Should African Americans be given repirations for slavery and discrimination?

United States
November 25, 2006 12:08am CST
In your opinion, should African Americans be reimbursed through repirations for the slavery and discrimination that occured in the United States? What amount of money should they be given? Can ANY amount of money make up for the decades of injustice that happened to them?
3 people like this
31 responses
@shooie (4985)
• United States
29 Nov 06
how long should the US pay for this? Even if we gave money thre would never be snough to make up for what they went through. If money is going to be given it should be given to someone that that was an actual slave...not their living relatives because their relatives are not the ones that live through it.
3 people like this
• United States
3 Jan 07
amen!
@Sailor (1161)
• United States
2 Jan 07
No amount of money can make up for what was done, but there was already an agreement that the U.S. Gov't. has failed to pay out and due to present intrest rates compounding over the years since the agreement, real decendents of slaves would probably own the country. The agreement I am talking about is the Acre and a Mule. Do you remember that?
2 people like this
• United States
12 Jan 07
yup, I remember and it's pretty funny to think that we once owned them and if the government pennied this up then they would own us. I think that we should have given them what they deserved. Their lives might have been diffrent if we would have.
• United States
15 Feb 07
Imagine that! Americans making promises they have no intention of keeping...I think if the government really had given men their land and mule, they would have made a better life for themselves. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/40_acres_and_a_mule 40 acres and a mule is the colloquial term for compensation that was to be awarded to freed American slaves after the Civil War— 40 acres (16 ha) of land to farm, and a mule with which to drag a plow so the land could be cultivated. The award—a land grant of a quarter of a quarter section (a common homestead size of the time) deeded to heads of households presumably formerly owned by land-holding whites—was the product of Special Field Orders, No. 15, issued January 16, 1865 by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, which applied to black families who lived near the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Sherman's orders specifically allocated "the islands from Charleston, south, the abandoned rice fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering the St. Johns river, Florida." There was no mention of mules in Sherman's order, although the Army may have distributed them anyway. After the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, his successor, Andrew Johnson, revoked Sherman's Orders. It is sometimes mistakenly claimed that Johnson also vetoed the enactment of the policy as a federal statute (introduced as U.S. Senate Bill 60). In fact, the Freedmen's Bureau Bill which he vetoed made no mention of grants of land or mules. (Another version of the Freedmen's bill, also without the land grants, was later passed after Johnson's second veto was overridden.) By June of 1865, around 40,000 freed slaves were settled on 400,000 acres (1,600 km²) in Georgia and South Carolina. Soon after, President Johnson reversed the order and returned the land to its white former owners. Because of this, the phrase has come to represent the failure of Reconstruction and the general public to assist African Americans in the path from slavery to freedom
• United States
15 Dec 06
Yes, there should be some type of reparations for the descendants of slavery who still suffer from the classicism that is the direct result of slavery. Before that, the entire country is owed an official apology from our government, not one that will be forcibly retracted, but that is heartfelt and promises that that will never happen again. I DO NOT believe it should be a monetary reimbursement, but educational. This way all AMERICANS can atleast be given equal footing in this land. When I say educational, I mean that the neighborhoods where those who suffer from the legacy (this is not just a black problem, anymore, it is a problem which has corroded the foundation of this nation and affects ALL americans) of slavery tend to reside should be offered the same (not better/ not worse) educational standards as schools in areas with higher tax brackets. That colleges should not just offer loans but full on paid scholarships to any school, not just public, for any incumbant of areas with "lower tax brackets". An official apology and educational reparations would get us started in the right directions.
2 people like this
• United States
15 Dec 06
I agree with you, about the educational repirations, that would be better than just giving out money, but instead giving out scholarships to schools so that people can get a better life.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jan 07
Tell you what, you'd get into that university, the way you spell. Rapp = rap grammer = grammar severally = severely
@shooie (4985)
• United States
29 Nov 06
how long should the US pay for this? Even if we gave money thre would never be snough to make up for what they went through. If money is going to be given it should be given to someone that that was an actual slave...not their living relatives because their relatives are not the ones that live through it.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Nov 06
Well, yes, I believe that in some sense, but it is a lot harder to get a job when you are black than if you are white. Why do you think this is? Should affirmative action be used, in your opinion?
