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this is an issue where many white people get very defensive, sometimes to the point where they seem willing to justify racism.
"why should i pay for what my forefathers did?"
"my family moved here AFTER slavery, so it's not my problem"
"i'm irish, and my ancestors were treated like slaves. where are MY reparations?"

these are points that seem to make sense until you learn a bit more about history and about the way reparations have generally worked in this country.

the japanese-americans interned during a portion of WWII were issued symbolic reparations ($20,000 EACH) and a public apology by the president. today, japanese-americans do not generally suffer any lasting effects of this past event.
holocaust survivors were issued reparations, which did little to bring back their dead loved ones or to end continuing anti-semitism.
perhaps the most important example of reparations is that given to native americans, who are given land and a regular stipend. however, much of it is absorbed through corruption, and today native americans are the most impovershed group in the country, and dependence upon their reparations is a big part of it.
however, this does not mean that reparations are a bad thing. what is bad is hastily arranged reparations.

black americans were enslaved for 300 years. after slavery officially ended, they still faced outward oppression in the south and subversive oppression in the north. there were lynchings, the jim crow laws, minstrel shows, and even following the civil rights movement of the 1960s public--but subterranean--racism persists, and the lasting effects of past atrocities are still overwhelmingly apparent. and unlike other ethnic minorities that faced a few similar challenges, blacks cannot just blend in once they achieve the status quo, because the status quo for blacks is to be at the bottom.
there is no question that black americans are deserving of reparations.

the problem is that as soon as the idea is mentioned it gets shot down so quickly by whites and even by token blacks that it never has a chance to evolve into something that could actually work.
yes, if you gave every black person a wad of money you would only be furthering or creating a problem.

my stance on this is that what we should do is take 100 top-of-their-field economists, historians, sociologists, cultural anthropologists, politicians, and a few other related experts representing both black america and the white power structure and make them talk the idea over and debate it and argue and compromise for a period of something like 10 years.
see, the problem in my eyes isn't "if" reparations should be granted, it's "how" and i think if we knew a good way to do it, it could work very nicely and end a lot of problems that have snowballed over the years. the problem is that nobody is willing to sit down and figure it out.

This was sent to me from a friend who wanted to me to check out if his opinions are valid. I am always amazed to see just how cruel people can get concerning blacks when they think no one (of color) is really there to hear it.

This regards reparations, a touchy subject; my friend is panpanther an arab-jew american. I've know him for a long time and I think he does a good job of explaining the situation, but this idiots will not listen.

It's just a nice wakeup call. It tells us that we have to get on our game, because everyone else knows exactly what their place is in society.

Here's the link:



(Deleted comment)
Jun. 12th, 2006 11:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Wait...
What the fucking fuck?

I second that fucking fuck. We haven't even gotten our 40 acres and a mule yet! The gub'mint can keep the mule; I'l take a Jeep or something.

I'm still trying to figure out how NATIVE people can lose land in court in their NATIVE fucking country.
Jun. 12th, 2006 11:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Wait...
With all due respect, you have no clue what you are talking about. I don't want to compare oppressions because I try not to participate in that particular Olympic event of who has it worse, as we fight for crumbs of the same crappy pie, but let me assure you that outright racism against Natives is alive and well, and it has nothing to do with pity. (btw, fuck you and your pity anyone that feels that way.)

Oh, I know it's out there and very much in the forefront. I never stated that at all. I know the opression that happens.

I think you are confusing my post of explaining his words as the majority of my actualy sentiments, which is not the case.

I belive that Native Americans in the United States are looked at as the "pity" minority. I am not saying that they should be pitied or that the racism that is encountered by Native Americans is less than or not equal to Blacks. However, I do say that there is a certain rage that white America feels when asked to look at Black slavery and reparations. They will not even look at the chance of it happening, because they don't see their racism against blacks, etc.

If all these pity feelers were so ready to help Natives out, why the hell are they fighting the Six Nations people in Caledonia with police and roadblocks? If pity is the motivation, what's up with the most recent hate crime beating against a Native guy in Utah. Why are there charges of police brutality at housing complexes? Why arent we winning our land claims in court?

I never said these injustices do not occur. My initial statement was in reference to reparations for blacks, and how whites will use this "pitying" justification of giving some Native Americans reparations as a way of saying "gee, we're not that bad", and then denying blacks any types of funds.

What the fucking fuck? Did I miss the memo where I get a stipend from the government? Natives do not get reparations. Native governments are not allowed to own land; all of our land is held in trust by the Great White Father in Washington. That means any money the tribes make from natural resources, mining, ect is sent to the government and then is re-doled out to Natives, and in some tribes, not all, some of that money is sent back to the tribal members. Any other funds from the government usually come from treaty obligations, which the government barely keeps. (For example, Bush tried to cut all funding for urban Indian healthcare this year. 100%)

I didn't know this at all. Thank you for enlightening me.

Now I'm not angry at you. There's just so much ignorance about Native issues and realities and I wish those that didnt know just kept their mouths shut or did a little research. That's all.

Hey, I don't care if you're angry at me or not. I don't know everything concerning Native American affairs, and I'm glad to have the information. I get this way too when people try to tell me certain things that I KNOW are just wrong.

Keep on. I don't mind at all (I'm being really honest here.)
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 13th, 2006 12:49 am (UTC)
Re: Wait...
That is def. understood. This was something I just didn't know. I've been hearing so much about lump sums given to NA and all.

can you clue me in as to what that is?
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 13th, 2006 01:52 am (UTC)
That was awesome, as usual. Way to break it down.

It's like you depositied your paycheck (or say your inheritance) in a bank and then five days later withdraw it from an ATM. OMG that bank gave you money!!! Oh Hell No!

Jun. 12th, 2006 11:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Wait...
I'm x-posting this discussion to my group blindi, which talks about Black and Native American affairs, to see if we can start some dialogue on these very interesting topics and debates.

I have no beef at all. I'm here to learn and grow.