November 03, 2007

A Dollar Owed

First there has to be an acknowledgment that slavery is wrong; then there has to be a discussion about slavery effects on the slave and their survivors; and last there has to be an acknowledgment that slavery contributed this economy and that lost wages are owed to those who labored, for nothing, for another man's profit.

I am in agreement with the purpose of Rep. John Conyers' bill, HR 40, introduced to congress every year since 1989. Conyers describes the bill.

My bill does four things:

1. It acknowledges the fundamental injustice and inhumanity of slavery

2. It establishes a commission to study slavery, its subsequent racial and economic discrimination against freed slaves;

3. It studies the impact of those forces on today's living African Americans; and

4. The commission would then make recommendations to Congress on appropriate remedies to redress the harm inflicted on living African Americans.
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The public has to understand the impact of slavery, as they understand the Holocaust. Once this has happened, reparations can be discussed. The problem now, is that there is a conscientious effort to marginalize slavery; thus the recent comments by Micheal Medved. The acceptance of Medved's view and Dr. James Watson's view by the right blogosphere whips up fierce opposition to any effort to say the slave was owed anything or that efforts to raise up all black people is justice.

I do not see reparations as back payment. I think that "remedies to redress the harm inflicted on living African Americans" could include a varity of effort, not only money but action. I would want our institutions and communities to benefit from reparations funds. I also want the FEDs to educate businesses on what EOE really means, follow up on the discrimnation claims and sue, and put teeth into the Civil Rights Commission; otherwise,
enforce the law. There is one other aspect of understanding slavery and being able to empathize that I would hope for. If it would bring the country to recognize the need for reparations; then respect could come in the process. For me, "r-e-s-p-e-c-t" is most important.

When our country values all of its people and give us our due, I would say that a dollar owed, is a dollar saved.


lynngnews said...

Oh, wow. I missed that Michael Medved column. Ick. That is going to lengths to misrepresent the history of slavery.

Hathor said...

Unfortunately he is not the only one. The Lew Rockwell followers, Dinesh D'Sousa, Ann Coulter are a few that are trying to change the view of slavery.

J.B. Kochanie said...

Toni Morrison , in an interview about her novel Beloved, described slavery as a Holocaust that lasted over two hundred years.

And she is right.

Hathor said...

j.b. kochanie,
With Jim Crow the legacy is lasting another 120 years and more. Adapting in the so called free society, inbred quality for survival that has manifest itself in harmful ways. It has been pass down for generations and is difficult to fling off. Although in the past few years it has become necessary to be vigilant, because now there is a serious treat to turn back the clock.