Apologizing For Slavery & Other Ancient Sins

A Ghanean bishop recently apologized on behalf of Africans for their part in slavery. How stupid is that? We have too much of this sort of pseudo contrition. Nobody today is responsible for anything that happened centuries ago. We are - all of us - descended from slaves and slave owners, killers and victims, conquerors and subjects. We have no right to apologize for our ancestors or for anybody else for that matter. It is dishonest and a way to avoid personal responsibility.

There is a correlation between being concerned about things you really cannot change and being ineffective in dealing with those you can. Whenever you meet someone who claims to love all mankind, you can bet there are very few people in particular he finds appealing. These are the kinds of people who like to apologize for others. It makes them feel better about whatever rotten things they are doing - and expect to continue doing. If they feel so bad about what happened in the past, let them do something about it in the future . Otherwise, they should just keep their contrition to themselves.

Never apologize for anything unless you plan to change your behavior in the future to conform to your apology, but understand that you are making things better in the future, not making up for the past, and never apologize for things you didn't do.

Posted by Jack at September 14, 2006 10:12 PM
Comments
Comment #181370

Jack, I could not disagree more. Nation’s like Germany, Japan, Britain, Ireland, Viet Nam, Cambodia, and the U.S. all have collective consciences and bear national guilt for atrocities and inhumanity in their history. History forgot, repeats itself. It is wise, and necessary that nations remain apologetic for their past misdeeds. It keeps new generations aware of the past and concscientious about not repeating the worst of it.

You really could not be more wrong on this subject.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 14, 2006 11:10 PM
Comment #181373

First off, it takes an act of bravery to apologize for a historical atrocity such as the TransAtlantic Slave Trade. Ghana’s apology is highly acceptable but Ghana was not the biggest benefactor of the Black holohaust.

Europe & the United States remain the largest benefactors from slavery. Today. Yes Today.

If not for the enslavement of African people, there would be no capitalism. American and European slavery is the fundamental basis for the surplus that was needed for the industrial revolution to begin and eventually take off. We are talking about 380-400 years of unpaid forced labor supported by force and violence that was legal.

Ghana’s apology is very small.

The US still owes 40 acres and a mule or its equivalent to its African American population.

Posted by: Lando at September 14, 2006 11:18 PM
Comment #181374

David

Let’s go to the specific. The people of Ghana sold their relatives into slavery 300 years ago. Some of those sold probably were previously involved in selling (and in symetry, so sellers were sold). After 300 years the victims and perps are all mixed up. Who should appologize to whom? We can stipluate that all mankind is guilty. That might call for some introspection, but not for an appology.

We can certainly criticize some cultures or habits. We should not behave as our ancestors did in the past in many cases. Your list is not long enough. It should include EVERY county and EVERY people in the world. But when everyone is guilty, there is no point in appologizing.

I can appologize and atone for what I have done. My second point is actually the more imporant to me. I feel that people who feel guilty about things they didn’t do, too often give themselves a break on today’s activities.

Posted by: Jack at September 14, 2006 11:24 PM
Comment #181376

Lando

Consider the case of Alex Haley. If you read his book, you come to understand that he is descendent of both slaves and slave holders. Does he get 40 acres of does he give it?

Slavery was a fixture of human civilization since at least the Egyptians. Western civilization (Europe and America) was the first major culture to see it as a moral evil to be eliminated all over. Capitalism also killed slavery, since slave labor is economically inefficient. Slave societies are less innovative. Travelers noticed the difference between the North and South in the pre Civil War U.S. In 1776, the South was at least the equal of the North. four score years later, there was no comparison.

Posted by: Jack at September 14, 2006 11:30 PM
Comment #181379

You said, “We are - all of us - descended from slaves and slave owners, killers and victims, conquerors and subjects. We have no right to apologize for our ancestors or for anybody else for that matter. It is dishonest and a way to avoid personal responsibility”.

Your point is a bad cop-out on responsibility. People inherit privilege and inherit disadvantages in the United States based on race or class standing. This is very clear in the last 40 to 130 years.

White people in the United States, whether born here or not, inherit the racial privilege that has shaped this land for over 400 years. Remember we are only a generation or two away from legal segregation in this nation. That is too short of a period to erase 400 years of racial privilege and disadvantage.

In fact it is irresponsible for any white person to claim that they are not responsible to struggle against their white privilege and innate superiority complexes. Black people have the central problem on the other side of the coin whereas they have to struggle against racial disadvangtage and inferiority complexes.

Apologies is the moral thing to do. But it has to be backed by material apologies in the form of reparations to the African Disapora as a whole from Europe and the United States.

Lastly, not all slavery was the same in history. In Africa, enslavement was really a form of indentured servitude for a particular time. You were really a captured prisoner of war between “tribes” or ethnic groups and was eventually let go and given opportunity could become a King in the same group that captured you. Your children were not slaves because you were.

US slavery was racially based. If you were enslaved, your children were enslaved by extension. State laws and public policy made it illegal to have African people read and write in the US or gather in groups. It was very different and again, the basis for US and European wealth and global privilege.

Posted by: Lando at September 14, 2006 11:40 PM
Comment #181380

You told David, “Let’s go to the specific. The people of Ghana sold their relatives into slavery 300 years ago. Some of those sold probably were previously involved in selling (and in symetry, so sellers were sold). After 300 years the victims and perps are all mixed up. Who should appologize to whom? We can stipluate that all mankind is guilty. That might call for some introspection, but not for an appology.”

Africa is made up of over 50 to 70 nations with hundreds of ethnic groups. Africans are not more brothers and sisters to each other as Europeans are.

To claim “relatives” as you did - do we also say that World War I & II were wars of European relatives or brothers and sisters with each other too?

Do we say that Germans putting German Jews ovens an act of putting your “relative” in an oven too?

Posted by: Lando at September 14, 2006 11:45 PM
Comment #181383

Apology as a means to “avoid personal responsibility”?

Could someone connect those dots for me?

Posted by: zen curmudgeon at September 14, 2006 11:55 PM
Comment #181384

You said, “Consider the case of Alex Haley. If you read his book, you come to understand that he is descendent of both slaves and slave holders. Does he get 40 acres of does he give it?”

Under the laws of the United States, Alex Haley was Black regardless of whatever notion of identity he wanted to sell or use creative freedom to express. A racist police officer in NYC or a lynch mob in the 1930’s would care less if he had european blood when they shot him 41 times or lynched him as a spectator sport in front of white children and white women to boost white male masculinity. There is alot of white blood raped into the African population due to slavery or colonialism when Black women had not choice.

You also said that, “Slavery was a fixture of human civilization since at least the Egyptians. Western civilization (Europe and America) was the first major culture to see it as a moral evil to be eliminated all over. Capitalism also killed slavery, since slave labor is economically inefficient. Slave societies are less innovative. Travelers noticed the difference between the North and South in the pre Civil War U.S. In 1776, the South was at least the equal of the North. four score years later, there was no comparison. “

There is no historical record of Egypt having slaves other then the Hebrew Bible where we are just taking their word for it…out of faith.

Two, you are partially correct - economic motive on the European part was a motive to end slavery. It was more efficient. But the moral point is lost because there were always European and white Americans protesting the enslavement of African people on moral grounds. They just were never listened to for 380-400 years. It is only the economic motive and the tactical need for the north to struggle against the south to keep the colonies together by ending enslavement.

It did not end disadvantage or underdevelopment of African Americans in the United States because you ended chattel slavery.

Because right after the legal end of slavery, police officers, elected officials and became KKK riders at night to enact TERRORISM upon African Americans to deter the right to vote and intimidate as the US system restructured itself during RECONSTRUCTION to replace slaver with over 100 year or legal segregation in it’s place.

The arrangement did not end - it only transformed under a new economic order.

Posted by: Lando at September 15, 2006 12:00 AM
Comment #181389

Jack, Someone says their father just died. Most of us would respond, “Oh, I am sorry”. It is the appropriate thing to say when adversity has befallen a person or people. The more so, if one’s own person or people were responsible.

Have you no civility? You will definitely NOT be invited to my funeral.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 15, 2006 12:46 AM
Comment #181390

So, Lando & Remer…

You don’t know my race. What do I have to apologize for?

You know only that I speak English. What do I have to apologize for?

You don’t know my religion. What do I have to apologize for?

You don’t know my nationality. What do I have to apologize for?

You don’t know my sexual orientation. What do I have to apologize for?

I only have responsibility for my own failures.
You dems don’t apologize for Bush. You dems don’t apologize for taking us to war in Iraq. You dems don’t apologize for the innocent people who were killed on 9/11. BECAUSE YOU DON’T SEE THESE THINGS AS YOUR OWN FAILURES. Be consistent. You have no responsibility for what you have not done.

Jack is right.

Posted by: Don at September 15, 2006 12:52 AM
Comment #181392

David said -

“Someone says their father just died. Most of us would respond, “Oh, I am sorry”. It is the appropriate thing to say when adversity has befallen a person or people. The more so, if one’s own person or people were responsible.”

This is ignorant (LOL).

The statement “Oh, I am sorry” is not taking responsibility for the death of their father. It is merely a statement that we are sorry for the person whose father died. This is totally different. I hope you do not continue to push that as an argument.

Posted by: Don at September 15, 2006 12:57 AM
Comment #181394

Don, I would never eveeeerrrr claim Democrat. And those white racist in the Democratic party have the same issues on their white skin privilege as well.

Most of the US wars were under the Democratic Party watch “my friend.”

Posted by: Lando at September 15, 2006 1:03 AM
Comment #181395

Sorry Lando - I apologize for assuming you were. Your comments above are in line with some liberal thinkers.

I, however, do not apologize for others who thought you were a Dem.

Posted by: Don at September 15, 2006 1:07 AM
Comment #181396

Don, who cares what your identity is because the planet is not centered on you “my friend.”

On prinicple, the discussion is really about principles.

If you are on the side of privilege - and that privilege is BASED on the forced underdevelopment of a population of human beings, then apologies are in order WITH forms of reparations to correct the damage.

And that demand is only being nice “my friend.”

Struggling for civil rights through non-violent civil disobedience is nice “my friend” when other groups have historically taken arms like the American Revolution.

Believe me this is a “nice” discussion that is a privilege for those that have historical privilege, because it can be “discussed” in other ways that would seem historically justified.

Posted by: Lando at September 15, 2006 1:11 AM
Comment #181397

Same for the “Liberals.” Would never claim that front group for paternalism either.

Posted by: Lando at September 15, 2006 1:13 AM
Comment #181399

Lando, David,

I think that Jack may have a point. What will an apology mean, and to whom should it be directed? For instance, I have a great great great great great grandfather on my father´s side of the family who fought for the Union army. Does that mean that this apology should cover him when he shed his blood for the Union that freed the slaves? Meanwhile, my mother´s side of the family didn´t come to America until the early 1900s, so they couldn´t have been involved in slavery.

While we´re on the subject of past due apologies, why has there been no apologies for the way that the Irish were treated when the first came to this country in numbers? How about the Italians or the Poles, or the other Eastern Europeans? While we´re at it, I think Europe, along with Russia, China, the ´Stans, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey are owed an apology from Mongolia. While they´re on that, I´ll be hard at work drafting an apology for all the residents of countries once occupied by the Roman Empire, except for England as they still owe me that apology for the way my grandparents on my mother´s side were treated.

Zen curmudgeon,

You ask how an apology can be a dodge of social responsibility. It works in two ways. First, it creates a false sense of closure and repayment on the part of the apologizer. After all, we´ve already amended the Constitution to abolish slavery and give blacks the right to vote, we´ve ended legal racial discrimination (unless the college is historically black or women´s, in which case the howling for discrimination starts), and we´ve passed the Civil Rights Act. If you add on an apology, then I don´t want to hear any more bitching about discrimination, we white devils have done our part.

On the flipside of the coin, those who receive the apology get a false sense of victimhood and entitlement. After all of the things that America has done that I listed above, I still hear no end to the complaints about racism in America. I think the best one I´ve ever heard was from a woman back home who pointed out hidden racism, such as a license plate that was red with a diagonal white stripe. She admitted to not knowing what it meant, but since she´d only seen white guys with it, it must be racist. Imagine her surprise when someone wrote back to inform her that that flag is the international warning for a scuba diver in the water that warns boaters to proceed with caution.

All,

Another line of apology I have yet to hear is the demand for an apology from the Democratic party. After all, it was Democrats who were the party of slavery, it was Democrats who passed Jim Crow. What about their apology?

Posted by: 1LT B at September 15, 2006 1:24 AM
Comment #181401

OK…your turn 1LT B.

On your first pt - The Union only fought to keep the US together not to free enslaved Africans. The issue of freeing enslaved Africans only became a tactical push when the Union was loosing to the Confederates. It was not morality, but economic motive. Please read previous postings. Even if “Union” blood was spilled, the United States still passed legal segregation laws right after chattel slavery of Africans.

Your mother’s side inherits white skin privilege because they come into a situation where their future generations can benefit from the efforts that previous whites worked hard for all white.

Remember, American racism and the KKK was the inspirational group for the German Nazi Party and Ideology.

On another point, many of the later European immigrants were not accepted as Americans. You are correct, but the early 1900s the KKK rose for a second period to intimidate European immigrants to accept an identity whiteness or suffer the consequences of being accused of being some sort of “commie.”

Those European immigrants chose “whiteness” whereas in the United States when it ulimately came down to them versus African Americans - whome they probably had more in common with than white born Americans.

Posted by: Lando at September 15, 2006 1:40 AM
Comment #181402

You said: “Another line of apology I have yet to hear is the demand for an apology from the Democratic party. After all, it was Democrats who were the party of slavery, it was Democrats who passed Jim Crow. What about their apology? “

I have to say that I make no distinction when all the major parties are essentially funded by the same people.

Remembering the 1992 elections between Bush Sr. and Clinton, I remember that both groups had essentially the same funders from private prison investors and other major US companies.

Believe me, its not a party issue that YOU are making it out to be because nobody’s post in this stream pointed out any parties they supported.

Posted by: Lando at September 15, 2006 1:46 AM
Comment #181403

Lando -
“who cares what your identity is”

Apparently, my identity matters IF I am benefiting from “white” privilege (from your perspective, I would guess). You said to LT1: “Your mother’s side inherits white skin privilege because they come into a situation where their future generations can benefit from the efforts that previous whites worked hard for all white.”

The problem with your statements about privilege is that they are based upon incorrect assumptions. AT ONE TIME race dictated privilege in America and Europe, but no more. Now race has little to do with acceptance, upward-mobility, wealth or status. Did you know that many blacks now own land and property in America and Europe??? Did you know that many latinos own businesses?? Did you know that many Asians now have positions in entertainment industries? Any non-white who cannot benefit from society in America or Europe today has mostly himself (herself) to blame. I, certainly, have no ability to hold them back (nor would I if I could). That many do not avail themselves of the opportunities that exist has nothing to do with privilege. The past errors have been greatly corrected, the future is bright for any who take advantage of the opportunities that abound. A people-group can be “victims” in our present society only if they choose it for themselves.

So, there is nothing for which I (a person of European descent) need to apologize.

Which would you rather have… an apology, or opportunity?

Posted by: Don at September 15, 2006 2:13 AM
Comment #181404

All,

Lastly, on principle - an apology is necessary to cure the collective racial problem in the US. Its a good moral test…

But material work to repair the inequality is the fundamental stick to judge. Words that we say or type or pass legislatively doesn’t mean a thing without the enforcement or work behind them.

Reparations are due and it is beyond the verbal or written apology.

Posted by: Lando at September 15, 2006 2:13 AM
Comment #181405

Hey Don - you blurb, “…race has little to do with acceptance, upward-mobility, wealth or status. Did you know that many blacks now own land and property in America and Europe??? Did you know that many latinos own businesses?? Did you know that many Asians now have positions…and etc.”

Blacks hardly own enough land and property in the United States or Europe in relation to their population numbers and total US population percentage breakdown. 17% of the population with only 2% representation is called INSTITUTIONAL RACISM.

17% of the population with over 60% of the Total US population is called INSTITUTIONAL RACISM.

Rethink your positions. I am sure we can run the same counterpoints with the Asians and Latinos you mentioned as well.

You said: “A people-group can be “victims” in our present society only if they choose it for themselves.”

OK…who threw out the votes in Florida in 2000. And arguably in Ohio in 2004. Did these folks victimize themselves? Or were they taking destiny in their own hands only to have the state throw away American votes?

You asked: “Which would you rather have… an apology, or opportunity? “

Reparations is my answer. That is the basis before you can even have an equal playing field.

Posted by: Lando at September 15, 2006 2:26 AM
Comment #181406

Lando - Point #2:
“Believe me this is a “nice” discussion that is a privilege for those that have historical privilege, because it can be “discussed” in other ways that would seem historically justified.”

That battle has been fought several times (starting before the Civil War in America and Great Britain) and in several ways. And the “slaves” WON and continue to do so. So, I don’t get the attitude.

Is there 100% equity? No. Will there ever be 100% equity? Probably not. But it is better than at any time in history.

I cannot take credit for the good fortune of those minorities who are alive today, nor can I take responsibility for the misfortunes of the past. I have had nothing to do with either.

Posted by: Don at September 15, 2006 2:29 AM
Comment #181409

Lando -
“Reparations is my answer.”

So, someone has to pay for the past? Who? Did you know that most blacks today have 40% European DNA. Each person should pay according to his/her DNA?

Did you know that to be considered “black” a person only has to prove (I think it is) 25% black DNA. (And to be considered American Indian one only has to prove 10% heritage).

So, if it’s reparations you want, let’s do it right. I pay, based upon the % of my DNA that comes from slaveholders. You receive, based upon the % of DNA that came truly from slaves in America. But that’s not what you want, is it?

Or, let’s give reparations based upon what you could be making today if you were “white”? When you really look at the question of reparations, it becomes ridiculous. You have opportunity. You have wealth. You are much better off in America or Europe than you would have been if you had been born in Africa. Those who are descendents of slaves have BENEFITTED from being part of this society.

You speak of “institutional racism”. Yet the % of blacks who own their own homes is rising much faster than the general population. How does that fit into “racism”? I’ll tell you… They are playing “catch-up” without reparations. They are taking advantage to the freedom and opportunities of TODAY. They are not “moaning” about the problems of the past, but are moving into the future.

And the future is bright for those who know that the power for better-ment is inside themselves.

Posted by: Don at September 15, 2006 2:52 AM
Comment #181410

“Is there 100% equity? No. Will there ever be 100% equity? Probably not. But it is better than at any time in history.”

You last point is exactly the type of answer that some one with white skin privilege would say (or at least someone that identifies with people with white skin privilege).

Disadvantaged people, without the luxury to dismiss reality and the infinite possibilities of the future with simiply a “probably not” perspective, cannot afford to have that mode of thinking. The material realities that people live provide vastly different thoughts, values and behaviors…and collective responsibilities.

And…better for whom?

I am pretty sure, as the sun rises tomorrow, that if African people were never enslaved by Arabs and Europeans…there would not have been an interuption of African continental natural development and the continent would be very prosperous today.

Considering that the majority of the world’s resources come from Africa - but owned by European and US business predominantly - Africans would not be economically underdeveloped making it vulnerable.

Chattel slavery was an interruption of the natural development of Africa and Europe and the United States only rose through the rape of the resources and unpaid labor.

Forget apologies. Pay up.

To the white liberals/democrats who are into economic justice issues - Reparations is the largest economic justice issue there is. If white liberals/democrats (so-called allies to African Americans got down with that - then they would really be dealing with THEIR white skin privilege.

Posted by: Lando at September 15, 2006 2:57 AM
Comment #181411

And Don, the African Americans you point to that are “picking themselves up by their bootstraps” - just imagine IF they had reparations as well.

Look how talented they already are without it.

Imagine how the world would go upside down if they had it. Or just your world for that matter.

Posted by: Lando at September 15, 2006 3:00 AM
Comment #181412

Lando -

“Pay up.”

Show me the bill first. Since you want me to pay for the sins of someone else’s past, please also credit my bill with the freedom and opportunity of TODAY.

Oh, and I want you to pay your portion, too. If I’m the one paying for the past, then you owe me for the PRESENT. Pay up.

Posted by: Don at September 15, 2006 3:07 AM
Comment #181413

Don, you have not given up anything for anyone to owe you a thing.

Any upward status African Americans have is due to the blood that previous African Americans spilled for upward mobility in the face of violence from white americans. Literally.

In fact any Black person going to college today, there tuition was already paid for in FULL during the enslavement of their ancestors.

If you honestly think, that African Americans are better off in the United States with you then, you have the biggest superiority complex around.

Don’t worry, that bill is coming…better pay up those credit card bills you have and your mortgage because it won’t be like any bill you’ve seen before.

Reparations is not affirmative action. Affirmative Action was a cop-out from paying reparations.

Posted by: Lando at September 15, 2006 3:27 AM
Comment #181414

Jack said ” capitalism killed slavery because it is economically inefficient”

Want to bet on that jack??
Slavery is alive and well, even in capitalist countries.

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/slavery1.html

Posted by: 037 at September 15, 2006 3:40 AM
Comment #181417

Lando,
The point of the Union declaring an end to slavery was to ensure that neither France nor England would come into the side of the war for the Confederacy. The Republican party felt it important as policy not to allow slavery to spread based on their ideas of labor and prosperity. You further make a point about the privilege of white skin, but this was not always the case. Irish were regarded as racially different and inferior, the same with Italians, Poles etc. It also helped that they were Catholic in the eyes of their Protestant hosts. Only after WWII did many southern and eastern Europeans become white in the eyes of many Americans. This acceptance was not as much based on intimidation from the KKK as it was from their desire to be more integrated into white America.
I think that these Europeans chose whiteness even though they might have had more in common with African-Americans for much the same reason that racism in America came about, setting up someone else as inferior to bolster one´s own image. From a few books I´ve read, the idea of the inferiority of blacks was promoted largely as a way of pacifying poor white farmers in the South. Only under English colonialism did such concepts as the one drop rule prevail.
I do feel that the question about the Democratic party was legitimate. After all, it still exists and did profit heavily from slave interests and its still around. If corporations that are still in existence that profited from slavery are to be held accountable to provide reparations then why should a political party that did the same thing not held to the same standard?
Both sides use race to further their own agendas, but I´ve always been stunned by how the Democrats use it. To listen to the Democrats, the Republicans will re-impose Jim Crow if not outright slavery. They fear-monger the black community, but I have yet to see any concrete progress from their programs. 40 plus years after the so-called Great Society and I don´t see much progress.

As for reparations, what a crock. No one alive today has owned a slave or been owned as a slave in terms of agricultural servitude of the type that existed in the South. No one in my family ever owned slaves nor did we profit by it. Finally, if you really believe that it is an idea of superiority to say that African-Americans are better off here than they would be in America, then you don´t read the news.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 15, 2006 4:22 AM
Comment #181419


Jack,

One cannot always fix things done wrong. How does a driver apologize for killing someone? Even though the accident may have been beyond his control,he cannot repair the damage done.

Apology is a social lubricant. It is an act of contrition, an act of demonstrating an understanding of wrong doing. It is an act of humility.

“There is a correlation between being concerned about things you really cannot change and being ineffective in dealing with those you can. Whenever you meet someone who claims to love all mankind, you can bet there are very few people in particular he finds appealing. These are the kinds of people who like to apologize for others. It makes them feel better about whatever rotten things they are doing - and expect to continue doing. If they feel so bad about what happened in the past, let them do something about it in the future . Otherwise, they should just keep their contrition to themselves.

Never apologize for anything unless you plan to change your behavior in the future to conform to your apology, but understand that you are making things better in the future, not making up for the past, and never apologize for things you didn’t do. “

I have no idea who it is here that you seem to despise here. While I agree that phoney contrition is neither an apology nor a desirable trait, this statement seems to be more about some personal anger toward someone.

I have never apologized to anyone for slavery. That would be very weird. I am aware of the effects that have rippled through our culture and the anger retained by those still affected by the predjudices that accompanied the justification that supposed christians used to appease their conscience.

That a politician would express his and his government’s understanding of the states complicity in wrong doing doesn’t seem at all weird or phoney.

What seems odd to me is your confusion of humility sincerity, and human compassion with effective leadership and personal responsibility. What are you really angry at?


Posted by: gergle at September 15, 2006 4:46 AM
Comment #181420

I am also confused by your statement that capitalism ended slavery. There was a small conflict called the civil war. Is capitalism the point of bayonette and the blast of cannon? Is that what we’re imparting in Iraq?

Posted by: gergle at September 15, 2006 4:58 AM
Comment #181423

Jack,

Apologizing is respecting the other. It’s taking the offended shame and give him the power to forgive us. It’s recognizing our deep human nature: we’re full of mistakes, all of us.
A genuine apology offered and accepted is one of the most profound interactions of civilized people.
When done correctly, an apology can heal people humiliation and eventually generate forgiveness.
It could fix broken relationships, from couple to nations even.

Sadly, many (and it seems you included :-( ) see apologizing quite like losing in a world overfull with winning, success and perfection values. Sure, to apologize one have first to have an enough empathic and self-secure strong character to admit fault, failure and weakness.
In a world where everybody, from individual to nations, is so busy winning, nobody anymore wants to recognize its own mistakes. Which is very counter-productive, if you aks me, as the best lessons we learn in life are from failure, not success.
And whatever genuine or not an apology is, it’s always a brave move because you’re taking responsability, from the offended point of view at least.

To be brief, Jack, I’m really disappointed to discover that you value less the very simple “I’m sorry” than whatever “I’ll do better tomorrow” promise…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 15, 2006 5:27 AM
Comment #181424

Don,

You dems don’t apologize for Bush. You dems don’t apologize for taking us to war in Iraq. You dems don’t apologize for the innocent people who were killed on 9/11. BECAUSE YOU DON’T SEE THESE THINGS AS YOUR OWN FAILURES.

I date to disagree. I still remember a photo blog site after 2004 Bush relection with over 2000+ photos of people who clearly didn’t voted for him and were showing pictures with “We’re sorry, we tried our best but failed” written somewhere.

Not every people are selfish individualists, you know.

Be consistent. You have no responsibility for what you have not done.

Personal responsability, no. But as a group, like communities or a nation people within its history, you did.

For example, the whole nazi germans are considered responsible for the nazism worst behaviors. Still, among all nazis, how many did more than just obey orders or/and die? These days, a very few american individuals are indeed torturing detainees to death, but the rest of the world will hold the whole US people responsible for it historically and for decades because americans, an enough majority of them closed their eyes on these acts. And re-elect the administration pushing for torture being legal.

Western nations like US and Europe made huge profit of african slavery. That was a failure of our human rights values, we eventually fix it centuries later. But fixing is not like recognize our mistake. It looks more like a “better” solution, keeping under silence the previous one was not only less good but, sht, don’t tell it: wrong.

You’re not human until you recognize the mistakes you make, because it comes with the humane nature.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 15, 2006 5:51 AM
Comment #181425

Don,

The past errors have been greatly corrected, the future is bright for any who take advantage of the opportunities that abound. A people-group can be “victims” in our present society only if they choose it for themselves.

Still past errors was not fully learned, it seems: future will be made as much of errors as in our past . Not the same, hopefully, but many new ones.

By following your weird logic, there should be no victims anymore since day 2, when the first error ever (day 1) was corrected.

Mistake is human. Until it’s not anymore, apologies are usefull to get over faults. Deal with it.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 15, 2006 6:07 AM
Comment #181426

My Name Is Roger:

Jack:

A friend of mine, is {part African} {part White} {part Native American}, he says ” Roger… I am still waiting for my 30 acers and a mule “, which was promised to my people by [ Democrats ? - Rupublicans?,] I can’t remember which.

ROGER A Conservative Christian Rupublican

Posted by: ROGER at September 15, 2006 6:49 AM
Comment #181428

I think the african population has gotten more mileage out of the apology CRAP then necessary , they are the ones holding themselved back, ” just wait till I get my forty acres” ” What the He— would they do with forty acres if they had it?” sell it for an AK 47 or a fifty piece or a bottle of COLT 45….

Posted by: shaky at September 15, 2006 7:26 AM
Comment #181431

Insofar as such apologies are affirmations of values, I have no problem with them. Eventually we will apologize for the crimes we have committed under the current administration. They will ring less hollow if we don’t wait decades.

I agree that apologizing for what we did and not for what our ancestors did is more meaningful. It also takes more character.

Posted by: Trent at September 15, 2006 7:41 AM
Comment #181432

This is nuts. My wife is half white and half Puerto Rican.
Does this mean she owes my a half of an apology?
The white side would be German-Irish, so how about a quarter of an apology to Jews?
Since based on my sink tone I am not 100% black does that mean I an apology to people with a higher black %?
Do my kids owe me an apology since they are less black than me?
Do today’s Egyptians owe the Jews an apology for slavery in biblical times?
Should every man apologize to a rape victim?
Should every man apologize to every woman even if they haven’t been raped?
Should today’s Christians apologize for the crusades?

I don’t want an apology for an act not done to me from a person who didn’t commit the act. This leads to everyone being a victim because of some crime that they didn’t go through but feel obligated to get revenge for. My wife apologizing for her great-grandfather being in the kkk would mean nothing to me or anyone affecting by his rascism several generations ago.

Posted by: lllplus2 at September 15, 2006 7:45 AM
Comment #181434

Jack,

I am basically with you on this one. Apologies like this are harmless, but they can be pretty lame too.

I thought it was lame when Clinton said “I am sorry” to the survivors of the Tuskegee trials. Certainly, they were owed an apology, but from HIM?! He had nothing to do with it. How could he feel genuine contrition about something he had nothing to do with? He should have had the remaining scientists and doctors who were involved apologize to the survivors. That would have counted for something.

I guess if it made them feel better, it didn’t do any harm. It just seemed senseless to me.

Posted by: Woody Mena at September 15, 2006 8:02 AM
Comment #181437

lllplus2 makes a very valid point. In my family history, I´m half German and half Italian. My German side came to the US in the 1750s, my Italian side in the early 1900s. Does this mean that apologies from Germany to the Jews cover me as well? Perhaps I should draft half of an apology to the French for what the Romans did when Caesar conqured Gaul.

Furthermore, who is to make this apology? It certainly would seem arrogant for the President to do so, after all the nations of Europe, especially Spain France and England owe apologies as well. And what if just one black person refuses to accept it? Must we go on apologizing until he or she does?

Even if such an apology is forthcoming, I fail to see how it will yield any positive result. I instead see it being used with all of the other things that white people have done to try to make amends as a way of sweeping the problem under the rug and saying that its over with. Far more effective than any apology would be to look at what we can do to try to solve the issue of strained race relations by working to improve life for all Americans. That doesn´t include reparations as it would also be used as a copout and not address underlying problems and issues.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 15, 2006 8:08 AM
Comment #181438

shaky,

Thanks alot for making every conservative who disagrees with repartations look like an asshole. You embarrass us and you embarrass yourself.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 15, 2006 8:11 AM
Comment #181439

Lando,

Give it up. Get a job, because you’re not getting another handout from the already overtaxed American workers who already pay for all the babymommas and crackheads as it is. Try working instead of whining. It might not pay as good, but the pride you feel knowing you’re no longer a worthless bum is very rewarding.

Posted by: whitey at September 15, 2006 8:15 AM
Comment #181440

Lando

The Europeans on both sides of the conflict were literally relatives. My Polish cousins fought for the Russians, Germans and Austrians and that is only one example. People that live in proximity mix. That is the whole point of this historical guilt fallacy.

Take another concrete example - the Jefferson descendents. All the white descendents of Jefferson have ancestors who were white slaveholders in the American South. AND all the black Jefferson descendents have ancestors who were white slaveholders in the American South.

Racial problems in the U.S. have become too complex to refer back to slavery. And slavery is too complex to refer to only to race. The Muslim Turks were probably the world’s greatest slavers. They did much of their work in the Balkans.

Zen

When you apologize for someone else over whose actions you have (and had) not control, it is meaningless. There are probably lots of things you can apologize for (and rectify) that you have done in your own life.

