to your closing statement "You do have a very well written hub, which is a testament to the idea that stereotypes and possible disadvantages either perceived or real can be overcome" After reading this I was referred to the 1970's comedy sitcom titled "All in the Family" who's main character was Caroll O'Connor as "Archie Bunker".   :-)

Thanks again for your comments. Please keep reading my hubs and voice your opinions.


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

(rolls up her sleeves and grins) Oh good: a fight!

Reparations may well be impossible for purely practical reasons. The idea of scholarships is sound and versions of it have been a reality for many students at the college where I taught for many years; indeed, the number of such scholarships (not all federally funded, though) rose recently for first-generation college attendees from the local Gullah communities. I intensely dislike saying that troy is correct in anything he says, but the point about reparations having become a logical non sequitur does have merit in this case -- simply because cause and effect is more difficult to demonstrate now. But in the continuation of monitoring civil rights for all Americans, education is surely (in the West) the best reparation that could be made?

I mention the non-sequitur issue only because I am desceded from a people who were rounded up and massacred where possible, or hounded into exile where not -- the Huguenots who fled France were victims of a dreadful kind of ethnic cleansing that scattered families, communities, and whole towns to the farthest corners of Europe. Such persecution is not slavery, no. The Huguenots were not bound in captivity and made to work for people like troy. But the persecution was real. Yet I hesitate to ask the current government of France for any reparation for the fact that my anscestors lost their homes, belongings, and careers at the hands of the ruling Catholic government, as I'm assuming they would laugh at me.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

Teresa:  Thanks for the comments.  I agree the France government has a hard-hearted approach to any form of reparations for any group.  Sorry to hear about your ancestoral past.  It's interesting to discover how many people suffered around the world for the greed of a few. Unfortunately in most cases the abuse was instigated by the very institution designed to protect people. 

Education is definitely the key. If it doesn't improve ones social or financial plight it will give them recourse, hope, and open mind to move forward.


troylaplante profile image

troylaplante 7 years ago from Selma, NC

jxb7076, to take a compliment and attempt to relate it to bigotry is another non sequitur. Yes, my points are very technician like, as well they should be. We should be ruled by logic, not emotions.

Teresa and I share a common heritage. Yet I do not find it appropriate to seek payment for it. To make the original comparison between the Haulocost and American slavery is illogical and not a parallel. Nor is it the same to compare the imprisonment of Japanese in WW2 to enslavement during a period of legal servitude. Obviously, the desire for retribution runs counter to logic and supercedes the necessity for forward progress.

Toad, you obviously have a backward view of what hate and bigotry truly are. Nothing like calling good evil and evil good, which will be a familiar passage or phrase to those who understand it. I long to move off the status quo of racial tension, have preached not reconciliation but forward motion, and the liberty to choose for and to improve one's self, which is what made this country great. You have a perverse view of what one wallows in. To postulate as you do is actually insulting to any minority attempting to get ahead and take personal responsibility. Those are the values I preach and always have. Keep calling good evil and evil good if you wish. I know I am on the right side of reality.

Nonetheless, I have spoken truth. Whether you receive it or not is your issue and for you to give account.


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

Troy- You have not spoken truth, only your opinion, and that is the only opinion you ever recognize. Back when we were introduced to each other on Barack's Inauguration, you made it quite clear where you stand on race relations. Its easy for you to say that someone should just put on their boots and get going but you have never been in the shoes who has never been given a chance or been giving a bigger ditch to climb out of than you. Perhaps you get to relish in the ideas of liberty and opportunity for all, but for those who actually live in a different reality, an actual reality, they will challenge you on your "truths". Backward is not word I would describe my view, but its the way in which you have tried to push your "truths" onto hubs that are not in line with your views. Back that thing up Troy, I'm ready to work it.


