Should there be reparations given to African-Americans for slavery?

Oct 2010
396
London
Many historians and even politicians today have opened up the issue of slavery and reparations; others argue that it should been given due to the physiological and social impact its had on the African-american communities today;

What is your take on this? Is it ridiculous or would it get rid some of the guilt of the slave days, which has had its ugly past in american history?
 

Tulun

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
3,878
Western Eurasia
i personally find it ridiculous.
who should pay it? the US gov? the former slave keeper states? the descendants of slave traders or slave masters?
 

Baltis

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
4,005
Texas
I am not a fan of reparations for wrongs done to our ancestors. Who are we to give these reparations to? Random black people living today? How much black heritage do I need to qualify? Must I prove my specific ancestors to be slaves? How many lines of my family tree do I need to trace?

The entire idea of giving some money out today for a wrong done to someone else over 150 years ago is kind of difficult. Am I entitled to compensation today because Randall McCoy stole my Gr Gr Gr Granddaddy's hog 150 years ago? How bout if my Gr Gr Gr Granddaddy killed their kin? Should I do prison for the sins of the father?

Guilt? no thanks. I'm not ridden with guilt over the wrongs of history. Too many wrongs, not enough time to internalize them all into my personal fault. Just not gonna do it.
 

Rongo

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
5,683
Ohio
No, there shouldn't be reparations. Slavery was an ugly, horrible thing and the nation fought a long, horrible war to end it. The dollar cost of the war was over 2 billion dollars, or $500 per slave. The human cost of the war was even higher: over 600,000 lives. Much of the wealth that was generated by slave labor was wiped out as a result of the war.

The United States did develop social programs like the Freedmen's Bureau to help the freed slaves, and numerous government programs continue to this day to assist Americans of all colors and origins.

Not to mention the logistic nightmare of administering such a program "fairly". How do we decide who gets paid what? What about black Americans whose ancestors were slave owners themselves, like Michelle Obama?

And finally, if the descendants of African slaves in America get reparations, what about the descendants of slaves all over the world? I too want reparations then, from the British and Australians, for my Irish great-great-grandfather who was sentenced to slave labor in the Australian penal colonies. He did the suffering, but I'll reap the reward. :suspicious:
 
Last edited:

botully

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
3,546
Amelia, Virginia, USA
Not one of the potential recipients, not a single one, was ever a slave. That should end the debate right there. I agree with the reparations to Japanese/Americans who personally lost property during the internment days-who personally suffered. What, aren't we at least 3 generations removed from slavery?
Baltis raises some excellent points as well: What "percentage" of ancestry qualifies? How do we prove the ancestor was actually a slave? Why do today's taxpayers have to pay for something they had nothing to do with?

It'll never happen, because it's a silly idea.
 
Dec 2011
262
Las Vegas Nevada
If people are against reparations for ancestors of former slaves, I say all wealth should be compensated upon death and none of it can be passed down to family members. A lot of people benefited from slavery and are living off the fruits today.
 
May 2012
346
By the creek
I am not a fan of reparations for wrongs done to our ancestors. Who are we to give these reparations to? Random black people living today? How much black heritage do I need to qualify? Must I prove my specific ancestors to be slaves? How many lines of my family tree do I need to trace?

The entire idea of giving some money out today for a wrong done to someone else over 150 years ago is kind of difficult. Am I entitled to compensation today because Randall McCoy stole my Gr Gr Gr Granddaddy's hog 150 years ago? How bout if my Gr Gr Gr Granddaddy killed their kin? Should I do prison for the sins of the father?

Guilt? no thanks. I'm not ridden with guilt over the wrongs of history. Too many wrongs, not enough time to internalize them all into my personal fault. Just not gonna do it.


Quite an inspirational and honorable proclamation, but surely such blame for past wrongs is not destine to fall into any one individual's lap. One should consider having guilt for his or her own ill actions.
 

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,062
Navan, Ireland
............................ I too want reparations then, from the British and Australians, for my Irish great-great-grandfather who was sentenced to slave labor in the Australian penal colonies.
So I would have to pay you compensation? can you prove that my family had anything to do with it? are you sure your ancestor was not just a criminal?

Are you also going to factor in that your ancestors descendents now live in a country with a higher standard of living than mine?
 

Rongo

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
5,683
Ohio
If people are against reparations for ancestors of former slaves, I say all wealth should be compensated upon death and none of it can be passed down to family members. A lot of people benefited from slavery and are living off the fruits today.
Can you provide any examples of all these people who you say are living off the fruits of slavery today?
 
May 2011
832
Bulgaria
So what would a person with heritage from both slaves and slave-owners do? Compensate themselves?

Every man is born innocent. Only institutions can "carry" guilt from one generation to another. And the US government has abolished slavery long time ago, so case closed.