Black People : Words and Quotes to support Reparations

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by HODEE, Oct 18, 2004.

  1. HODEE

    HODEE going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

    United States
    Jul 2, 2003
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    (RF) Technician
    ( Alonewolf ) California.. by way of the LOU
    The truth can only be told by white americans in a puppet fictional stage play. These words are so true, yet have never been mouthed by a single politician.

    "Surely in your world, if you benefit from the wrongdoing of your fathers, you inherit the obligation to right the wrong. If you do not, then who shall?"

    Magog, the Arbiter of Justice in Jim Henson's "Jack And The Beanstalk: The Real Story
    America was asked for reparations in 1865 by the slaves themselves. Ignored!
    They savaged black americans. They acted brutal, rude, violently, they trampled us ferociously, they acted upon us with a primitive and uncivilized manner. Yet no one has come to our aid, or support. A request made in 1865 is still valid today, if ignored by Congress.

    Promises Unkept

    It is hard to find an African American who has not heard of "40 acres and a mule." The phrase has survived Reconstruction and made its way onto baseball caps and hip-hop song sheets and even into comedy routines--a kind of cultural signifier for something promised but never delivered.

    " Forty acres and a mule. The original reparations package.

    On Jan. 16, 1865, four days after meeting with black ministers in Savannah, Ga., Gen. William T. Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 15. Thousands and thousands of newly liberated slaves were fleeing plantations and following his Union Army through Georgia. This was becoming a problem.

    So with the War Department's blessing, Sherman set aside land along the Georgia and South Carolina coasts for black settlement. Each family was to receive 40 acres, and Sherman later offered the loan of Army mules. Word of this deal spread throughout the South, and within six months 40,000 freed blacks had settled on hundreds of thousands of acres of land.

    Several months later Congress passed a bill establishing the Freedmen's Bureau to oversee the transition of blacks from slavery to freedom. The bureau had under its control 850,000 acres of abandoned and confiscated land, and it had men such as Gen. Rufus Saxton, a former abolitionist who was committed to creating a class of black landowners. But that summer President Andrew Johnson began allowing former Confederates to reclaim their property.

    This would become history's pattern in succeeding decades: As blacks sought to obtain their due, every small advance, it seemed, was trumped by a setback. Lawmakers such as Rep. Thaddeus Stevens introduced reparations bills in Congress in 1866 and 1867. No luck. In 1915, Cornelius Jones sued the U.S. government, arguing that it had profited from slave labor through a federal tax on cotton. Since the slaves had never been paid, Jones calculated they were owed $68 million. Jones lost his suit.

    Even King took up the cause of government reparations for blacks, a little-known fact of his civil rights advocacy. In his 1963 book, "Why We Can't Wait," King wrote that while "no amount of gold could provide adequate compensation for the exploitation of the Negro in America down through the centuries," a price could be placed on unpaid wages. "

    "America has made no reparation to the Vietnamese, nothing. We are the richest people in the world and they are among the poorest. We savaged them, though they had never hurt us, and we cannot find it in our hearts, our honor, to give them help--because the government of Vietnam is Communist. And perhaps because they won."

    --Martha Gellhorn, 1986

    War Correspondent. Author. Wife of Hemingway. Martha Gellhorn 1908-1998

  2. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

    United States
    Feb 9, 2001
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    This is an excellent and timely thread Brother HODEE. Thank you for starting it. In another new thread, "Black Slave Owners", we strayed a bit from the topic and ventured into the territory of discussing reparations. In that thread it was brought to our attention by Sister Black Angel, that Blacks, mostly women, at one time also owned slaves. Refer to the thread for the details. As I thought about that, and in reference to the issue of reparations, I asked the question of those who support reparations, whether knowing that Blacks also owned Blacks and used them as slaves, made an impact on their opinions about reparations. I then wanted to know more about what reparations meant and asked myself could the "gift" of 40 acres and a mule be considered as a form of reparations. And then I discovered this thread... :)

    Based on the information contained here, the idea of reparations certainly wasn't as far-fetched or unrealistic as some of us today tend to think that it is. It seems that the reasons given to support the notion were as clear then as they should be to us now. It's true that it probably would have been far easier back then to identify those who should receive compensation, but it certainly isn't our fault that the US government never followed through and now here we are in the 21st Century still having this discussion.

    I would be interested in knowing how Mr. Cornelius Jones calculated the amount that slaves were owed back in 1915--$68 million. Since this was fought in court there should be some documentation somewhere that could certainly be relevant to any argument we have today. Of course we would need to add on interest too. We have some great researchers here in the family and it would be nice to see a copy of the court records for this lawsuit. I bet it could lend to some real good and very deep discussion, don't you think?

    I had submitted this up to this point and decided to return to add a few more comments. :)

    When someone makes a promise to you and they don't keep it, how does it make you feel? When someone gives you something and then takes it back, how does that make you feel? If someone treats you badly, abuses and exploits you, they acknowledge that they owe you for that but clearly show they have no intentions of voluntarily paying you back for what they took from you, how does that make you feel? Promises unkept? If it was anyone we personally knew, most of us would be livid and absolutely furious. We wouldn't want anything to do with someone like this ever again, and we certainly wouldn't trust them again. And, we'd pick no bones about letting them know how we felt either. So, on the topic of reparations, why are we divided on this subject? Why do some of those who claim they are in favor of reparations appear to be quiet and complacent about it? As we face yet another presidential election, why wasn't this a question that was put before the candidates during the recent debates?


    Queenie :spinstar: