Just going through my luggage, clearing out some things to make way for enlightenment
Wednesday, January 04, 2006Reparations Technical Institute
... and business opportunities for brothers and sisters to pursue higher learning. Brothers, join us at Reparations Technical Institute and learn hatred for the white devil in a relaxed campus atmosphere...
How High, 2002
The topic of reparations came up again today and, once again, I felt like a bad negro for being on the wrong side of the debate. Don't get me wrong... I do believe the enslavement of Africans in America to be an absolutely deplorable practice that was barbaric and exploitive though absolutely necessary for the growth of the nation. The slaves were certainly underpaid for the labor from which America still benefits. Still, speaking as the descendent of a former slave, I do not believe I have a right to monetary compensation for the work that my great-great grandfather performed in service to his employer/owner.
My great-great grandfather was one of the few that received his forty acres. He was able to give each of his children their own piece of land as they came of age. I'm not sure any of that land remains in the family today due to mismanagement and shady practices. Bottom line... the uneducated can be easily duped. It was true then and it's true now.
The current talk of reparations comes with the publication of a new book by former U.S. Civil Rights Chair, Mary Frances Berry. According to LaToya F. Drake of AOL Black Voices, My Face Is Black Is True: Callie House and the Struggle for Ex-Slave Reparations tells the story of House, a woman born just as the Civil War began and who later sought compensation for her years as a slave. She organized and mobilized a coalition of ex-slaves who lobbied for a piece of the financial boon built and sustained by their labor. The story frames the debate about whether a debt is owed to the minority community for slavery and, if so, whether the campaign for reparations has a place in the current political dialogue. I'm not entirely sure it does.
I am the first to agree that African Americans still suffer as a result of slavery, but I don't believe it's due to lack of compensation. I believe it's because those in power found creative ways to deny constitutional rights. It continues to this very day. I firmly believe that if Reconstruction had occurred,uninterrupted,without the passage of shady laws, we would not be hearing about reparations today, but alas we are.
I definitely want the playing field leveled, but not with uncollected wages. I want to see every African American who desires an education sent to the institution of his or her choice... absolutely free! I want to see black folks who want to start a business and present a viable plan be given loans without hassle... interest free! I want to see the brothers and sisters, incarcerated due to a shitty defense be given new trials... with the attorney of their choice... fees paid for by the African American Legal Defense Fund.
Damn!.. I guess I am in favor of reparations.