A Reader Says Reparations Make No Sense
May 09, 2007, 05:00 AM
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Re: Slavery: Many Apologies, But No Reparations—Yet

From: Rodric R. Reese, [Email ]Houston, Texas

The reparation movement arguments are nearly too flawed to be taken seriously. The word reparation is itself flawed.

Slavery has been around about as long as the oldest profession and been a part of the history of most peoples and nations. Most slaves brought to America were sold to European slavers by Africans. Slavery continues to exist in Africa today.

It is a genealogical nightmare to determine who would deserve what. If the slave was the affected victim, how do we distribute his/her 40 acres and mule amongst his/her thousands of descendants? As an ounce of mule meat and a square foot of turf?

The people wanting reparations in this day were never slaves. Many blacks in America were never slaves. Some blacks in America owned slaves. Many blacks in America have no idea who their great-grandfathers were. (Many whites don`t know that either.)

Why would the non-slaveholding anti-slavery northern states have to contribute to a Federal payout? Should reparations only be paid by the Confederacy which no longer exists? If we are going to seek reparations from any existing company that "benefited" from slavery should we also seek reparations from the African nations that sold captives into slavery? From the reparations do we deduct for room, board and medical care?

I can imagine how the government of Switzerland would react to my claim for reparations. My Swiss Anabaptist ancestors had their land confiscated and were exiled to the Palatinate of Germany and some of them were sold to the Venetians as slaves. Instead of pleading for reparations they came to America prior to the Revolution and became the colonial settlers of Pennsylvania and still have a reputation as America`s finest farmers. They helped build the greatest nation on Earth and to this day are well-known for not accepting government handouts.

The apologies are foolish and reflect what we all know is a fact. Politicians are spineless panderers.