The Case For Reparations : A Moral And Spiritual Awakening

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The issue of reparations in return for the egregious injustices committed in the form of slavery by our predecessors, is an important topic dissected in The Marrow of Tradition and Coates’ article “The Case for Reparations”. The cornerstone of this problem is the idea that due to all the years of generational oppression and discrimination, what form will this reparation end up taking? A reparation that is based on doling out mere financial support for those that endured such brutality is insulting the honor of a people that were used for self-gain and under the guise of racial superiority. Simply treating this issue in a one-dimensional viewpoint that can be solved through a monetary basis will not suffice, and is stripping from it the…show more content…
The notion that absolute atonement for slavery is possible, is not feasible as the wound will always exist in the hearts of those that endured. The novel presents us with the dichotomous nature of the definition of justice, that can come in the form of vengeance through violence, evident in the case of Josh Green or through the power of diction, an almost poetic justice in the case of Janet Miller. The animosity that Josh Green possesses for Captain McBane and the revenge he seeks is symbolic of being a product of the hateful ideology of the “old South”, which was predicated on the notion of white supremacy and mistreatment of blacks. The old South is characterized in the following quote, “No; but we thought to overrule God’s laws, and we enslaved these people for our greed…laying to our souls the flattering unction that we were making of barbarous negroes civilized and Christian men” (Chesnutt 173). Captain McBane was responsible for the death of Green’s father, which scarred Josh as a child and became his sole motivation in wanting to one day kill him. Dr. Miller acted to quell his rage, bringing up the tenets of Christianity in forgiving and absolving his enemy crime, but Josh remained obstinate in his beliefs. The reality was that such a crime could never be forgotten and shaped his mindset as an individual. A key point that Green makes,
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