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Nov 06
Well, yes, I believe that in some sense, but it is a lot harder to get a job when you are black than if you are white. Why do you think this is? Should affirmative action be used, in your opinion?
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Dec 06
My very racist opinion... Get the f* ck over it!!! Get off your a$s...and prove all the people that say bad things about you wrong. Too many blacks want to whine about what they deserve and how they should be paid for slavery. YOU WERE NOT A SLAVE. Blacks do not have the opportunities whites do I can agree with that... but that is not our (white peeps) fault. Our ancestors were slave owners not us. Why should we have to pay for their mistakes? My advice: Quit whining and get out there and make something of yourself! There are plenty of blacks out there that took themselves from poor to rich... but not from whining about how they are mistreated. Ill add more later.. Funny sidebit: I work in a chemistry lab with 2 other people. Myself having no degree (yet) being the lowest paid. Manager of the lab (another white male who is actually younger than I) is the second highest paid. The highest paid in the lab is a woman 2 years older than me and just happens to be black. She is a good example of what I'm talking about because her mother is very poor and makes less than her but she put in the hard work to get somewhere.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Dec 06
So your telling me that blacks don't do that to whites? We go through the same things once in a while buddy.
• United States
2 Dec 06
Hey, itsokayrelax, just so you know, I'm as white as sugar. So don't assume because someone is asking whether reparations would be fair that they are African-American. And you are probably the biggest racist I've ever heard.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Dec 06
How can we "GET OVER IT" when we deal with people like you daily!
@Ravenladyj (22936)
• United States
16 Dec 06
Ya knwo what...I'm a black woman (mixed actually) my ancestors were slaves blah blah blah but ya know..it was HOW LONG AGO??? I'm sorry but that was then, this is now, move forward cause whinign and wallowing about the past serves no purpose and in all honesty just keeps the hate fires burning..just let it die and rest in peace ya know...Use that energy to work towards making things better for us now and our kids in the future..the past is done leave the hell alone IMO
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Dec 06
The past isn't done... because African Americans are still dealing with racism from slavery. Im bi-racial too, and have less then 25% black in me. But since I'm an "exotic" mixture ... I've always been questioned growing up, "What race are you?" I was always one to be proud of everything I'm mixed with... but mentioning that I was part black only caused me to have to deal with racist remarks. Such as "Why don't you and your family get back on that slave ship." I've been called the "N" word, and the list goes on. Why should I have to deal with slavery related racism if its in the past? It's not.
@Ravenladyj (22936)
• United States
28 Dec 06
You arent dealing with the past...you are dealign with the ignorance and stupidity of ppl TODAY....leave the past where it belongs IN THE PAST thats why its called the PAST....ppl need to quite pulling the "whoa is my ancestors" card and trying to make a buck off it...thats just a damn shady as slave owners in the first place! MOVE FORWARD PPL work towards a better tomorrow because bottomline is this YOU CANT CHANGE THE PAST!
• United States
15 Feb 07
It's hard to leave the past in the past when it's thrown in your face everyday, getting called "chocolate", being followed around in the mall, having people look down on you etc.
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
29 Dec 06
I think we paid enough in the lives that was lost during the civil war. and the change of life style in the South for the Plantation holders was smashed . also the Us wasnt all to blame for the salvery actions the africans captured othe african and sold them to the slavers so should africa also have to pay????
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
29 Dec 06
and who do you think gets more welfare here in the US ? Not the whites all other colors
• United States
28 Dec 06
No, African Americans should not be reimbursed through reparations. Do you know what the word reparation, means? It means to make amends, to set right, to repair a situation that is wrong. Well, sure slavery was wrong! That's why slavery was ended! It is already ended. The reparation has already been made. As to whether or not descendants of slaves are entitled to money, the answer is NO! Any lawyer can tell you why, if he has the courage. Many do not have the courage to speak the truth about this. I'll tell you. For descendants of slaves to be entitled to money because of slavery, it would have to be shown they suffered monetary loss because of slavery. That's pretty much was the law says. Go ask a lawyer. Ok, those of you who think you are entitled to reparations, what African country could you have been born into that your monetary situation or your opportunity for advancement, would be greater than it is here in the USA? There is simply no African country, period... zero... zip... nada... that affords its black citizens a better opportunity for a good life than exists in the USA. Are blacks somewhat discriminated against in the USA? Sure, in some instances. However, to be entitled to reparations it would have to be shown that blacks (discrimination or not) have less opportunity here than they would have had in the country of their ancestors' orgins. There is no black ruled country in Africa where a black citizen would have more economic opportunity than in the USA. As a legal matter, it is open and shut obvious that blacks are not entitled to reparations.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 06
Amen! LOL
1 person likes this
@chihouse (213)
• United States
26 Feb 07
I like what you just said. reparations can not be leagally justified and it would not hold up in court. why do you think after at least 3 generations ( at least that what it is on my end my great grandmother was a slave)there is this want of money from the government?
• United States
30 Nov 06
I think anyone who was a slave should be paid well...however, since slavery was aboloshed quite a few years ago, I am not sure how many slaves are still around to receive those funds! Due to the number of black people who have 'made it' out of where they started, including the second most powerful person in the current administration, & many many others, I think it is up to the individual to work hard to pull themselvs out of what they are in. There are many avenues, you just have to take one.
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
30 Nov 06
Slavery was abolished in the mid-1800s. I don't think anyone is still alive that actually was a slave. At least not in the United States.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jan 07
Probably no slaves, but relatives of slaves, at least grandchildren or greatgrandchildren.
@emisle (3823)
• Ireland
30 Nov 06
First off, brilliant topic! Thank god they still exist! lol!....well europe would also have to get involved considering we (well not ireland..:) robbed a lot of African mineral wealth etc., and also took part in the enslaving process....It's hard to know what amount of money etc could make up for all the injustice.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Dec 06
I had to get some discussion on here, I'm tired of one word answers - :) And cool use of the Madagascar graphic. Europe, I agree. I think perhaps Africans would have been able to progress more as a country if the slave trade has not taken so many people from Africa, and if Europeans and Americans had not taken so many resources from Africa.
2 people like this
@starr4all (2865)
27 Dec 06
What people tend to forget is that not all the slave traders where white. Even the Africans were selling off their own people. So, by your estimation, those descendents of the black slave traders should pay. Not realistic.
@mslena75 (562)
• United States
30 Nov 06
Boy this could be a sticky topic. Yes, I believe some sort of reparations should be made, although I do not know what form. Should it go to descendants individually? My mother is into genealogy and it is very difficult to trave black genealogy because poor records were kept, if they were kept at all. I think it would be wise to establish some sort of fund maybe where the funds could be stored, and put towards Black causes, organizations, HBCUs, etc.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Nov 06
That is a good idea, with the organizations. Something that could actually help people.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Nov 06
That is a good idea, with the organizations. Something that could actually help people.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 06
It is very hard to say that Black Americans have no opportunities available to them when Condi Rice is Secretary of State and many other Black Americans hold elected, appointed, and earned positions of authority. Earned positions just like everyone else they went to school got the education paid the dues. What holds many back in America is not their race or racism of any sort because it applies to all, it is not being qualified for the job due to lack of skills and education. Many American kids spend too much time trying to be popular than prepared for the future. Reimbursing for slavery that people did not suffer would only increase the victim mentality and futher goverment dependence which will continue to lead to a limited life. Read about Colin Powell, Condi Rice, and my favorite Chappie James they are Great Americans who are Black
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Jan 07
Hell no!!!!! Why on earth should African Americans now-a-days be paid for something that didn't even happen to them? Slavery ended a long time ago and they need to get over it. I don't agree with slavery at all, but they need to end the pity party. Not one African American in this day in age was a slave so why should they "be paid" for slavery??????
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Dec 06
And yes very good topic:)
1 person likes this
@flowerchilde (12535)
• United States
29 Nov 06
I've heard some good African American leaders say that possibly the most damaging thing to black culture and life in the U.S. is the victim syndrome, because it prevents folks from realizing they can accommplish more than what "I'm a victim" allows them to accomplish. I was born poor, I never got the chance to go to college. I was even abused as a child. Should all men pay me some money?
