Do you think African Americans should get reparation for having been descendants

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  1. John Sarkis profile image81
    John Sarkisposted 8 years ago

    Do you think African Americans should get reparation for having been descendants of slaves?

    As slaves, African Americans Peoples were marginalized, discriminated, abused and oftentimes even killed.  Many agree that as a result of the awful treatment their ancestors had to endure, the current living African American population should receive some type of government compensation (via money, free education, aid, etc).  Others say no.  What's your take on this "red meat" topic?

  2. profile image0
    Larry Wallposted 8 years ago

    Slavery was a horrible injustice and a very sordid part of our history. However, we cannot correct every injustice of the past. We abused Chinese workers who help build the railroads. Jews were discriminated against. People with handicaps have been discriminated against and the list goes on and on.

    I read somewhere recently that a Black man objected to the term African-American. His point was that he was an American--an American whose ancestors happened to be black. My background, at least I was told--never saw any proof, was German on my Mother's side and Scott-Welsh on my Father's side. So what does that make me. I do not know and do not care. I am an American--an American who happens to be white.

    The number of Black people in the United States far exceeds the number of slaves that were taken from Africa. There is no fair way to compensate them for that.

    The best compensation will be to treat them for what they are, Americans, who are entitled to all the rights, privileges and obligations that apply to all Americans.

  3. Insane Mundane profile image60
    Insane Mundaneposted 8 years ago

    I think Larry Wall provided an excellent answer.  I especially liked his last sentence...

    I once worked with a black guy that refused to work hard or do very much on the job while a few of us had to take up the slack.  This particular black guy said "he didn't have to do anything (deleting the expletives) because his ancestors did all his work for him."  I thought that whole statement was quite sickening.

  4. Alastar Packer profile image81
    Alastar Packerposted 8 years ago

    To force the American tax payers to fund any reparations would be a high crime. Every single one of us has racial ancestors that were held in bondage at one time or the other. Since the Romans had slaves from Germany and Britain maybe I should ask the Italian people for reparations. Too far back in time you say, doesn't count. Okay, how about I ask the Algerian or Tunisian people for reparations since they enslaved ship-wrecked Americans in the 19th century. I'm being facetious but you get the point. Great question John.

  5. swift364 profile image60
    swift364posted 8 years ago

    First it has to be remembered that there is no racial or ethnic group on this planet that has not at one time or another been enslaved.  Slavery is never a good thing, but there were "degrees" of slavery--some were benign others violent and degrading. Slavery was not universal among Africans in the US--and in point of fact there were a fairly large number of Africans ( freedmen, slaves who had managed to buy their freedom, or Africans who had never been slaves) who themselves owned African slaves. Who is going to determine who gets paid and who doesn't?  Since it was Africans themselves who enslaved other Africans, who is going to compensate for that?  Native American tribes frequently took slaves from other tribes-and who also owned African slaves.  Who is going to determine who gets paid here, and how much??  The fact of slavery in and of itself is not sufficent grounds to warrant reparations and equally is not sufficient grounds on which to "blame" a lack of educational or economic "success"for any particular group.

  6. Hypersapien profile image45
    Hypersapienposted 8 years ago

    I think this is an excellent question, but it's one of those that tends to ignite people's passions.  For me, the question boils down to a legal issue more than anything else.  Under the law, if you wrong someone, you are liable for damages. 

    Imagine that I take a whip to my next-door neighbor, tell him he's my slave, hold him hostage in my house and make him do a bunch of chores.  A week later he escapes and calls the cops.  I'm going to find myself in all kinds of hot water and liable for all kinds of damages (battery, false imprisonment, etc.).  If my neighbor keels over and dies before he can collect the judgment, it will go to his heirs. 

    In short, I believe a legal wrong has been committed.  There have been tearful apologies, but I don't think you get out of compensating people for that wrong just because doing so - i.e, figuring out who should get what - might be difficult.  Doing the right thing is rarely ever easy, but you're either committed to doing it or not.  And when we start saying it's too much trouble to do the right thing, then we're really in trouble. 

    As the old saying goes, "All that's necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing."

  7. profile image52
    joe scaliseposted 8 years ago

    You can't compensate someone for something that someone else went thru. Would it make sense to hang someone because his great- great grandfather murdered a slave. It is interesting that we made much less noise about the bailout of fraudulant corporations when all of America got scammed.

  8. H P Roychoudhury profile image43
    H P Roychoudhuryposted 8 years ago

    It is good for Americans not to write anything with reference to black or white. It is also not good to think of any kind of compensation to black African-American for the ancient history of slavery. Such kind of compensation will surface inferiority complex among the citizens of America. The skin may be black, white or brown but the color of blood is the same. All are equal, if not; knowledge of equality tends to be sustained for the cause of humanity. The signal of democracy originated from Greece. Now in this century America should ring the bell of equality.

  9. feenix profile image57
    feenixposted 8 years ago


    For one thing, doling out reparations would be a bureaucratic and administrative nightmare.

    Furthermore, if reparations were made, would that mean that the likes of Jay-Z, Spike Lee, Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Sean "P-Diddy" Combs, Michael Jordan, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James would get their fair share of the loot?

  10. John Sarkis profile image81
    John Sarkisposted 8 years ago

    Thank you everyone for answering my question.


    You were partially reading my mind.  However, some of the germanic tribes such as the Engles (Anglos), Saxons and Sweedes were still living where Germany is situated today (their place of origin...), so they were being attacked by the Greeks and the Romans in their own lands.  The thing which some psychologists have said about African Americans, is that they were sold as merchandise, taken out of their own land and brought to a new continent (America), then treated as subhumans by the Spanish and British.  This, some experts say, has caused a great deal of distress among them which has sometimes directly/indirectly contributed to their social demise.  ---Now, that's not to say that there aren't many successful African Americans in the USA.  These are some of the arguments used when bring up the subject of "reparation...."

    Take care all

  11. GoGranny profile image70
    GoGrannyposted 8 years ago

    I say "No" as well.
    What could be done, possibly, is to apply whatever funds this issue would generate to helping the very young Blacks with educational programs to deter the mindset that the ghetto lifestyle - whether they live in a ghetto or not - is all that life has to offer. Use that money to help those kids with a realistic path to improve their chances of growing up with hopes and dreams that lead to success. Rappers who have glorified the ghetto life with song have made efforts to thwart kids from this mindset even more difficult. This mindset now goes far beyond the ghetto and has affected every class producing a host of thug wannabes. I currently have a grandson - 15 years old - who rebelled against our suburban hardworking middle class lifestyle and insisted on going to live with his 'won't work in a pie shop' father in a poverty stricken, crime ridden area. My daughter only agreed because she felt he would learn a quick lesson and beg to home back home. Well, in the meantime he started hanging out with a gang member, got caught up in armed robbery charges and is now doing time in juvenile detention, and now is begging to come home.
    Sorry, I got off of the direct question.
    But it made me think of how disgusting it would be for someone like this father to benefit from reparations. To me that would piss me off more than rich blacks getting any. Again I say "no" to reparations. Too many possible recipients would not deserve to benefit from the misery of our ancestors, and would not appreciate it any more than an extra welfare check.

  12. Pearldiver profile image79
    Pearldiverposted 8 years ago

    How sad, but I personally feel that such a 'red meat' subject as you refer to it, should be counted by another similar Bleat!  Do YOU believe the Aids virus would have spread throughout the world if certain other 'potential descendants of slaves' in Africa used condoms?  I think perhaps I am due some compensation for treatment one of my ancestors suffered by the Purple People of South West LaLaLand in 859AD! 
    Race Card Politics in my view are the lowest cards in Any pack mate!  I love people for their hearts, not their color and certainly don't appreciate anyone referring directly or indirectly to my race ethics as being 'red meat!'  People need to get real and learn life in REAL TERMS - We Are ALL Pink on the Inside!  - End of Story!


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