Perry enjoys writing on diverse topics and has a wealth of knowledge about politics.
American history has a dark side for some, and that is slavery. Many Africans were captured in Africa, treated like dogs, shipped to the American colonies, and then bought like cattle. As time went on, those original Africans gave birth to many who were born into slavery and so on.
After the End of Slavery
Then, by the mid-1800s, President Lincoln sought to end the atrocity, but those in the Southern Confederate states rebelled and refused to follow the Northern states (which were mostly free of slavery), and so began the U.S. Civil War. When it ended, so did slavery. But the Southern states continued to make things difficult for black people (or Negroes, as they were called). All this BS with the South continued into the 1960s. The segregation in those Southern states was appalling and kind of unbelievable when seen today. Things were somewhat equalized in the 1960s with the Voting Rights Act and anti-discrimination laws, but inequality still exists to a lesser extent.
The original sin of slavery was mostly in the Southern U.S. states, while the Northern states opposed it. The question of reparations is a sticky subject and I am sure it will be divided to some extent along racial lines because each has a different perspective on it.
Even though many Black people are doing well, many are still not. Is this a direct result of the original sin, or personal choices and abilities of those who did not see success? Since the 1960s, many bills have passed trying to correct the inequality, even forcing schools to admit people of color with a quota system. The same can be said of Native American Indians because the government stole their lands. For them, the payback was Indian reservations and other incentives allowed just for them.
The most perplexing question, assuming you are in favor of reparations, is how? To whom? And how much?
How Would Reparations Actually Work?
What amount of money should each African American get? Is this in a tax cut at one time? A lump sum of money? A sum of money over years? How do you determine how much anyone gets? Is it just because they are black (not all black people were slaves back then, many were free in the Northern states)? Do you only give benefits to those black families that can trace history to those slavery days? What about to the unborn? Will they get some sort of benefit or is it just for those living with proven family history to those days?
The talk of reparations is a perplexing issue. Does America need to even do this now? How will it solve those living in poverty or near poverty in our current times? Should those wealthy black families that have benefited from the Civil Rights Act and other legislature be excluded?
Reparation is a noble concept to right a wrong from long ago. On its face, it is the right thing to do, but its implementation boggles the mind. It is almost a fantasy idea, and I have only presented a few potential questions. Do you think that this wrong can be corrected with a lump sum of money for every African American alive today? To every black household? Let's face it, to everyone living today who may qualify for reparation, they had nothing to do with slavery and were never enslaved. Will they actually feel better for reparation?
Perhaps the reparation money should only come from those states in the South who participated in slavery. Why should the Northern states pay for any of this? They fought to destroy slavery. What about those states that did not even exist back in slavery days? They should be 100% exempt.
There is no easy answer or solution to this hot topic. It is surprising that America's first black-white president did little to promote this in eight years as POTUS. For the Republicans, they see it as a silly gesture and most won't approve it. That sort of tells you nothing will happen unless a Democrat gets in 2020, but even still, with a split government, nothing will most likely happen. More likely, it will just be another election talking point.
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perrya (author) on June 22, 2019:
I agree, the issue is simply way too complex to satisfy most. Even the few questions I raised could be a hot issue. Like I said, the idea is noble but there are more important things like those you mentioned.
DW Davis from Eastern NC on June 22, 2019:
Reparations for slavery are an unrealistic hope. Its proponents' time would be better spent fighting the ongoing slavery that exists today in Africa, the Arab world, Russia, Asian, and, yes, here in the US. Rather than argue over a horrific institution that ended 150+ years ago, why not fight against the fact that more humans are enslaved today than ever in human history.