Lando (2)

You really believe those pyramids were built by volunteers? Slavery was so much a part of ancient civilizations that they didn’t bother to mention it most of the time. I suppose you could argue that it was not the same buying and selling slavery, but it worked much the same way. I have met former slaves on a couple of occasions. They were slaves in the Soviet Union. Many of them had families who were worked to death. They were not bought or sold, but they worked under conditions far worse than most “slaves” of the past. You may recall that in S. Carolina, planters used free labor (usually Irish) to do some of the dangerous labor, since they had no investment in them. The censuses also identify significant numbers of black slave owners, especially in Louisiana. These lines are not as bright as we would like to think. So again, who should apologize to whom?

Don

Yes. The social apology. I can say with complete sincerity that I am sorry that slavery existed. I think we all should be. Does that really mean anything to you or anyone else?

Lando (3)

There would have been no Civil War (at least as it worked out) w/o slavery. That was the central issue. None of my ancestors were here at the time, but my wife’s family arrive from Norway a couple of years before. She has letters from her ancestors who fought Wisconsin regiments. They specifically talk about slavery as the reason they signed up. Not all did, that is true. But it was clearly an extraordinary war where two sides of the country fight over freedom for someone else.

Re reparations, you still have the problem of who pays and who gets. Blacks as a group are poorer than whites as a group, but there are many rich blacks and many poor whites. Presumably the rich suffer less from this privilege thing. You put white immigrants into the guilty group, what about immigrants from Asia, Latin America (Brazil had slavery until 1881) or even Africa where types of slavery still exist? Should someone need to prove his ancestry from the pre 1865 stock or does a new immigrant from Ethiopia get reparations too?

037

Slavery persists in some forms even today in the least globalized parts of the world. I overspoke when I said it killed it. However, if you look at the sweep of history, you find what looks like slavery existing from the dawn of history and then in the course of about a half century it largely disappeared from large parts of the world (America and Europe). Then it disappeared most other places over the next century. What happened that was different?

Gergle

As above, social apology. Although most lawyers would advise the innocent driver NOT to apologize.

Re capitalism and slavery, see above. It created the conditions that made possible the abolition and market economies rendered slave labor obsolete in many cases. Free labor is a lot more productive and innovative.

BTW - I do not want to sidetrack too far, but I believe the availability of slave labor is what kept the Roman and Chinese Empires from making the leap to industrialization. It froze their technological progress.

Philippe

See above re social apology.

Posted by: Jack at September 15, 2006 8:17 AM
Comment #181441

Good God, will someone please tell me how making racial insults is helping this? whitey, same to you as I said to shaky. Why don´t you attempt the radical concept of thought before you start typing? My old man used to tell me to never miss a chance to keep my mouth shut. Reading your filth I see why.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 15, 2006 8:19 AM
Comment #181442

Jack,

Good post. As another interesting question regarding repartations, how would they be paid? One can presume that they would come from the tax revenues. So in essence blacks would be paying back repartations to themselves? What about poor white people who don´t pay taxes, how do we get them to chip in?

Posted by: 1LT B at September 15, 2006 8:24 AM
Comment #181443

Ok Lets Wake the Dead and have them all apologize to each other. We don’t owe anyone anything for what our ancestors did or recieved. Lets not start on Reparations, geeze ! We’ll have every country paying off another. I’m of Irish Danish descent. Lets see.. the English and the Danes can give me reparations due to my being Irish meanwhile I can start paying reparations to the Native Americans and the African Americans cause I’m an American. Plain stupid, once ya open that Pandoras Box where would that end?

Posted by: Amy at September 15, 2006 8:36 AM
Comment #181446

1LTB,

Furthermore, who is to make this apology?

The nations people, thru there respective political leaders.

It certainly would seem arrogant for the President to do so, after all the nations of Europe, especially Spain France and England owe apologies as well.

Why arrogant? Since when recognize human-made mistake is arrogant?

Regarding France apology for his national’s slavery past, Chirac setup a slavery memory day, starting mai 10, 2006. Indeed we french owe apology to Africans and Carabians we enslaved during our nation history between 15th and 19th centuries (what a coincidence, it’s the exact same period during which France became a rich colonial power). I don’t need to be myself a former slaveowner to know that my nation took great benefit in the past from slavery and colonialism, and that today her geopolitical and economical status, and indirectly mine, in the world have something to do with it.

And what if just one black person refuses to accept it? Must we go on apologizing until he or she does?

We’re talking about offering apology to a large group of people here, not individuals. Using as excuse to NOT apology to a group of people for our past mistakes that it could be rejected is nothing but lame.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 15, 2006 8:56 AM
Comment #181447

The best reparation is FREEDOM. Done that.

Posted by: Don at September 15, 2006 9:02 AM
Comment #181448

I think the white privelege comment is the funniest thing I have read all day! Lando you are too funny!!

Posted by: Carly at September 15, 2006 9:07 AM
Comment #181453

Phillipe,

I think it would be arrogant for the President of the United States to assume he speaks for all white people. I did not know about France setting up a rememberance day, but my applause for it. Refering to previous posts, I don’t think that anyone today apologizing for slavery now will change anything.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 15, 2006 9:29 AM
Comment #181460

I am a person who was born into “white skin privilages” such as Lando calls it. My heritage is German, Dutch, and British….In the Civil War my father’s family fought for the union army, while my mother’s fought for the confederacy. And to top it all off I am married to a black man and have 2 beautiful daughters. Do I owe my husband an apology (even though he is like 8% Irish) and my children a half an apology? This is getting ridiculous. I grew up in the South (Virginia) and DO recognize that there are definitely inequalities in society today, however my husband and I just meet those discriminating stares with our heads held high. Our country is one that was built on diversity (the melting pot) and that is why we are such a great nation. Of course there are things in our history that are horrible and undescribable, but personally I have vowed to just be a good human being and “love thy neighbor” no matter what their ethnicity. I feel that this subject is touchy for so many reasons, but lets face it. White Americans are NEVER going to understand what it is like to walk in a black American’s shoes while it is also true vice versa. We need to just meet the future with respect for our fellow Americans and teach our children to not be ignorant biggots. My husband has spoken many times against reparations and unearned positive treatment. He has stated that he wants to have earned his life 100%. He is proud of his achievements and our acheivements as a biracial couple. We face adversity every day as a family and just decide to live our lives according to our own hard work and honesty. Nothing I say will make him any more accepted in the eyes of an ignorant racist. Just like nothing he says will make his blond hair blue eyed wife acceptable to many of the people of his race.
I really have to wonder, if certain ethnicities need an apology then wouldn’t we also apologize to the Native Americans? There was a total campaign of genocide committed against them. And the few that are around today are herded onto reservations where the life expectancy is 58. My point is horrible things have been done, horrible things have been said but we all need to make sure that those atrocities and the attitudes that fueled them are not a part of our nation’s future! We learn from the past. The price was high for some but the reward is great for all! Those living in today’s times had no part of slavery on either end. This is something that I feel is not fully understood by Lando. WHile it is possible for me to agknowledge these great injustices I feel I do not own anyone an apology or land b/c of what people did so long ago. I will always fight inequality but pay reparations? Who would this money come from? I don’t get the whole concept.

Posted by: Becky at September 15, 2006 10:03 AM
Comment #181461

Jack, The decline in the slave trade was brought about by a change in how people viewed their fellow man. Education and critical thought lead people to question the morality of slavery, even though it is condoned in the Bible. As people and slaves became more educated it grew harder to justify the imprisonment of another human. As travel and communications spread and people became more educated slavery on a wide scale became morally unjustifiable. The free market has been around since the dawn of history also, even if it was considered a black market, no pun intended.
What is puzzling is that the Greeks (As I am sure you know) were critical thinkers, free marketers and had slaves. Much better kept, but still slaves.

Posted by: 037 at September 15, 2006 10:08 AM
Comment #181467

Life happens. Life is unfair. Some people are born with wealth while others are not. I cannot help the color of my skin anymore than the next, nor can I help what happened to my ancestors or what they did. I do feel sorry for those who were slaves or who have been racially discriminated against. What do I owe them? Nothing. I have done nothing wrong to them.

RE reparations: I assume that reparations would be paid by the government since it would be very difficult to do so on a case by case basis as others have pointed out. Why do people think that it’s the government’s responsibility to make life fair? The government doesn’t exist to make life fair nor to make sure everyone has the same socioeconomic status. The government’s responsibility is to ensure your rights, that’s it. Those reparations should have been paid to the slaves; since they are long gone, there is nothing left but regret.

Posted by: TJ at September 15, 2006 10:35 AM
Comment #181468

Jack, I have to agree that to apologize for something I did not have control over, is actually just blowing smoke you know where. Yes my relatives might have done something wrong but how can I apologize for something that I had no control of over 100yrs ago.
I will apologize when Egypt and Italy apologize for making my relatives slaves to help make their countries the powers to be during their power reign.

Posted by: KT at September 15, 2006 10:35 AM
Comment #181470

Lando is what is wrong with this country in regard to race relations.

Instead of accepting the past and learning from it Lando wants to continue living in the past.

Until we stop showing and teaching our children that there is a difference between the races they will continue to learn that there is.

If we tell children of today that they have to do without because their families must give money that they earn to other families simply because of their skin color, they are going to take that away from it.

The problems with the black community are 90% with the black community. Racism exists and always will exist as long as we legitimize it, something that Lando is suggesting we continue to do. Until the black community finds its moral compass again, something that make them strong and allowed them to survive the Jim Crow era when democrats caused such harm to the black family and the republicans turned their backs on the situation, it will continue to spiral out of control no matter how many apoligies we offer.

Posted by: rhinehold at September 15, 2006 10:52 AM
Comment #181471

I still haven’t received the bill. How much do I owe?

Posted by: Don at September 15, 2006 10:54 AM
Comment #181473

The real shame about Jack’s posting is that it neglects the basic function of such an apology: it is a public repudiation of the past. In Christianity, the forgiveness is there for the asking, but first you must repent- that is, admit you did wrong. You can’t truly ask forgiveness, if you won’t acknowledge you did wrong.

There is a such thing as collective responsibility. Germany, as a nation, is responsible for the destruction of WWII. There is a such thing as a need for that collective responsibility, so as to reform the culture.

We have to admit that despite our generational distance from slavery, we whites are still the recipients of an unfair advantage. While I do not advocate monetary reparations, I do advocate reparations in terms of an active effort to undo the damage of many generations of slavery and racism. The prosperity and equality of future generations of black people stand as the best apology for what was done for them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 15, 2006 11:06 AM
Comment #181474
we whites are still the recipients of an unfair advantage

Which is?

Posted by: rhinehold at September 15, 2006 11:16 AM
Comment #181475

1LT B,

I think it would be arrogant for the President of the United States to assume he speaks for all white people.

He could apology on behalf of the people he now represents, that means… (no, let’s toss an obvious joke…), americans.

I did not know about France setting up a rememberance day, but my applause for it. Refering to previous posts, I don’t think that anyone today apologizing for slavery now will change anything.

The point behind Chirac rememberance day is to fully recognize, in school program for instance, the dark role of slavery in France history as much as the so-called positive of her colonial past. Which until last year, was not the case, scholar history books were - by law! - too soft on slavery *and* too eloquent about colonialism. Here what it changes. We assume better our long history, both dark and brigth parts.

And it’s have an impact on french immigrant descented youth identity issue, too.

Becky,

We learn from the past. The price was high for some but the reward is great for all! Those living in today’s times had no part of slavery on either end.

But those living in today’s times should NOT forgot these lessons learned from past mistakes by previous generations. Acknowledgement and teaching them as true history is a very effective way to not let them forget. It’s not passing the blame on each generation forever, because obvioulsy they are not guilty, it’s passing lessons learned to next generation.
The only guilt the new generation could get is to forget previous mistakes’s lessons, and that’s not *that* easy to avoid.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 15, 2006 11:16 AM
Comment #181476

TJ,

Those reparations should have been paid to the slaves; since they are long gone, there is nothing left but regret.

Regret which could be officially and collectivelly expressed by an apology.
I’m not for reparation neither (why a generation should pay for wrong doing of several generations before you?), while I’m for collectivelly assuming our history. good and evil.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 15, 2006 11:23 AM
Comment #181477


I believe that taking a collective responsibility will do no more than to acknowledge that huge mistakes were made by people in history. It doesn’t change it. In fact I wouldn’t think that today’s Black American would give a care for our apology. Would Lando really be less angry about history if I said I am sorry for what my ancestors might have done???
Acknowledgement is key here…apology…not so sure. How can I apologize for things of the past of which I have had no control? And how can they accept an apology for something that has not directly been a part of their life (enslavement)? I am not in denial of racism (as previously mentioned), I merely know that slavery is a thing of the past in this country. Acknowledgement and time will be the only true healer of these wounds.
I agree to an extent with Rhinehold, by bringing up and apologizing for wrongs that others made in the past we are merely focusing on our differences of races to our children. We need to focus on bringing everyone together. Teaching them is one thing, but I don’t want my daughters (who are half white half black) to hate their ancestory on either side. Our past does not need to dictate our future.

Posted by: Becky at September 15, 2006 11:26 AM
Comment #181480
we whites are still the recipients of an unfair advantage

Which is?

Hum, like ownership (robbering) of the Native Americans lands, the former owner?
Concentrating than 80% of world wealth, when whites are not even half the world population?

Ask you a question: which skin color, if offered the option, you will choosed?

Whites are very comfortly (average) living on the huge profit they made (and still do) by raping the planet during centuries.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 15, 2006 11:34 AM
Comment #181481
Regret which could be officially and collectivelly expressed by an apology. I’m not for reparation neither (why a generation should pay for wrong doing of several generations before you?), while I’m for collectivelly assuming our history. good and evil.

This statement I can agree with completely. Bet you never thought you would read that we agree on something, did you Phillip?

I’m not sure if an ‘apology’ is the best way though, I’m just not sure what is. Your remark that it was illegal to discuss the full extent of slavery is disconcerting to me and gives me more reason to not have government in our education system.

Posted by: rhinehold at September 15, 2006 11:35 AM
Comment #181485

David R Remer, would you please advise me what atrocities and inhumanity exactly Ireland should bear guilt for? In my innocence, I thought that it was the Irish who were on the receiving end of inhumanity and atrocities for centuries. Clearly, as you know better, you can enlighten me greatly. As for Vietnam, well I really only know about its modern history, say from the middle of the last century. What I see is a country that sought to shake off the evil of colonialism, first against the French, and later against the US. Did they commit atrocities? Perhaps, but only in the context of a vicious war inposed on them with massive superiority in military terms. War is a failure and denial of our humanity, but self defence and as most Americans eloquently testify, liberty, are absolutes for all mankind, not just Americans.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at September 15, 2006 11:42 AM
Comment #181493

Becky,

… by bringing up and apologizing for wrongs that others made in the past we are merely focusing on our differences of races to our children.

No, I think we are focusing our children on our past mistakes, which is both different and good to prevent them forgetting these hard-learned past lessons.

The focus of any apology is “that was wrong and I acknowledge this now”. Every apology is also an acknowledgement, but an acknowledgement semantic is not to say “It/I was/we were wrong”. It could be “yeah, I acknowlegde you were offended (but I can’t care less, as I’m right!)”. It’s too much factual, neutral.

It’s like kids saying “I’m sorry mom” instead of “I know it’s bad mom”. See, there is a difference, isn’t it?

Our past does not need to dictate our future.

But we have the duty to not repeat our past worst errors in the future. Hence the focus on errors admission. Apology is the most used form of errors admission.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 15, 2006 11:56 AM
Comment #181496

TJ well said I could not agree with you more. Apologies and reparations are ridiculous concepts. It is high time that the black community take responsibility for their own actions. We are talking about a culture that values having children out of wedlock, values spending their money on bling instead of providing for said children, thinks it is cool to refer to their women as hos and bitches, thinks that being a criminal is better than getting a real job, thinks that a viable reaction to a disagreement is to spray bullets around a neighborhood with no regard for whoever else might be around. It is the ghetto gangsta mentality that is keeping the black man down, not the fact that their ancestors were enslaved 150 years ago. The kicker here is that when a black person works hard, does the right thing and makes a successful life that person is looked upon as an Uncle Tom or a traitor. How messed up is that? Instead of treating successful blacks as role models, instead it is the gangsta, drug dealer, rapper that gets this designation.
As far as White privilege goes that is nothing but a myth, as far as numbers go there are a lot more white people living in poverty and despair than blacks(blacks only make up 17% of the U.S. population). If you do not believe this take a drive through Appalachia. I will guarantee you a poor black kid has more opportunities in today’s society than a poor white kid. The poor white has no voice, no advocates, no NAACP, no affirmative action. Why? because it is just assumed that if you are white and poor it is because of your own doing, yet somehow if you are poor and black it is the fault of white society.
The bottomline is in order to succeed in America you must take responsibility for your life, work hard, stay out of trouble, stop making bad decisions and stop blaming everyone else for your problems.