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

Troy: I was being entirely tongue-in-cheek about the Protestant Huguenots, as their dispersement or massacre was an isolated incident and, while unfortunate, is not grounds for any descendent to demand anything from anybody. Another ancestor of mine was hanged for being an Irish rebel, but hey -- that's just history -- it has nothing to do with me or my rights and responsibilities in society. I would not presume to compare the persecution of the Huguenots to the prolonged and bigoted persecution of the Jews -- if I understand your reference to the Holocaust.

We are all products of the violent history of Europe and America. The history of many African nations and tribes is likewise violent, and there are many incidences of slavery within the continent that led -- just as one example -- to the import of east Indian slaves who were kept in servitude in eastern Africa.

Point is: do we look forward or backward? Should we put all our energy into ensuring that all children of all heritages enjoy equal educational opportunities, or do we dwell on past civil injustices and inhuman cruelties? In the case of the many thousands of sub-saharan Africans who were herded like cattle onto coffin ships and brought to America to live in chains, do we say that we in the future owe reparation to the past? Do we ignore all the famine-stricken Irish -- ignored by the British government -- who were herded onto coffin ships and transported to America, and who were jealous of the Africans they saw when they arrived, because they realized that the African slaves were being fed? Do we ask that Britain repay the descendents of those Irishmen for the plight of their starving ancestors?

Either we are free individuals who function in society with equal rights and responsibilities, or we are a herd of sheep who look to others for sustainance. I choose the former, and I suspect that Troy, Jxb, and Toad do too -- so can we agree on this point, at least?


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America

Unfortunately, 2 out of the 3 bands of Mohawk Nation that are left have never received any reparations, because they are not officially reconized by the US - despite being one of the oldest nations in the US. Apparentely, the one band reconized was the very smallest and the other 2 will likley not be reognized since the Mohawk fought with the British against the Colonists in the Revolution. Oh well... But I thought the slavery reparations had begun to be paid in the 1990s - I must be incorrect?


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

Teresa, Troy only plays right now that he has some logic behind his words, but he is out to do something else. He is out to try to play the dominant one and I'm going to call him like I see him because I tried to debate him before but he only wants us to visit his hubs and delete any comments that challenge him.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

The only reparations I am looking for is my income tax return.  If I don't get it (in the next few days) there will be gnashing of teeth (mostly mine), and consequencies and repercussions (from my creditors)!!!

In all seriousness.  As an African American I am neither expecting reparations or petitioning for it. However, if the government offers me money for any form of past injustice I will have no shame in taking it and spending it!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

The compensation to Holocaust survivors is rather different from that proposed or discussed in this hub.

My other half's grandparents were both Holocaust survivors. His grandfather lost everyone - wife, sons, parents, siblings, cousins, the lot. He was left without a single surviving blood relative.

His grandmother was rescued from a concentration camp, and had been used as slave labour before that.

Compensation only went to his Granny, and it was in the form of a small pension, and died with her.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

Hi Patty: You bring to light a very good point. If we have reparations for one group then it should be extended to all groups. It's a point most respondents have alluded to regarding this hub. Contrary to popular beliefe even some White Americans suffered at the hands of the government. Each case is weighed against their merits. But one can not deny the astrocities of slavery no matter what racial group experienced. Those group who have received reparatons are at peace with their past and consider the issue as nothing more than bad history.

As I mentioned earlier, the only reparations I am expecting is my income tax return - which I am hoping will not take 200+ years! :-)


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

LondonGirl: The sole crime against the jews was to terminate them by death - horrible deaths.  The actions of the US government towards African slaves was to keep them alive, for labour.  I agree with your opening comment and would add a point that we're talking apples and oranges in regards to the reason for reparations.

I pray that no one person, or group of persons will ever experience anything like the Holocaust, but unfortunately, ethnic cleansing is alive and well in remote locations of the world even as we speak. 

My prayers goes out to them.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

"The sole crime against the jews was to terminate them by death - horrible deaths."

