Friday, July 14, 2006

This just makes me ILL

Ok now bear with me..I'm SO NOT a political person. I don't play the politics game. I sit back and watch so my sister Jennifer calls tonight and tells me to go to my hometown paper and read an article

this is taken from the Charleston, South Carolina Post and Courier's website Charleston.net

Slavery: Paybacks coming?
Reparations activists gaining momentum
By ERIN TEXEIRA
Associated Press



Advocates who say black Americans should be compensated for slavery and its Jim Crow aftermath are quietly chalking up victories and gaining momentum.

Fueled by the work of scholars and lawyers, their campaign has morphed in recent years from a fringe-group rallying cry into a sophisticated, mainstream movement. Most recently, a pair of churches apologized for their part in the slave trade, and one is studying ways to repay black church members.

The overall issue is hardly settled, even among black Americans. Some say that focusing on slavery shouldn't be a top priority or that it doesn't make sense to compensate people generations after a historical wrong.

Yet reparations efforts have led a number of cities and states to approve measures that force businesses to publicize their historical ties to slavery. Several reparations court cases are in progress, and international human rights officials are increasingly spotlighting the issue.

"This matter is growing in significance rather than declining," said Charles Ogletree, a Harvard law professor and a leading reparations activist. "It has more vigor and vitality in the 21st century than it's had in the history of the reparations movement."

The most recent victories for reparations advocates came in June, when the Moravian Church and the Episcopal Church apologized for owning slaves, and promised to battle current racism.

The Episcopalians also launched a national, yearslong investigation into church slavery links and into whether the church should compensate black members. A white church member, Katrina Browne, also screened, at the denomination's national assembly, a documentary focusing on white culpability.

The Episcopalians debated slavery and reparations for years before reaching an agreement, said Jayne Oasin, social justice officer for the denomination, who will oversee its work on the issue.

Historically, slavery was an uncomfortable topic for the church. Some Episcopal bishops owned slaves, and the Bible was used to justify the practice, Oasin said.

"Why not (take these steps) 100 years ago?" she said. "Let's talk about the complicity of the Episcopal Church as one of the institutions of this country who, of course, benefited from slavery."

Also in June, a North Carolina commission urged the state government to repay the descendants of victims of a violent 1898 campaign by white supremacists to strip blacks of power in Wilmington, N.C. As many as 60 blacks died, and thousands were driven from the city.

The commission also recommended state-funded programs to support local black businesses and home ownership.

The report came weeks after the Organization of American States requested information from the U.S. government about a 1921 race riot in Tulsa, Okla., in which 1,200 homes were burned and as many as 300 blacks were killed. An OAS official said the group might pursue the issue as a violation of international human rights.

The modern reparations movement revived an idea that's been around since emancipation, when black leaders argued that newly freed slaves deserved compensation.

About six years ago the issue started gaining momentum again. Randall Robinson's "The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks," was a best seller; reparations became a central issue at the World Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa; and California legislators passed the nation's first law forcing insurance companies that do business with the state to disclose their slavery ties. Illinois passed a similar insurance law in 2003, and the next year Iowa legislators began requesting, but not forcing, the same disclosures.

Several cities, including Chicago, Detroit and Oakland, Calif., have laws requiring that all businesses make such disclosures.

Reparations opponents insist that no living American should have to pay for a practice that ended more than 140 years ago. Plus, programs such as affirmative action and welfare already have compensated for past injustices, said John McWhorter, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute.

"The reparations movement is based on a fallacy that cripples the thinking on race, the fallacy that what ails black America is a cash problem," said McWhorter, who is black. "Giving people money will not solve the problems that we have."

Even so, support is reaching beyond blacks and the South.

Katrina Browne, the white Episcopalian filmmaker, is finishing a documentary about her ancestors, the DeWolfs of Bristol, R.I., the biggest slave-trading family in U.S. history. She screened it for Episcopal Church officials at the June convention.

"Traces of the Trade: A Story From the Deep North" details how the economies of the Northeast and the nation as a whole depended on slaves.

"A lot of white people think they know everything there is to know about slavery. We all agree it was wrong and that's enough," Browne said. "But this was the foundation of our country, not some Southern anomaly. We all inherit responsibility."

She says neither whites nor blacks will heal from slavery until formal hearings expose the full history of slavery and its effects.

A look at slavery reparations efforts

Some key recent developments in the push for slavery reparations:

--Every year since 1989, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., has pushed unsuccessfully for a federal law ordering a study of reparations.

--Disclosure laws have prompted companies including health provider Aetna Inc. and financiers Lehman Brothers and Wachovia Corp. to apologize for slavery ties. After JPMorgan Chase reported that two of its predecessor banks owned more than 1,200 Louisiana slaves taken as collateral in the 1800s, the bank established a $5 million scholarship fund for Louisiana blacks.

--Several lawsuits against 19 insurance, textile, railroad, financial services and tobacco companies with similar ties are making their way through federal courts.

--Advocates are calling for boycotts until such companies make reparations, said Kibibi Tyehimba, national co-chair of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, or N'COBRA.

--Academics are researching the issue and publicizing their work at conferences, including one in February at the University of California, Berkeley, and two in March at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Another is scheduled this month in Ghana.


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Ok now here's my lil ole rant..and I'll just put on my flame suit afterword. First of all..Why in the HELL am I paying for something my so called ancestors did...(and I know my ancestors didn't even do it cuz we were the poor damn white southern people..hell we were probably with the slaves too).

Second, how did it exactly hurt the one's alive today that their ANCESTORS were slaves and they need reparations and "black only" housing and business loans. I could understand if we were giving reparation to people who were slaves but come on..people whose ancestors were slaves..give me a break. Why don't we just say that my ancestors were poor white immigrants so I need reparations because I feel they were discriminated against by the rich white immigrants.

Why are we apologizing to people that we haven't hurt?? Why don't I just go over to the neighbors and apologize because she got a paper cut from licking an envelope??

I just think Black, White, Green, Red, Yellow, or Purple we are all human and we need to get over this shit. It's stupid and idiotic. We need to move forward and become one with each other. How can we expect our children to not look at color, outside looks,etc and to see the beauty within each other when we can't even get over something that happened to our ANCESTORS over 140 years ago. I personally teach my children that everyone brings something to the table and no matter what they look like or act like that there is something about everyone that is unique and beautiful, sometimes we have look to look hard but it is there.

2 comments:

Zion said...

It is a tenant of international law that when a government commits major human rights violations against a specific sect of its own population that government is responsible for her citizens repair -- or the synonym: REPARATIONS.

140 years ago? Was Jim Crow 140 years ago? Was Martin Luther King assassinated 140 years ago? Were black people attacked with POLICE DOGS and FIREMEN WATER HOSES 140 years ago? Was SEGREGATION, LYNCHING, BLACK CODES, KKK, ROSA PARKS AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT 140 years ago? When you "teach" your children, try the truth for once. You like many white Americans are protected by this blanket of denial in America and it is absolutely appalling.

No one is suggesting personal culpability. Slavery was an institution sanctioned by the highest laws of the land with a degree of support from the Constitution itself.

For two hundred years, the federal government embraced
made laws and embraced policies that supported racism after the Civil War and the passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. Because of racist laws and policies after slavery, blacks were denied the chance to compete or the opportunities and resources that were available to native whites and
white immigrants. The promise of forty acres and a mule to former slaves were effectively nullified by the actions of Pres. Andrew Johnson.

For example, immediately after the war Congress restructured laws to constrain newly freed black men and women called Black Codes. Blacks were barred from towns after certain hours and were prevented from renting or leasing farms. Under Jim Crow, many "Black males were expected to tip their
hats in the presence of whites, even if they were walking on the
opposite side of the street." The Codes were implemented in the late nineteenth century and, unfortunately, lasted until the 1960s.

From Black Codes, Jim Crow, KKK to lynchings the United States government sanctioned and upheld these oppressive and exploitative systems to the detriment of its newly freed African slaves. The United States had officially committed itself to civil and political rights for blacks.

However, it failed to enforce those rights intended in the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. African Americans were betrayed, and a brutal white supremacist regime was allowed to replace chattel slavery.

Thus the federal government is reasonably held accountable for the persisting legacy of those wrongs.


The institution of slavery established the idea and the practice that American democracy was "for whites only." The government is an entity that survives generations, its debts and obligation survive the lifespan of any particular individuals...There are many white Americans whose actions (or lack thereof) reveal such sentiments today--witness the response of the media and the general populace to the blatant disregard of African Americans in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Would such complacency exist if African Americans were considered "real citizens"?

What about the disenfranchisement of Black citizens in the 2000 election? And despite the dramatic successes of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, the majority of black Americans do not enjoy the same rights as white Americans in the economic sphere.

The injury in question--that of slavery--was inflicted upon a people designated as a race. The descendants of that people--still socially constructed as a race today--continue to suffer the institutional
legacies of slavery some one hundred thirty-five years after its demise.

Race cannot be separated from said injury because wrongs were inflicted on sole basis of one's skin color.

For example, the criminal (in)justice system today largely continues to operate as it did under slavery--for the
protection of white citizens against black "outsiders." Although no longer written law, this very attitude is implicit to processes of law enforcement,
prosecution, and incarceration, guiding the behavior of police, prosecutors, judges, juries, wardens, and parole boards. Hence, African Americans continue to experience higher rates of incarceration than do whites charged with similar crimes, endure longer sentences for the same classes of crimes perpetrated by whites, and, compared to white inmates, receive far less
consideration by parole boards when being considered for release.

The fact that immigrants arrived after slavery has no bearing on the call for restitution as anyone who seeks to benefit from the priviliges set forth in this nation must also accept her battles as is expected of any other American citizen.

Thus, anyone who immigrates to the United States American citizenship inherits America fight for freedom.
We don't ask new immigrants to re-fight the War of 1812, nor do we require them re-write to the Bill of Rights.
Yet they are beneficiaries of that history. New immigrants also inherit the bad with the good. They inherit all the responsibilities of every American citizen no matter how long they have been here, no matter where they came from or why, without regard to their race, creed, color, religion, gender, sexual preference or other distinction.

The arguments for reparations are not made on the basis of whether every white person directly gained from slavery. It's addressing crimes by government against a people.


Once the wrongs committed against African Americans are recognized as constituting a claim that creates a property right cognizable under our legal system what remedy is appropriate? Many argue that current generations have no responsibility, because none of us ever held slaves.

Again, the arguments are made on the basis that slavery was
institutionalized and protected by the law in the United States.

Yes, its true that many Americans have immigrated recently to the United States and many others are descendants of immigrants who arrived after the Civil War.

Human Rights Watch recently issued a report stating that the US should pay reparations not only for slavery, but for segregation, too. No mention is made in the Human Rights Report of the one hundred years of lynchings to which Black people in America were subjected.

Today the vestiges of racial discrimination, which began during the days of black race hatred and slavery, are still visible.

Black women and men are haunted by the reality that "Driving While Black" in many states makes you a prime target for police harassment. In the state of New Jersey, at least eight of every ten automobile searches carried out by state troopers on the New Jersey Turnpike over most of the last decade were conducted on vehicles driven by blacks and Hispanics. 80% of the stops, yet only 30% of the population. This is racial profiling at its worst. But New Jersey is not the only Driving While Black culprit.


The Justice Department admits that blacks are more likely than whites to be pulled over by police, imprisoned, and put to death. And, though blacks and whites have about the same rate of drug use, blacks are more likely to be arrested than whites and are more likely to receive longer prison sentences than whites.

The expiration of critical sections of the Voting Rights Act could very well usher in a return of state-sanctioned black disfranchisement on a scale worse than what was discovered in the 2000 November Presidential election.

As you can see, the US is far from having adequately addressed its race problem. In addition, I believe the United States is in long-standing violation of international treaties that it has signed and ratified.


The United States could and should also apologize for its participation in the slave trade and the long history of racism against black people that that participation fostered and supported. Governments make restitution to victims as a group or class. It is true that it would be inappropriate to pursue individual guilt at this point, but the collective responsibility of our government cannot be denied.

No one is suggesting personal culpability. Slavery was an institution sanctioned by the highest laws of the land with a degree of support from the Constitution itself.

The institution of slavery established the idea and the practice that American democracy was "for whites only." The government is an entity that survives generations, its debts and obligation survive the lifespan of any particular individuals...There are many white Americans whose actions (or lack thereof) reveal such sentiments today--witness the response of the media and the general populace to the blatant disregard of African Americans in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Would such complacency exist if African Americans were considered "real citizens"?

What about the disenfranchisement of Black citizens in the 2000 election? And despite the dramatic successes of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, the majority of black Americans do not enjoy the same rights as white Americans in the economic sphere.

The injury in question--that of slavery--was inflicted upon a people designated as a race. The descendants of that people--still socially constructed as a race today--continue to suffer the institutional
legacies of slavery some one hundred thirty-five years after its demise.

Race cannot be separated from said injury because wrongs were inflicted on sole basis of one's skin color.