Posted by: Manonfire at September 15, 2006 12:04 PM
Comment #181497

My $0.02…

There is a lot of fairly civil debate on this thread from many differing viewpoints, most of which have logical and valid arguments that can and should be debated in a forum such as this.

My view of this situation is not necessarily the mechanics of what an apology is, or when it is justified, or if an apology is adequate in any situation. IMO, an underlying lesson to be taken from this debate which should take precidence is that we are humans who have decended from our ancestry, and that ancestry has a history. Take the much used adage of “if you do not learn history, then you are doomed to repeat it”.

We should all learn from our history and be able to realize the faults of our predecesors, and ensure that we are not foolish enough to make the same mistakes. I am not trying to make a political statement, but for the good of humanity, we should all be on a path to improving our lives and communities for the greater good.

Will reparations happen? Possibly, however unlikely. Should modern day whites apologize for slavery? It is a matter of perspective, as the debate has shown. We all know slavery was a horrible practice in our society. We all know the forced removal of Native Americans from their lands was wrong. We can point out endless situations where there is wrong in the past, but lets learn from it.

Posted by: Greg at September 15, 2006 12:04 PM
Comment #181498

Jack,

At least you acknowledged that the north economy was driven by industrialization, not agriculture. That is why they were free to develop a conscience about abolition. Capitalism exist in both the North and South. You say capitalism freed the slaves, but then say China and Rome were held back by slavery. That seems a bit convoluted and circular to me. If it worked here, why not there? Maybe neither is true.

I think it was technological advance which created the industrial revolution. Capitalism, I believe helped to spread technology, but did not create it, nor had much to do with freeing slaves. The cotton Gin actually created more demand for labor. Scientific discovery and education led to the industrial revolution as well as enlightenment as to the vileness of slavery.

All apology is social apology. Even in Ghana. Stating the fact that all races are mixed does not address ethnic hatred and racism. Jack, frankly, this post seems as confused and thick as mollasses in a maze, in January.

I’m still not sure what motivated it, but it’s way off the mark and has the tenor of some antisocial anti-progress rant, white backlash, if you will. I really think you need to step back and reconsider this issue.

If you are concerned about reparations, I think you made valid points in this regard. I think affirmative action, and civil rights legislation and education have addressed that issue.

Posted by: gergle at September 15, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #181504

rhinehold,

This statement I can agree with completely. Bet you never thought you would read that we agree on something, did you Phillip?

I was secretly hoping that you are as human as me, though ;-)

I’m not sure if an ‘apology’ is the best way though, I’m just not sure what is.

That’s perfectible, indeed. Yet, that’s not a enough reason for not doing it until its perfect.

Your remark that it was illegal to discuss the full extent of slavery is disconcerting to me and gives me more reason to not have government in our education system.

Oh, it was not “illegal”, it was *suggested* to keep it soft and a draft Patriotic law pushed by Nicolas Sarkozy in 2005 proposed to counter balance slavery France history by positiving her past colonialism policy. Aka law teaching history.

Believe me, this draft was highly debated here and eventually rejected, nor the softness nor the so-called positive colonialism survived.
Then Chirac muted Sarkozy nationalism by creating a slavery abolition and rememberance day.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 15, 2006 12:12 PM
Comment #181511

I don’t think an apology is necessary either. Deeds are more important than words — especially words that don’t truly come from the heart.
An honest acknowledgement of the history of slavery in America, and of those who benefitted most by it, is necessary however IMO. So is studying the Black Civil Rights movement, and truly honoring and appreciating the many excellent and wonderful contributions made by Black Americans to America — because they are numerous.
This is something that makes a certain percentage of white Americans angry. Some don’t want the history of blacks in America to be taught in our schools to their children, while others think it should be a short sidenote that isn’t worthy of very much attention. I think this is very wrong and quite obviously smacks of racism.
As far as looking at poor socio-economic conditions, I don’t think we should concern ourselves at looking someones skin color at all. Instead, we should simply want what is best for all our citizens, look at their needs, and try to help improve them wherever possible and practical to do so. To me this is exactly what the founders meant when they wrote “promote the general welfare” into the Preamble of our Constitution. This focus can and should take many forms: social programs, education, subsidized healthcare, etc. What ever works, great. Whatever doesn’t, we might try something different.
The goal is not to make everyone equal in America, because that is an impossible goal. Rather, it is to make sure that none of our people are forced to live a life that is empty of opportunity, satisfaction and achievement, or filled with unnecessary desperation, misery or pain.

Just my opinion.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 15, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #181515

Phillipe,

White people control most of the wealth in the world today because white people were the first to industrialize and hold transoceanic empires. The main feature that seperates white imperialism from other empires before it is the scale on which it was accomplished. The huge majority of Native Americans died without ever having seen a white person from smallpox carried by European sailors to the Americas. Bear in mind that this was before the modern understanding of disease. We live the comfortable lives we live because of the blood, sweat, and tears of our ancestors.

Meanwhile, its not as if industrialization is a big secret. Several Asian nations, such as Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea have done it and enjoy the same standards of living as those of us in the West. The primary reason for the lack of progress in other parts of the world is corruption, lack of resources, and a variety of other ills that are not the fault of Europeans.

gergle,

The fact that the north was industrialized does not necessarily let it off the hook with regards to slavery. Most of the capital of the north can be traced back to Britain which bought slave cotton. I think Jack is right about slavery holding back the Roman Empire. There was a primitive steam engine at that time, but it came to nothing primarily because slaves were so common that there was no need for machines and engines to reduce the needed manpower.

Adrienne,

Good post.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 15, 2006 12:33 PM
Comment #181521

“We are talking about a culture that values having children out of wedlock, values spending their money on bling instead of providing for said children, thinks it is cool to refer to their women as hos and bitches, thinks that being a criminal is better than getting a real job, thinks that a viable reaction to a disagreement is to spray bullets around a neighborhood with no regard for whoever else might be around. “

Wow….manonfire….those are pretty general statements to be throwing around aren’t they? It is sad to say but it is the urban youth that are quite often caught up in this mentality b/c this is what they see and what is glorified to them. HOWEVER, this does not reflect the attitudes of black people as a whole. Young children need positive role models. It is shown that b/c of the severe struggles of racial equality in the past many grandparents of today’s black youth missed out on an equal education that many of their white counterparts did recieve. This in fact affected their children, and their children’s children. Poverty in urban environments is overflowing with minorities that have been handed down this legacy. That does not mean that they all aspire to this “gangsta” lifestyle that you say. Escaping poverty and recieving a good education in spite of where you come from is a difficult thing. Significantly more difficult than having mommy and daddy pay for your college education no questions asked. I believe these prejudices that you are portraying in your comment are typical of a white middle class male and are untrue. As I said in an earlier post i am a white woman with Euro heritage who is married to a black man. And might I say, he nor his family, nor any of his friends have expressed these views that you so easily throw out there as “black values”. I live in a predominantly black middle class neighborhood where everyone drives nice cars, goes to church, and is respectful of their neighbors. So far I have not witnessed someone who “thinks that a viable reaction to a disagreement is to spray bullets around a neighborhood with no regard for whoever else might be around.” Be careful when you speak in such general terms.

Posted by: Becky at September 15, 2006 12:43 PM
Comment #181533

WHY IS EVERYONE ARGUING?

PHILLIPE,

Hello, we have black history month in the U.S.A. not just a day so hah!
Martin Luther King Jr. has one whole day to himself.
Hah!
Slavery is not talked about in this country unless it is with remorse, with the exception of some radical fringe racists.

Black people including Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, The Freedom Riders and tons more are celebrated as heros.

No one owes anyone an apology here.

And if we did then why didn’t the first white president that was the closest to being black, also known as Bill,(said by some people including Chris Rock) give an apology during his presidency since he was so sympathetic and close to the blck people.

About the only thing he gave black people was welfare reform which kicked a lot of people where I live off of welfare and sent mothers of babies and small children to work while welfare pays some daycare to raise the child for more than the mother makes at her job. Some reparations for black Americans!

So do I owe half of myself half an apology and how much should half of myself pay the other half?

It is just silly political correctness. The French kiss ass like I don’t know what though.

Posted by: lllplus2 at September 15, 2006 1:07 PM
Comment #181535

sorry the lllplus2 above is from

THE WIFE of lllplus2

Posted by: lllplus2 at September 15, 2006 1:10 PM
Comment #181536

Stephen Daugherty. I tried that line of reasoning. They don’t want to hear it. They miss the import apologies for the past have on preventing their reoccurance in the future. They have no grasp either of the difference between a personal apology and an apology expressed in the name of a people or nation which many great leaders have pronounced, not to change the past, but, the future.

This line of reasoning is way over their heads.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 15, 2006 1:16 PM
Comment #181544

My paternal grandfather was part Cherokee whose parents died when he was very young—he grew up in an orphanage. My maternal grandfather immigrated here from Switzerland in the early 1900’s. Who the hell do I apologize to?

Oh, well—guess I’m sorry. Now you guys feel better?

Sheesh—talk about naval gazing.

Posted by: nikkolai at September 15, 2006 1:35 PM
Comment #181547

Oh, and the part of my heritage that had American Indian blood—no one should feel that they need to apologize to me.

My personal belief: “Living well is the best revenge.”

Posted by: nikkolai at September 15, 2006 1:41 PM
Comment #181548

Phillipe

You French should be getting an apology from the Muslim world for the unfortunate events of the 9th Century. Then you would have to give them one for the first Crusade, but maybe they would have to give you one for re conquering the Holy Land. They could apologize to you for the Barbary pirates; you can apologize to them for Algeria.

Of course let’s go back to the Romans. Should the Italians apologize to you for Julius Caesar or maybe the current French are to such a large part descended from the Romans that they should apologize to the Celts in Breton. Of course those Celts arrived in the 5th Century and kicked out Romanized Gauls, so maybe they get no apology. Of course if we bring it back to the top, as Roman descendent, you have an apology coming from the Muslim Algerians for conquering N. Africa.

I don’t think it makes much sense. People are too mixed up and so is history.

037

I think we still need to consider that only the free market system actually got rid of slavery. It allowed the conditions. Certainly people’s attitudes changed too. It is hard to separate attitudes from conditions.

The Greeks were critical thinkers and the thought up logical justifications for slavery. Muslim societies considered (and some still consider it) a natural condition. It was only recently, first in Europe and America that slavery was considered something to be eliminated for all people. Actually that is the big question. Why after several millennium of slavery (or its functional equivalent) in every large society in all parts of the world did it disappear? Maybe we can someday do the same for war.

Stephen

You are confusing religion with other society. In Catholic religion you have the concept of original sin. We ALL are affected and can get rid of the taint only by accepting Jesus. In this case, we seem to have identified some victims and some sinners only by the color of their skins. We ask them to repent things they have not done, so it is like original sin, but since it is applied only to particular groups it is odious.

I still believe that we should judge people by the contents of their characters, not the colors of their skins.

Gergle

The free market is interested mostly in whatever the color money is. Places like the American South or South Africa needed to enact laws to prevent the free market from working to reduce racial discrimination.

David

We should all be looking to the future. Appolgizing for things you did not do in the past to people who did not suffer from those things in the past is NOT looking to the future.

ALL

If you are striking historical balances, you have to look at both sides too. Europe and America became rich because they developed methods and technologies to do so. If enslaving others was sufficient to be rich and powerful, there would be lots of rich places. The fact is that in 1700 the whole world was miserably poor by our standards. If you took all the wealth in human hands back then and divided it up, everyone would be poor. If you took all the wealth in human hands in Africa and moved it all to Europe, Europe would still have been poor.

Until the industrial revolution, wealth was ALMOST a zero sum game. Trade made everyone richer, but generally if you got something, somebody else lost it. This is no longer true and it stopped being true around 300 years ago. Some people’s conception of wealth and poverty is still 300 years old. That is one of the biggest problems of the world today is this old fashioned zero sum thinking.

The U.S. has become much wealthier in the last 50 years. Almost everyplace else has also become much wealthier. Obviously, it is NOT a zero sum game.

Posted by: Jack at September 15, 2006 1:43 PM
Comment #181551

Stephen Daugherty and David Remer and Phillipe Houdin all others who agree with them,

I know you guys are so miles ahead of the rest of us, who are just stupid to you, with your “over their heads” arguments, and you are so much better than the rest of us because you want someone to apologize to black people.

If you haven’t been listening, black people here aren’t asking for an apology. Only you liberal left people who say a bunch of words, but don’t do anything to fix the problems for people of now want the apology.

THE FUNNY THING IS YOU ARE PROBABLY NOT OF ANY RACE THAT YOU ARE ASKING FOR AN APOLOGY FOR.

If you are so for apologies I will accept your apologies for what you have done to my ancestors any time. Mail the check to…

If you really want to help black Americans of today stop the companies with money from discriminating against the poor black people who can’t afford a higher insurance premium for having bad credit because they are poor and higher APR on all their loans.

Not to mention stop all the Pro-Abortion people from killing little black babies at a much higher rate than other races. HALF OF THE BLCK WOMEN WHO GET PREGNANT EVERY YEAR HAVE AN ABORTION. Why aren’t you trying to stop the genocide of black babies at abortion mills that are predominately in minority neighborhoods for easy access.

THE WIFE

Posted by: lllplus2 at September 15, 2006 1:47 PM
Comment #181557

lllplus2 (the wife),

AMEN!

Posted by: trrrrrruth at September 15, 2006 2:10 PM
Comment #181569

IIIplus2(the wife)

You didn’t know that David Remer and Stephen Daugherty are so intellectually superior that us commoners can’t even grasp the concept of their arguments? It reminds me of the episode of South Park where a terrible cloud of “smug” is about to destroy the country and no one in San Francisco pays attention because they were too busy indulging themselves in the smell of their own farts.

Posted by: Duane-o at September 15, 2006 2:32 PM
Comment #181586

lllplus2 (the wife),

Have bad credit is not caused by being poor, it is caused by being irresponsible with money. It is quite possible (definitly not easy) to get a credit score over 700 while still living in poverty.

Posted by: SirisC at September 15, 2006 3:53 PM
Comment #181599

SirisC,

No it isn’t caused by being poor, but a major contributing factor. It is definitely harder to get credit if you are poor. Your income goes into your credit score. If you don’t make a whole lot of money it is hard to get credit, which means that you don’t have a record of good credit and few are willing to take a chance on you except to give you a very high APR. That means higher bills. That makes it harder on someone who is poor. If anything should go wrong when someone is on a tight budget then their credit could go bad real easy. I don’t consider not being able to pay doctor bills or having a car break down or an appliance break to be irresponsible. Just one small disaster can make things hard on someone who doesn’t make a whole lot of money. The majority of people who rent things at rental stores are minorities. Are you saying that it is all because they are irresponsible? When i lived in a major city most of the people on welfare were black and hispanic. I was on welfare. Are you saying that a majority of us are just irresponsible?

THE WIFE

Posted by: lllplus2 at September 15, 2006 4:26 PM
Comment #181601

lllplus2

“If you haven’t been listening, black people here aren’t asking for an apology.”

Didn’t take me long to find these people who would like it if it were sincere

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=3902

http://news.ncmonline.com/news/view_article.html?article_id=faf6925e50a8f46f4566d68d15c9ed87

http://www.blackcommentator.com/142/142_cover_lynching.html

Posted by: 037 at September 15, 2006 4:38 PM
Comment #181602

Jack
If all the machines and other products of the industrial revolution were to vanish would we go back to slavery? How about the Amish? Not slave owners never were.