Not at all, that was one among many.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

LondonGirl: In an effort to draw a contrast I overlooked key elements of the Holocaust. You're absolutely correct, there were many reasons they were treated the way they were and elimination by death was only one.

Thanks for the follow up.


Reparationist 7 years ago

For a better understanding of Reparations go to:

www.2myRepair.com.wordpress/


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

Thanks for the comment Reparationist: I will visit the web site for additional information.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

I believe that African Americans are entitled to seek reparations just as much as survivors of the holocaust and the mohawk nation. African Americans did not ask to come over here, the spaniards and english loaded them on board and brought them over. I understand that the African people sold their own , however they were also lied to and promised a good life and what they received were beatings by slave owners , the women were raped and bore their children and if they spoke a different their own native language their tongues were cut out of their mouthes. What African Americans would be receiving is restitution for what there grandparents and great grandparents went through, for God sake they as well should be acknowledged.

As for Troy the word "Negro" is not age appropriate how would you like it , if someone called you a honky, white trash or a cracker? They are African American and are descendants of Africa so when addressing the issue address is appropriately.:)


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

One last thing Troy you made comment about being sold into slavery from the 1600's to the 1800's both being African and Negro? This is a mixed up sentence would you not say?

Watiing for replies on both comments ..:)


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

How you define who is paid and who pays?

If you say compensation should be as for holocaust survivors, note that their descendants don't get anything. Only actual survivors.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

What a conundrum of feelings and ideas! No easy answers, I'm afraid. I doubt seriously if reparations will ever be made this long after the fact, but my heart goes out to all people who have been affected by the taint of slavery and the long lasting effect of discrimination. As one person commented, it is not that long ago that schools were segregated.

We have some friends who, when growing up, were not allowed in certain restaurants, etc. So this wound is still very raw and the pain won't disappear any time soon.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

AEvans: Thanks for the feedback.  Reparations is that elephant in America's living room that everyone just walks around.  One day that huge beast is going to fall on someone and perhaps then we'll deal with it.  Of course I may be dead and gone by then...Oh well, so much for my 40 acreas and a mule!!

LondonGirl: Defining who gets paid will not be much of a problem.  There was an argument at one point to pay raparations to any African American born in slavery and to those born within the first 100 years after slavery officially ended, by approval of Congress on January 31, 1865 (although slavery continued unofficially until the late 1870's).  I was born in 1955 therefore if this rule of thumb was applied I would have qualified for reparation payments, probably a whopping $50.00 (maybe $58 including interests).   However, defining who pays....now, that's the million dollar question and it will most likely be all taxpayers - for gnerations to come.  Thanks for your comments.

Peggy W: I agree that reparations will most likely never be paid and I am not pushing for or expecting it however, if the government sends me a check I will not send it back!!  Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

"There was an argument at one point to pay raparations to any African American born in slavery and to those born within the first 100 years after slavery officially ended, by approval of Congress on January 31, 1865 (although slavery continued unofficially until the late 1870's). "

I think it's a mad idea personally (-:


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

LondonGirl: That idea was a little know secret which no one bought into. I heard about it when I was growing up in the American South and yes - it was very mad.


Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 7 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

Wow! I had no idea this elephant was still hanging around... I had asked about such, once as a child, and was pointed to the country of Libya (if my memory serves me right), where a ship loads of freed slaves who wanted to go back to Africa, were returned, in accordance with some agreement made by the US government. Since then I have been of much the same thought as Tony. After all, we are such a melting pot, who's ancestors are who's? Teresa's comment about looking forward is so true. How are we to move on, as a nation, if we are fighting about the past?

As to looking forward, why not focus on the slavery that continues today, in many parts of Africa, South America and even here in the USA, in the form of illegal prostitution? Many poor people have been lured from their homes and sold. My friends, it continues!


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

Christa Dovel: You're absolutely correct about looking forward.  There is an organization called "The Trans Africa Union" http://www.transafricaforum.org/ who has been working with the US government and the governments of Africa to resolve a lot of the slave trade among young africans.  They have counterparts organizations across the continent to fight child abuse no matter the form.  Unfortunately, some poorer countries in Africa and the South America's are working against them claiming economic benefits in child explortation.  Amnesty International (http://www.amnesty.org/) has also been a major force in the prevention of 21st century slave trades but their hands has been tied by rogue governments.  Unfortunate, but true.


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 7 years ago from Sparti, Greece

Interesting Hub, Jxb.

Fully agree that looking forward is the way to go. Child exploitation and sex trafficking still go on. Not just for the governments to sort out, either - we must be careful what we buy, making sure that child slave labour was not used.

Thanks for the read!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

Liberia, surely, rather than Libya?


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

LondonGirl: Libya has made some improvements under the careful eye of Amnesty INternational but the Socialist Jamahiriya authoritarian government does not always honor human rights standards.  So it's hard to pinpoint where they stand. 


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

I mean, it was Liberia to which freed slaves went, not Libya.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

Sufidreamer: I suspect we're all guilty in the category of commercial products being purchased. Particularly imported products such as textiles, autobiles and technology.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

LondonGirl: You're absolutely right. Infact, LIberia was founded by Freed slaves under the protection of the American Colonization Society in 1817. The ACS hoped that all freed slaves, once emancipated would return there. It was America's attempt to establish a democracy in the horn of Africa.


Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 7 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

Yes LondonGirl. Your right. I'm sorry for not doing my homework before posting... should not work from memory. :(


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

<vague memory>

didn't some freed slaves also go to Sierra Leone? Or have I got that wrong?


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

LondonGirl: Yes the so called "Gullah" people from territories of South Carolina and American Georgia went back to Sierra Leone after emancipation. they were supposed to be direct decendents of slaves from Sierra Leone who maintained their native Krio language identified in America as "Creole" language.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

jxb7076: I hope that you are not long ago, as it would certainly be nice to see something wonderful happen. I guess I can think positive and hope for the best.:)


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

AEvans - thanks for the kind words. I am afraid that I've become a bit pessimistic over the years but There is still hope although I do not believe that monetary rewards would be the solution. But, I am open to ideas!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

thanks for hte extra explanations, much appreciated!


JXB7076 7 years ago

LondonGirl: Thank you.

Incidentally, US Washington State just passed the "death by dignity" law allowing assisted suicide for terminally ill patients.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29454171/


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

good, I'm very glad to hear it. I fully support such laws.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

My husband is a bit pessimistic too!!! Let us all keep hoping together:)


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

Many years ago I was severely depressed. In the beginning of my marriage at the time, I was a lover and a wallet.....I soon became just a wallet....I lost my job and became nothing to her. I was walking down the street one day with my head hung down. An old black who was sweeping in front of a store, wearing bib overalls looked at me and said,"Things will get better son, you'll be OK." I just kind of smiled and went on my way. He gave me a little hope.

Things did get better. I found a job, got divorced and found a woman who I still love dearly. I went back to the store one day and asked the owner about the black man who swept in front of his store. The store owner told me, "Aint no n****R ever sweept in front of my store for me, I do my own damn sweeping!"

A black man sweeping the front of a racist's store, gave a young white man hope. Something to ponder?


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

Tom: That's a powerful testimony. Did you ever locate the old black guy? I believe the old man swept the store front. It was customary during that time (particularly in the US southern states) for white business owners to hire minority street workers but deny it. I suspect this event happened between the early 60's through the late 70's when the labor unions was pushing hard for fair and equal pay - even for the street worker. That old black guy understood your pain.

Thanks for sharing your story.


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

I never saw him again tho I did look for him often. I wanted to thank him. It was the late 70s. This happened in Richmond Indiana. He reminded me a little of my grandfather who witnessed atrocities against black folks as a young man. My hub,"Black and White Tears" tells the story.

I based a story called "Old Joseph, Jesus and Me on the black man who gave me hope.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

Tom: That's too bad. It would have been a great reunion. I'll read the Old Joseph hub.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

People still amaze me in this country we have Obama, we have change and still you will find really dumb , and yes I am saying dumb people who use that N word I hate that word with every last breath, I have. Tom you are such a great person and I love the story of "Old Joseph" everyone should read it , as it is an enlightment to others. :)


Rose Ella Morton profile image

Rose Ella Morton 7 years ago from Beverly Hills, Michigan

We have come so far apart but we are slowing coming together. .The past will never change. I t will always be history. We don't have to stop talking about. But we do need to get over-it.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

Rose Ella: I agree. History is a vehicle by which we measure our progress. Slavery happened - we acknowleged it's attrocities. We take steps to ensure that it never happens again - and then we move on! It rears its ugly head from time to time and when it does - we address it and move on!

Thanks for the comments.


bgamall profile image

bgamall 7 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

The US is too broke to pay reparations. However, technically, this country is responsible. But the idea of racial mixing and the difficulty of determining lineage could be a problem here.

I believe the world owes the Palestinians reparations. I support the existence of Israel, but also the reparations for the Palestinians by the world, since the world set up Israel and gave her legitimacy. I hope reparations would be a major part of any peace solution. There it would be easy to determine the descendents.


RKHenry profile image

RKHenry 7 years ago from Your neighborhood museum

Black and part Jewish, I find reparations insulting. We are bigger than that. I want NO man to make reparations in the name of pity. And that is what it is- pity! Thank you for allowing me to express myself. I appreciate and respect your hub.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

Bgamall - good to hear from you.  Perhaps Obama should have included reparation rewards as part of the bailout.  Afterall, what's worst of the two evils -  monetary rewards to African Americans or AIG.  At lease African Americans worked for their payments and their sweat built a nation.  AIG....well, I won't go there!   

We need to just give up the idea of Slavery reparations for African Americans and just move on.  The best repayment I believe is fairness.  Give people a fair chance at success and leave them to their own merits.   The Palestinians certainly deserve recognition for their plight.  Afterall, America sort of set the presidence for their treatment.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

RKHenry - thanks for your kind words of encouragement. I agree that pity will be a major emphasis for repayments. I would also include, shame and guilt. Any repayments should be made out of respect and recognition. However, I think it's all a mute point as I personally do not think reparations will ever happen - I could be wrong - but I'll stick to my beliefs until proven wrong.

I tried to be as objective as I could with the hub as there are strong arguments both for and against reparations.

Thanks for your comments - and please feel free to express yourself on any of my hubs.


bgamall profile image

bgamall 7 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

Well, any stimulus other than the bailout of failed banks would have been better than what we have now. I view it as a theft of the treasury by former Goldman Sachs employees, Paulson and Geithner.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

I am certain Obama's intention was good but he overly underestimated the diviousness of crooks.  While capitalism is a great concept it certainly has its faults and Goldman Sachs, Paulson, Geithner, and others did a great job proving it.  Did we not learn anything from the Enron fiasco - just a few years ago?!

The worst part is the appearance that these crooks are getting away with it!


justice58 7 years ago

The only real beneficiaries of reparations (should it ever come to pass) would be Cadillac and Cristal.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

justice58: you have a point! Thanks for the feedback.


Nathan 7 years ago

How about this for a solution: Love your neighbor as yourself. Practice this truth and racism dries up.

Reparations for slavery is far too complex to enact. Who pays, who gets paid, how much. In my family alone there are representatives from nearly every race - do the white people in my family have to pay the non-whites in the family? How much "white" blood can a person have before he has to pay or converesely how much "black" blood does he have to have before he gets paid (hint, its all the same color blood and from the same original source). What about the multi-million dollar black athlete? Does he get reparations even though most white folks will never see that insane amount of money in 10 lifetimes - let alone his black brothers that still live in Africa? Same holds true for the countless number of extremely financially successful entertainers, musicians, business owners, politicians etc. Will these highly disciplined and self-sacrificing folks even accept it or would it be a slap in the face, forcing them back on the plantation (here, accept this "gift" from whitey and now keep your mouth shut)?

