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Pro Resolved: The United States Federal Government ought to pay reparations to African Americans.



My partner and I are Resolved: The USFG ought to pay reparations to African Americans.
We will show that there is a systematic need for the collective improvement of voting for African Americans. They have been historically oppressed and that oppression has spiraled into current institutional decay.

POINT 1: AFRICAN AMERICANS HAVE HISTORICALLY BEEN TREATED POORLY EVEN WHILE FREE

Turner, James. "Callie House: the pursuit of reparations as a means for social justice." The Journal of African American History 91.3 (2006): 305+.


After the Civil War, these formerly enslaved African Americans were poor and landless; Callie House described them as "bare-footed and naked." Though unschooled and given nothing with which to start a new life, these people constructed reparations as a principle of social justice.

Moreover, black workers were not passive about the injustices, and they demanded land, instruments to cultivate it, and compensation for their stolen labor. The injustices were aggravated further by the blatant racism of the military officials in the postbellum federal government. For the most part, white Civil War veterans were given financial grants and monthly pensions for military service. Black soldiers were denied equal treatment; in fact, their petitions for pensions were often rejected. Harriett Tubman, who willingly risked her life on numerous occasions in service of the Union Army, was likewise refused a pension by the USFG.


As you can see from this point, there is a historical pattern to the mistreatment of African Americans. While some might claim that these issues have been addressed in current culture, the fact remains that the system has neglected this segment of the population in vital areas.

POINT 2: REPARATION IS NEEDED TO REPAIR VOTING EQUALITY

There is no mistake. The violence against blacks continued after slavery, driven by greedy money lenders, and cheating traders. The cumulative affect of “250 years of slaver, 90 years of Jim Crow, 60 years of separate but equal, 35 years of racist housing policy,” have robbed African-Americans AS A CLASS of millions and often fatally crushed many spirits, as Ta-Nehesi Coateshas made famously clear in his 2014 Atlantic article. The root cause of this damage are the unjust laws that allowed unfair loan rules, unfair voting districts, and a whole host of ways voting by African-Aericans has been discouraged. Targeting voting as a way to repair these injustices—perhaps as candidate Clinton urges with multiple voting days, a ban on voting IDs, transportation passes—would fundamentally repair our diluted democracy. And this repair would benefit more than just African-Americans who struggle to overcome voting obstacles. In Oregon, when automatic voter registration was enacted, streamlining the complex and sometimes costly process, 300,000 voters were added to their roles overnight, according to a report in The Atlantic (March 2015, Berman)

The former national NAACP leader Ben Jealous, (Senior fellow at the Center for American Progress) said there are 37 million unregistered blacks and 4 million unregistered Hispanics and Asian Americans in the “Black Belt” region of the American South. Jealous underscored in his report this year that this “black belt” once registered, are far more consistent voters than any other group, as he based from findings since his 2012 presidential election door-to-door voter registration campaign, the largest in this nation’s history.

And progressive candidates were generally favored by communities of color rarely win statewide office without this needed voting base.

Until we get to the root cause of our broken democracy—unequal voices from voters--- discrimination will not truly cease.

Full voting by under-registered blacks will help repair and reverse the unfair policies and discriminatory leaders that have been in power.




POINT 3: COLLECTIVE REPARATION IS NEEDED


Daniels, Ron. "Seizing the moment to galvanize the U.S. and global reparations movement." Journal of Pan African Studies 8.2 (2015): 338+

There is also a need to discuss the collective versus individual payment of reparations. This often comes up as a question when arguing the case for reparations. While one could make an argument for both, I am hopeful that a consensus will emerge in favor of collective developmental assistance. The chronic wealth gap and state of emergency in America's dark ghettos are a direct consequence of generations of exploitation and oppression which should be addressed in terms of compensation that will be used to end the underdevelopment of the National Black Community. Individuals in the Black community would benefit from increased opportunities resulting from developmental assistance for the group/collective.


As you can see, we have demonstrated that the need for large scale, collective reparation is greatly needed in order to address the past injustices suffered by slaves in the US. While many see reparation as unnecessary due to the times, we have shown that slavery and the subsequent treatment of ex-slaves and their descendants was unjust and has led to poor and unequal living conditions for those descendants today. For these reasons we can see no other than a vote for the Pro in today’s debate. Thank you.

ABUSES TO DECENDANTS OF SLAVES IS WELL DOCUMENTED



Hine, Darlene Clark. "From the margins to the center: Callie House and the Ex-Slave Pension Movement." The Journal of African American History 91.3 (2006): 311+.

Berry artfully pieces together documentary fragments of House's existence to craft a coherent and illuminating biography. In chapter four, "Voices of the Ex-Slaves," Berry marshals quotes from the Works Projects Administration oral interviews from the 1930s to allow those who experienced slavery to speak their truths and to counter claims that slavery was not so bad, and that the enslaved were treated as part of a patriarchal family. In their own authorial voice, the ex- slave subjects provide an historical record and argument, always refusing to soften the horror, describing the dehumanization and humiliation that accompanied the theft of their labor and freedom. In the three closing chapters, Berry judiciously mines court records and government documents to chronicle the successful efforts of federal and local officials (the Pension Bureau and the postmaster general) to destroy House and to discredit the fledgling reparations movement. It is a masterful work that shatters the epistemological assumptions of a white supremacist historical narrative that has long denigrated the efficacy of African American women's intellectual work, identity, culture, and politics.




Dye, Keith. "The Black Manifesto for reparations in Detroit: challenge and response, 1969." Michigan Historical Review 35.2 (2009): 53+.

The massive reparations demanded by the BEDC never materialized, although several projects were funded by church agencies, the discussion of which is beyond the scope of this article. But the reparations campaign added a significant element to the growing spectrum of Black Power initiatives and revolutionary advocacy that flourished in Detroit during the immediate postrebellion/postriot era. Like the 1967 rebellion, the Black Manifesto found area residents divided and unprepared for extreme demands. Moreover, as the discourse of Black Power matured among its advocates, the manifesto sought to combine compensation for past and present racial oppression with ideas of "political revolution and independence" and fed both into the post-civil-rights lexicon of liberation struggle. Though never implemented, the reparations idea has, arguably, proven to be one of the more enduring elements of this ideological mixture.




EX-SLAVES FELT A NEED FOR REPARATION



Hine, Darlene Clark. "From the margins to the center: Callie House and the Ex-Slave Pension Movement." The Journal of African American History 91.3 (2006): 311+.

As House declared in 1899, "If the Government had the right to free us, she had a right to make some provision for us; and since she did not make it soon after Emancipation, she ought to make it now." House was clear about the rationale for their demands. "We deserve for the government to pay us as an indemnity for the work we and our foreparents was rob[bed] of from the Declaration of Independ[ence] down to the Emancipation."



Hine, Darlene Clark. "From the margins to the center: Callie House and the Ex-Slave Pension Movement." The Journal of African American History 91.3 (2006): 311+.