For example, the criminal (in)justice system today largely continues to operate as it did under slavery--for the
protection of white citizens against black "outsiders." Although no longer written law, this very attitude is implicit to processes of law enforcement,
prosecution, and incarceration, guiding the behavior of police, prosecutors, judges, juries, wardens, and parole boards. Hence, African Americans continue to experience higher rates of incarceration than do whites charged with similar crimes, endure longer sentences for the same classes of crimes perpetrated by whites, and, compared to white inmates, receive far less
consideration by parole boards when being considered for release.

The fact that immigrants arrived after slavery has no bearing on the call for restitution as anyone who seeks to benefit from the priviliges set forth in this nation must also accept her battles as is expected of any other American citizen.

Thus, anyone who immigrates to the United States American citizenship inherits America fight for freedom.
We don't ask new immigrants to re-fight the War of 1812, nor do we require them re-write to the Bill of Rights.
Yet they are beneficiaries of that history. New immigrants also inherit the bad with the good. They inherit all the responsibilities of every American citizen no matter how long they have been here, no matter where they came from or why, without regard to their race, creed, color, religion, gender, sexual preference or other distinction.

The arguments for reparations are not made on the basis of whether every white person directly gained from slavery. It's addressing crimes by government against a people.

For two hundred years, the federal government embraced
made laws and embraced policies that supported racism after the Civil War and the passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. Because of racist laws and policies after slavery, blacks were denied the chance to compete or the opportunities and resources that were available to native whites and
white immigrants. The promise of forty acres and a mule to former slaves were effectively nullified by the actions of Pres. Andrew Johnson.

For example, immediately after the war Congress restructured laws to constrain newly freed black men and women called Black Codes. Blacks were barred from towns after certain hours and were prevented from renting or leasing farms. Under Jim Crow, many "Black males were expected to tip their
hats in the presence of whites, even if they were walking on the
opposite side of the street." The Codes were implemented in the late nineteenth century and, unfortunately, lasted until the 1960s.

From Black Codes, Jim Crow, KKK to lynchings the United States government sanctioned and upheld these oppressive and exploitative systems to the detriment of its newly freed African slaves. The United States had officially committed itself to civil and political rights for blacks.

However, it failed to enforce those rights intended in the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. African Americans were betrayed, and a brutal white supremacist regime was allowed to replace chattel slavery.

Thus the federal government is reasonably held accountable for the persisting legacy of those wrongs.

Once the wrongs committed against African Americans are recognized as constituting a claim that creates a property right cognizable under our legal system what remedy is appropriate? Many argue that current generations have no responsibility, because none of us ever held slaves.

Again, the arguments are made on the basis that slavery was
institutionalized and protected by the law in the United States.

Yes, its true that many Americans have immigrated recently to the United States and many others are descendants of immigrants who arrived after the Civil War.

Human Rights Watch recently issued a report stating that the US should pay reparations not only for slavery, but for segregation, too. No mention is made in the Human Rights Report of the one hundred years of lynchings to which Black people in America were subjected.

Today the vestiges of racial discrimination, which began during the days of black race hatred and slavery, are still visible.

Black women and men are haunted by the reality that "Driving While Black" in many states makes you a prime target for police harassment. In the state of New Jersey, at least eight of every ten automobile searches carried out by state troopers on the New Jersey Turnpike over most of the last decade were conducted on vehicles driven by blacks and Hispanics. 80% of the stops, yet only 30% of the population. This is racial profiling at its worst. But New Jersey is not the only Driving While Black culprit.


The Justice Department admits that blacks are more likely than whites to be pulled over by police, imprisoned, and put to death. And, though blacks and whites have about the same rate of drug use, blacks are more likely to be arrested than whites and are more likely to receive longer prison sentences than whites.

The expiration of critical sections of the Voting Rights Act could very well usher in a return of state-sanctioned black disfranchisement on a scale worse than what was discovered in the 2000 November Presidential election.

As you can see, the US is far from having adequately addressed its race problem. In addition, I believe the United States is in long-standing violation of international treaties that it has signed and ratified.


The United States could and should also apologize for its participation in the slave trade and the long history of racism against black people that that participation fostered and supported. Governments make restitution to victims as a group or class. It is true that it would be inappropriate to pursue individual guilt at this point, but the collective responsibility of our government cannot be denied.

Uisce said...

Reparations for slavery? It has absolutely no foundation in American law and would be the end of our nation. Do proponents of reparations want another civil war? They must realize that would be the result. We should all just get over the past and get on with our lives, as individuals and as a nation.