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 Reparations Primer #1
Fortunately, city council voted down Goode's request for reparations by banks. By one vote. Thank God!

I recently began occasionally listening to 900am calling themselves the "Voice of the City". My question is, the voice of what city? Just like people that disagree with Howard Stern or Rush Limbaugh but listen to them anyway, I am very curious about how a group with differing opinions sees city, national and international politics. All too often conversations revolve around reparations and what the government and businesses need to or should do to compensate blacks today for slavery. There is no voice in this city and a minimal voice nationally for groups against reparations.

I will be doing a series of posts to cover the current state of reparations. If reparations are given, the net result will be purely negative. Nothing good can come from the government doling out money to a specific group of people for a legal institution that ended 140 years ago.

What are reparations?

Merriam Webster Online defines reparations as, "The act of making amends, offering expiation, or giving satisfaction for a wrong or injury, something done or given as amends or satisfaction."

H. Khalif Khalifah of the National Black Reparations Alliance states "Reparations is the payment by a criminal to heal the injury that he caused in the commission of his crime."

I can agree with both statements in principle. Take a look at the Enron situation. The leadership of that failed company should be required to sell everyone of their possessions and close every account to be turned over to those people who lost their retirement.

Mr. Khalifah states that reparations are paid by the criminal. Who is the criminal? Those people who owned slaves are long dead, as are the victims of slavery. Is the criminal the slave owners or the tribal leaders in Africa who sold people into bondage? What a crime committed? I will explore all of these points and more.

Let me first address my question of was a crime committed. Slavery is wrong and should not have been allowed. Today, slavery is a crime, both in our own country and internationally. However, it was not until the end of the Civil War that slavery was made illegal. You can not say the government is the criminal. The US Constitution states that you can not be held liable for a crime that occurred before actions made it illegal. The state of New Jersey passed a law outlawing the use of a cell phone while driving. Is the state going to go back a ticket everyone who previously drove in the state with a cell phone? No, that is illegal. So how can the government be held liable for something that was not illegal when it occurred?

It was the culture in Africa at the time, and is still part of the culture today to have slaves. Tribal leaders, warring factions, and fighting nations all capture their enemy and hold them as slaves. Without the ability to acquire slaves through those people, slavery could not have been supported. Because of liberal slanted American History classes, people today have this idea that Dutch or English slave traders roamed through the African serengeti taking people from their homes. That was not the case. The slave traders traded for the slaves in Africa then sold them in other countries.

The next post will address, "Why Punish Me".

Posted by Paul @ 5:23 PM 0 comments