In 1890 Walter R. Vaughn, former editor of the Daily Democrat in Omaha, Nebraska, first proposed the idea of ex-slave pensions and persuaded his congressman, Republican William J. Connell, to introduce the legislation that established the formula later used by the National Ex- Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty and Pension Association. Berry noted that Vaughn "wanted to help blacks primarily in order to revive the southern economy." (3) Vaughn moved to Kentucky in 1897 to build electric street railways. Black Republican Congressmen Henry P. Cheatham of North Carolina, Thomas E. Miller of South Carolina, and John Mercer Langston of Virginia, as well as many black newspaper publishers refused to support the pension bill. They had their own agenda and they desired greater protection for the right to vote and more funding for public schooling. They "thought education and voting rights were the only routes to empowerment for African Americans." Callie House and Isaiah Dickerson, former agent for Vaughan, school teacher, and minister in Rutherford County, established the headquarters for the National Ex- Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty and Pension Association in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1898.

Dickerson worked through the many contacts he had made while in the employ of Vaughan. Together, House and Dickerson traveled and organized chapters of the Association, which was a combination mutual aid, medical insurance, and burial assistance program. Subsequently, state chapters organized local lodges and councils.

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS TRIED TO SUPPRESS REPARATION EFFORTS



Hine, Darlene Clark. "From the margins to the center: Callie House and the Ex-Slave Pension Movement." The Journal of African American History 91.3 (2006): 311+.

The Association began being harassed by the U.S. Postal Service as early as 1899, and in April the widespread warning of the press both white and colored," wrote Cooper, "there are still some people foolish enough to pay over their hard cash to sundry confidence sharks who run up and down the country pretending that Congress is about to grant pensions to the ex-slaves. No such thing will be done in this or any other generation and whoever assets to the contrary is a knave, a humbug or worse."




Hine, Darlene Clark. "From the margins to the center: Callie House and the Ex-Slave Pension Movement." The Journal of African American History 91.3 (2006): 311+.

Unfortunately, the federal government was not interested in making provisions for ex-slaves, and powerful officials were determined to punish House for her audacious beliefs and relentless organizing of black southerners. Mary Frances Berry puts its succinctly: [T]he government began an almost twenty-year campaign to end the pension movement, and it targeted House, a thirty-three-year-old seamstress and laundress with no right to vote but the capacity to become the de facto leader of a movement strong enough to pose a threat to powerful national officials.

Despite the government's threats, she was determined to organize the ex-slaves."

RACE IS AN EVER PRESENT FACTOR



Janis, Michael. "Obama, Africa, and the Post-Racial." CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 11.2 (2009).

"It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself; the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela" (Obama, Dreams 220), writes US-America's first African American president in his "story of race and inheritance." While the presidential candidacy of Senator Barack Obama sparked numerous debates on the concept of "race," including the notion of the "post-racial," scant attention has been paid to Obama's possible treatment of the tragic history of relations between the West and Africa. The lack of any serious engagement with reparations for slavery and colonialism on the part of the U.S. and most West European governments is arguably an all too often unacknowledged sign of the ubiquitous persistence of racism and an obstacle blocking the way to a vision beyond race. If Obama has only just begun to formulate his views on reparations and has just begun to implement foreign policy that would encompass a long view of Africa and the diaspora, he already has an important, complex relationship to Africa--a profound understanding of Maafa (African Holocaust), as well as of the contemporary dynamics of neocolonialism--that merits investigation into the possibilities an internationalist, even pan-Africanist, ethos would bring to the White House.



Janis, Michael. "Obama, Africa, and the Post-Racial." CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 11.2 (2009).

While the U.S. media was locked in debates about the presidential candidates, significant historical issues on the subject remained at the margins of political discourse. Because of the history of racism and the hegemonial status of the U.S., the victory of Barack Obama was without question one of the most important signs of social progress in modern times not only for the U.S. but also globally. At the same time, from a contemporary perspective, US-Americans remained mesmerized by a myth, which James Baldwin saw all too well as the midpoint of the "Reagan Revolution"--the first simulacral US-American regime--when he quipped that "As long as you think you're white, there's no hope for you" (90). Today, both the sciences and humanities have discredited the very concept of race--from the mapping of the genome, which demonstrates genetic variation is superficial and common variations are transracial, to the academic institutionalization of critical race theory and postcolonial theory; however, although it is widely recognized that the world's distinct cultures, not races, are responsible for difference and diversity, we are surrounded by social and political conflicts that are based on race, or the guise of race.



Janis, Michael. "Obama, Africa, and the Post-Racial." CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 11.2 (2009).

What, then, is "race"? An extrapolation of a worldview based on the superficial differences found across all human cultures, race is a myth that is both ancient and modern. There is much evidence to suggest that the ancient Mediterranean world may not have held the same prejudices against Africans, as Frank Snowden demonstrates. From Hume and Kant to Hegel, the anti- African, or anti-black racism of European philosophers reflects the enigmatic and multifarious presence of psychopathology in Western thought (on this, see, e.g., Eze). As Eric Williams argues in Capitalism and Slavery, Enlightenment-era trans-Atlantic slavery and colonialism were the very conditions of possibility for the modern world-system of European and Euro-American capitalist exploitation; slavery built commercial capitalism and the end of slavery became the impetus for formal colonialism during industrial capitalism. Walter Rodney's How Europe Underdeveloped Africa reveals the processes of development in pre-colonial African and the processes of underdevelopment in Africa wrought by slavery and colonialism. Most African nations have not yet had independence from official colonial rule for fifty years.



Janis, Michael. "Obama, Africa, and the Post-Racial." CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 11.2 (2009).

The modern history of racism, from the genocide perpetrated against Native Americans to the slaver labor of Chinese in the U.S. at the turn of the twentieth century, from the Jewish Holocaust to Bosnia and Rwanda, is not behind us. Obama makes this point in his Speech on Race: "As William Faulkner once wrote, 'The past isn't dead and buried. In fact, it isn't even past.' We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country. But we do need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow" (Obama, "Obama's Speech" 5). Obama's reading of history translates into a new vision, for the US-American government, of the historicity of race. Even his choice of the words of Faulkner is significant. The southern Nobel Laureate was resistant to desegregation, yet Faulkner authored novels that reflect the subtleties of race relations in the south. Embedded in Obama's words is a critique not only of the tension between the races in the U.S., but also of the tension between US-American mythology and history, part of the hermeneutic excavation of the racial palimpsest.



REPARATIONS ARE A POLITICAL ISSUE



Janis, Michael. "Obama, Africa, and the Post-Racial." CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 11.2 (2009).

