Does your presidential candidate choice even care about reparations?
As the election buzz is all around the United States one of the questions that keeps surfacing, is the question pertaining to reparations for African Americans regarding slavery and Jim Crow. The questions that many African-Americans would like answered from these potential presidential candidates are 1) Are you for or against reparations and why? and 2) If you are for reparations what policy will you be working to initiate so that it becomes a reality?
For politicians that are stating they are for reparations but have no solid plans to initiate it, are a waste of time and just want to garnish the African American vote. For those who say they have not considered it but claim they want to represent the entire country, we should also be weary of such a candidate because having an opinion on reparations is at least a start and shows that you have thought about it, which means you have considered the people that have been affected by slavery and hopefully with that thought process you will give us your constructive view on why you are for or against reparations, it also shows that you are in touch with what is going on in the country that you are living in and hoping to lead. However to not have a view or opinion on reparations is dismissive of an entire race of people and that speaks to character.
What is the meaning of the word reparations?
According to the Webster dictionary it is the act of making amends, offering expiation for a wrong or injury. Another dictionary definition is making amends for a wrong one has done by paying money to, or otherwise helping those who have been wronged. The synonyms for the word reparations are restitution redress compensation recompense repayment and atonement. So based on those definition African American slaves have been inhumanely wronged by their slave masters and the leaders and lawmakers of this country that saw fit to carry out the atrocities that were placed on African Americans. Therefore amends should be made for these wrongs just as the dictionary described.
The first slaves were bought to America in the 17th century by Dutch traders. The 13th amendment to the United States constitution abolished slavery on December 18th 1865 but America was operating under Jim Crow from that point right throughout the 1960s. The 1880s were when Jim Crow officially became legal and lawful in America. Jim Crow is the Separation of racial groups in aspects of daily life and for most of the United States history segregation maintained the separation of African-Americans from Whites, this was maintained until the civil rights act, the voting rights and housing act in in 1964, 1965 and 1968 so based on this factual historical information to not consider and give reparations to a group of people who deserve it because they were killed and treated so brutally and inhumanely by another group of humans, is unjust and unfair and presently unaddressed and unanswered.
Are reparations breaking new ground for the United States?
I heard one potential presidential candidate say “to try and get it passed in the senate would be extremely difficult” yet there are 11 or more groups who are presently still being paid reparations, or have been paid reparations and the senate was not thrown into confusion but made fair and just amends to those various groups that rightly deserved their compensation. Below is a list of the following groups that have been paid or are still being paid reparations by the united stated government, or other Governments are paying them reparations through the United States
- Internment of Japanese Americans. The United States during World War 2 was the forced relocation and incarceration in concentration camps in the western interior of the country. The government paid reparations to the internees 1.6 billion the senate voted to compensate the Japanese Americans.
- France and Austria paid reparation to the United States for Jews and non-Jews, for Nazi slaves or forced labor reparations 1 billion a total out of a 5 billion reparation fund.
- In 1984 a deal was made where Canada gave indigenous people 35,000 square miles of land and 150 million in cash, went to 2,500 Eskimos living along the rim of the Arctic Ocean.
- Germany signed a reparation agreement in 1952 with Israel for the benefit of holocaust survivors. They are benefitting now the Obama administration earmarked 12million in reparation for holocaust survivors, many European countries have paid victims of the holocaust at the top of the list Germany which paid 90 billion in reparations in 2012.
- 1985 United States paid 31 million to Chippewa’s of Wisconsin.
- 1985 The United States paid 12.3 million Seminoles of Florida.
- The Seminole Wars also known as the Florida Wars were three conflicts in Florida between the Seminole a Native American tribe that formed in Florida in the early 18th century and the United States Army. Both in human and monetary terms, the Seminole Wars were the longest and most expensive of the Indian Wars in United States history. Therefore reparations were given.
- 1985 The Supreme Court ordered the United States to pay the Sioux nation more than $105 million, for the government’s illegal seizure of Indian lands in South Dakota’s Black Hills a century ago.
- 1980 The United States paid 81 million to Klamath’s of Oregon.
- In 1971 the United States paid 1 billion plus 44 million acres of land to Alaska native settlers.
- From 1865-present the United States have paid African Americans slaves nothing for slavery/Jim Crow. Why? Is the question. As the race for the presidential candidate heats up the question of reparations is coming out the gate swinging, with no signs of slowing down or going away. The 2020 elections and the debates surrounding it will be interesting.