• United States
30 Nov 06
That's a good point. Do you think that if people were given no opportunities, though, that would make them work harder to succeed or would they just give up? Perhaps, if money were given as a grant, with the intent to start their own business or pay for college, or something, would it be okay then? I agree that if you think you're a victim, you will probably act like one, though.
1 person likes this
@starr4all (2865)
27 Dec 06
I've heard this too. The problem is a lot of African Americans expect to get a hand out for something that happened many years ago. As far as jobs and such, affirmative action is still going on today and to me that is wrong. It should be the better qualified, not because of your skin color.
• United States
5 Jan 07
I think it should also be best qualified, but the problem is, most are not better qualified and it's not their fault, they haven't been able to afford the training and college education needed to "get ahead". That's why I think that scholarships would be an excellent idea.
@SimplyMe (373)
• United States
30 Nov 06
No, how would this be done? If reparations are given to them, then why stop there? How about Native Americans?, Italian Americans, Irish Americans? Japanese Americans?, Chinese Americans? When would it ever stop. Slavery was shameful, but how could it ever be made right. My answer is no, it would not and could not make any difference.
• United States
30 Nov 06
I don't remember Italian, Irish or Japanese Americans being enslaved, certaintly not in the way that African Americans were.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jan 07
I would be willing to have something come out of my check. Shoot, even if everyone paid $1 - $2 per paycheck to go to a scholarship fund intended for minorities and low income, that'd be a lot of money after a while.
@chihouse (213)
• United States
26 Feb 07
working I like that idea. most educated blacks don't want something ( cash) just for ourselves in the idea of reparations. having a national college fund or business fund that suppliments what is given in financial aid or business loans through sba would be great. what state are you in? we should present this idea to are legislators.
@ninableu (19)
• United States
23 Dec 06
affirmative action was our best shot at that ...and now they wanna call that bigotry!
@starr4all (2865)
27 Dec 06
Because Affirmative action is a form of rascism. Choosing someone because of their race and not because of their qualifications is rascism.
• United States
15 Feb 07
in response to starr Affirmative action is giving opportunities to people who've had them stolen from them throughout all history. You and I both know that corporate America is stuffed with old white men who've been taking advantage of every person they could in their race to the top. Affirmative action gives people who haven't had as much luck get a piece of the pie.
@vmoore709 (1102)
• United States
29 Nov 06
No. Why on earth would we be paying people that weren't involved to begin with. It was their ancestors that may or may not have been slaves. Also, it wasn't just the US that was involved in slavery. People need to get over it!
• United States
16 Dec 06
How can people get over it? Racism is a big issue for African Americans today. Then you have to think where it started... slavery.
@starr4all (2865)
27 Dec 06
First of all, rascism is happening all over the world and not just african americans. Are we expected to pay everyone who ever suffered because of slavery. Slavery happened to all races, not just african americans.
@aholtz (107)
• United States
17 Jan 07
No No No First the African Americans today never where slave. Second most of the blacks that became slaves was sold by a rival tribe. Give me one reason I should give blacks money becouse of something that happen decads ago. By the way we need to stop paying Native Americans.
• United States
15 Feb 07
Since when are we paying Native Americans? Can you provide some information on this claim?
@ilunice (947)
• Netherlands
28 Dec 06
I guess all african nations deserve reparation from the developed world. They underdeveloped africa through slavery. Go to Zanzibar and visti the historical slave market. Men, you will weep for africa. I see slavery as crime against humanity and all the developed world are liable. I strongly belive Africa deserves appology and reparation.
• United States
15 Feb 07
http://zanzibar.net/zanzibar/history/slave_trade Check out this link. There is a lot of information here. I remember watching something, I can't remember if it was on the History Channel or a special on Oprah, but anyway, they went to one of the old slave cities and it showed the tunnels the slaves had to walked through, all chained together, before they got to the slave ships. It was really depressing, and like you said "men, you will weep for Africa", it's true, I was crying by the end of the show, to see how cruelly people had acted in the past.