The political goal of the deconstruction of the myth of race is for diverse constituencies to learn to resist seeing the U.S., and the world, in black and white terms, as Obama has advocated in his books and speeches. This turn is a crucial strategy for the oppressed, which must above all create solidarity among diverse ethnic groups. David Roediger's Towards the Abolition of Whiteness responds to this persistent need throughout working class history in the U.S. One of the epigraphs to a section in the book is from The World and Africa in which W.E.B. Du Bois laments the process of racialization in working class history, the adoption of ideologies of whiteness of new immigrants in the U.S., which in turn bred contempt for what should have been their African American comrades in a common struggle. In particular, as Roediger's study shows through the investigation of historical documents and juridical policy, the Irish, Jews, Italians, and Greeks were not regarded as "white," but they, among other immigrants of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, were eventually able to adopt this identity. Malcolm X was also a keen observer of this process of racialization that led to the insidious spread of white supremacy among diverse groups. For Roediger, coming to terms with Baldwin's injunction to dismantle the delusive idea of "whiteness" serves as a point of departure: "To make its fullest possible contribution to the growth of a new society, activism that draws on ideas regarding the social construction of race must focus its political energies on exposing, demystifying and demeaning the particular ideology of whiteness, rather than on calling into question the concept of race generally ... whiteness is now a particularly brittle and fragile form of social identity and that it can be fought" (12). Along with the recognition of the strategic necessity of recognizing the category of race and the social construction of "race," it should be noted that the category (or the myth) of whiteness is not required to accomplish the important goal of global social justice for Africa and the diaspora; the West can stand trial regardless of (mis)conceptions of race. Hence the paradox of "race" today: the post-racial requires the recognition of the history of racism and the call for reparations.



Janis, Michael. "Obama, Africa, and the Post-Racial." CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 11.2 (2009).

No president in U.S. history has been prepared like Obama to come to grips with the legacy of slavery, with postcoloniality, and with the inequities of Western-dominated globalization. In The Audacity of Hope, in fact, Obama supports affirmative action as a contemporary mode of understanding African American history. In Dreams from My Father he examines his African heritage, encounters Africa not just in terms of his personal return to Kenya and the memory of his father, but on its own terms, demonstrating an historical understanding of what has happened since revolutions from Kimathi and Mau Mau to the socialism of Nyerere and Nkrumah. He articulates a postmodern "double consciousness," African and US-American, that takes on an internationalist perspective, which its theorist, Du Bois, also embraced. Few analysts reinforce the connection--necessary for the purposes of political solidarity--between slavery and colonialism and the internal colonialism of the U.S., discussed by critics as diverse as Fred Hord, Robert Blauner, Cedric Robinson, and bell hooks. Fanon's psychoanalysis of the colonial situation does not completely apply to the present: Africans and African-descended peoples have liberated themselves from the paralyzing position in the Hegelian master-slave dialectic, altering the relevant dynamics of Alexandre Kojeve's analysis of the relationship's ontological reciprocity, which Fanon applies: "The Negro enslaved by his inferiority, the white man enslaved by his superiority alike behave in accordance with a neurotic orientation" (Black Skin 60). The diseases of inferiority and superiority have not been eradicated; the "racial narcissism" that pervaded the colonial condition remains as a syndrome, along with global inequities along racial lines, that calls for the interrogation of the "post" of postcolonial--and begs the question of the psychology and politics of reparations.



Janis, Michael. "Obama, Africa, and the Post-Racial." CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 11.2 (2009).

It is not yet certain that the election of Obama has sounded a prelude to reparations, but such assumptions will be made, whether in the name of resentment or in the name of hope. The groundwork for actual reparations has been theorized but not yet put in place on a grand scale. If the world were to learn of Obama's interest in such a program, the reactions would be diverse, without a doubt, and the debates torrid. Reactions to Obama in the African press reveal both a widespread fervent support for an African American U.S. president and a healthy skepticism concerning Obama's commitment to foreign policy dedicated to Africana internationalism, as well as to reparations (see, e.g., Namanya; Katito). In the U.S. and in Africa, Obama is frequently compared to Martin Luther King, Jr., and it is this linkage that begs the question of the relationship to King's commitment to nonviolent social change, to his philosophy of intercultural reciprocity, and to his critique of US-American capitalism and imperialism in his later years. The political contexts of relations between Africa and the West reflect the historical ethical impoverishment of the West, which contemporary Western leaders often counter with accusations of the contemporary ethical impoverishment of African leadership.



Dye, Keith. "The Black Manifesto for reparations in Detroit: challenge and response, 1969." Michigan Historical Review 35.2 (2009): 53+.

Hamlin's invitation provided Forman with the opportunity to organize and formulate reparations ideas that were already incubating in his mind as his political philosophy evolved. With the help of several supporters, whom Hamlin identified as SNCC members, Forman began the process of creating a fully developed reparations statement as well as a strategy for its implementation throughout America. The Black Manifesto they created had two parts. Part one, a preamble or introduction, described African Americans as a "colonized people," who were part of a broader international collective of oppressed peoples. The statement insisted that this subjugation could only be ameliorated by a worldwide revolution that would destroy capitalism. African Americans would lead the way to a socialist America, a step that the writers deemed necessary to eradicate racism and other forms of exploitation, by implementing the tenets of Black Nationalism, Pan- Africanism, and Marxism.



Goldstein, Dana. "Reparations anxiety." The American Prospect 19.1 (2008): 11.

Today the issue has become a sort of litmus test for black politicians, a way of determining if they are too radical for the white electorate. Last July during the CNN/YouTube Democratic debate, Barack Obama was asked if African Americans would ever receive slavery reparations. Clearly prepared to answer this exact question, Obama responded, "I think the reparations we need right here in South Carolina is investment, for example, in our schools." The crowd applauded. Given that Obama needed to appeal to the nearly two-thirds of African Americans who support reparations, as well as the 96 percent of white Americans who oppose them, it was a skillful pivot.



EX-SLAVES WERE DENIED PROPER FINANCIAL RESTITUTION



Turner, James. "Callie House: the pursuit of reparations as a means for social justice." The Journal of African American History 91.3 (2006): 305+.

After the Civil War, these formerly enslaved African Americans were poor and landless; Callie House described them as "bare-footed and naked." Though unschooled and given nothing with which to start a new life, these people constructed reparations as a principle of social justice.

Moreover, black workers were not passive about the injustices, and they demanded land, instruments to cultivate it, and compensation for their stolen labor. The injustices were aggravated further by the blatant racism of the military officials in the postbellum federal government. For the most part, white Civil War veterans were given financial grants and monthly pensions for military service. Black soldiers were denied equal treatment; in fact, their petitions for pensions were often rejected. Harriett Tubman, who willingly risked her life on numerous occasions in service of the Union Army, was likewise refused a pension by the federal government.

Turner, James. "Callie House: the pursuit of reparations as a means for social justice." The Journal of African American History 91.3 (2006): 305+.

Black men and women, most of them free persons numbering in the hundreds of thousands, volunteered to support the Union war effort and provided the critical balance of force necessary to defeat the Confederate Army. These gallant fighters in the aftermath of the war were betrayed by the very government they were willing to sacrifice their lives to preserve. Black soldiers fought to abolish slavery and were rewarded with racist government policies that enforced a rigid system of legal segregation, or American apartheid. This is what historian Rayford Logan referred to as the "The Nadir" in the African American experience during this post- Reconstruction period.



THE REPARATION MOVEMENT HAS STRONG SOCIAL JUSTICE LEANINGS



Turner, James. "Callie House: the pursuit of reparations as a means for social justice." The Journal of African American History 91.3 (2006): 305+.

The initial base of support was in the black churches; however, as the Association developed into a dynamic social movement, the group rented meeting spaces, and some local chapters purchased their own facilities. Members paid an initial twenty-five cents membership fee and ten cents monthly dues. The membership came from the poorest sector of the black community at that time, which is often ignored in published accounts of African American history. In her analysis of the membership, Berry found that large numbers were unlettered; nonetheless, they sustained the largest black mass movement for over twenty years. The U.S. government intelligence officers estimated membership at 300,000 at the turn of the 20th century. That is simply extraordinary, but there are sources that suggest the actual figures were higher by tens of thousands. Berry's account is provocative in its challenge to traditional African American historiography, and raises questions about the nature of African American political culture. Was the political ferment of the last third of the 19th century a residual of modes of resistance and identity that were fashioned during the era of enslavement? Was the sense of common cause and mutual interest and support that propelled this social movement an expression of a "national" black consciousness? What role did "class solidarity" play in the development of this consciousness?



Turner, James. "Callie House: the pursuit of reparations as a means for social justice." The Journal of African American History 91.3 (2006): 305+.

What is absolutely remarkable about Callie House's leadership is that she organized a popular social movement through the National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty and Pension Association during a period that was characterized by the worst racial violence since the end of slavery.

Lynching, beatings, burning, and mob violence against African Americans and their property and possessions were almost daily occurrences. In the face of brutal racist attacks, African Americans organized a major protest/claims movement directed at the federal government, demanding monetary compensation for their stolen and abused labor. The U.S. government collectively was accused of facilitating the theft of black people's labor. Reparations became the principle for the restoration of justice and represented a strong "race" position; it was a claim of justice for all black people equally. Justice is not divisible; it is comprehensive for all at the same time, and equally administered. Moreover, justice is time-less; there is no statute of limitation on the administration of justice. This was a political position that would not concede the significance of the crimes of history in structuring "unfreedom" and the perpetuation of the inequalities in society from which African Americans suffered most. It was a defiant and demanding movement. Berry quoted one middle-aged black male who declared, "If America

doesn't pay us a dime, she will still owe us." Where is there similar sentiment among African Americans currently?


THE REPARATION MOVEMENT HAS STRONG SOCIAL JUSTICE LEANINGS




Turner, James. "Callie House: the pursuit of reparations as a means for social justice." The Journal of African American History 91.3 (2006): 305+.

The increasing success of the National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty and Pension Association, and its expanding influence and support for reparations, attracted the worrisome attention of the federal government. The Association leaders were harassed and threatened with arrest as a means of intimidation in a concerted effort to destabilize the organization. The prime target was usually Callie House. The U.S. Postmaster General restricted the Association from the use of the postal services to communicate with its membership, or to solicit and receive applications for new members. For almost twenty years the federal government waged a vicious, unconstitutional campaign to destroy the group. As the government pressure mounted, the support strengthened as new members were recruited.



DECENDANTS OF SLAVES SEE A NEED FOR REPARATION



Dye, Keith. "The Black Manifesto for reparations in Detroit: challenge and response, 1969." Michigan Historical Review 35.2 (2009): 53+.

From April 25 to April 27, 1969, the National Black Economic Development Conference (NBEDC) met in Detroit, Michigan, working to develop an agenda for African American economic self-determination. The meeting was organized by the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO), a coalition of Christian and Jewish institutions that funded social-justice projects in impoverished communities. Urged by its executive director, the Reverend Lucius Walker, Jr., the IFCO-sponsored event also sought to construct community- based economic-development projects as alternatives to the "Black Capitalism" promoted by Richard Nixon, the newly elected president of the United States. The conference would never realize its potential, however; on the second day the proceedings were unexpectedly commandeered by James Forman, a leader of the Student National Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and a minority contingent of the six hundred to eight hundred mostly African American attendees. (1) The Forman-led group then issued a "Black Manifesto" demanding $500 million (later raised to $3 billion) in reparations it said white Christian churches and Jewish synagogues owed to African Americans. (Forman's group then adopted the conference's name as its own organization's title [NBEDC, later dropping the NJ.) The Black Manifesto came some three years after activists Willie Ricks and Stokely Carmichael issued their famous call for "Black Power" in 1966--a slogan that signaled new directions within the African American freedom movement. (2)




DECENDANTS OF SLAVES SEE A NEED FOR REPARATION



Dye, Keith. "The Black Manifesto for reparations in Detroit: challenge and response, 1969." Michigan Historical Review 35.2 (2009): 53+.

Forman's daring alteration of the conference proceedings was consistent with his record of activism in the black freedom movement. His harsh exposure to racism as a boy growing up in Chicago (he was born there in 1928), on family visits to the South, and especially during time spent in Fayette, Mississippi, had developed in him an acute sensitivity to the plight of African Americans, which also included an antipathy toward Christianity. By the fall of 1957, while he was a student at Boston University, Forman was pondering how to create liberation tactics in response to white violence against black students integrating Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. In his autobiography Forman wrote: "I became convinced that we needed a mass movement of blacks, a popular movement that would awaken our people, show them that 'niggers' can get together and create a desire to go to the next step." (3) Forman's next step led him to an intensive study of Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of independent Ghana; Mahatma Gandhi; and psychiatrist and revolutionary writer Frantz Fanon among other political leaders and theorists. Later on, Forman became a key organizer for SNCC, often working in rural communities and small cities in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. Following a trip to Africa in September 1964, Forman successfully argued that SNCC should link the African American struggle with African freedom movements, convincing the organization to establish an International Affairs Commission, which Forman headed until 1969. As the civil rights movement was eclipsed by Black Power advocates, Forman abandoned nonviolence as a viable tactic for social change and argued that a revolutionary upsurge in America and the world was a precondition for African American liberation. After a brief cooling-off period that followed a contentious and short-lived alliance between SNCC and the Black Panther Party, Forman reemerged onto the political scene, meeting with Detroit activists and others about plans for a Black Manifesto. (4)



Dye, Keith. "The Black Manifesto for reparations in Detroit: challenge and response, 1969." Michigan Historical Review 35.2 (2009): 53+.

Events in Detroit had already prepared the city's residents for the Black Manifesto prior to the black economic conference in April 1969. The 1967 Detroit uprising helped foster a climate supportive of rebellion among African American residents, as many were drawn to the promises of revolutionary change by charismatic leaders such as Bobby Seale and Huey Newton of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and the Black Nationalist preacher, the Reverend Albert B. Cleage, Jr., of the Central Congregational Church (later renamed the Shrine of the Black Madonna) as well as the militants in the League of Revolutionary Black Workers. The manifesto seized the attention of a city whose consciousness was already aroused by Black Power advocates' agitation against discriminatory practices and deteriorating conditions in the African American community. By the beginning of 1969, 70 percent of African Americans lived in the poorest sections of Detroit; 60 percent were renters with low-paying jobs and limited opportunities for advancement.