Posted by: 037 at September 15, 2006 4:46 PM
Comment #181609

Supportive White Perspective on Reparations for African People.

Check it out and learn:

http://apscuhuru.org/analysis/penny-apsd/index.xhtml

Posted by: Lando at September 15, 2006 4:57 PM
Comment #181612

lllplus2 wife,

Hello, we have black history month in the U.S.A. not just a day so hah! Martin Luther King Jr. has one whole day to himself. Hah!

Hum, I was not running a contest here. I present a recent political even in France related, I still think, to this thread topic.

No one owes anyone an apology here.

In US, yep. But that’s not that great in France. We’re still lock in some frozen post-colonialist spirit, in particular toward our africa policy (“Francafrik”). That’s why I’ve exposed a different kind of collective apology for slavery in a different & foreign nation context.
Seems I didn’t make this clear enough, though. My bad.

It is just silly political correctness. The French kiss ass like I don’t know what though.

While I may even agree about the PC part, I really think you need to put my argument in France history perspective, which is not the same as US one. Afterall, we didn’t have a civil war over slavery abolition and french were not the quicker to end using slavery. But far more important France slavery occured combined with colonialism.

Or just call it french kissing ass like crazy if you better like to turn my point into frensh-bashing. You’re welcome.

Stephen Daugherty and David Remer and Phillipe Houdin all others who agree with them, I know you guys are so miles ahead of the rest of us, who are just stupid to you, with your “over their heads” arguments, and you are so much better than the rest of us because you want someone to apologize to black people.

Hey, now *you* are trying to put words I’ve never said in my mouth. Please stop that now.

If you haven’t been listening, black people here aren’t asking for an apology.

Black or North African people enslaved and colonized by France are. Algerian in particular are recently. Check news. I just happened to not listening the people you think about but the ones who think France owe them an apology for enslave and colonized them. But, clearly I didn’t make this point clear enough.

Only you liberal left people who say a bunch of words, but don’t do anything to fix the problems for people of now want the apology.

When combined with colonianism, fixing slavery damage is very hard, especially after de-colonianism. Every attempt to help legitimate government of our former colonies fixing problems we created long ago is view as neo-colonial. And do nothing is viewed as immoral. See, the France context regarding apologies for its colonialism *and* slavery past is quite different than US one.

Hope clearing a little bit the context of my posts will help…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 15, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #181614

“Stephen Daugherty and David Remer and Phillipe Houdin all others who agree with them,
I know you guys are so miles ahead of the rest of us, who are just stupid to you, with your “over their heads” arguments, and you are so much better than the rest of us”

“You didn’t know that David Remer and Stephen Daugherty are so intellectually superior that us commoners can’t even grasp the concept of their arguments?”

:^/
These kind of silly comments display a strange combination: a taunting sort of immaturity, paired with a tangible insecurity in being able to influence the opinions of others when making your own arguments.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 15, 2006 5:12 PM
Comment #181615

I’m still waiting for the amount I owe for reparations.

I don’t think we can have a decent talk about apologies and reparations until the exact figures and a plan is on the table.

Do white Americans owe $10 each, $100 each, or what? Do black Americans “deserve” $10 each, $100 each, or what? Or am I supposed to turn over all my assets and purchase a one-way ticket to Europe?

Posted by: Don at September 15, 2006 5:23 PM
Comment #181617

—Your income goes into your credit score.

Credit scores are calculated seperately from income, what you are referring to is that even with an amazing credit score there is only so high a debt/income ratio that someone is willing to give you.


—If you don’t make a whole lot of money it is hard to get credit, which means that you don’t have a record of good credit and few are willing to take a chance on you except to give you a very high APR.


Get a creditcard with a very low limit, buy something on it once or twice a month and pay it off every month. That will build your credit history and credit score without needing to make much money. (My first credit card had a limit of $200, and I used it in exactly that fashion)


—If anything should go wrong when someone is on a tight budget then their credit could go bad real easy. I don’t consider not being able to pay doctor bills or having a car break down or an appliance break to be irresponsible.

I will agree with you here, tight budgets don’t allow someone the leeway needed to handle such things all the time. With medical bills, there are many programs to allow you to get financing for such bills after the fact and use that to build your credit history. With car and appliance problems, I’m probably in the minority, I just figure out how to fix it myself.

—Just one small disaster can make things hard on someone who doesn’t make a whole lot of money.

No arguement here.


—The majority of people who rent things at rental stores are minorities.

What is wrong with renting something? It builds a credit history, just don’t rent too much.


—Are you saying that it is all because they are irresponsible? When i lived in a major city most of the people on welfare were black and hispanic. I was on welfare. Are you saying that a majority of us are just irresponsible?


Being on welfare and bad credit scores are not the same thing, very often are related because someone on welfare doesn’t have money for disasters.



On a side note, I personally think that there should be a mandatory class in high school that teaches responsible managing of a budget, savings, credit, and income.

Posted by: SirisC at September 15, 2006 5:29 PM
Comment #181618

Rent ot own does not improve your credit score. You get robbed while renting, and I am not talking about big screen TVs, but a stove or refrigerator.

Posted by: lllplus2 at September 15, 2006 5:37 PM
Comment #181623

Phillipe

I thought we were talking about the U.S.A. I don’t have a good idea of France’s history. I thought they were more progressive than the Americas. I think that America has done an outstanding job of saying sorry and rectifying things. And yes there is always room for improvement.

037

I said HERE. I could really care less what a bunch of whiner’s want at your links. A lot of people have apologized a lot of times for this. Who is supposed to apologize? Should every president apologize to the nation when they come into office or just the Republicans?

Adriennne

Taunting? Did you read the condescending remarks from the other side about how we just don’t understand because things are “over our heads”. I guess you don’t see it when the liberals do it. That is typical of you liberals. Hypocrisy that is! And quite typical of most of the comments I have seen from you.

I don’t care if you think I am immature and insecure. I don’t try to influence other’s opinions. As I have seen many times you can’t influence people. They believe what they want to. I am about the most secure person you can find. I am kind of like GOD, I don’t change.

What I am is someone who says exactly what they think and has very strong opinions. But no one can have strong opinions unless they are on your side.(or black, right) Being that I am this way I don’t take kindly to being insulted. So, I said something. If you don’t like it, I don’t care. I bet I couldn’t say something negative about you without you saying something. (Being that you are a “strong black woman and all”)

So you can take all your big words and high falluten taunting immaturity that you directed at me and stick them up your tangibly insecure, well you know what I mean.

THE WIFE

Posted by: lllplus2 at September 15, 2006 5:55 PM
Comment #181631

SirisC,

While I get what you are saying, I got married at 16 (and no not because I was pregnant)and had no help from family on either side. Kids don’t wait for money to get sick. Things don’t wait for money to break. Even though we had medical insurance and my husband worked 50 hours a week we still could not afford to go to the doctor because of copays and what is left over after insurance decides what it will pay. Maybe you did a great job with your credit and I am happy for you, but it is not all about being irresponsible is what I am saying. We struggled and worked hard and still had credit problems. All money was accounted for before it was earned at my house. It was “please GOD don’t let an emergency happen” in my house. You know how that goes. Something is bound to happen. My husband worked for most of the rental companies. It does not go on your credit. They don’t even check your credit. Nothing is wrong with renting if you have to. (except the roaches you can get) The problem is you end up paying about 4 1/2 times what the stuff is worth. That is how they make their money.

You are definitely right about the class thing. Just like with discipline and sex ed it should be learned at home, but the schools are going to have to step up and fill that parental void as well.

THE WIFE

Posted by: lllplus2 at September 15, 2006 6:20 PM
Comment #181634

lllplus2

I don’t recall saying anyone owed anyone an apology. My you seem to have your panties in a bunch, or would an enema help?

Posted by: 037 at September 15, 2006 6:30 PM
Comment #181641

Ha! You’re a real riot, WIFE! Thanks for the laughs.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 15, 2006 6:48 PM
Comment #181644

Well, I think I have a partial answer to my question:

“The African People’s Socialist Party held the first World Tribunal on Reparations for African People in 1982 in Brooklyn, NY. Twelve subsequent sessions of the tribunal have been held since then.

The verdict of the Tribunal, which was held on the basis of international law that allows an oppressed people to bring their case before the world arena, was that the U.S. is guilty of genocide and the enslavement of African people, which built the wealth of the U.S.

The Tribunal called for $4.1 trillion to be paid by the U.S. to African people based on the wealth accumulated in this country from stolen enslaved and underpaid labor of African people alone. The figure of $4.1 trillion in reparations is generally agreed to by experts and scholars today.”

I don’t know what the U.S. census says, but I’d guess that $4.1 trillion would cost every white family more than a cheeseburger would.

Posted by: Don at September 15, 2006 6:57 PM
Comment #181645

037

If all the machines of the industrial revolution disappeared, most of us would be dead in short order. The miserable survivors would probably resort to all sorts of nasty business.

The Amish are as special case protected by a larger society. I admire their work ethic, but it is clear that they can be pacifist because other Americans are not. They also reap many benefits of industrial society w/o directly participating. They are not tilling the soil with sticks and steel of their own manufacture.

Lando

Maybe you can give us an address, so those kids I saw working at McDonalds can send a check to Oprah or Michael Jordan or maybe Spike Jones to make up for all the hell they put them through.

It is silly to classify people by race or even country. You know Latin American & the Caribbean imported many more slaves than the U.S. It is just that conditions were so much worse and mortality was much higher. Would those countries pay reparations. What about the Islamic world? Many of their slaves have no descents because they castrated them. Who gets that cash? And what about the Barbary pirates grabbing Europeans. They enslaved people as far away as Iceland.

My point that I keep making about history is that all nations have participated in crimes as victims and offenders. The weaker ones less so mostly because they didn’t have the opportunity. The only places slavery still survives are the ones least touched by global/western culture. Western civilization served to curb slavery. We should not blame it for a disease it diagnosed and cured. Nobody had managed that before or even tried very hard.

Posted by: Jack at September 15, 2006 7:04 PM
Comment #181653

According to the 2000 Census:
216.9 million “whites”
36.4 million “blacks”

Reparations requested: $4.1 billion.
Therefore, every “black” gets $112.64 and every “white” man, woman and child pays $14.57.

Is my math right?

Posted by: Don at September 15, 2006 7:42 PM
Comment #181656

Jack

All you say is true, but we digress from our original conversation. The point is I am not sure capitalism was the end of slavery since both have existed through history. what has changed in my opinion is peoples view of other people.

Posted by: 037 at September 15, 2006 7:50 PM
Comment #181657

lllplus2 (The Wife),

I’ll admit that I have not had as many trials in my life as most, and probably should take a more forgiving stance about such things. The reason I have been so carefull about my finances was because the high school I graduated from had such a class. It was only required if you wanted to be let out early so you could work your senior year; but I found it invaluable.

Posted by: SirisC at September 15, 2006 7:57 PM
Comment #181666

Jack
The following link shows that the anti-slavery movement began in England around 1775 by the Quakers. If I remeber correctly the industrial revolution began with the invention of the steam-engine circa 1750 but didn’t really take hold until the early 19th century.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/antislavery_02.shtml

Posted by: 037 at September 15, 2006 8:18 PM
Comment #181669

I wonder how many of those here who are so adamant about apologizing to dead people for things that other dead people did to them are living on land stolen from Native Americans?

If we are going to bankrupt half the country giving a handout (you can call it reparations if you like) to the other half just because they are descendants of slaves, then you have to give the land back to the people you stole it from.

Oh, YOU didn’t steal it? Doesn’t matter, does it? Your ancestors did and that makes you guilty from the day you were born.

And that’s about as asanine a concept as original sin.

And the black man’s and black woman’s real problem in this country is not white but black, and it goes by the name of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Charlie Rangle and others of their ilk who prey on their own people.

Posted by: ulysses at September 15, 2006 8:22 PM
Comment #181687

ILT,
I never meant that the North were “off the hook” for slavery because of industrialization, just that their economy did not depend on slavery. Had it depended on slavery, I doubt abolition would have grown as an idea there. It’s why Jefferson and the founders did not deal with it in 1786.

Jack,

I think you are confusing free markets with productivity. What made us richer was increased productivity. Science and education are the prime factors in this development. Increases in English idustrialization were encouraged by subsidies from the Government, not free markets. Colonialization existed then. England was not a free trader. It constantly interfered in its colonies’ markets. We had a little war over it. I think they called it the Revolution.

As a side note, I was watching Lou Dobbs toaday. He quoted some interesting statistics. GM,Ford and Chrysler’s cost basis is aproximately 15% higher than Toyota, Nissan, etc, including their pensions.
The Americans made only about $0-$200 per unit, while the foreign makers made about $1000-1500 in profit. Guess how much the foreign companies recieve per unit in tax subsidies? You guessed it, $1000.
He commented that Ford, in particular, was poorly managed, but asked what are our politicians doing to our economy?

Colonialization turned Englands colonies into consumers of it’s industrial base. What are we being turned into?

Posted by: gergle at September 15, 2006 9:06 PM
Comment #181695

037

I don’t like the term capitalism, because it has too much baggage and never existed in even a reasonably pure form anyway. I prefer free market democracy, which describes what we have in the U.S. and W. Europe. The essential qualities are market mechanism, rule of law and reasonable regulation. Actually the MOST essential thing is that individuals are free to work and innovate AND keep most of the profits from their innovation and hard work. Until recent centuries, we never saw that. All ancient and medieval societies were state controlled. Everybody required permission from the rulers to do anything. Rulers saw business as cash cows, or more correctly sheep to be fleeced. A businessman w/o political connections was at significant risk of losing not only his fortune but also his life. In fact, much business and commerce was done by minorities, such as Jews who could be persecuted. Many societies had rules against business people serving in government. It was neither socialism nor free market in the current sense.

Re free markets, Adam Smith wrote the Wealth of Nations in 1776. Unlike Marx some years later, he was not trying to prescribe a system, but rather describe what he saw already working and give advice on how to extend the prosperity.

Re Quakers, they were the result of commercial revolutions too. Besides, it was not uncommon for particular small groups to oppose slavery at many points in history. But it was only after the rise of market economies that it became widespread enough in society to make a difference.

Gergle

See above. I have no problem being a consumer. It is not a bad fate to have someone supply you with quality goods at an affordable price. Many of these Japanese imports are made in America with American labor. You can buy shares in Toyota or Honda if you want. I have owned some shares of Toyota for many years. That is the beauty of the free market. In the past, we would have had to fight wars over these sorts of things. In fact, we did.

Posted by: Jack at September 15, 2006 9:44 PM
Comment #181697

@ Jack

I agree with you that relatives may have been involved in your examples, I guess. But, in this racist country, whenever African Americans, continental Africans any group of people of African descent do something that everybody else does or as Europeans have – they are doing something that is nobody else is doing themselves. Poor people usually commit crimes against other poor people – that is a fact. Nobody said that Italians killing each other in the streets of New York or Chicago over drugs/liquor or territory was “Italian-On-Italian Violence” or when poor Japanese people rob other poor Japanese people in Japan – that is not called Japanese-On-Japanese violence in media or political dialogue. But it applies in media and political discussion on African American youth. It is a criminalizing and racializing depiction to justify the denial of fundamental human rights.

The Thomas Jefferson descendants issue: lets say this, and it’s another bad example that was brought up like the Alex Haley example before in an earlier posting. Any race mixing during chattel enslavement was never out of love when the option for the enslaved to say “no” will lead to either rape or death. This has to be very clear and revising history to make white Americans feel comfortable about their bloody atrocities towards African Americans does not lead towards an honest discussion on race in the US.

On the issue of Egypt (or Kemet, as they referred to themselves as an African civilization extending from ancient Ethiopia), they never had slaves building pyramids as you referred. That can only be supported in Hebrew texts that are not historical but religious and nationalistic texts to support the cultural thought and behavior of a given groups specific to that region as desert nomads. From 1953 to 1986, Senegalese anthropologist/radiocarbonist, the late Cheikh Anta Diop researched several original sources to support that the Egyptian state paid farmers during the dry season for decades to build the pyramids predominantly. If others were involved, it were captured prisoners of war who were released after a given time.

If you are also alluding to African Americans owning enslaved Africans Americans during legal slavery, then you don’t really understand the necessity to be free – by any means necessary, even if you have to buy your own relatives and friends (as a “slave owner”) in order to free them from southern white plantation owners.

On the issue of the Civil War, it was not about slavery and that is revisionist. Abraham Lincoln, clearly has stated many times, that he would do whatever was necessary to keep this white nation together – regardless of freeing enslaved Africans, or not. He wanted African Americans out of here as well and set up as a labor colony in Africa like Liberia. Believe me, the Union had more slaves in New York than several of the southern states put together. In fact, City Hall in Manhattan built on top of a five acre land mass that used to be a cemetery for Africans that lived outside of the actual defense wall that used to be on Wall Street. In NYC. New York, formally the capital of the United States in its’ early history had many Africans enslaved and only in the last decade have New Yorkers recently discovered that the city did not even care about the bodies and just buried the entire cemetery and built the rest of New York on top. Is this representative of a Union that wanted to – all of a sudden want to fight a war to free enslaved Africans when they did not care about them within their own borders?


Posted by: Lando at September 15, 2006 10:13 PM
Comment #181703

Slavery may have been wrong, but at least some work was being done. How about a little bit of responsibility for one’s own actions and failures? Blaming the white man has won you lots of preferences and benefits not granted to anybody else, and still you complain. Blaming whitey pays well. It pays very well indeed. Try doing something productive…or is that a racist request?

Posted by: VAL at September 15, 2006 10:31 PM
Comment #181706

037

I said…
“If you haven�t been listening, black people here aren�t asking for an apology.”

I was saying no one on this blog was asking for an apology.

You said…
Didn’t take me long to find these people who would like it if it were sincere

And then proceeded to give me links to go to, to see some people who would like an apology.

then you said…
I don’t recall saying anyone owed anyone an apology. My you seem to have your panties in a bunch, or would an enema help?

I think I understand why you said this now, because YOU weren’t specifically saying someone should apologize.

That was my mistake. I wasn’t trying to direct that towards you, but towards the general discussion. Sorry.

That was a low blow.
No my panties aren’t in a bunch cause I always pull them out of my behind no matter where I am or what I am doing.
As for the enema, I really don’t need one. Maybe some more fiber to get things moving, but not an enema.
I would so appreciate it too if you didn’t give my husband any ideas.

THE WIFE

Posted by: lllplus2 at September 15, 2006 10:47 PM
Comment #181709

@ Jack II (almost forgot about this post).

You said: “Maybe you can give us an address, so those kids I saw working at McDonalds can send a check to Oprah or Michael Jordan or maybe Spike Jones to make up for all the hell they put them through.”

Not an address yet but that will come at some point when African Americans get organzied as they were during the civil rights movement and that is looking very good every single day every time C. Rice, C. Powell or G. Bush opens their mouths. Or everytime a local police officer gets trigger happy and reminds folks that the 9/11 rememberance holiday is over and it’s back to business as usual. In fact, the developing generation of young people (Black & white) will provide something for them to really give their small wealth - meaning Winfrey and Jordan.

You said: “It is silly to classify people by race or even country. You know Latin American & the Caribbean imported many more slaves than the U.S. It is just that conditions were so much worse and mortality was much higher. Would those countries pay reparations. What about the Islamic world? Many of their slaves have no descents because they castrated them. Who gets that cash? And what about the Barbary pirates grabbing Europeans. They enslaved people as far away as Iceland.”

Learn you history, enslavement in the Caribbean and in Latin America was under europeans. The British and Spain. There is a really good book by the former prime minister of Trinidad, Eric Williams, entitled THE HISTORY OF THE CARIBEAN: FROM COLUMBUS TO CASTRO that can educate on the particulars on Caribbean slavery. Don’t worry about the slavery from the Arabs to get white America off the hook. On the continent of Africa, native Africans and northern arab states are struggling on continental unity and that is a real discussion currently going on. Right now it is a necessity for continental Africans and Arabs to have operational unity as a front for continental wide reparations from all of Europe and the United States. Momar Quadaffi has been a leader in the African Union and has supported such. In time continental Africans will deal with Arabs but they are not a global power to strategically or tactically deal with during these times developing global fascism in the guise as the “war on terror.” Believe me, the Arabs came into Africa at different points as invaders and significantly weakened the continent so that barbarians and pirates from europe could just walk in and pick up the pieces.

You said this too: “My point that I keep making about history is that all nations have participated in crimes as victims and offenders. The weaker ones less so mostly because they didn’t have the opportunity. The only places slavery still survives are the ones least touched by global/western culture. Western civilization served to curb slavery. We should not blame it for a disease it diagnosed and cured. Nobody had managed that before or even tried very hard. “

Western culure has only transformed slavery to other forms of oppression. There were two periods of RECONSTRUCTION in the United States, one after the civil war and the other after the civil rights movement. Both RECONSTRUCTIONS served to structurally adjust american public policy to keep African Americans disadvantaged when old forms of stratification was so-called “dissolved.

Believe me, reparations is not for just for past ills from generations ago. It is also for the recent ills of white terror through public policy that have negated civil rights laws and new arrangement to keep African Americans from developing organized economics and effective politics.

Oliver North admitted on National Television in the 1980s that the CIA brought crack cocaine into the inner cities of California (to Blacks and Latinos) in order to fund the destabilization of governments abroad. This is documented.

It is documented that African American leaders were assassinated as a part of domestic policy in the United States. These were a part of the Church hearings in the mid-1970s when white radicals broke into the FBI office in Chicago and submitted FBI documents supporting this to the press - which led to US hearings in 1976. This you can find on record in Federal Hearing in the United States.

Reparations is not just for acts hundreds of years ago.

Posted by: Lando at September 15, 2006 10:53 PM
Comment #181712

@ Val

You said: “Slavery may have been wrong, but at least some work was being done. How about a little bit of responsibility for one’s own actions and failures? Blaming the white man has won you lots of preferences and benefits not granted to anybody else, and still you complain. Blaming whitey pays well. It pays very well indeed. Try doing something productive…or is that a racist request?”

On that last point I agree. African American political hustlers like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are getting paid very well to make their individual pockets rich as they try to “shakedown” whomever they are protesting something symbolic and without substance.

With the death of real leaders at the hands of local police and the FBI, African Americans are stuck with these losers by default. But the younger generation is developing faster every single day…

Posted by: Lando at September 15, 2006 11:05 PM
Comment #181723

Article on Venezuela’s support for African Reparations:

July 6

Independence Day: Chavez Says Europe and U.S. Must Apologize for Crimes Against Africa
Filed under: Breaking News? The Underground @ 7:19 pm
BANJUL (Reuters) - Europe and the United States should apologize to Africa for the cruelties of slavery, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday, calling on Africa to resist what he called modern day U.S. colonialism.

Attending a summit of African leaders in Gambia, Chavez said both Africa and Latin America had been blighted by slavery and colonialism for centuries, to the benefit of Europe and North America.

?Africa is still weeping ? and Europe does not recognize it. Europe should apologize, get on its knees and apologize,’? Chavez, invited to attend the summit as a guest, told reporters.

?They should lower their European arrogance and say sorry, as, one day, North America should apologize.’?

The leftist firebrand, whose attacks on U.S. policy have raised hackles in Washington, urged the leaders of the 53-nation African Union to forge closer ties with Latin America to combat U.S. imperialism.

?The powerful nations will continue to dictate to us via multinational companies and neo-liberal economic policy, and if we cannot resist this neo-colonialism, we will be crushed,’? said the former paratrooper, praising the African socialism of former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere.

?No to the Pax Americana. No to Superman. No to the American Empire. No to the American way of life. No. That is the way to hell,’? he said.

Chavez reacted angrily to U.S. opposition to Venezuela?s bid for one of the rotating seats on the U.N. Security Council.

?The United States said again yesterday that Venezuela does not qualify for a seat. With what authority does the imperialist government of the United States decide who should sit on the U.N. Security Council?’?

?If there was real democracy in the world, the U.S. government would be placed under administration because it is a government of the United States that ignores the democracy of its people and ignores democracy in the world: it invades countries, murders and bombs cities,’? he said.

Chavez said Venezuela, the world?s fifth largest oil exporter, could rely on Africa?s support in its bid to win a Security Council seat.

His proposals for a joint bank to finance projects in developing countries, dubbed Banco del Sur (Bank of the South), and for a media company to combat the influence of ?fascist’? global networks were warmly received by African delegates.

But Chavez denied he was using the African Union summit to make a bid for the leadership of the developing world.

?I am just a foot soldier in this process of integration. Peoples should lead, and we men should do what we can.’?

Posted by: Lando at September 15, 2006 11:46 PM
Comment #181726

Lando -

According to the 2000 Census:
216.9 million “whites”
36.4 million “blacks”

Reparations requested: $4.1 billion.
Therefore, every “black” gets $112.64 and every “white” man, woman and child pays $18.90.

Is my math right?

Posted by: Don at September 15, 2006 11:53 PM
Comment #181733

Don, different Reparations organizations in the world differ on points.

In no previous point did I allude that I think everyday white working class people should pay reparations. I think that regular everyday white working class people should morally support the correction of both historical and current wrongs without it being defensive.

The US government should pay because it was federal and state policies that took away human rights and enforced this through force and violence.

Rich corporations should pay that actually had their start up money in the slave trade. For example Boston Fleet Bank (which I think is now Bank of America - could be wrong) was investing and trading in slavery in it’s early history.

Everyday working class whites should be supportive as moral allies as they once were during the civil rights movement and partake in this type of struggle for the world to see before the next “9/11” happens and people fail to make distinctions between the good guys and the bad guys.

This struggle must be our struggle together for the betterment of America into something new.

Posted by: Lando at September 16, 2006 12:13 AM
Comment #181735

Lando

Boy, I sure would feel guilty if I believed in racism. But I believe in judging people by the content of the characters, not the colors of their skins. People in the civil rights movement used to believe it too. I bet many still do.

If Khadaffi wants to pay off black Africans, he has the surplus money and can certainly do so. He also owes money to the people of Iceland for those Barbary pirate raids if he wants to go that route. It is PR stunt. I wouldn’t do it.

Your point of view about the Egyptians is sooo 20th Century. You forgive a lot among them about slavery. I don’t know if they called themselves Kimet or not, but their civilization was as much Mediterranean than African. Civilizations, like races, do not respect geographical boundaries. Africa is by no means a cultural or geographical unity. West or southern Africa had no significant connections with Egypt in ancient times. Italy, Greece and even what is now Britain and Russia did. In ancient times, it was a lot easier to get from Egypt to Spain than it was to get from Egypt to Ethiopia, not to mention the jungles of the Congo.

Modern DNA studies are showing that the people of East Africa are only distantly related to those of W. Africa. The East Africans have a lot more in common with the people of the Middle East. No surprise. Our racial and ethnic categories are just old fashioned and silly.

And if you want to find real victims, dominent modern African populations committed genocide against the Khosian peoples very effectively.

Re Latin America you could say the same about the U.S. Although the Constitution prohibited Congress from abolishing the slave trade before 1808, states began banning it. New Jersey and Rhode Island banned slavery in 1787, with Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York soon following. By 1806, South Carolina was the only state that had not restricted the slave trade. Congress restricted the slave trade. In 1790, a law prohibited US citizens from engaging in the slave trade to foreign ports,and in 1794 made it illegal to manufacture, equip, or otherwise assist any vessels destined for the slave trade.

Most of the trading was done before we were a country and certainly before most of ancestors of the current population arrived. Brazil became an independent country in 1826. Slavery continued until 1881. We have very similar situations.

You blame Europe for a lot and I suppose they are guilty of a lot. But Europe is also largely responsible for much of the progress. In Africa today, many people still live in poverty in shacks. But if you look at the huts they lived in 200 years ago, you realize the shacks are a step up.

Posted by: Jack at September 16, 2006 12:25 AM
Comment #181740

Speaking of things happening right now, don’t you think Darfur is an extreme example of the lack of African unity?

Or maybe those millions dead in Congo or Rwanda show the essential peacefulness of the continent’s people. I understand that it is all Europe’s fault for drawing the wrong borders, but hacking children to death may not be the appropriate response to a century old border dispute.

Posted by: Jack at September 16, 2006 12:31 AM
Comment #181748

@ Jack

The central African nation of Rwanda is one of the nine countries on the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Like many African nations, it was once a colony of Europe (and had gone through many challenges economically and politically since independence. The two distinct ethnic groups were once one people, but colonialism under the Belgians changed the population based on labor needs of physical and intellectual. The Tutsi were the privileged caste under the Belgian colonial system to oversee the labor of the majority Hutus, who were the mass colonial labor force.

Then, the U.S. State Department defined the Rwandan situation as an “act of genocide”. Without it being clear, a distinction was not made to determine whether a phenomenon is “genocide” or an “act of genocide.” This was done to avoid going in to save people. People wondered why.

Several points come as to why the U.S. responded as it did. Did the United States NOT interfere because there was no economic motive in Rwanda? In my opinion, no and yes. The United States did not interfere because Rwanda did not represent any immediate economic interest.

But since Rwanda is a nation bordering the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it is important to keep the nations around the Congo unstable to maintain United States economic interest. The Congo is rich in minerals (cobalt for fighter planes, uranium out of which the first atomic bombs were made, cadmium out of which the first computers and cell phones were made out of, and rubber that makes tire). The earthly wealth of the Congo runs the capitalist economy of the world.

It is the interest of capitalism in the US and Europe for Africa to be unstable and have intra-African conflict (that is rooted in colonialism) so that Africans would not be organized to seize the wealth on the land they actually stand on that is owned by forces that always wanted what Africa had, but never wanted to pay for it.

Posted by: Lando at September 16, 2006 1:28 AM
Comment #181751

@ Jack,

“Your point of view about the Egyptians is sooo 20th Century. You forgive a lot among them about slavery. I don’t know if they called themselves Kimet or not, but their civilization was as much Mediterranean than African. Civilizations, like races, do not respect geographical boundaries. Africa is by no means a cultural or geographical unity. West or southern Africa had no significant connections with Egypt in ancient times. Italy, Greece and even what is now Britain and Russia did. In ancient times, it was a lot easier to get from Egypt to Spain than it was to get from Egypt to Ethiopia, not to mention the jungles of the Congo.”

Egypt is an African civilization - any child can see that it is geographically located on the African continent. It is only because of slavery, that the books were rewritten to deny the history and humanity of Africans so that “good europeans” would not feel bad about enslaving “savages.”

The arabs in Egypt today are not the same people that produced the pyramids and sphinx. In 1963, President Nasser of Egypt admitted that much.

The ancient civilization of Egypt (Kemet) was part of a long line of Nile Valley civilizations that began deep in the heart of the continent. The oldest pyramids are up the Nile river (the Nile river being the only river in the world that flows from South to North) in Ethiopia. The writing system is of the Egyptians can be found in the early temples of Egypt.

From central Africa civilization sprang and through Egypt that civilization was taught to the Greeks and the rest of the ancient world.

The spiritual systems of the Egyptians is all over Africa and from. Even the Olmec civilization in the Americas had an Egyptian influence as Egyptians were one of the first people to take the Atlantic ocean voyages to trade with the indigenous civilizations of the Americas.

In Mexico, there are large Olmec Heads. Standing 6-8 feet tall and the indigenous Americans made these depictions of African-Egyto soldiers. You can see it in the lips, nose and style of African braids. And in the African bodies that archiologists dug up.

See Dr. Ivan Van Sertima & Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop for reference.


Posted by: Lando at September 16, 2006 1:44 AM
Comment #181756

Jack, you ignored the issue of English colonialism vis a vis the free markets that Adam Smith talked about. I guess you have no counter argument.

I have no problem with you buying a Toyota, I owned one in the 70’s. What I have issue with is the US government dessimating US industry with foreign subsidies. I really have no problem with Toyota building plants in the US. I acknowledge Detroit’s problem is largely a managment issue, but where is your free trade soap box? Why does the US subsidize foreign investment? This is the same issue with outsourcing.

Posted by: gergle at September 16, 2006 2:55 AM
Comment #181759

Lando,
I do not believe in reparations. Life is unfair. There are minority set asides in the US to attempt to make adjustments in historically under utilized businesses (HUB’s). While these anger many whites, I think they are fair, even though they are often simply give aways to established companies that are already wealthy. They do have the effect of providing pathways for meshing minorities into white society.

