Pan Africanism : A New Global Order: Reparations--Part One

Discussion in 'African American History Culture' started by NNQueen, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

    United States
    Feb 9, 2001
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    I know, there have been several threads started on this topic already, so you might be asking yourselves, what's the purpose of one more discussion and what will it accomplish. The fact is, I can't answer that except to say that the word "reparations" continues to crop up from time to time and I wonder whether many of us have a real understanding of what it means and how vast it's being discussed. I'm learning and it's really starting to make sense as to why we should push toward reparations.

    Check out a portion of information from just one website that I found. It's old information (1993) but I believe that it's just as relevant to us as Blacks today as it was back then, and maybe moreso.

    QUOTE: Reparations and A New Global Order: A Comparative Overview by Professor Chinweizu (A paper read at the second Plenary Session of the First Pan-African Conference on Reparations, Abuja, Nigeria, April 27, 1993.)

    "Yes, the black skin is still the badge of contempt in the world today, as it has been for nearly 2,000 years. To make sure it does not remain so in the 21st century is perhaps the overall purpose of our search for reparations.

    We are gathered here today, thinkers and activists who want to change Black People's condition in the world. What things do we need to change, both in the world and in ourselves, if we are to accomplish the mission of reparations? What changes must we make in structures, in psychology, in historical consciousness and much else?

    We might begin by noting that Blacks are not the only people in the world who are seeking, or who have sought, reparations. In fact, by only now pressing our claim for reparations, we are latecomers to a varied company of peoples in the Americas, in Asia, and in Europe. Here is a partial catalogue of reparations, paid and pending, which are 20th century precedents for reparations to the Black World.

    In the Americas from Southern Chile to the Arctic north of Canada, reparations are belong sought and being made. The Mapuche, an aboriginal people of Southern Chile, are pressing for the return of their lands, some 30 m on hectares of which were, bit by bit, taken away and given to European immigrants since 1540. The Inuit of Arctic Canada, more commonly known as the Eskimo, were in 192 offered restitution of some 850,000 sq. miles of their ancestral lands, their home range for millennia before European invaders arrived there.

    In the USA, claims by the Sioux to the Black Lands of South Dakota are now in the courts. And the US Government is attempting to give some 400,000 acres of grazing land to the Navaho, and some other lands to the Hopi in the south-west of the USA.

    In 1938, the US Government admitted wrongdoing in interning some 120,000 Japanese-Americans under Executive Order 9066 of 1942, during WW II, and awarded each internee $20,000.

    Earlier on, and further afield, under the Thompson-Urrutia Treaty of 1921, the USA paid Colombia reparations, including the sum of $25 m on, for excising the territory of Panama from Colombia for the purpose of building the Panama Canal.

    In Asia, following WW II, Japan paid reparations, mostly to the Asian countries it had occupied. By May 1949, $39 million had been paid from Japanese assets in Japan, and another unspecified amount had been paid from Japanese assets held outside Japan. And Japan as obliged to sign treaties of reparations with Burma 1954), the Philippines (1956, and Indonesia (1958). More recently, the Emperor of Japan has apologised to Korea for atrocities committed there by the Japanese, and North Korea is asking for $5 billion in reparations for damages sustained during 35 years of Japanese colonisation.

    Perhaps the most famous case of reparations was that paid by Germany to the Jews. These were paid by West Germany to Israel for crimes against Jews in territories controlled by Hitler's Germany, and to individuals to indemnify them for persecution. In the initial phase, these included $2 billion to make amends to victims of Nazi persecution; $952 million in personal indemnities; $35.70 per month per inmate of concentration camps; pensions for the survivors of victims; $820 m on to Israel to resettle 50,000 Jewish emigrants from lands formerly controlled by Hitler. All that was just the beginning. Other, and largely undisclosed, payments followed. And even in 1992, the World Jewish Congress in New York announced that the newly unified Germany would pay compensation, totalling $63 million for 1993, to 50,000 Jews who suffered Nazi persecution but had not been paid reparations because they lived in East Germany.

    With such precedents of reparations to non-Black peoples in four continents, it would be sheer racism for the world to discountenance reparations claims from the Black World."


    (Source: "African Reparations Movement",