DECENDANTS OF SLAVES SEE A NEED FOR REPARATION




Dye, Keith. "The Black Manifesto for reparations in Detroit: challenge and response, 1969." Michigan Historical Review 35.2 (2009): 53+.

Given these circumstances, it is not surprising that a reparations movement gained traction in Detroit, where "Black Power" already inspired much activism. The Black Panther Party for Self- Defense and the RNA, both of which had strong followings in Detroit, had already voiced similar demands for compensation. Along with Cleage, members of the Nation of Islam helped expand the religious perspectives of many of the city's African American residents. African American activist and factory worker James Boggs, and his equally involved Chinese wife Grace Lee Boggs, were considered two of Detroit's leading intellectuals, and their writings helped stir the pot, raising residents' consciousness of Black Power. Then in late 1968 Mike Hamlin, a Detroit cofounder of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, a radical African American workers group that united several similar, but smaller, auto-plant organizations, contacted Forman and convinced him to come to Detroit to observe league activities and share his ideas on the black freedom struggle.




Dye, Keith. "The Black Manifesto for reparations in Detroit: challenge and response, 1969." Michigan Historical Review 35.2 (2009): 53+.

A call for reparations comprised the second portion of the Black Manifesto and was conceived as the first step in the process of transforming America. The demands included establishing a southern land bank, creating major media institutions, building an infrastructure to aid in developing research skills, as well as establishing job-training centers, providing assistance to welfare recipients, endowing a labor strike fund, setting up cooperative businesses in Africa to be funded by an International Black Appeal, launching a new black university, and providing funds for the NBEDC. Also included was a twelve-point plan for social and political action by African American and white supporters to force implementation of the manifesto. This involved mass public education, disruption of selected church-sponsored agencies throughout America and the world, sit-ins at church services and seizure of facilities, tolerance of these actions by Christians and Jews, a "Black Anti-Defamation League" to counter negative press about Africa, the participation of skilled African Americans to implement the manifesto, and the establishment of an uncompromising leadership cadre.




DECENDANTS OF SLAVES SEE A NEED FOR REPARATION




Dye, Keith. "The Black Manifesto for reparations in Detroit: challenge and response, 1969." Michigan Historical Review 35.2 (2009): 53+.

After the children in the congregation were taken to special classes, Watson read the complete manifesto. Among other points he noted the "old pattern" of churches donating money to conservative African American groups partly in order to prevent militant black youths from pursuing "complete liberation." The black economic conference would demand an end to this pattern, which, Watson continued, had benefited white churches more than African Americans. After declaring that $60 million in reparations was "owed" by the national Episcopalian Church, Watson added that the BEDC had determined Christ Church Cranbrook's part of this debt to be

$100,000 of which $10,000 was due immediately, "as a payment of good faith." The church reportedly had a $400,000 annual budget. Watson exhorted the congregation to accept what he called its "obligation" to "a civilized twentieth-century." Religion, he said, could not serve as a "cloak" for the continued oppression of African Americans: "You have no choice. You must accept the legitimate demands of the Black people for reparations in this country and you must act to see that those demands are met immediately."

CHURCHES HOLD RESPONSIBILITY FOR REPARATION



Dye, Keith. "The Black Manifesto for reparations in Detroit: challenge and response, 1969." Michigan Historical Review 35.2 (2009): 53+.

As manifesto activism increased in June, so did Cleage's defense of reparations. Throughout his commentary Cleage maintained that the manifesto was correct in every aspect and that the rationale for the debt owed to African Americans by churches and synagogues was indisputable: They "cannot deny their guilt," since "they have profited from the very system which destroys Black people." In his second column during this period, Cleage chastised these institutions for "feeble" gestures of brotherhood that failed to display the will and provide the necessary resources to initiate change in African Americans' circumstances. Opposition to the manifesto stemmed from white inattentiveness to the polite demands of "house niggers" (accommodating African Americans), which triggered a response from "field niggers" (rebellious African Americans) who threatened the total destruction of the United States.



Dye, Keith. "The Black Manifesto for reparations in Detroit: challenge and response, 1969." Michigan Historical Review 35.2 (2009): 53+.

Cleage's June 28 column returned to an examination of white religious leaders' opposition to the manifesto. Here Cleage reprinted an article titled "Reparation Now!" by the Chicago-based religious writer Stephen C. Rose. The proper church response, according to Rose, would present a "painful prelude" to "something new in America." In view of the nation's failure to compensate African Americans for centuries of oppression and white society's failure "to repair the damage it [was] doing to blacks in the cities" it was now "the missionary task of the church ... to do what the society leaves undone," not to "substitute for the government, but rather to point the way ahead for the world." The beginning of this restructuring would require total support for the Black Manifesto. Churches would have to set the example for America and "there can be no alternative but [a] positive response."



REPARATION IS NEEDED TO IMPROVE EDUCATION



Franklin, V.P. "Commentary: reparations for educational malfeasance." The Journal of African American History 94.2 (2009): 149+.

There is a long and unfortunate history of educational researchers proclaiming that they do not know how to teach disadvantaged children to read or achieve academically; or declaring that only highly specialized and costly programs have been able to produce academic achievement in "disadvantaged children," i.e., poor children of color. This "research assessment" has been used in the past to justify the diversion of school funding away from African American and other "disadvantaged students," and into public and other schools designated for white students. This assessment was carried out by white officials in state departments of education and school districts who sometimes believed it would be "a waste of good tax payer money" (even African American taxpayers?) to spend equal amounts of funding on the public schooling of white and "colored" children. We will be documenting these practices in the pages of The Journal of African American History (see Call for Papers published in this issue). Educational researchers and school district officials participated in these practices, governmental and philanthropic agencies financed them, and class-action lawsuits will be filed demanding reparations for African American children. Educational malfeasance is claimed not merely on the basis of the seven decades of misappropriation of federal and philanthropic funds by state departments of education and school districts, but also on the basis of the educational research establishment's failure to protect African American and other children of color from those individuals and companies that receive huge sums of money to demonstrate that skin color is destiny, and children of color do not deserve to have the same educational resources as whites.



REPARATION IS NEEDED TO IMPROVE EDUCATION



Franklin, V.P. "Commentary: reparations for educational malfeasance." The Journal of African American History 94.2 (2009): 149+.

Educational researchers and their sponsors consistently engaged in cultural practices to rationalize and implement educational programs not merely to ensure the racial status quo, but to place children of European descent in an advantaged position over children of African, Mexican, and Native American backgrounds. Beginning with the introduction of the "Binet-Simon Intelligence Test" by psychologist Henry Goddard in 1910, educational researchers used various "mental tests" to justify the opening of separate public schools for African American and other children of color, and the introduction of an "industrial education" curriculum in those segregated schools. While few would quarrel with the use of tests to measure and evaluate student achievement in content or subject areas, it is the widespread use of the tests to segregate and disadvantage black and brown children that calls into question the entire raison d'etre for the testing regimen and industry. But the use of these mental tests is a cultural practice and the testers at various levels have preconceived notions about the outcomes. As documented in my own research and that of others (see The Journal of Negro Education, 76, Summer 2007, 216- 229), test results have been used historically to label and disadvantage African American and other children of color in the public schools. Some states and school districts historically have worse records than others of using "intelligence" and psychological test results to disadvantage African American children, and lawsuits to seek reparations will be filed.



Franklin, V.P. "Commentary: reparations for educational malfeasance." The Journal of African American History 94.2 (2009): 149+.

While a case may have to be made in calling for reparations for the existence of a public-school- to-prison pipeline, there is little debate, even among many educators in the field itself, that there has existed historically and to this day a "special-education-to-prison pipeline" for African American boys and other children of color. The disproportionate representation of African American children, especially young black boys, in special education classes in urban school districts throughout the country is a well-known statistic publicized recently in the Harvard Civil Rights Project's Racial Inequity in Special Education (2002), edited by Daniel Losen and Gary Orfield. In some states African American boys are four to six times as likely to be placed in special education classes than their white counterparts.



REPARATION IS NEEDED TO IMPROVE EDUCATION



Goldstein, Dana. "Reparations anxiety." The American Prospect 19.1 (2008): 11.

Nevertheless, the failure of America's urban public schools certainly should be understood as a legacy of discrimination. Three-quarters of children in the Providence schools live in poverty. Rhode Island ranks among the top three states dependent on municipal property taxes to fund education, a regressive system that disadvantages city schools. The Brown endowment is expected to eventually yield an annual payout of $500,000. But the uncomfortable truth is that while increased funding for urban districts is crucial, it isn't enough. To truly repair the educational legacy of slavery, we must integrate our public school system.



Goldstein, Dana. "Reparations anxiety." The American Prospect 19.1 (2008): 11.

Hartford has the potential to become a national model. No Child Left Behind allows students from failing schools to transfer within their district, but with so many families living in cities where almost every school is low-performing, it's no surprise that few take advantage of the option. NCLB does nothing to equalize state funding between urban and suburban schools, or to encourage districting that brings children together across lines of race and class. Congress was supposed to reform the troubled NCLB last year, but amid controversy over teacher merit pay and high-stakes testing, Democrats hushed the final debate into 2008. The extra time gives Congress and the presidential candidates an opportunity to grapple with an important, yet mostly unspoken truth: Segregated schools weren't good enough during Jim Crow, and segregated schools aren't good enough today. That's a simple message sorely missing from our national education debate. Until we learn it, reparations through education reform will be nothing but a talking point.



AMERICA IS NOT POST-RACIAL



Brooks, Roy L. "Making the case for atonement in 'post-racial America'." Journal of Gender, Race and Justice Summer 2011: 665+.

I wish to challenge this view of contemporary America and, in so doing, make the case for the necessity of the U.S. government's atonement for slavery and Jim Crow. (4) In spite of President Obama's election, there is in my view a very good reason why the federal government should atone--by which I mean apologize and provide reparations (5)--for slavery and Jim Crow: living victims. Beyond the obvious fact that many African Americans (including myself) lived during portions of Jim Crow, the great majority of blacks today, including those who were born after the Jim Crow Era, are victims of both slavery and Jim Crow. Hence, even the victims of slavery are not all dead. (6)



Brooks, Roy L. "Making the case for atonement in 'post-racial America'." Journal of Gender, Race and Justice Summer 2011: 665+.

Blacks have succeeded individually not only in politics but in other areas of American life as well, including higher education, (10) law, (11) and big business. These racial achievements have not, however, been experienced across the board. Black society as a whole continues to experience racial privation. For example, African Americans as a group lag far behind whites in the area of infant mortality. "Nationwide for 2007, according to the latest federal data, infant mortality was 6 per 1,000 for whites and 13 for blacks." (13) Considerable racial disparity also exists in net family wealth, which is the net value of bank accounts, stocks, bonds, real estate, and other financial assets held by a family. (14) The median net worth of white families is ten times greater than that of black families.



Brooks, Roy L. "Making the case for atonement in 'post-racial America'." Journal of Gender, Race and Justice Summer 2011: 665+.

Most significantly, the disadvantages are not ad hoc or simply statistical snapshots. They are systemic and continuous since the end of Jim Crow. African Americans as a group have experienced capital deficiencies--financial, (16) human, (17) and social (18)--not for one, five, ten, fifteen, twenty-five, or even thirty years, but for some forty-years continuously--the entire post-Civil Rights period. (19) Racial disparities created during slavery and perpetuated during Jim Crow did not, in other words, end with the death of Jim Crow in the early 1970s. There was no falloff of capital deficiencies in African American society at the end of the Civil Rights Movement and the beginning of the post-Civil Rights period. Society never repaired the damage of slavery and Jim Crow. It is the continuing racial harm that largely defines the problem of race in our society today.




AMERICA IS NOT POST-RACIAL



Brooks, Roy L. "Making the case for atonement in 'post-racial America'." Journal of Gender, Race and Justice Summer 2011: 665+.

The election of the nation's first black president and the singular achievements of other black individuals do not mean that our country has moved beyond race and suddenly become post- racial. (60) To the contrary, the great majority of African Americans are beset by a dearth of financial-, human-, and social-capital deficiencies inherited from slavery and the Jim Crow Era.

(61) These deficiencies are the present-day embodiment of slavery and Jim Crow. African Americans today (some of whom have lived through part of the Jim Crow Era) are, therefore, living victims of these past atrocities. (62) Although the existence of living victims is not a requirement for the federal government's atonement (63)--defined as an apology plus reparations (64)--this condition certainly enhances the case for atonement. The only question remaining, in my view, is the form of reparations. What reparations are due to the living victims of slavery and Jim Crow to concretize the apology? My answer is that reparations should be rehabilitative (asset-building) rather than compensatory (a personal check). A black GI Bill fits this bill.


REPARATION IS NEEDED TO FIX SYSTEMATIC INJUSTICE



Brooks, Roy L. "Making the case for atonement in 'post-racial America'." Journal of Gender, Race and Justice Summer 2011: 665+.

Another important factor that affects black poverty much more than it affects Hispanic poverty is the disproportionately high incarceration rate for black males. For example, the combined prison and jail incarceration rate for blacks between the ages of twenty-five and twenty-nine nationwide is 12%, compared to 3.9% for Hispanics and 1.6% for whites. (29) This contributing factor to black poverty is rooted in Jim Crow. The large-scale incarceration of black men began immediately after the Civil War with the enactment of Black Codes in the South. These laws "sought to reduce blacks to a condition resembling that of slavery." (30) As a consequence, black men, who were "idle" for long stretches of time because they could not find jobs due to racial discrimination, were often "arrested under local vagrancy and peonage laws, and then hired out by the sheriff."



Brooks, Roy L. "Making the case for atonement in 'post-racial America'." Journal of Gender, Race and Justice Summer 2011: 665+.

Poverty was but one of the racial disparities created during slavery and perpetuated during Jim Crow that continues to frame the lives of most African Americans. (32) While other racial groups, such as Hispanics, experience similar levels of poverty, the connection between such poverty and slavery or Jim Crow is less robust than that between black poverty and these prior systems of racial subordination. African Americans were the main targets of slavery and Jim Crow. Much of Hispanic poverty is caused or sustained by post-Jim Crow conditions, such as immigration. (33) African Americans, in short, have a unique connection to slavery and Jim Crow, the present embodiment of which is very much evident. This establishes a moral predicate for the government's atonement for slavery and Jim Crow.




THERE ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF REPARATION



Brooks, Roy L. "Making the case for atonement in 'post-racial America'." Journal of Gender, Race and Justice Summer 2011: 665+.

But what reparations are due to the victims to concretize the apology? (41) Narrowly tailored to redress specific past atrocities, reparations can come in many forms. They need not be directed toward the victims personally nor involve cash payments. Indeed, when one looks at the ways in which governments have responded to atrocities committed under their authority, a pattern begins to emerge. (42) A basic distinction exists between what can be called compensatory and rehabilitative reparations. The government directs compensatory reparations toward the individual victim or the victim's family. They are intended to be compensatory, but only in a symbolic sense; for nothing can undo the past or truly return the victim to the status quo ante. In contrast, the government directs rehabilitative reparations toward the victim's group or community. They are designed to benefit the victim's group, to nurture the group's self- empowerment, and, thus, to aid in the nation's social and cultural transformation. (43)



Brooks, Roy L. "Making the case for atonement in 'post-racial America'." Journal of Gender, Race and Justice Summer 2011: 665+.

Whether compensatory or rehabilitative, reparations can come in monetary or nonmonetary forms. Unrestricted cash payments (such as personal checks) or restricted cash payments (such as scholarship funds) given directly to the victims or their immediate families are monetary compensatory reparations. (44) In contrast, unrestricted or restricted cash payments (such as scholarship funds or an atonement trust fund) that provide money for educational purposes or venture capital to eligible members of the victim's group are examples of monetary rehabilitative reparations. (45) Although nonmonetary reparations can be compensatory, such as a statue commemorating a family member, they are more likely to be rehabilitative. Affirmative action for the victim's group and a museum memorializing slaves and educating the public about slavery's contribution to our nation are all examples of nonmonetary rehabilitative reparations.



THERE ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF REPARATION



Brooks, Roy L. "Making the case for atonement in 'post-racial America'." Journal of Gender, Race and Justice Summer 2011: 665+.

The reparation I propose, then, would simply give African Americans what was denied to them but given to whites. Beneficiaries of the black GI Bill, (58) like white veterans who benefitted from the GI Bill, could use the bill to build financial, human, and social capital in black communities, leaving a collective estate from which black children and grandchildren could benefit in the future. Like the GI Bill, the black GI Bill would also benefit the nation as a whole. It would bring prosperity to many depressed communities and help ensure that the United States remains a leader on the world stage. More than that, a GI Bill for blacks would elevate the United States' moral profile in a world that often questions our government's morality.

Atonement, in other words, is as much for the perpetrator as it is for the victims of an atrocity, as it enables the perpetrator to reclaim its moral character in an atrocity's aftermath. A black GI Bill would concretize the government's apology for slavery and Jim Crow, not only giving the apology real meaning, but also making it believable. Simply saying "I'm sorry" is not enough-- not even in "post-racial America."

Daniels, Ron. "Seizing the moment to galvanize the U.S. and global reparations movement." Journal of Pan African Studies 8.2 (2015): 338+

First, as I have written recently, the courageous decision by the heads of state of nations in the Caribbean to demand reparations from the former European colonialists for Native Genocide and African enslavement and the formation of a CARICOM Reparations Commission has captured the imagination of reparations activists in the U.S. and the Pan African world. It is one thing for scholars and activists to advocate for reparations, it is quite another for the leaders of nations who are still in the neo-colonial clutches of the former colonial powers to make such a bold demand. By doing so, they risk economic and political retaliation. No doubt the dismal conditions of the masses of their people and the pressure from civil society organizations influenced their decision, but there is no belittling the fact that the demand for reparations was/is a gutsy decision!



THERE ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF REPARATION



Daniels, Ron. "Seizing the moment to galvanize the U.S. and global reparations movement." Journal of Pan African Studies 8.2 (2015): 338+

Second, the brilliant essay "The Case for Reparations" by Ta-nehisi Coates published in the Atlantic Magazine, has electrified a new generation of Black people who were largely unfamiliar with reparations or unconvinced of its validity and value as a goal. While a dedicated core of true believers have kept the issue of reparations alive, for the movement to grow it must be embraced by a new generation of potential advocates who, like Brother Coates, can be converted to the cause. Moreover, we need a moment when the movement can be broadened to form a critical mass, a formidable force to advance the demand for reparations. That moment may be at hand.

Indeed, Queen Mother Moore would be excited to learn that a National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC) has been established in her memory! [visit the website www.ibw21.org for list of members]. Inspired by the CARICOM Reparations Commission and designed to function as a parallel body, NAARC's primary mission is to develop a preliminary Reparations Program/Agenda as part of an education and advocacy process to expand the Reparations Movement in the U.S. Ultimately, NAARC will develop a final Reparations Program/Agenda as an outgrowth of input from a series of regional community-based hearings and town hall meetings across the country.

Daniels, Ron. "Seizing the moment to galvanize the U.S. and global reparations movement." Journal of Pan African Studies 8.2 (2015): 338+

There is also a need to discuss the collective versus individual payment of reparations. This often comes up as a question when arguing the case for reparations. While one could make an argument for both, I am hopeful that a consensus will emerge in favor of collective developmental assistance. The chronic wealth gap and state of emergency in America's dark ghettos are a direct consequence of generations of exploitation and oppression which should be addressed in terms of compensation that will be used to end the underdevelopment of the National Black Community. Individuals in the Black community would benefit from increased opportunities resulting from developmental assistance for the group/collective.



THERE ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF REPARATION



Daniels, Ron. "Seizing the moment to galvanize the U.S. and global reparations movement." Journal of Pan African Studies 8.2 (2015): 338+

Consistent with the concept of collective developmental assistance, it would also be useful to develop a consensus for a Reparations Trust Fund or similar structure to administer the various types of compensation that might be received from the federal government, state and local governments, corporations/businesses and institutions like universities, implicated in enslavement or other damaging policies and practices inflicted in other eras. Such a Trust Fund would be governed by a Board comprised of a cross-section of credible Black leaders and organizations that would receive various forms of compensation and allocate resources in accordance with a strategic development plan. As an aside, I have a particular interest in demanding that federal lands be transferred to a Trust fund with the same kind of sovereignty and rights eventually granted Native Americans for the criminal dispossession of their lands.




INSTITUTIONS NEED TO EMBRACE REPARATION



Werf, Van Der Martin. "Brown U. Documents Ties to Slavery, but Does Not Apologize." The Chronicle of Higher Education 53.10 (2006).