In discussing this with my black brother-in-laws, yes, there are issues even today but paying reparations isn't a solution. The solution lies in moving forward and knocking off the racist attitudes that prevail (not necessarily the funny stereo-typical late-night comedy stuff - just grow thicker skin). We are all brothers and neighbors in this country, of all places in the world, so lets act like it. Calling each other names is not the issue. The issue is the underlying hatred and you cannot pay or legislate that away - that HAS to come from a changed heart.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

I could not have said it better! The complexity of this topic is so vast that a begining point could easily take a generation to map out. I personally think this window passed over a hundred years ago and we need to move on. I am cerrainly not pushing for or expecting any reparations.

Thanks for the comment.


The Shark profile image

The Shark 7 years ago from Hampton, NH

Hi jxb, I think reparations would have exactly the opposite effect of whatever good intentions it would be given with. It would just open up a divide between races. I don't see anything good that could come from it.

 How do you even decide who gets it and who pays? Are you exempt from paying if your ancestors came here after the emancipation proclamation, or are you guilty by color?

Do you get paid just because you are Black? What about Blacks whose families came here in the last 100 years voluntarily to take part in the American dream?

As a White person who is married to a Black person I say it is time to get beyond the "struggle" and focus your life and your children's lives on being productive for yourself and them.  Does that mean we are perfect and will never see or experience discrimination, of course not. We as Amereicans have a unique opprtunity, more so than any other people on this Earth, to achieve success and rise to the level that our own abilities allows us to. Dr King's dream was that a man should be judged on his character, not on the color of his skin. Unfortuantely today it appears that most of these civil right organizations are focused on the color of our skin and what makes us different, rather than what makes us the same. The reperations actually were paid about 43 years ago when Johnson passed the war on poverty and adopted welfare. It was meant to give minorities the opportunity to money and mortgages they had not had. Unfortunately, like most programs it has been abused and has become a way of  life for many. Unfortuantely people like Jesse Jackson have continued to lobby for more and more welfare for minorities, instead of addressing the real issues in the Black communities. This welfare state has helped to keep Black people down, rather then liberating them.

 It's intersting how a Black person can come here from a foreign country, and before you know, they either have a job, or a business they own, and these are people that came here with no money. No one told them they were supposed to feel second class and hope for free things. I wil give one ex. One woman I know came from Africa, about 45 yrs old. She had very little money and no particular trade. The company my wife works for hired her for a "non essential" position. I asked my spouse if she wanted to help her to buy  a car. My wife laughed and said, "she is from Africa, she came here for opportunity." She would be insulted if I offered her money". "She will do just fine, you will see."

And see I did, the woman got a small apt, worked days,and at night got her LPN lic. She went to work for a health provider and, literally laugh out loud, drives a Mercedes now!  I guess no one told her she was Black and needed the White man to "reach down to her." This is what Dr. King was looking for, not Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton making a fortune off of Black people by continuing to help keep them down with welfare and other gov't hanouts.

The Shark            


nicomp profile image

nicomp 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

By all means, find all the people who have been enslaved in the United States and award them reparations. The 13th Amendment was ratified in 1865, so we can narrow our search to Americans over the age of 144.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

Shark - tell me how you really feel brother!! :)

I agree with you man. I think Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton both have done a lot for black americans and all americans as a whole but message is a product of America's past. Their messages reflect the era of social recognition and acceptance. It's time for economic recornition and the only way to accuire that is to put the past in its rightful place which is behind us. What happened to blacks during the early stages of America's development was wrong and everyone knew it. Unfortunately, its one of those wrongs that can never truly be corrected. It's only plaace now is in the history books. Let's not forget that blacks were not the only ones mistreated in America. THe native americans were badly treated. THe Koreans were badly treated during the Korean was. Granted, the treatments were respectfully different. Let's not forget the Holocust, etc, etc.

This is not to belittle the black experience however, black american need to revisit the reconstruction era of black achievements and understand that the policy of the 'New Deal' took us backwards and we have never recovered.

Thanks for honest comments.

Hey nicomp - There was a black woman recently deceased who was 134 years old (so they say). Anyway, I think she should have gotten reparations just for living that long whether she was a slave or not.

Reparations has already come in the form of minority scholarships, grants, affirmative action, quotas, etc.. If people are expecting monetary rewards they too will be die at age 134 - still waiting for that 20 acreas and a mule. As for me - well, if the government gives me money I am not going to give back, not right away. But I will give it back at the end of the year after they taxed it.

Thanks for sharing.


The Shark profile image

The Shark 7 years ago from Hampton, NH

Thanks jxb, I agree with a lot of your hub. There is no doubt that Blacks and others have been wronged in the past, but you can't put the milk back in the bottle. One can either elect to continue to be a victim, or move on. I feel that Jesse and Sharpton have let Blacks down, they moved from civil rights causes in the sixties to turning it into a major business today that depends on keeping Blacks down. I think the best thing government could do, not only for minorites, but for all would be to allow freedom of choice in education. Vouchers are the answer to getting out of crappy union run government schools. But it always seems it is these supposed Black leaders that hold their own back. for ex. look at the way Obama shut down the merit scholarship for those kids in DC to attend private schools. That was merit based and only 17 kids got it. But for them it was a way to a great education and out of the inner city. But Obama pandering to the union that threw all kinds of money into his campaign shut it down. Mighty nice of him to allow the 17  currently in the plan to finish. Jeb Bush had a similar program statewide in FL, and it was Jackson and the Union that got that shut down. 

The liberal elitist media is also no help to Black people, they too would rather parise the efforts of Sharpton and Jackson, rather than holding up real Black success stories to kids. Just look at the disgreaceful way they depicted Coda Lisa Rice, a woman that is an intellect. She had the highest IQ of anyone in the room in those press breifings. Yet if I saw one more cartoon of her as Ant Jemima I would scream. What about Colin Powell, that idiot Belafonte calling him a house boy. A banana boat singer calling a former Jojnt Chief of Staff, and Secretary of State a house boy, just because he served a white president. Ths is the type of mentality I mean when I say the Blacks are held back by the struggle. Jesse and media crew should have used Conde and Powell as examples to the innercity kids, instead they trashed them because they were conservative, making them not Black enough.

The same thing with J C Watts, another great guy, well educated, articulate, and how was he treated when in congress? He wasn't allowed to attend the Black Congressional Congress because he wasn't Black enough. Of course how could he be, he is a conservative, they would rather have people like Cynthia McKinney. I went to an affair in Atlanta a few years ago hosted by a group from Africa. She got to speak, what an embarrassment she was. 

As you can see I do feel very strongly about this topic. 

The Shark  


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

Hey Shark - tellme how you really feel man!! :) You're absolutely right. I grew up in a very conservative home with a retired military policeman as my father. The man was a no nonsense, noe excuse, and no blame type person. In his world, you are what you preach! Thanks for the comments. I really appreciate your open honesty.


shhar 7 years ago

yes the past was sad but the future is looking very scary for us all, need to keep the focus on today.our politions are about to enslave us all


A Texan 7 years ago

Very good Hub, I tend to agree with shark and to some extent Troy. My family owned slaves a fact that I am not ashamed of, it was legal and there it ends. Are reparations coming in the near future? I doubt it, if it comes it will come after we are all long dead. I did not know that Native Americans received reparations and I am totally against them receiving them, as happened many times before white Europeans came to this land different tribes of native Americans defeated each other and conquered those hunting ares of their enemies, did the Sioux pay reparations to the Cherokee or vice versa?

