From The Independent, reporting on the first Barack Obama-Bruce Springsteen podcast:
“If you ask me theoretically, ‘Are reparations justified?,’ the answer is yes,” Obama replies. “There’s not much question. Right? That the wealth of this country, the power of this country, was built in significant part, not exclusively, maybe not the even majority of it, but a large portion of it was built on the backs of slaves.”
How much? More likely, almost none.
I’ve been asking for some time for examples of Southern dynastic wealth that survived the Civil War and Reconstruction, and have gotten very, very few responses.
Where did all the money go? Well, two famous quotes sum it up. From Abraham Lincoln:
If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”
And from Margaret Mitchell: