Before reparations can really start, the harm has to stop. This is obvious and logical. When you click “read more” you will see an article about sociology. It is essential that people understand the concepts in this article before reparations can be made real. All too often white people, especially those with good intentions, are motivated to understand in order to make lives better but often negate the fully lived experience of individuals and communities. And it is far too easy for white intellectuals to pathologize Black (and other people of color) lives. Another stumbling block is the ulterior motives, sometimes, often, not know fully even by the do-gooder themselves, whether it be for recognition, academic achievement or the ever present white savior persona.
Reparation has five components under international law; cessation of harm and guarantee of non-repeat, restitution, compensation, satisfaction, and rehabilitation.
People have talked about reparations for slavery in the US for centuries. Sometimes it was vocal and attempted such as 40 acres and a mule. Sometimes it was spoken about in whispers. Below is a fabulous idea from 1963 that if put into practice would have dramatically changed the trajectory of race relations. Perhaps it is still an idea to encourage as a part of a fuller plan to address this debt.
Reparations demand from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Herschel
TO PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY, THE WHITE HOUSE, JUNE 16, 1963.
I look forward to privilege of being present at meeting tomorrow. Likelihood exists that Negro problem will be like the weather. Everybody talks about it but nobody does anything about it. Please demand of religious leaders personal involvement not just solemn declaration. We forfeit the right to worship God as long as we continue to humiliate Negroes. Church, synagogue have failed. They must repent. Ask of religious leaders to call for national repentance and personal sacrifice. Let religious leaders donate one month’s salary toward fund for Negro housing and education. I propose that you Mr. President declare state of moral emergency. A Marshall plan for aid to Negroes is becoming a necessity. The hour calls for moral grandeur and spiritual audacity.
Imagine if this actually had happened! Imagine if for the last 57 years, every religious leader in the US donated one month’s salary toward fund for “Negro housing and education.” Its is not that we didn’t know…
Slavery’s lasting legacy on the Central Mass. economy by Devina Bhalla |September 28, 2020
T he modern Massachusetts economy has been growing for 400 years, since settlers first landed in Plymouth in 1620.
And for 245 of those 400 years – more than 60% – the Massachusetts economy was tied to the legal institution of slavery, first as Massachusetts legalized and profited from slavery. Then, after Massachusetts abolished the practice, businesses still benefited right up through the Civil War from the use of free labor in the American South, particularly surrounding the proliferation of slave-grown cotton and its use by mills in the Blackstone Valley. …
Even though slavery was abolished throughout America in 1865, the lingering effects of the practice has led to Black people struggling to gain equal economic and societal opportunity ever since, right up through the 21st century, wrote Ronald Waters, the director of the African American Leadership Institute at the University of Maryland, in an article for the “Journal of African American History” published posthumously in 2012.
“Whites enjoyed a monumental head start as slaveholders and the creators of a society built on the wealth the enslaved workers produced,” Waters wrote. “Thus, whites were the arbiters of African Americans’ entrance into that society.”
Strategies: “Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.” Simply put, reparations are due to the millions of black Americans whose families have endured generations of discrimination in the United States.
America used the cruelest most inhumane system of slavery to build the richest most powerful nation. America, the land of the free, the home of the brave, but at what cost in human life, pain, cruel inhumane treatment, the effects of which are still being felt today? Does America owe a debt to black Americans, the descendants of African slaves: You bet! America owes a huge debt.
Quakers may not have slandered, persecuted or denounced blacks, but there was a coziness with racism that was certainly within the pivotal degrees of cooperation with the status quo. Racism is a virus that quietly lurks in the Society of Friends. … racism is a disease or disordered cause agent so deeply rooted in the fabric of our country that it has ruptured some of our religious and cultural cohesiveness.
Reparations Toolkit by THE MOVEMENT FOR BLACK LIVES |
Excerpt from description of Toolkit…
T his toolkit explores the long history of struggles for reparations for Black people, lays out key facts, concepts, and international human rights law underlying reparations demands, and provides case studies of struggles for reparations at the institutional, local, state, and international levels.
We are Tired!! -Author Unknown
Black people are so tired. 😓
We can’t go jogging (#AmaudArbery).
We can’t relax in the comfort of our own homes (#BothemJean and #AtatianaJefferson).
We can’t ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride).
We can’t have a cellphone (#StephonClark).
We can’t leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards).
We can’t play loud music (#JordanDavis).
We can’t sell CD’s (#AltonSterling).
We can’t sleep (#AiyanaJones)
We can’t walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown).
We can’t play cops and robbers (#TamirRice).
We can’t go to church (#Charleston9).
We can’t walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin).
We can’t hold a hair brush while leaving our own bachelor party (#SeanBell).
We can’t party on New Years (#OscarGrant).
We can’t get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland).
We can’t lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile).
We can’t break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones).
We can’t shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford) .
We can’t have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher).
We can’t read a book in our own car (#KeithScott).
We can’t be a 10yr old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover).
We can’t decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese).
We can’t ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans).
We can’t cash our check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood).
We can’t take out our wallet (#AmadouDiallo).
We can’t run (#WalterScott).
We can’t breathe (#EricGarner).
We can’t live (#FreddieGray).
Tired of making hashtags.
Tired of trying to convince you that our #BlackLivesMatter too.
Tired of dying.
So very tired.