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Amber Waves of Grain / Photo by DESPIERRES Cécile on Pexels.com

 

 

Well it’s back. Talk of reparations for slavery. Like many ideas floated around during the political season they all come from righting wrongs of our past. We are destroying the planet by carbon dioxide emissions. So, let’s sign a treaty and stop driving cars. We have an illegal immigration problem. So, let’s build a wall to keep them out. We celebrate that evil Columbus Day. So, let’s call it Indigenous Peoples Day instead. And on and on.

Slavery Reparations have been tried before, the iconic 40 Acres and a Mule solution. Didn’t work out. Stopped by the Democratic President Andrew Johnson. It’s a long story, the short version is this: Take the land previously held by Southern Plantation owners and give to the newly freed slaves. Toss in a mule to help them farm. Sounds about right, probably would have worked. Yet attitudes back then precluded the implementation of this plan. They didn’t think Blacks were smart enough to run a farm. I guess they missed the point of the whole antebellum period where Blacks farmed the land for White owners. And despite being enslaved in the process, made their white owners rich. Kind of shows that Blacks knew a thing or two on how to properly farm. Ideologies, especially moronic ones, are slow to change.

So, every so often, the idea of reparations gets tossed about. While the original idea was righting the wrongs of the past, and sticking it to the Southern Rebellious States, by moving the freed slaves into the economy and thus giving them a stepping stone into entrepreneurship, now it has just become a free money give away. Now it is just way to Buy Votes, and get the News Media to fawn over your proposal. Because we must right our wrongs. This is compassion, we must pay money for our sins.

 

So, we’re good right?

 

In reality, does anyone think paying out reparations will end racial tensions? Do the proponents of this righting the wrong solution think, for one moment, that everyone will just get along?

Consider this. As an old white dude, am I allow to say to a black person, once reparations have been distributed, So, we’re good right? And ignore racism from then on? Do I have the right to point my finger at another human being and tell them they have no right to complain anymore about societal injustices, because now we are even?

 

Oh please!

 

You may find it silly, but some will think that way. That with reparations, a new era will dawn upon America. That the white people paid back black people for the sin of slavery and all is now good. That racism can’t exist, because we paid you back right? It shouldn’t be a shock to you that most who will think that? Well, they are probably racist. They were before the reparations were doled out, and now? They feel justified in saying So, we’re good right? and continuing on in their racist attitudes.

Reparations will not improve race relations, it will just exacerbate them.

 

Despite the righting of a wrong, and the whole logistical problems associated with reparations, the time for true reparations has come and gone. We missed our opportunity at the end of the Civil War, and now? We can’t get it back. There is a reason for the adage The Past is in The Past.

 

Real Reparations.

 

If you want to correct the sins of the past. Right the Wrong of slavery we can do this. First off, stop slavery wherever it occurs. Do you think slavery ended with the Civil War? It didn’t. Modern slavery exists. While there isn’t technically ownership of another human being, there is absolute control.

One issue of the illegal immigration problem is that it promotes modern slavery. Those who come here illegally are under constant threat of being called out and deported. Those who employ them? Know this and use it to their advantage.

Sex Trafficking is also a form of modern slavery. Humans kept in horrible conditions and prostituted to others by ‘Masters’ who control every aspect of their lives.

Illegal immigration is not just ‘bad for economy’ or ‘gangs and thugs invading our lands’ it is also a form of modern slavery, and needs to stop.

When it comes to reparations for slavery the best solution is one that has been on the table for 55 years. That is, seeing people as individuals and not by the color of their skin. To treat people as you want to be treated, to disavow racism wherever you find it, and strive for common decency among all people of this nation.

We shouldn’t forget the past, nor ignore it. Slavery was a disease of the human soul that exacted a terrible price not only on the Blacks who were enslaved, but upon the nation as a whole. This should go without saying. But like a lawsuit that pays you for the death of love one, and will never bring them back. Nor will reparations heal the wound of slavery.

Can we do something? Sure. We could do a lot more. Aside from not being asses to one another just because of skin tone, we could fix the problems with black communities. Starting by asking black communities what they need.

Things like education, affordable housing, opportunity for growth in jobs and entrepreneurship’s. Would be a great start. Making sure that monies go to schools that are imperil of failing testing scores. Breaking the dependency cycle of government aid and empowering people to make their own choices, set their own goals, and determine what they want out of life instead of what the government dictates.

 

You know, what we all want for ourselves.

 

Because in the end, people are just people, and our commonalities are far greater than our differences.