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Slavery Reparations

 
Greenhorn
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So I've been seeing and hearing more and more discussions about slavery reparations (here's one--http://www.msnbc.com/news/611586.asp) and I wondered what people's opinions on this subject are. I don't think it makes any sense, especially when people use the argument that we have paid such reparations to Native Americans or the Japanese that were incarcerated during WWII. The difference in those situations is that we paid living victims of atrocities that our government had committed against them. The African-American slavery issue is quite different because the victims are no longer alive and nor are the perpetrators. I think because of that, America is right to be unwilling to discuss this issue.
What do you think?
 
"The Hood"
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Heck, I want reparations for what England did to Ireland around the potatoe famine time. I am at least 20% Irish, and lot's of my relative (probably) died as a result - that should be good for a couple a million don't you think?
It was essentially economic slavery.
[This message has been edited by Cindy Glass (edited August 10, 2001).]
 
Cindy Glass
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OK, so the programmer that I was working with a year or so ago is a big black guy who is into geneology. HE has a green suit to wear on St Patricks Day because he is 33% Irish, making him more Irish than me.
So does he get full reparation or partial due to his thinned out heritage.
Or maybe he gets BOTH! (should either ever come to be).
 
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Originally posted by Janna Lockhart:
I don't think it makes any sense, especially when people use the argument that we have paid such reparations to Native Americans or the Japanese that were incarcerated during WWII. The difference in those situations is that we paid living victims of atrocities that our government had committed against them. The African-American slavery issue is quite different because the victims are no longer alive and nor are the perpetrators.


You mean to say that the reparations were paid to Native Americans who were here when the Mayflower arrived. I am sure you are mistaken but reparations to Native American and to African American is pretty much the same thing.
It must have been the descendants of the original Native American that recevied the reparations. The reason that they received reparations is because oppression has very long hands. Oppression of one generation kills the future of many generations to come.
In the case of Native Americans and African Americans, both of these groups are stuck in the cycle of oppression that keeps them from participating successfully in the educational, economical, and political forefronts of this country.
You have to only read the statistics to find out how African American get lesser quality education because most tend to live in poorer neighborhoods so less of them become doctors and engineers. Later on, they get fewer opportunities for promotions at the workplace.
I don't know where you live but at least it's true in the Northeast where I reside.
In my opinion the government owes it to them to hear their story and at least apologize for its actions.
It is easy to be dismiss this issue since we may not be African American but I believe that all non-African American are presently participating in this oppression just by denying its existence.
Shama
[This message has been edited by Shama Khan (edited August 10, 2001).]
 
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I dont believe in reparations furthermore it is getting to the point where a single white male has the least chance in the us today
 
Cindy Glass
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Originally posted by Shama Khan:
You have to only read the statistics to find out how African American get lesser quality education because most tend to live in poorer neighborhoods so less of them become doctors and engineers. Later on, they get fewer opportunities for promotions at the workplace.


But you are talking a different thing here. The African American folks in those neighborhoods do not get any LESS quality education etc than the white ones in the slums. Poverty is an equal opportunity oppressor. And actually there are MORE white folks suffering from these problems in those neighborhoods than African Americans. Why should we dismiss THEIR problems just because they happen to not be of African descent. It is a problem for ALL of them.
The solution to that problem lies in figuring out how to teach people to break out of the environment that they were raised in and teach them different work ethics and life approaches etc. And we all know that is an extremely difficult task for anyone white or not. No one seems to have solved it yet.
But that has not got a thing to do with giving 8th generation African Americans money. The money will NOT fix their poverty problem, because many of them never LEARNED how to live a productive life style. Did we learn NOTHING from the failure of Welfare to fix their problems?
Since it won't solve any poverty problems, and it would be a nightmare to administer with any fairness (and we know the government does NOT excel in admistering things well) and the original guilt was mostly with the companies that got rich off the slave trade and therefore propagated it as much as possible, why? What POSSIBLE benefit could come from spreading around money based on skin color? And just HOW African American would you need to be to qualify? 2% ? 5%? 10%?
When Malcom X went to Africa to visit his "brothers" they called him a "white boy" (what a shock for him) because he was brown instead of ebony black. That applies to most African Americans.
I just don't think that money is the answer.

 
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Why would the government apologize for slavery? We fought a war and thousands of people died to end slavery. The current government was the ultimate victor in the conflict. That means that today's US government is more closely related to those that represented the interest of the slaves than with those that opressed them. If anything, the government deserves a big, "Thank you for the help" from the descendants of slaves.
What do you think about that?
 
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reparations == welfare
( i guess i should duck now? )
[This message has been edited by Greg Harris (edited August 10, 2001).]
 
Janna Lockhart
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Originally posted by Shama Khan:
You mean to say that the reparations were paid to Native Americans who were here when the Mayflower arrived. I am sure you are mistaken but reparations to Native American and to African American is pretty much the same thing.
To my knowledge, financial reparations were never made to Native Americans. What I was referring to, was the return of lands that were Reservations designated by Government and then retaken. That is wholly different from what we are talking about here. Consider the implication of such an act; where then, would the line be drawn? As a woman, I could argue many of the same wrongs that minorities could. Should the government pay me? African Americans could vote nearly 50 years before women! I need a check for that, let me tell you.

[This message has been edited by Janna Lockhart (edited August 10, 2001).]
 
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I agree with ya Greg. The people who want reparations are those who also never complain that they are getting welfare, free medical, food stamps, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.
The government shouldnt have to do anything about something that happened 200 years ago. It will never happen, so everyone should just move on and make the most with what they have.
 
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That means that today's US government is more closely related to those that represented the interest of the slaves than with those that opressed them. If anything,the government deserves a big, "Thank you for the help" from the descendants of slaves.


Bodie, the civil war was fought for economic reasons; the South was beginning to industrialize and the North, to compete, would have to become slavers themselves; turned out it was to expensive. The alternative was to abolish slavery in the south. There were some who fought because they believed slavery was wrong; but the gov't fought to keep the US together and make sure the South wouldn't wipe out the mfg business in the North.

Blacks in America don't owe a great big thank-you to anyone; not the gov't, not Lincoln, not anyone.
 
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The problems of poverty are ensured by a debt based money system, which nobody seems to question.
 
Randall Twede
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you know debt is an interesting thing. I have strong beliefs that debt should be avoided at all costs but there are people who have become rich by going into debt.
 
Anonymous
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it is getting to the point where a single white male has the least chance in the us today


When I stand up and look over my cube walls it sure looks mostly "white male" to me.
 
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Jane Griscti:
Bodie, the civil war was fought for economic reasons; the South was beginning to industrialize and the North, to compete, would have to become slavers themselves; turned out it was to expensive. The alternative was to abolish slavery in the south. There were some who fought because they believed slavery was wrong; but the gov't fought to keep the US together and make sure the South wouldn't wipe out the mfg business in the North.

Blacks in America don't owe a great big thank-you to anyone; not the gov't, not Lincoln, not anyone.


I don't know what they teach in Canada but this is exactly wrong. The North had been strongly abolitionist for at least 20 years prior to the Civil War. The north had no need for slaves as cheap labor was easy to find. The south was far from becoming industrialized. The south wanted to spread slavery into the new western territories and force the north to return escaped slaves. The south saw Lincoln as the death knell of slavery not becuase he would have ended it (he didn't have that authority) but because he would have contained it.
But you are right that African-Americans don't owe a thank you to the USA. The US allowed slavery and then fought a war to end it.
As far as reparations, there is more to this than slavery. Within my lifetime (and I'm not that old) blacks were being lynched, were not permitted to vote, were not permitted to go to the same schools as whites, were not even permitted to use the same water fountains as whites. Blacks alive today are suffering the effects of Jim Crow laws.
 
Desperado
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I am bewildered and appalled as to what, across the ages, have possessed some human beings to use other human beings as slaves.
I know this practice started a very long time ago (I was not there; it's not my fault) and that does not make it right in any freaking way.
However, it is a fact (not an opinion) that the best life (measured in any conventional way), enjoyed by any descendants of african origin, is lived by the descendants of the african slaves of the Unites States of America.
So the forced and immoral kidnapping of human beings from Africa (which I personally find appalling) in the USA, ironically resulted in the descendants of that race/ethnicity to be the best well-off of in world. Talk about irony!
So no reparations are in order.
More on that: Reparations (i.e., monetary giveaways) are not in order because EVERY PENNY of that giveaway would be taken OFF PEOPLE LIKE ME who had absolutely nothing to do with the forced importation of human as slaves in my country.


[This message has been edited by Tony Alicea (edited August 11, 2001).]
 
Tony Alicea
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To the person that wrote:

"It must have been the descendants of the original Native American that received the reparations. The reason that they received reparations is because oppression has very long hands. Oppression of one generation kills the future of many generations to come."

The following is the way the world works, according to God (the absentee landlord):
The more powerful will take over the weak. The principle was discovered a long time ago by scientists and it is called "Survival of the Fittest".
The europeans came across the land that is now called America and saw how it would be fruitful for them to settle in it. They also had the weapons machinery to impose their will on the people that would resist them.
There is nothing wrong with that.
Nature behaves the way it does, and there's very little that we can do about it. (But the little that there is, can be groundbreaking; after all, humans are the HANDS OF THE GREAT ARCHITECT OF THE UNIVERSE!)

 
Tony Alicea
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"Poverty is an equal opportunity oppressor. And actually there are MORE white folks suffering from these problems in those neighborhoods than African Americans.
There will always be people that choose to be poor and not to work. The best example is here in the USA.
The choice of some young Americans is to steal instead of working.
In absolute terms that has always existed; it's the relative frequency that worries me now.
First of all, too many young women that do not want children are having them.
Some of these children, growing up in a who-knows-where home, will hold up a store near you in the future.
The world is out of hand (not that it was before) so we should get used to the fact that everything is going to get worse and that there's nothing that anyone can do about it.
And I am an optimist by nature!
 
Jane Griscti
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The history books in Canada say pretty much the same things yours do; except about the War of 1812
Have you never thought it odd that the North only became truly interested in abolishing slavery when the South started to build their own cotton mills? Not saying the war was fought solely for economic reasons but I do think it was the economic ones that made it inevitable.
If it was truly fought because northerners believed in the 'equality of all men' why was the Civil Rights movement necessary more than 100 years later? Why are so many black americans not given an equal opportunity to share in the American dream? Why is poverty so quickly associated with 'black' americans?
It will take alot more than money to correct the wrongs; both past and present.
[This message has been edited by Jane Griscti (edited August 12, 2001).]
 
Greenhorn
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The whole issue of reparations is ridiculous. Here is why: I have a friend who escaped from Russia 10 years ago, and now lives in the US. He now works seven days a week driving a cab trying to make ends meet. Not only is he in no way responsible for salvery in the United Stated, but not even his ancestors are culpable. Should he have to pay reparations to Oprah Winfery and Micheal Jordan? I think not.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Jane Griscti:
If it was truly fought because northerners believed in the 'equality of all men' why was the Civil Rights movement necessary more than 100 years later? Why are so many black americans not given an equal opportunity to share in the American dream? Why is poverty so quickly associated with 'black' americans?

Immediately after the Civil War there was a period where former slaves were given the protection of the federal government. The South was treated as an occupied country. In 1877, an election was held which was even closer than our recent one. Rutherford B. hayes made a deal with the southern states to end Reconstruction in exchange for their votes. The federal government gave up any responsibility for civil rights to the states. Until the 1950's, the federal government had little to do with enforcing the 14th ammendment in the southern states.
 
Janna Lockhart
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Originally posted by Jane Griscti:

It will take alot more than money to correct the wrongs; both past and present.


Money will not correct the wrongs but it will introduce a host of other problems. I think it would divide race relations further than we already are and take us backwards, not forwards. No body (with any intelligence) is arguing that African Americans were not treated appalingly but money does not undo that.
 
Anonymous
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You are right about one thing, monetary reparations will further divide the races. I don't think myself racist. In fact, I have several close friends of various races ( African Americans and Latinos mostly ). But I really think that I would resent the government using tax dollars ( read "my money" ) to atone for evils that I never participated in and didn't ( and still don't ) support.
It is my opinion that anybody that is trying to cash in on the wrongs of previous generations is demeaning themself to the level of a beggar waiting for a free handout. They are trying to win the lottery because their ancestors were oppressed. I'm just guessing here, but I don't think that Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Wesley Snipes, and on, and on will be suing anyone for damages from slavery. So it seems that the people that are pursuing this are further perpetuating the stereotype that African Americans are disporportionately impoverished.
You want to talk about somebody with a case? Let's talk about the living Jews that survived the holocaust. Now those people have a case for some compensation! Many had valuable works of art stolen from them that are now in museums, and the museums are being made to give the art back to the families. Bravo! European banks are being made to pay reparations for slave labor. Bravo! Nobody can ever pay enough money to make up for murders, tortures, and other atrocities. But where living victims are concerned, we have to try. I would not be saying the same thing if the descendants of those Jews were persuing a financial settlement in the year 2150.
 
Anonymous
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The europeans came across the land that is now called America and saw how it would be fruitful for them to settle in it. They also had the weapons machinery to impose their will on the people that would resist them.
There is nothing wrong with that.


That's a stupid comment. Just because someone is able to kill someone else doesn't make it right. Just because someone is able to walk up to my car and slash my tires doesn't make it right.
They didn't "impose thier will" they praticed genocide. And just because there were able to do that doesn't make it right.
 
Anonymous
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African Americans could vote nearly 50 years before women!


Technically that is true. But in many states African Americans would have be putting their life at stake if they actaully tried to vote.
 
Tim Barker
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Originally posted by Bodie Minster:

I'm just guessing here, but I don't think that Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Wesley Snipes, and on, and on will be suing anyone for damages from slavery.


None of these people have to sue to get reparations. If this were to be implemented the U.S government (tax payers) would have to shell out money to all blacks. This is why the whole idea just doesn't make sense. Any poltician who even brings up the topic of reparations is pandering in the worse way, and we should make sure it is the end of his career.
 
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