History is a teaching tool, we should never keep another human enslaved, your freedom is your reparation. Others may disagree and see a racist commenting, thats fine believe what you will. These are the same people who wring their hands when they see a saddle on a horse, they cannot be taken serious! Very good Hub and thanks for the chance to comment!!


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

A Texan - thanks for the comments. I personally do not see any racist intent in your response. This is a very sensitive subject among Americans which practically demands an independent response. I feel that Troylaplante brought out some valued points on the subject. While I dissagree with the majority of his statement I greatly appreciated it as I feel he said publicly what most Americans think in their hearts. Does that make him a racist - I personally don't think so. He is quite opinionated which is required for an honest discussion on the subject.

I feel that every comment on this hub offered value in their own respective way. I personally don't feel that reparations will ever happen and those seeking it might consider lowering their expectations.

I am reminded of a comment my father would always make whenever the subject came up at our dinner table...."reparations are for the dead - and yall don't look dead to me so forget it!"


A Texan 7 years ago

Your Father was a very wise man, and you seem to be too!


Rose Ella Morton profile image

Rose Ella Morton 7 years ago from Beverly Hills, Michigan

jxb7060 look like you open up a can of worms with this topic.

(But it still is a great hub)

Now let me get to the biggest worm Troylaplante, you could use a history class. Everyone here was once a foreigner. It make no difference on the reason that brought everyone here. the Indians said it best God owns the land. The strange thing about it all if we all went back to were we came from, we would still all be together.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America Author

Rose Ella M - thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yes, a can of worms was opened on this subject however, I wouldn't sweat Troylaplante as he is entitled to his opinion - such as it is. I really appreciate his candid response as every now and then we need someone like him to remind us that this country still have miles to travel to reach the highway of the post racial era Dr. King preached about.


Rose Ella Morton profile image

Rose Ella Morton 7 years ago from Beverly Hills, Michigan

Because you have open my eyes I will have too say i am sorry for addressing Troytaplante only. Did Able love Cain? the harder we try to be indifferent,we still are all the same.


Rodrick Owensby 5 years ago

Justice for some only mean Just us, in other words, justice is only for those who feel that they are intitled to it. We need to not only except the history of some Americans... but all Americans. This is a question of denial on the part of those who aren't willing to make peace with the wrongs of the past. This is why we have courts and lawyers. This country has never put the true history of slavery on trial... but, instead give praises to "the forefathers of this country who were slave owners. Loving this country is like loving our children, we should correct them as well. There is alot of correction that is needed in this great country of ours for her great injustices.


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 5 years ago from United States of America Author

Rodrick Owensby - your comment "This country has never put the true history of slavery on trial" says it all. When we're ready to put the issue on trial, we're then be prepared to closed that dark chapter of American history for all people - particular among blacks and whites. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your viewpoint.


RODRICK OWENSBY 5 years ago

Thanks! I would add by saying, It's amazing to me how any sane person could look at the facts about slavery in this country and never agree that such acts as were put upon our ancestry was less than a "Dog" even a dog gets better treatment that many Africans have suffered. I would even add this, when the oppressor speaks of "The founding fathers" to show the deep shame, It is never said that these "founding fathers were slave owners...To be continued...


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 5 years ago from United States of America Author

RODRICK OWENSBY - so true.


Golden Starr 4 years ago

First off our Kemet/Egyptian stories were copied stolen and plagiarized,and made his-story,by presenting it back to us the holy bible(smh. How can we move forward as a people if we do not know who we are and were we come from. I do not think education is the anwser because it's the same people working behind the curtains, behind everything that is vital or necessity you have to want/desire knowledge for yourself and its in our dna. We are KINGS and QUEENS, GODS and we fell because of the same crap going on know and the paradigm is that when we return, Love is the only anwser the same treatment we got is the same what we put out to them eons ago the story does repeats its self were traped on this triangle when all we have to do is love, there would be no need for reparations if we all could just love. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

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