We cannot repair the past. We can only help to educate and assist the needy. I think we do that,though I agree we could do more. There are more whites on welfare than blacks, due simply to the size of their demographic.

You cannot legislate knowledge. You can only assist in teaching the stupidity of racism.

I am white. I grew up in Ohio in the 50’s and 60’s. My family came from Eastern Kentucky.

My parents were not obviously racist, but they were raised in a racist area and period. My Uncle once asked me if I had any problem working or living with Blacks. He talked about running blacks out of town as a young man in Eastern Kentucky. He said he guesses that was wrong, but that was the time he grew up in. I was encouraged by his personal progress.

I moved to Texas in the 70’s. I worked in management for several engineering firms, mostly run by whites and some by foriegn engineers. I was somewhat taken aback, and still am, the number of white people that barely know me and assume that I concur with their racist attitudes. The openess about racism by my generation and those before me is still here. Several employers stated to me they would not hire blacks. These are educated men.

I have a friend who is quite racist. He is a decent average Joe, but quite racist. He is a devout Repulican. His daughter is not. She once spoke to me about how racist her parents were and how they’d have a cow if she dated a black guy. She hates Bush.

While Republicans certainly are not a party of racism, people in the south know that there is a tacit nod to the racist attitudes that is a part of politics here. In the sixties the Democrats abandoned their racist stances and lost their white base.

I don’t believe in reparations, but I do believe in honesty and education. Attitudes change slowly.


Posted by: gergle at September 16, 2006 3:53 AM
Comment #181768

Reparation for slavery. Fortunately or unfortunately the only basis that could be used for reparation is on the basis of morality. And that is not grounds for reparation. There would need to be some legal basis for it. And it was both constitutional and legal at the time.

Don’t make the mistake of judging the past by today’s standards. Morality has a way of changing from generation to generation. And if we judge the past then we have no defense from being judged by the future using their standards.

When thinking of what should be done I remember these words from a very wise man when asked what should be done to help his people: “Do nothing. Allow them to succeed or fail on their own.” Now, i am quoting from memory so the exact wording may not be correct but the meaning remains there.

In those words though I think the man understood more than anyone the meaning of the right to the opportunity of happiness. as promised. In those words I think the man truely understood the meaning of freedom as promised. There was no request for an apology nor was there a request for reparation in those words.

Posted by: The Griper at September 16, 2006 7:08 AM
Comment #181776

Lando,

You want the U.S. government to pay reparations, not everyday working class white people, right? WHERE DOES THE GOVERNMENT GET ITS MONEY, LANDO? C’mon, you’re smarter than that. Taking money from the government is taking money from working people of all races.

Posted by: Duane-o at September 16, 2006 7:38 AM
Comment #181782

Jack

“All ancient and medieval societies were state controlled. Everybody required permission from the rulers to do anything.”

you’re being overly broad again.

Jack that is not even true today.
Think of the aboriginal tribes, tribes in the Amazon Basin,Afghanistan even,or American indians much less the tribes of the Russian step, mongol or germanic hordes from days past, nomadic tribes. While you might not consider these societies I believe any sociologist would.

Posted by: 037 at September 16, 2006 8:41 AM
Comment #181783

lllplus2

Apology accepted. PS I find two bowls of Wheaties a day keeps the train running on time ;)

Posted by: 037 at September 16, 2006 8:44 AM
Comment #181792

Scatalogical references—a new low—lol :)

Posted by: gergle at September 16, 2006 9:45 AM
Comment #181838

This is close to my heart, if anything is. I’m sorry I’m late in commenting but hospitals are confining and agent orange is too much to endure sometimes.
Let us get something correct from the begining over 90% of the population of America has no roots prior to the Civil War - including most blacks. Of the remaining few had slaves. Some who were listed as slave holders were holders not owners. For example Micjach Pickett of Yazoo county Mississippi took in slaves who ran away from others. He and his bother set up settlements for his “slaves” and they all worked to feed 3 counties. In Mississippi there was no room or legal standing for anything but slavery - so where do the blacks go?
But Let us take a case in New York - unaffected by the idea of slavery - a black man held over 100 black slaves between 1825 and 1880. Does he pay compensation.
My direct family provided safe havens for “slaves”, do I have to pay? do I have to pay the Black from African countries or Haiti who just came in 1920?
What was the historic role of the Muslim nations in all this mess (the British and Americans under Jefferson destroyed the forts along the North Aferican coast where trade to the Americas was done. What of African tribes who sold their enemies to the Arab traders and piviteers, who sold them to Spanish traders, who brought them to Haiti where they were sold to the Americas?
Complicated - bet ya. This is why the law cannot perpitrate another crime while compensating the original.
k

Posted by: kuzriel at September 16, 2006 2:33 PM
Comment #181839

In case you think that the Biblical record is wrong about slavery existing in the ancient world - we have more than Biblical records to prove it. If you want a history of Jewish attitudes towards slavery - You can look at Jewish law - slaves were allowed - but if I had one good meal or one good pillow I would have to give it to the slave - because he did the work. As far as indentured servants we couldn’t enter into a contract for more than 7 years. If the servant wished to remain then we had to bore a hole in his ear and affix a sign to mark him that he gave up his freedom willingly - his kids were not obligated.
k

Posted by: kuzriel at September 16, 2006 2:46 PM
Comment #181853

@ Gergle

I get where you are coming from friend. But if the social upheaval started happening as civil business was disrupted by non-violent activity tomorrow as it was to end legal segregation, I think you would have the moral heart to be there and support a just cause.

White Americans (some) are quick to challenge human rights violations abroad - but find it difficult to deal with their own at home. This is part of the challenge that progressive whites in the US have to deal with internally. This is a view from all over the world and I’ve been to quite a few places and international settings.

I think you would do the right thing when it became time to step up.

Posted by: Lando at September 16, 2006 4:11 PM
Comment #181869

@ kuzriel

1) African Americans were never asked if they wanted US citizenship (well 2nd class US citizenship) right after the end of legal chattel slavery. Collectively they were never presented with that option and realistically, there wasn’t a United Nations then to facilitate a process towards that. But there is a United Nations now.

Would an existing United Nations have allowed African Americans to receive land in the United States as a separate territory - as it did for the European Jew to take Palestine instead of Germany? What about the 5 states that African Americans developed land in the south as payment?

Or the right to return back to Africa with a limited number of years of support before independence?

Or even full US democratic citizenship without reconstruction segregationist laws?

We are also ignoring repeatedly (not just you) that there was a 100 year period after slavery of economic underdevelopment and WHITE STATE TERRORISM, where white america should be happy that African Americans never responded the way Palestinians have towards the illegitimate state of Israel.


Posted by: Lando at September 16, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #181871

@ Jack

You said: “You blame Europe for a lot and I suppose they are guilty of a lot. But Europe is also largely responsible for much of the progress. In Africa today, many people still live in poverty in shacks. But if you look at the huts they lived in 200 years ago, you realize the shacks are a step up.”

If you stab a 10 inch knife in my back and pull it out only 5 inches - with the other half still in - how can that be progress?

Europe interrupted the development of African civilization towards continental economic and political unity.

The Intra-African fratricide we see today is a result of neo-colonialism and the lack of principled leadership for Africans to seize ownership of the land they stand on.

The basis of wealth is land. Land is where you build your factories on top of and where you dig for your diamonds, gold, cobalt, cadmium, uranium and etc. Oil - lets not forget as well.

The majority of the world’s resources of these things is owned by the European and US wealthy which did not pay for ownership but stole through colonialism.

Africans have every right to seize their land and solve their economic-social problems with it.

But if that happens - European and the US economy would crumble - wouldn’t it?

Posted by: Lando at September 16, 2006 5:02 PM
Comment #181875

My Name Is Roger:

STEPHEN: I am going to aske you do do me a favor.

Have you read the coments made my {MANONFIRE}at 11:00? If you have not take a look, and do me a favor….please respond.

I am not a smart as I wish I were, but I know that you have the ability to give an answer to such bullcrap.

Again thank you for your coments.

ROGER a Conservite Christian Rupublican.

Posted by: ROGER at September 16, 2006 5:33 PM
Comment #181876

My Name Is Roger

STEPHEN: I said it was posted at 11:00 it was posted at 12:04

P.S. Again Thank You .

DOES ANYONE OUT THERE HAVE AN ANSWER FOR
[MANONFIRE]???

ROGER A Conservative Christian Rupublican.

Posted by: ROGER at September 16, 2006 5:43 PM
Comment #181879

“…the right to return back to Africa…”

There was an attempt for “Africans” to move back to Africa - It was a mess and still is - Liberia!!
Most of the “slave” blacks were from spanish colonies. You can’t substitute feelings for history.

“What about the 5 states that African Americans developed land in the south as payment?”

Do you think there were not “poor whites” that slaved in the south? I know places where slaves were turned loose when the Spanish and French left the land that would become those 5 states they had no place to go and the soil was poor - both races had to work hard - 16-18 hrs. a day to get the soil to give food, the swamps and disease took their toal too.

“the way Palestinians have towards the illegitimate state of Israel.”

This shows where your concept of history lies. Prior to the middle 1950 - Europe and America refered to the Jewish population as Palestinian. There was a large Jewish movement between 1850 and 1880 that resettled old Biblical cities and even newer places - arabs came from many countries to work in Jewish areas. Where I lived there was only a road for 40 miles in either direction until the 1970’s. There were no fields, no cities and only a Biudin camp onece and a while (time and place) The “Arabs don’t count them as belonging to “their race. In 1967 the army built a look out tower on the high part of the road to Nabulus to oversee the safty of travelers.

k

Posted by: kuzriel at September 16, 2006 6:35 PM
Comment #181897

@Kuzriel

We are speaking of options that were presented for African Americans after the Civil War if there was a United Nations back then (and an actually army to back UN decisions).

1) Liberia was set up as a Black US colony on Africa on United States terms - not the acceptable terms of African Americans. Throw away some Africans, but let them toil for Firestone tire company.

2) Poor whites in the South would have greatly benefited from reparations to African Americans as well. If recently freed Africans were given the land and resources to develop their own sustainability in those five states, I’m sure that the poor whites you mentioned would have benefited as well as a part of that southern population and there wouldn’t be that toiling you mentioned.

3) Israel is an illegal Zionist/Aparthied state that exists to police the political middle east and North Africa. It was necessary for Europe and the United States to assist in development because you needed two white nation states (along with the old Apartheid South Africa) to police both ends of the African continent and protect resources. Especially two white states with nuclear capability.

Posted by: Lando at September 16, 2006 8:56 PM
Comment #181911

Boy have you lost it. Face it you are more than a socialest butr a com and a Jew hater who know nothing of history and lives in la-la land of if’ns.
As an American who moved to Israel and lived there for 25 years - I never heard your view point. When I did go to Africa (Kenya, Uganda,Mozambeq, Rodesia, South africa and German Southwest) it was helping them (of several villages) understand how to get clean water, get rid of trash, purify their water and set up aid clinics. Each and every time it was Coms and want-a-be dictators spouting your language and killing the innocents
Get real Learn some history and go help people - not try to convert them.
K

Posted by: kuzriel at September 16, 2006 9:50 PM
Comment #181933

I am a white male. I have worked hard all my life to get where I am with little help from anyone. I have had various supervisors/bosses over the years. One of the best I’ve had is an African-American man. He is a good friend of mine to this day although I no longer work with him.

I believe the enslavement of Africans in the past was evil, morally decadent and against the very fiber of freedom America is supposed to stand for. I believe everyone should have the opportunity to prove themselves, it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your ancestry is.

Am I sorry slavery was such an integral part of our history? Of course. However, slavery wasn’t my doing, so I’m not going to apologize for whatever ancestor of mine may have been involved in it. I am only liable for MY actions, not anyone else’s. If that doesn’t satisfy some, so be it. I truly believe the only ones who really campaign for “material compensation” for past wrongs are the ones who are unwilling to personally put themselves into the workforce to make this world a better place. All you want is a handout and an excuse to be a leech on your family, community and country.

Posted by: Philip at September 16, 2006 11:37 PM
Comment #182036

Dont forget Andrew Hawkin’s apology for his ancestor Sir William Hawkin’s slave running !

What an idiot, he didnt know of this until his 20’s? What kind of schooling did he get?

Everyone SHOULD know that Sir William Hawkins in fighting the Spanish, would seize Spanish slave ships, and then started to land on African coast to buy slaves from the African Chiefs. He then sold these slaves to Spanish colonists in the Caribbean who never had enough slaves, since they KILLED off the entire native Carib populations.

Sir William Hawkins got the FULL support and financial backing of Queen Elizabeth who took a SHARE of the slave trade for herself and country….

((sir william hawkins was one of my ancestors as well))

The Hawkins family continued pirating/privateering against Spain with Sir William Hawkins son, Sir John Hawkins, and his cousin Sir Francis Drake.

We cannot judge those that lived before us for they lived in different times, with different moralities and different priorities.

Requests for reparations are absurd. It is the African chiefs that SOLD their people, their rivals, other tribesmen to the Whites… And it WASNT American’s.. doing most of the slave trading, it was Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch…

And this totally ignores that slavery was STILL practiced in Africa years after the “evil white nations” outlawed it.

And this also ignores that 40% of the slave trade was run my MOSLEM traders….


Posted by: Michael at September 17, 2006 1:03 PM
Comment #182046

@ kuzriel

Check out THE END OF ZIONISM and the LIBERATION OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE by eibie Weizfeld. It is an insightful book on very critical perspectives on the failure of Zionism in bringing any peace to Jewish people nor the people that the Jewish/Israeli elite have oppressed.

There is also a pretty good essay by Dr. John Henrik Clarke entitled, “The Land Question in Palestine and Eastern and Southern Africa.”

I am not a socialist, nor a communist nor a Jew hater.

We don’t any examples thus far of socialism/communism that has really worked (the Russian state-capitalist model wasn’t really socialism, Cuba is not an example with a political and economic embargo, and the Chinese only copied the Russian failure).

Communism, being the stage to succeed socialism, is only a Utopian idea that has never existed except in pre-state formation society. Examples only in Africa and Asia.

Jew-hater. Well the first Hebrews and Jews were of color. Not white because during that time period, if you were not Greek - then you were one of the African, Arab or Asian peoples.

Hence the origin of the term “Semite” meaning mixed people. Specifically either African or Arab.

Africa gave to the world the first monothesic religion. This came out of Egypt under the Pharoah Akhenaton who desolved the multi-god system way before there was any people, from the desert, on the scene identifying themselves as Hebrew.

This can be looked up in several books:

John G. Jackson’s INTRODUCTION TO AFRICAN
CIVILIZATIONS.
J.A. Roger’s WORLD’S GREAT MEN OF COLOR Vol. I&II
Yosef ben-Jochannan’s THE AFRICAN ORIGINS OF THE MAJOR WESTERN RELIGIONS

Posted by: Lando at September 17, 2006 2:02 PM
Comment #182049

All,

There are some pretty good books to share with people as well on the African and African American underdevelopment question related to Slavery, Reconstruction & the structural adjustment period after the civil rights movement (Or second reconstruction to some).

People could try and read:

CAPITALISM AND SLAVERY, by Eric Williams, the former Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago. A very good piece on capitalist development in the West and how slavery was central.

HOW EUROPE UNDERDEVELOPED AFRICA, by Walter Rodney. A classic in political economy really sharpening what Williams wrote about 20 years or so earlier.

BLACK RECONSTRUCTION IN AMERICA 1860-1880, by W.E.B. DUBOIS, America’s first sociologist. This classic work details the structural readjustment period after the civil war and how a crucial period defined the next 100 years allowing for Black underdevelopment both economically and politically to insure elite white control of resources, land and labor. Including the exploitation of the white labor force.

HOW CAPITALISM UNDERDEVELOPED BLACK AMERICA by Manning Marable. The first couple of chapters really some up DuBois but the value is in the later chapters on the post civil rights period and the structural readjustment in the US to continue exploitation of the Black community despite the passing of civil rights policies.

Posted by: Lando at September 17, 2006 2:19 PM
Comment #182150

Pharoah Akhenaton -

Quite late for Hebrews to leave Egypt. We were well gone and in the desert. Monothism was hated and it was irraticated shortly after TUT, Akhnaton’s son- who was murdered at 19.
Dubois -
French socialist - check it out.
You quote book as the End of Zionism. Did you know the basis of the book was in the revised Marxist theory that Jews were going to turn against their past, culture and religion and melt into the mainstream of humanity.
I think you will understand that when we talk of the end of zionism, we mean the idea that secularism and socialism which opposes Jewish ideas will nolonger hold sway and we will return to zionism that is part of our tradition - us in the Land, not in exile, speaking our own language, following our own path and unmolested by those who want to eradicate us from the world.
You also have to get over this idea of such a large plot of land with millions of souls living there. It was not until the late 1980’s that Jerusalem became a city of a million people= Jews, Christians, Arabs, Hindus, even B’ahi included. The country is so small that 40 fit in Texas, even with the Sinai it was the size of New Jersey. There are now 2 million arabs, if you count Gaza and all Shomron, there are 500,000 Samaritians and a million Druze. There are 2 million + Christians (Arabs count them - until…). Ms. Ashuri is a socalist first, as was Arafat, inspite of his Arab Botherhood connections (NAZIs of the 1930’s in Egypt).
You cannot read one or two books and base your knowledge on them.
In your next post you show your love for marxist/Lennionist philosophy. Capitolism is not a pantasea - but there is no purest system. But why do you oppose a system that allowed you to develop your ideas and theory? I know go to an Egyptian prision!! I know that being a prisioner of the Cong helped me appreciate America and being a guest until “the Queen’s pleasure be known” in Israel helped me understand a lot more.
k

Posted by: kuzriel at September 17, 2006 9:25 PM
Comment #182331

@ Kuzriel,

William E. B. Dubois is an African American graduate from Harvard University. America’s first sociologist that did not support social darwinism. Co-founder of the NAACP. Former socialist and opponent of Black Nationalist. Died a PanAfricanist in Ghana (1963).

Not a french socialist by any means.

You said, “In your next post you show your love for marxist/Lennionist philosophy.”

Lenin was a great man for Russia only during a very specific time in history for only the Russian people.

I don’t think anything I wrote in my next post indicated any love for “Marxist/Leninist” philosophy. I pointed to a perspective on class that is distinctly African American or African Disaporian-centered that does not need any another european-centered philosophical system to justify its relevance.

You also said: “But why do you oppose a system that allowed you to develop your ideas and theory?”

White Capitalism (w/limited democracy) has only caused all the suffering on the planet due to economic rape of people and resources. The very planet as well.

For the United States as an example, we have 1-3% of the families owning over 60% of the total wealth of this nation. That leaves 97-99% percent of the population to fight over 40% of the rest of the wealth (jobs and small business development and etc) before even state/federal taxes come into the picture.

Not a logical system of economics if you are concerned with real community development.

Posted by: Lando at September 18, 2006 3:41 PM
Comment #182337

@ Kuzriel,

You also said: “You also have to get over this idea of such a large plot of land with millions of souls living there. It was not until the late 1980’s that Jerusalem became a city of a million people= Jews, Christians, Arabs, Hindus, even B’ahi included. The country is so small that 40 fit in Texas, even with the Sinai it was the size of New Jersey.”

Israel (that little piece of land you described) receives more financial aid from the United States than the ENTIRE AFRICAN CONTINENT!

Who is starving in Israel compared to Africa? Is this for weapons when Palestinians only have rocks?

Is this where my tax money is going?

Posted by: Lando at September 18, 2006 4:00 PM
Comment #182374

William E. B. Dubois is an African American graduate from Harvard University. America’s first sociologist that did not support social darwinism. Co-founder of the NAACP. Former socialist and opponent of Black Nationalist. Died a PanAfricanist in Ghana (1963).
He studied in France and became known for his health care models.
I do not know where your statistics on how much Israel gets - but the last time I looked Egypt, Jordan recieved the same. Yeman a bit less. The reason the “African” contenent was lower is their past relation with Europe - we hand no intrests there.
By the way, until the “revolutions” occured Israel had a program in Africa to teach farming, water technology, waste disposal and develop medical clinics. I served in Kenya, Mozambiq, Nambia. In the 90’s I served the Falasha comunity and eased their transition from Etheopia to Israel. It was the Dictators and their alliance with the PLO and others that kicked us out.
Where does the money go? I didn’t get any and both myself and my wife working we barely cleared $1000 a month. My Arab neighbours got that an were elagable for food supplies from the UN paidfor by American Tax Payers.

Again your information is ?????

K

Posted by: kuzriel at September 18, 2006 5:19 PM
Comment #182402

Jack’s argument is very consistent with the right-wing Republican method of argument. Often, they attempt to derail the other side by finding one fact that is wrong or that they can at least argue is wrong and then make the leap that if you are wrong about this one thing, the whole argument must be wrong and everyone who agrees with that argument must be wrong. This is how they “Swift-Boat”ed Kerry in 2004, for example. It is totally illogical, but it is effective, because they count on much of their base being uneducated in logical argument but rather reacting emotionally. It creates a situation, however, where they cannot ever admit a mistake, since their base is trained to conclude that anyone who makes a mistake is therefore wrong about everything else. So…the Iraq invasion wasn’t a mistake and its occupation will always be going swimmingly, tapping phones without warrants is a constitutionally protected presidential right, and waterboarding is a fine way to extract information and doesn’t even violate any laws. If they admit any of these are wrong, then their followers will have to conclude that everything they say is wrong.

So members of their base like Jack need to villify anyone who is weak enough to admit error. “Sure, maybe we could use a little more port security, but it’s not a mistake to leave them unprotected.” See how easy it is. Welcome to the 21st century.

Posted by: mental wimp at September 18, 2006 7:08 PM
Comment #182453

@ Kuzriel,

Which Dubois are you talking about? It’s not this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._E._B._Du_Bois

Does he look French to you? Not to white America that had him segregated to the back of buses.

You need to check your information.

Medical and water aid to Africa? Well, Peace Corp related work has usually shielded intelligence and other work. Example? Yes…in the late 1960s Israel had sent about half million dollars worth of aid for Biafran (Nigerean secessionists) relief and medical teams. Later it was found out that the Israelis were sending artillery, rockets and other arms hidden as relief supplies. Unknowing to some medical volunteers, but carried out. This can be found in a book entitled, ZIONISM: ITS ROLE IN WORLD POLITICS by Hyman Lumber. Look it up.

Oh yeah on US Foreign AID - you are correct on Egypt and I knew there was on nation to indicate exclude. But Israel receives more foreign aid than the entire African continent - exluding Egypt.

Check it:

Israel had been the largest recipient of U.S. foreign assistance for almost 30 years, and since 1985 has received about $3 billion in military and economic aid each year.[205] In fact, as much as 17% of all U.S. foreign aid is earmarked for Israel.[206] And, U.S. foreign military financing makes up 20% of Israel’s defense budget.[207]

Funding to sub-Saharan Africa under the largest U.S. military aid program, Foreign Military Financing, doubled from $12 million in fiscal year 2000 to a proposed $24 million in the FY 2006 budget proposal, and the number of recipient nations has grown from one to nine.

More can be found on http://www.worldpolicy.org/projects/arms/reports/wawjune2005.html#3

Posted by: Lando at September 19, 2006 12:09 AM
Comment #182523

At first, I was thinking that your arguments was quite good. But in fact, as french citizen, I have another way of thinking the slavery.
I believe that if a Ghanean bishop needed to apologize on behalf of Africans for their part in slavery it would be interesting to show how this was an important and fundamental contrition.
You probably know studies and reports about “The unconscious” and perhaps you have heard about “The collective unconscious”. Reading Carl Gustav Jung, I have understand that sometimes people to talk about “old past” in order to help present.
So, according to these collective unconscious theory, Ghanean bishop have made a good choice.

Sincerely yours

Yannick Comenge, Paris, France.

Posted by: Yannick Comenge at September 19, 2006 11:50 AM
Comment #182587

Lando,

You said:
“For the United States as an example, we have 1-3% of the families owning over 60% of the total wealth of this nation. That leaves 97-99% percent of the population to fight over 40% of the rest of the wealth (jobs and small business development and etc) before even state/federal taxes come into the picture.”

Now here is where it gets difficult, no one is argueing that the numbers are skewed, but how do we even it out w/o making some people give up wealth and property that they have earned on their own? I understand about taking from those families or companies who became rich and successful on the back of slaves, but how do you calculate the exact amount for each family/business? Records of that time period are fairly remedial at best, and how do you identify the specific slave’s families that were affected by that specific family/business? My mother in law does African American geneology and is always discussing how hard it is to trace families due to name changes, first name only references etc. This makes the task of identifying the direct decendants that much more difficult. And what if along the way that decendent has married inter-racially? Are they cut out of the reparations?

Posted by: Becky at September 19, 2006 4:26 PM
Comment #182596

@ Becky,

That is a real issue that can be partially resolved by providing reparations to the whole of the African American community. The whole community has suffered without any form of wealth that could have been passed down from generation to generation. It is not just individual families that suffer but communities.

I would suggest in the form of assistance with institutional building, free college tuition (but access based on merit), private and public school development, collective ownership of sustainable land and etc.

But there is also a misconception that many people that own wealth worked hard. Most working class people (Black or white) - work hard. But much of the wealth of people in the upper class in this nation was not through hard work but theft. The Kennedy family made money through illegal alcohol running during prohibition and got rich. Others made money illegally and got into affluent status and “flipped” their money legal.

Some white Americans who were immigrants were GIVEN land as soon as they good off Ellis Island. They did not work for it. It was distributed to the them from the City of NY so that they would not move elsewhere and they could be taxed.

There wasn’t consideration to give that land to African Americans who previously toiled that land.

Planatation owners in the US received “reparations” for the loss of their slave labor from the state. These plantation owners did not work any hard labor to attain their wealth when state sanctioned violence enforced the economic order.

Believe me, nobody has worked harder than African Americans in the formation of this nation and it is spiritually, politically, humanly unfair for them to NOT be paid their work in principle.

It is great that you point this out. This is a great problem if we were at this point in the discussion.

Unfortunately, we have to get pass the point where white people and the US government feel the necessity to pay first. Then after that is done, we have the luxury of trying to figure out how.

Posted by: Lando at September 19, 2006 4:46 PM
Comment #182604

Becky,
Yes my comments were generalizations. But the topic here is that slavery is responsible for black poverty which is also a generalization. I was talking about poor blacks not all blacks. I actually appreciate you making my point by talking about your black middle class husband and neighbors. They have, in spite of slavery, risen out of the cycle of poverty without reparations. My guess is they got their piece of the American dream by working hard and sacrificing, a formula for success regardless of skin color. As far as my prejudices go, once again I was refering to poor blacks. You can not deny the gangsta culture that is permeating poor black neighborhoods. You can not deny the short life expectancy of urban black males due to this violent culture. You can not deny the high percentage of young black males in prison. Personally I think ignoring this issue becuase it is not politically correct to say these things is nothing short of a crime. Which will doom the next generation of poor blacks to the same fate.
Interesting that someone who accuses me of using generalizations makes broad generalizatons about me from one post. I do consider myself white, although I have more than enough Native American blood to check that box on a college application (you should thank me for not then you would have had to help pay for my college).

Posted by: Manonfire at September 19, 2006 5:00 PM
Comment #182845

The Reparations Bandwagon
By Salim Muwakkil

The question of reparations for racial slavery is one of the nation’s most substantive issues. It is also one of the most disparaged.

The national movement to gain reparations for the descendents of enslaved Africans was a fast-rolling bandwagon until slowed by events of 9/11. Well, it’s accelerating again.

In truth, it’s been picking up momentum since Hurricane Katrina blew the cover off this nation’s well-camouflaged race/class divide. The distress revealed in that storm’s wake moved even President George Bush to urge redress of poverty’s racial disparities. He quickly moved past that urge, but the national conversation continues.

As I see it, the question of reparations for racial slavery and Jim Crow apartheid is one of the nation’s most substantive issues. It’s also one of the most disparaged.

In fact, anything relating to slavery seems to repel white Americans. Whenever someone floats the idea to issue a governmental apology for abetting racial slavery, the notion is quickly condemned. The last official to suggest such a public apology was former Rep. Tony Hall (D-Ohio), who proposed a bill for an official apology in 1998 and again in 2000. Hall was flooded with angry mail and the legislation languished.

Americans must lose this aversion if we want to effectively confront the nation’s widening racial disparities. Slavery’s legacy is the primary instigator of those disparities —though its role is hidden to many Americans.

The reparations model provides a conceptual framework to help clarify the crippling affects of that legacy by taking careful account of the structural and intergenerational dimensions of racial advantage and disadvantage. This approach is not concerned with inducing guilt or moral suasion; it defines slavery in terms of unjust enrichment and racially biased distribution of resources.

Many kinds of capital were systematically diverted from blacks to whites through racial slavery and discrimination for more than 15 generations. This produced a wide racial gap in income and wealth distribution, disparities that were then compounded through many generations.

A comprehensive attempt to redress slavery’s damage resonates with global efforts to compensate history’s victims. Most modern nations now realize that the vagaries of history sometimes produce victims with real injuries: There have been Chilean reparations to the indigenous Mapuche people, Canadian reparations to indigenous Inuits, U.S. reparations to Japanese-American survivors and various Native nations, German reparations to Israel, and more.

The issue is gaining more advocates. Reparations conventions and forums are occurring across the nation.

A group of heavyweight attorneys (including Harvard’s Charles Ogletree and the law firm of the late Johnnie Cochran), formed in 2002 to advocate reparations issues on the judicial front. Several lawsuits are pending and others are anticipated against insurers, railroad corporations and banks seeking reparations for the profits of slavery.

City councils across the country have passed pro-reparations resolutions, including Chicago; Cleveland; Detroit; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; Los Angeles and Oakland.

Most of these resolutions urge support for a bill annually introduced by Michigan congressman John Conyers that seeks merely to establish a commission to examine slavery’s consequences and recommend remedies.

At least 12 municipalities (including Chicago, which was the first) have passed slavery era disclosure laws, which require businesses to report on any historical connections to the slave trade. Several mainstream institutions, churches and a number of prominent white Americans also have become reparations advocates. In May 2001, for example, the Philadelphia Inquirer published a two-part editorial supporting reparations.

“Slavery and the century of government-sanctioned discrimination that followed were national policies that denied fundamental rights—justice, equality, freedom—to African-Americans. It will take a national effort to answer for that,” the paper argued. It was the first time a major publication had come to such a conclusion.

And just last June, Ken Woodley, the winner of the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2006 George Mason Award, urged American journalists to support a national apology for slavery and reparations during his acceptance speech.Woodley, the crusading editor of Virginia’s Farmville Herald, told the audience that the nation needs “a domestic Marshall Plan” providing blacks with education, healthcare and economic development as a form of reparations.

Most recently, a coalition of student groups, reparations groups, social justice advocates and some elected officials (dubbed the “corporate restitutions movement”) launched a student loan boycott against banks complicit in slavery, including JP Morgan Chase Manhattan Bank, Bank America, FleetBoston Financial Corp., Bank One and Wachovia.

The bandwagon rolls on.
______________________________________-
Salim Muwakkil is a senior editor of In These Times, where he has worked since 1983, and an op-ed columnist for the Chicago Tribune. He is currently a Crime and Communities Media Fellow of the Open Society Institute, examining the impact of ex-inmates and gang leaders in leadership positions in the black community.

Posted by: Lando at September 20, 2006 1:22 PM
Comment #183394

Lando,

GET A JOB!!!!!

Posted by: Duane-o at September 23, 2006 3:22 AM
Comment #267488

An apology is rather lame considering the magnitude of the atrocities of slavery. I am still suffering from the effect of slavery; discrimination, marginalization. It still hurts, and one would appreciate better compensation than an apology. Black people in the western world need a culture, a way of life that we can call our own. We are struggling, send us some assistance to help us set up good family life, and improve our self esteem. It hurts, and hurt people seek to hurt.

Posted by: Shevon at October 19, 2008 5:21 PM
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