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The Legal Argument for Reparations
- The legal ideas for the argument for reparations, one relies on the juridical heritage of the United States.
- Clearly, the ideas of justice and fair play, while often thwarted, distorted, and subverted, characterize the legal ideal in American jurisprudence…the idea of reparations, particularly as conceived in my own work, is a restorative justice issue.
The Economic Argument
- The economic case is a simple argument for the payment of the descendants of the enslaved for the work that was done and the deprivation that was experienced by our ancestors
- Black Americas are owed back wages for nearly 250 years of uncompensated work by their ancestors and another 130 years for laws and behavior that continue to affect them economically.
The Political Argument for Reparations
- The political aspect of reparations is wrapped in the clothes of the American political reality.
- In order to ensure national unity reparations should be made to the descendants of Africans…the underlying fault in the American body politic is the unresolved issue of enslavement.
- Many of the contemporary problems in society can be thought of as deriving from the unsettled issues of enslavement. A concentration on the political term for reparations will lead to a useful argument for national unity.
- Africans did not enslave themselves in the Americas.
- The European slave trade was not an African venture, it was preeminently a European enterprise in all of its dimensions: conception, insurance, outfitting of ships, sailors, factories, shackles, weapons, and the selling and buying of people in the Americas.
- Not one African can be named as an equal partner with Europeans in the slave trade.
- •Slavery was not romantic; it was evil, ferocious, brutal, and corrupting in all of its aspects.
- •It was developed in its greatest degree of degradation in the United States.