Brown University issued an exhaustive documentation last week of its founders' role in the slave trade, and recommended setting up a memorial on its campus in Providence, R.I., and establishing a center for the continuing study of slavery and justice. Coming after three years of meetings, however, the report -- by a 16-member Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice -- may be more notable for what it doesn't do: It falls short of offering an institutional apology, and while it discusses the issue of reparations at length, it makes no recommendation on whether to offer such payments to the descendants of slaves. While many people had written to the committee suggesting that Brown set up additional scholarships for African-American students, the committee said it could not recommend doing so because the university is "need blind" in admission decisions. Brown commits to providing whatever financial aid the students it accepts might require, the report explains, but does not offer assistance on any basis other than need.



Werf, Van Der Martin. "Brown U. Documents Ties to Slavery, but Does Not Apologize." The Chronicle of Higher Education 53.10 (2006).

The university is named for Nicholas Brown Jr., a scion of a prominent mercantile family instrumental in the early industrial development of Providence. The Browns were slave owners, the report says, although it adds, "by the standards of Rhode Island's mercantile elite, the Browns were not major slave traders." However, several members of the university's governing board at the time had greater slave holdings, and their donations led to the building of the institution. The report delves at length into the history and politics of public apologies and the paying of reparations, but offers no conclusions about either. "Every recommendation in the report forms a sort of reparation," said the committee's chairman, James T. Campbell, an associate professor of American civilization, Africana studies, and history. The report says that Ms. Simmons stressed to the committee that it was not to determine "whether or how Brown might pay monetary reparations." "The most important contribution of this report is broadening the discussion of these issues." He said there were some members of the committee who favored issuing an apology, as some other institutions have done. But no consensus was reached. The committee agreed, at a minimum, the report says, "to acknowledge formally and publicly the participation of many of Brown's founders and benefactors in the institution of slavery and the trans-Atlantic slave trade, as well as the benefits the university derived from them."




Werf, Van Der Martin. "Brown U. Documents Ties to Slavery, but Does Not Apologize." The Chronicle of Higher Education 53.10 (2006).

The report also recommends that the university make a discussion of its ties to slavery a part of its future freshman-orientation programs, issue a revised version of the institution's history, offer its assistance to other universities making similar inquiries into their historical ties to the slave industry, and establish an annual day of remembrance. Mr. Horowitz, who perhaps sparked the debate, was relieved to hear that Brown would not commit to reparations. "It tears the community apart over something that happened very long ago," he said. He described Ms.

Simmons as a "very cagey" and "very intelligent" person who may not have wanted to offend potential donors by including a commitment to paying reparations. Ms. Simmons sent an e-mail message to all students and employees, urging them to continue to discuss the issues raised. "When it is appropriate to do so," she wrote, "I will issue a university response to the recommendations and suggest what we might do with regard to the findings."


CON SPEECH

My partner and I reject the proposition that: The United States Federal Government ought to pay reparations to African Americans


We will contend that in this particular case, standards for reparation are too difficult to establish. While we do not reject the idea that the African American population has suffered injustice and is the victim of systematic abuses, it would be ill advised to try to fix these issues under the guise of “reparations.”

POINT 1: IT IS HARD TO ESTABLISH GUIDELINES FOR REPARATION




Howard-Hassmann, Rhoda E. "Getting to reparations: Japanese Americans and African Americans *." Social Forces 83.2 (2004): 823+.
A nascent social movement for reparations to African Americans began in the U.S. during the last two decades of the twentieth century. (1) The moral case for such reparations seems unassailable. The horrors of slavery, the appalling segregation and violence of the Jim Crow era, and the continued discrimination since the 1964 Civil Rights Act are well known. One might ask why, if the facts are known, cannot African Americans receive reparations? After all, Japanese Americans received reparations for their internment during the Second World War, a much shorter period of oppression with effects that, however tragic and immoral, affected far fewer people and to a much less harmful degree. It is, however, much easier to obtain reparations when facts are about recent events, and apply to a finite number of living, identifiable individuals, with names, photographs, and individual stories, than to obtain reparations when the facts are about a seemingly infinite number of unknown people, many generations of whom are long dead.
The fact is that there are no more living ex-slaves today. While the argument can be made to that their dcendants suffer from those abuses, is that any less true for anyone else? How do we establish the extent of suffering caused? How do we attempt to compare it to other cases for different peoples? Let’s refer to our second point.

POINT 2: THE CAUSAL CHAIN OF EVENTS IS TOO COMPLEX TO FOLLOW



Howard-Hassmann, Rhoda E. "Getting to reparations: Japanese Americans and African Americans *." Social Forces 83.2 (2004): 823+.
The African American claim faces two major difficulties. First, it is difficult to frame the call for reparations in a convincing manner because many of the victims are long since dead, there are too many of them, and they cannot easily be identified. Second, the causal chain between past harms and present victims is too long and too complex, with too many actors and events implicated. By contrast, the Japanese American claim for reparations was easily framed. Both

victims and perpetrators were easily identifiable, and the event took place over a short, finite period. The harm was clear, and the causal chain was short and lacking in complexity.


Again, while injustice has been perpetrated, there is simply no way to identify the extent that it affects everyone in a social grouping. Too many actors and event have influenced the system we currently reside in and to try to reduce the importance of that reduces the importance of those affected.

POINT 3: NEED IS EVIDENT BUT METHODS ARE FLAWED




Dye, Keith. "The Black Manifesto for reparations in Detroit: challenge and response, 1969." Michigan Historical Review 35.2 (2009): 53+.
A Detroit News editorial called the BEDC's incursion at Christ Church Cranbrook, the reading of the manifesto, and the document's monetary claims a "curious demand." It denounced reparations to African Americans as without historical merit because slavery had also existed in other lands. The editorial asserted that this negated bondage as solely a black experience. Moreover, the editorial challenged the Black Manifesto on other points. It said the proposal did not include feasibility studies to determine the amount of capital needed to finance successful ventures, "or is the figure part of a numbers game with rules stacked to favor militant blacks over cowed and guilt-ridden whites?" The editorial asked whether the language of revolution would enable African Americans to compete in society on their own terms or whether it was mere extortion. It went on to argue that although African American economic development was surely needed, the BEDC's hostile tactics were unlikely to produce any positive response.
Dye, Keith. "The Black Manifesto for reparations in Detroit: challenge and response, 1969." Michigan Historical Review 35.2 (2009): 53+.
Since we have established a need, have the efforts been enough? From our last point it appears that they have not. Due to the nebulous nature of establishing guidelines for reparations in the first place, methods and efforts to fix systematic abuses have been flawed. We contend that it might be more beneficial to approach issues such as poverty and education from a standpoint of societal unity rather than repayment. Of course that is not the topic per-se but the link is clear.


Dye, Keith. "The Black Manifesto for reparations in Detroit: challenge and response, 1969." Michigan Historical Review 35.2 (2009): 53+.
We have established the impracticality of reparations to the African American community from the federal government of the US. We contend that because of complexity of defining and establishing guidelines for these reparations, the resolution should be rejected in favor of more beneficial efforts. For all these reasons we can see no other than a vote for the Con in today’s debate. Thank you.




Debate Doctors 2015



Reparing Past Wrongs




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