• Rajah E. Smart, Ed.D.

Reparations v the United States of "America" by Dr. Rajah E. Smart

Updated: Jun 26, 2019

#Reparations has been discussed for over 40 years. The premise is based on monetary being supplied to descendants enslaved to work the fields. Essentially, black people are still waiting on that 40 acres and a mule. To some folks, mainly white folks, reparations is a silly idea. To "have the nerve to seek funds for something that happened years ago is ridiculous." Is it? In a country where people of color are hampered by a traditional system of inequity, and policies that strain people of color even now, reparations is a conversation that can help spark others. For example, why is opioid abuse a disease now and crack wasn't? It's not the discussion about the reparations I'm paying close attention to in the debate. It's the way politicians will use the Constitution and other tools to justify being against it altogether.


Some white folks will argue that if we give black people reparations, people who helped freed enslaved black people should receive them as well. Then there will be this discussion about other groups who should receive reparations. Mitch McConnell has already said that this country is repairing those sins with civil rights laws and a black president. So, a black man that you all blocked constantly made up for the sins of your ancestors. Mr. McConnell is saying that we gave you crumbs, so take them and sit the **** down. What some folks don't understand is that if the case is made for reparations, then Natives have a case for their land being taken from them and other people of color persecuted in this country have that right as well.


The wealth of this country has been earned off the poor or those, not in power, no matter the color. Is it a bad thing that those people should receive something? Free college, our veterans (I'm sure Vietnam, Dessert Storm, and more troops need help) receiving free services, access to free minimal health care, programs that can support those who have less, etc. Recently, we saw Jon Stewart let a committee have it for their inability to take care of 9/11 victims.


If you are paying attention to the discussion, I ask that everyone do one thing: pay attention to how the #Constitution will be used to break down the discussion as it has been done countless times before. We all know who the Constitution was written for, and this will be the argument that will show the privilege of some and the ignorance of others. If reparations are allowed, there are quite a few folks of all walks of life that will be compensated. However, because it's black folks bringing it to the table, it is even worse.

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