Who should pay Reparations to African Americans?

There is no question that compensation is due African American descendants of slaves but who should pay the reparations? The answer most definitely isn’t this one…https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/18/politics/mitch-mcconnell-opposes-reparations-slavery/index.html

Isn’t this more of a Great Debate than a General Question?

There absolutely is a question regarding this. I do not see a need for yet another hand out. If it must be done, give each Black person a symbolic $1 amount.

Why is it a handout? It is compensation for years of damage inflicted on the Black community here in America and that damage is the reason Black Americans still cannot build wealth.

Moderator Action

I think so. Moving thread from GQ to GD.

This would be skipping several steps (i.e. determining who to pay, how much, how to verify and track, etc.), but IIRC Ta-Nehisi Coates argues that the US government should be the entity that pays, just as it did for Japanese-American internees.

Reported for forum change.

(ninja’d by an actual forum change) :smack:

Whoever owned the slave should pay reparations to that slave. Those who never owned slaves should not pay reparations to those who never were slaves.


I’d also like to point out that reparations isn’t just about slavery, but also about various forms of discrimination and oppression that continued well into the 20th century. I believe it would be most appropriate to start with the governmental policies and practices that have harmed living Americans, like Redlining, before dealing with the policies like slavery which did not involve any living Americans.

The reason I don’t agree with reparations is related to this. I am concerned that a reparations program would be seen as a solution to the problems of racism. From that point on, any time a black person is victimized because of his race, there would be people saying “Suck it up. You got a check to compensate you for the effects of racism. So you’ve been paid for your suffering and we don’t owe you anything anymore.”

We should be putting our efforts into eliminating racism not into compensating people for it.

America must talk about it and must acknowledge that it owes Black Americans payment for the damages it continues to do as a result of Slavery and all that pertains to slavery. The iron chains may be gone from our necks, hands and feet, but it remains on our pysche.

Acknowledgement of this fact and Congress making some kind of allowance for African Americans = REPARATIONS

Then America will be able to forgive itself for the atrocities that hang over it like an Albatross.

People already say this (or some equivalent). It’s nonsense now and it’d be nonsense then as well. TNC makes the argument much better than I do (if you haven’t read it, please do!), but the gist I get is that, for entirely legitimate reasons, there’s pretty much no chance of most black Americans seeing the country as a truly just and fair society until these past wrongs are addressed in a serious and good-faith way. The alternative is a permanent aggrieved underclass (which many Americans are obviously just fine with).

I’ll also note that “reparations” doesn’t necessarily mean a check to black people. It could mean a variety of things including community investment, but what it requires is a serious and good-faith effort to address the governmental and societal wrongs against black people (and others, potentially!) that continued well into the 20th century on a national level.

If I had a billion dollars (maybe it would only need a few hundrd million) I’d commission a long-term research study/experiment that would aim to, basically, execute reparations for a single small majority-black town in the Deep South, or a black neighborhood in a midwestern city like Chicago or St. Louis, with serious historical digging (records, statistics, interviews, and more) and then tracking for another few decades to see the medium and long-term impact. If it was successful (i.e. if the young people and later generations should significantly enhanced educational and financial achievement with lower rates of criminality, poverty, and similar), then it could be used as a model to demonstrate that reparations aren’t scary at all, and could indeed be very beneficial to communities.

The goal of reparations isn’t to help black people – it’s to make the country better and stronger.

Sure there is. (Question, that is.)

If they’re aggrieved because I don’t want to give them money because of something somebody else did to their grandmother, yes, I would be fine with that.



TNC’s latest words on reparations, delivered to the House today: Ta-Nehisi Coates's Testimony to the House on Reparations - The Atlantic

Highly recommended reading. It’s not just about slavery, not even close.

That’s not why they’re aggrieved, according to my understanding of TNC’s argument. This is a very complicated issue, with a long and complex history, and flippant remarks like this are incapable of encapsulating it. If you’re curious, I hope you read TNC’s article and his latest words, linked in posts above.

I feel like the people who’d say that about reparations are already saying it about other things: “Suck it up, you just had a black president”, “Suck it up, Jim Crow was half a century ago”, “Suck it up, affirmative action already exists”.

They feel like blacks are already over compensated. And I think it’s just permanent part of the American mindset. Three hundred years ago they thought America was doing them a favor by kidnapping them from Africa and that if anyone owed anything, it was black people.

So I totally understand your thoughts but I don’t think it’s any reason to not do it.

Not sure if this is allowed, but perhaps it is because it’s not a long statement – here are TNC’s opening words today: