31 January 2004

Reparations Wrap-up

This government of, by and for the people did not include the Black race for centuries, though we've been here sharing the burden of this great experiment called democracy since day one. Neither slavery, nor Jim Crow would have lasted without the government's complicity. The government has unconditionally apologized to all other groups that it has wronged, except for people of African descent.

Despite being treated as less than human, we have willingly fought this nation's battles since 1619. Africans in America didn't confiscate nearly two billion acres of land from Native Americans. But, we've paid taxes and given our lives so that whites who did confiscate the land could develop and financially benefit from it. Black folks forked over their hard-earned money to support a federal Indian Bureau and state commissions that gave Natives benefits that Blacks didn't get.

Money from our pockets made up the $13 billion that rebuilt Germany under the Marshall Plan, and Japan under the Point Four Plan, though Black soldiers and their families were denied the FHA loans that returning white soldiers and their families received after the war was over. We didn't imprison Japanese Americans in the 1940s, but our tax dollars helped to pay $22,000 in reparations awarded to each descendant in 1992.

The descendants of the formerly enslaved Africans in America were politically disempowered until the mid-60's. Anyone with whiney protests about the length of time that has passed since enslavement should take a long look at what was holding us back. Anyone with ignorant laments about the rich and famous of our ethnicity, should just shut up. No one is asking for personal checks made out to every American of African descent.

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