The case for reparations to blacks

Tom Jackson
May 23, 2014

If you have any interest in American history, or provocative ideas,  I urge you to take time to read Ta-Nehisi Coates new article, "The Case for Reparations."

Coates' piece argues that given the amount of damage done to blacks over the decades by a racist power structure, an honest discussion about possible reparations is the only way to clear the air. 

Here are a couple of interesting paragraphs:

Broach the topic of reparations today and a barrage of questions inevitably follows: Who will be paid? How much will they be paid? Who will pay? But if the practicalities, not the justice, of reparations are the true sticking point, there has for some time been the beginnings of a solution. For the past 25 years, Congressman John Conyers Jr., who represents the Detroit area, has marked every session of Congress by introducing a bill calling for a congressional study of slavery and its lingering effects as well as recommendations for “appropriate remedies.”

A country curious about how reparations might actually work has an easy solution in Conyers’s bill, now called HR 40, the Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act. We would support this bill, submit the question to study, and then assess the possible solutions. But we are not interested.
I'm not necessarily the kind of person you'd expect to recommend this article. I am fed up with seeing every possible criticism of Barack Obama dismissed as "racism." (Some of the criticisms may be racist, but not all of them are.) Exhortations to "check your privilege" leave me unmoved. Pastor Darden's playing of the race card in the firing of Nicole Ard did not impress me. 
But it also seems naive and dishonest to insist that history has ended, to claim that slavery and racism left no mark on the present day. Coates makes a powerful case. I don't agree with everything he wrote, but he is forcing me to think.  I urge you not to simply react to the word "reparations" but to read what he actually has to say. 


Stop It

I am a caucasian person. Those banks and one you named, Countrywide took my property as well. It had nothing to do with race, it was just greed.

Quit start trying to start race wars were there aren't any. You shoulda been at Geno's the night the black men and women were getting their legs shot.

Knock off the racist crap. This isn't the 60's or the 70's fat white man. It's 2014. Get with the program.


Aren't you the one who said you hate blacks because you were supposedly jumped on Hancock. How is you hating a whole race and always making race comments not racist crap? You are right it is 2014 so why hate someone for something they or you have no control over as in skin color?

Stop It

Because of people like you that keep bringing it to the forefront just as Mr. Jackson has, racist prick.

You don't post in the comment sections unless you have something racist to say, which is why I throw it back in your face.

I don't hate blacks. I don't HATE anyone. I despise anyone's ideas and ideals just to turn things into HATE.


Please tell us you're not going to go into another whiny rant about how “The gov't stole my home and my job. I’m old, unemployed and living with my mom”.

Stop It

Go suck a rock, reverend. Your relentless bible thumping is as bad as these race baiters.


Re: "Countrywide took my property,"

And Chairman Angelo Mozilo paid a $67M fine and skated thanks to "Friends of Angelo" like Sen. Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank.

He was granted immunity.

The man certainly had "friends" in high places.

Steve P

The new low for the award winning Registerag.




Coates' article is thorough, eloquent, and wrong. It's full of racist bias and non-sequitur. Worth reading, though, if for no other reason that it could be influential.

Most viewpoints advocating reparations ignore those already made and continuing.

The question is worth examining. The conclusions, not so much.

This is a lousy place to discuss this topic, unless the goal is to expose racists and stupidity. And get clicks. But Jackson is using the forum he has, so it's OK.

The Good Doctor

What is "wrong" about his article.


The idea of "paying" African Americans for everything America has put them through sounds incredibly disingenuous but pretending there isn't a problem is even worse.


My ancestors fought in the American Revolution, I want reparations from England and on my mothers side the communists were killing everyone my grandfathers village in Russia and forced him to move to America so I want reparations for that too. Mr. US government you owe it to me to make this happen. I want it and I want it now! (Factious)

Silly people, they want an end to racism but ask my kids to pay reparations for their great great great grandparents? Children are born race neutral, people like this and the Federal government continue to create racism for generations to come....


The Native American population seems to have a greater right to reparations. Maybe we should give Manhattan back?

Michael Allen

where are the calls for reparations to the Irish??


Chinese immigrants who built America's railroads were treated worse than slaves.

Stop It

We paid the Native Americans for New Amsterdam. It's free and clear.


and let's not forget that black people were buying and selling black people for their profit. reparations are a lot of nonsense and I want this african-american baloney stopped, too. If we live in America, regardless of where our ancestors came from, we are Americans and that is causing all the separation. did anyone see all the African names in the paper edition, today? I feel sorry for those who have nearly unpronounceable names when they enter the work force. get over it already and nix the reparations subject.


