Yes, you read that title correctly. The case for reparations in this country is a very poor joke told in worse taste. Slavery and Jim Crow laws were horrible, they were divisive in a way that should have never been allowed in America and have been remembered over and over as a means of remind us just how sordid a past we have. Yet for all that people seem to be missing one thing in particular: no one born today or within the last hundred years and more was born into slavery. Check the records, and no matter how emotional you become, it will be proven true. The ratification of the 13th Amendment did away with slavery.
It does need to be said that slave owners do owe reparations to those slaves under their charge. The only problem with this, and it’s a big one, is that those people, both slave owners and slaves, have long since passed away. At this point asking the descendants of said people, who have never owned slaves or had a desire to own slaves or mistreat anyone for that matter, is a bit ludicrous. Let’s break down just why that is.
Those asking for reparations are asking the government for compensation, this much is true. They aren’t truly asking the people that are descended from those that treated their ancestors so horribly. But the issue here is that government does not have a giant piggy bank that it can take money out of in order to pay them back. The government would have to find a way to get the money from hard-working Americans first, and then pay back those people that are doing nothing but existing to get it. The fact that this sounds fair to some people is simply appalling.
There’s another issue with morality and fairness to be considered as well. Many of those white folks that live in this country today weren’t even in the country when slavery was still being instituted. Are they just as responsible despite the fact that their ancestors weren’t slave owners? And what about those black individuals that owned slaves? Yes, look it up, it did happen. Do those black slave owners, or their descendants, owe the black community? Or will there be a double standard that doesn’t apply?
As to the US being built on cheap black slave labor, um, no. Slavery in the South did not build the wealth that was in the North. The South had some of the poorest states while the North had some of the richest. Having slaves made one’s social status jump a bit, but their pockets likely remained the same.
Also, think on this, slavery was a worldwide practice long before it was brought to the attention of the US. There have been those that have worked against slavery long before now, but only by the 18th century did the moral implications start to arise. Should the ancestors of ancient slave owners pay reparations for something that’s considered abhorrent now? Say what you want, but reparations is another way to gain money for nothing.