America has gone through a terrible past. It has once decided to own people as property and deprive African Americans of their liberties and enslaved them. Since then, the United States has attempted to repair this mistake through reparations. The legal reparations of the United States have unsuccessfully redressed individual and social injustices by failing to alleviate the pain caused to the African American community. The Harm caused by Slavery still continues to be suffered by the community through this day.
Racism and hate have played a major role in United States history. These words have been the fuel behind slavery, inhuman treatment, and genocides. The Kosovo, Native Americans, Japanese, and African Americans are some of the prominent races that have been affected by racism and hate. The U.S. have given reparations to the victims of Kosovo, Native American, and Japanese, but no reparation have been given to African Americans. For five hundred years, the U.S. forced African Americans into slavery. As an African American woman in 2013, the question “ What ever happen to reparations for African Americans?” lingers in my mind. Don’t we deserve reparation just as the Native
Slavery and racism was the plague of the United States. It followed on the heals of government policy and trickled down the social ladder for many years. Racial discrimination is still existent today, though people are afraid to talk about it, for fear of admitting ancestral sin and current stereotypes. Ta-Nehisi Coates expresses these ideas in his article “The Case for Reparations”, and focuses on the issue of home ownership in Chicago. The bottom line of his article is that one must not forget and discard of the past, rather they must acknowledge and own what has happened. With Coates focus on American oppression, one doesn’t glean an exceptional take on the United States, from his perspective. He describes the U.S. as too timid to own its mistakes. In the middle of the 20th century, Chicago, discrimination was rampant. Blacks were targeted by “real-estate speculators” when trying to own a house, they were put “on contract.” In response to the issues brought about by the contracts, the Contract Buyers League was founded. This was an attempt to reverse the damage that was being done. Discrimination still occurs today. Racial discrimination has long plagued the U.S., but it is possible to change.
Reparation is a term defined as “the making of amends for a wrong one has done, by paying money to or otherwise helping those who have been wronged.” How does this exactly apply when we’re talking about discrimination and segregation? Ta-Nehisi Coates presents “The Case for Reparations” to illustrate the need of a reparation to African- American citizens. Coates explains three major concepts in his paper. He emphasizes how African- American citizens have helped create wealth, displays how the government has actually restricted African- American citizens from owning homes in history, and presents a series of compelling stories from people still suffering discrimination and segregation today. In this paper, I will defend “The Case for Reparations” in agreement with Ta-Nahisi Coates.
The United States government should pay reparations to African Americans as a means of admitting their wrong-doing and making amends. The damages African Americans have sustained from White America’s policy of slavery have been agonizing and inhumane. Therefore, I am in favor of reparations for African Americans. The effect of slavery has been an enduring issue within the African American community. Many of us are cognizant of the harm racism brought to the African American race, conveyed through slavery, racial segregation and discrimination. African Americans suffered many atrocities, but the greatest damage done to them was the destruction of they’re original identity. African
"If you are the son of a man who had a wealthy estate and you inherit your father's estate, you have to pay off the debts that your father incurred before he died. The only reason that the present generation of white Americans are in a position of economic strength...is because their fathers worked our fathers for over 400 years with no pay...We were sold from plantation to plantation like you sell a horse, or a cow, or a chicken, or a bushel of wheat...All that money...is what gives the present generation of American whites the ability to walk around the earth with their chest out...like they have some kind of economic ingenuity. Your father isn't here to pay. My father isn't
Reparations for slavery have been a topic among scholars and regular people for years now. During the Reconstruction Era after the Civil War many freed slaves were promised 40 acres of land, as a form of reparations.(Staff www.The Root.com) However, this became an empty promise and nothing was enforced to help African Americans become socially, economically, or politically leveled with white Americans since. African Americans were enslaved to work for big corporations and never received any form of wages after the abolishment of slavery. Businesses that thrived off slave labor continued to succeed after the Slavery Abolition Act, while freed slaves were stuck without any assets to properly function in society. To
Of those was the whole idea of reparations for blacks, which is great, but honestly the past should just be the past. I personally think to bring up the past is to hurt those in the future. Don’t get me wrong; I see the benefits that could arise from the case like closing the wealth gap. However, getting society on board would be much harder now than it was in the early economy. There is nothing that could fully repay the African Americans, not even the land in which they are owed. You can’t bring back what they really want, which are the family and friends that have been lost. You can’t heal the pain that they have endured along the way. So there is no need to bring up all the memories that would most likely lead to riots and for everyone to show their true colors for something that will probably never happen. Like Coates said, “The idea of reparations threatens something much deeper America’s heritage, history, and standing in the world.” (Coates, 2014) You cannot correct what has already been done all you can do is move forward even if it means moving forward without the idea of
I agree with Ta-Nehisi Coates on the Argument for Reparations, the black people of today necessitate a form of Reparations that includes the full realization and respect of the extent of damages waged against African Americans all across America. So many problems stem from the fact that the struggles of African Americans in this country are trivialized, debased, and mocked. People need and must understand the extent of slavery in this country and how it is at the base of everything American. Simultaneously, the concept white guilt must be excised out of the society, there is nothing to be guilty of you are playing an active role on disassembling the power system at play destroying so many black lives instead of profiting from it.
For many years the United States has committed atrocious and discriminatory acts against African Americans. In a seemingly more “equal” society today many are wondering what debt is owed to the descendants of African Americans. According to Alfred Brophy of University of North Carolina, reparations are defined as, “programs that are justified on the basis of past harm and that are also designated to assess and correct that harm and improve the lives of victims in the future.” Throughout this paper I will be discussing whether reparations should be paid to African Americans. I will evaluate the question through legal, moral, and political lenses. I will evaluate the start of the movement of reparations while also taking into consideration how reparations have been given in the past. I will also explore new forms/types of reparations that can be given to African Americans. I will also determine the short and long term impacts the implementation of reparations would have on African American society and the society in its entirety.
In “The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, the author begins his article with this quote to ensure that his audience has a different perspective about the case for African American reparations. There is no denying that since the inception of the United States of America, African Americans have faced serious discrimination and injustice, which may in fact entitle them to reparations. Some African American communities of the present are still experiencing the negative effects of slavery, Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction racism. These negative effects are evident in Chicago’s North Lawndale, where the almost all-black community still suffers from the injustices committed by contract sellers when African Americans would try to purchase a home (Coates). In his article, Coates claims that African Americans deserve reparations because they inherit an “ecologically different” type of poverty compared to whites as members and are haunted by their history of impoverished ancestors (“The Case for Reparations”). The author’s premise is flawed because poverty is disadvantageous to all groups it affects, not just African Americans. Thus, one cannot justify reparations because African Americans have a different type of inherited poverty. There are
Although Coates does not offer any particulars regarding an immediate solution for reparations and how they should be administered, he does seem to make some suggestions. Coates implies that improvements in educational opportunities through scholarships, affirmative action, and increased funding can serve as reparations. Expanding healthcare access for black Americans is another way of providing reparations. Moreover, monetary compensation to generations of African-Americans affected by discrimination can be given as reparations. Most importantly, Coates argues that the prospect of reparations should be at the very least discussed. Approving Congressman John Conyers Jr.’s HR 40 bill would open up that discussion. Whether reparations are given or not, Coates stresses that the United States cannot continue to claim to be the example for liberty, freedom, or a democracy if it continues to refuse to recognize the damages that have been imposed on blacks for the gain of the nation (Coates, 2014). The issue with discussing reparations seems to lie in not knowing how much reparation is enough, or how much and to whom they will be given
The article, “The Case for Reparations”, presents itself with a commendable representation on how the need for reparations is essential when combined with the brutal history of slavery and progression of blacks in American Society after slavery. Ta- Nehisi Coates argues that the relationship between racial identity and reparations is based upon America’s debt to blacks for the countless years of injustice. With this he demonstrates how white supremacy has ultimately used impractical measures to maintain what they consider social stability for those who were not African American.
Slavery has been entwined with American history ever since Dutch traders brought twenty captive Africans to Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. Slavery in America is a subject with minimal truths and stories rarely told. The public school system excludes the fact that eight of the first twelve American presidents were major slaveholders. Emancipation brought freedom, but not approximation. The civil rights movement killed Jim Crow, but shadows remained. Affirmative Action created opportunities, but racism continues.
The author uses the term “Reparations” repetitively in the text. According to the text the word “reparation” means to make amends. Coates (2014) also refers to reparations as compensation. America should take responsibility and pay the price for the mistreatment to African Americans (2014). Coates (2014) does not only mean monetary compensation but acceptance and acknowledgement. The author