I'm not condoning anyones actions. However isn't it long past the time to get over it and get on with one's life? After the Civil War the Us government offered any freed slave the opportunity to return to Africa. They founded the country of LIberia. Evidently those that stayed here decided it was a better option.

The Good Doctor

Guess you did not read the article?


Re: "article'

New wine in an old bottle.


2 Cents I want reparations for what my Scotch-Irish ancesters had to go through in Northern Ireland. After all, they had to head to the US for their own safety. And while were on it how about France pay up for forcing my Heuganot relatives to come to New Jersey. Or Holland for my Dutch Ancestors being forced to go to New Amsterdam after they were forced out of Recife Brazil.


Almost every ethnic group has been discriminated against at some point in some part of the world. Putting one group over the other by deciding who deserves to be paid back is not the solution. That in itself would be discriminating wouldn't it? Who is to decide which group is more deserving, when everyone has faced this at some point in history? Forgetting our history is not the answer either. But reparations just perpetuate the idea of separation. I agree with worrdrow, babo, and fluffy, if we would stop separating each other into groups, racism will stop. Everyone born in America is an American. Point blank. We are not european-Americans, Irish-Americans, or African-Americans. We are all Americans regardless of ethnicity.


@ Mr. Jackson:

If reparations are in order, the Brits have some 'dues' to pay as well.

"Cornwallis ultimately appropriated about 30,000 slaves in Virginia alone,' and of these about 27,000 died of the small pox and camp fever, and the rest were partly sent to the West Indies and exchanged for rum, sugar, coffee and fruits,'

If so, more blacks were directly or indirectly killed by the British between 1780 and 1781 alone than patriot soldiers in battle during the entire war."

- "Angel in the Whirlwind"




'Someone' needs to phone, email or text Fed Chair Yellen and request that she 'print' a couple hundred trillion dollars and pass it out to the historically disadvantaged and the currently aggrieved.

Why can't the U.S. demonstrate to the world how a nation can print, borrow, tax and spend, spend, spend its way to equality, justice and prosperity?


@ Mr. Jackson:

On my 'someday' reading list:

"Out Of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa"

"From 1991 to 1994, Keith Richburg was based in Nairobi as the Africa bureau chief for the Washington Post.

He traveled throughout Africa, from Rwanda to Zaire, witnessing and reporting on wars, famines, mass murders, and the complexity and corruption of African politics.

Unlike many black Americans who romanticize Africa, Richburg looks back on his time there and concludes that he is simply an American, not an African American."

As I recall from reviews at the time of it's publication, the author essentially came to conclusion that he felt fortunate that his ancestors had been enslaved and taken to America.

He was excoriated by the victimization cult.


Please. Has nobody ever heard of a statute of limitations? Besides, when damages are awarded in any matter, you have to be able to show that you were actually damaged!

How, pray tell, has slavery damaged YOU? It was abolished in this country well over 100 years ago. Those living today were no more damaged or benefited by slavery than I am damaged or benefited by the fact that my ancestors were ALSO forcibly kidnapped and enslaved! Stop with the blame game mentality, get off your behind, and work to get ahead like everybody else.

If ANYbody in this country has a case for reparations, it's the Native Americans. Although nobody is riding around with muskets and bayonets and burning down teepees anymore, the system of reservations established way back when remains in place and continues to actively cause serious problems with the resident populations.

Frankly, the ONLY "reparation" I'd favor is the one that erased the effects of slavery all together. There are many people living in this country today who are here ONLY because their forebears were enslaved. Anybody wanting to erase the effects of slavery on their personal lives should be genetically identified as to which part of the world their ancestors originated, and then shipped back. No? Don't want to live in Nigeria? Sudan? Ethiopia? Then determine to live IN the present, and FOR the future instead. Jeez!


Case in point. (See prior post above.)

The Good Doctor

Guess you did not read the article either! Discrimination and terrorism against African-Americans continued well after the end of the Civil War.


Discrimination and terrorism against Jews, Americans, white people, black people, Christians, "freedom fighters" of all colors, women, etc. continue today in many places around the world. How do any of those acts, reprehensible as they are, bolster the case for reparations in matters going on 200 years over and done?