Final Paper - Rahotep 1 Damani Rahotep Professor Lehman...

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Rahotep 1 Damani Rahotep Professor Lehman English Composition 3 2 September 2016 Reparations In each of their essays Ta-Nehisi Coates, Adolph Reed, and Shelby Steele discuss the topic of reparations. Coates argues that the black community has endured countless hardships throughout American history, and that they deserve compensation, not only for mistreatment and enslavement, but also for missed opportunities resulting from hundreds of years of discrimination. Reed’s argument is not concentrated around whether or not reparations are deserved but instead the logistics of reparations, and how the logistics of reparations are overly ignored and that no one discusses who will receive reparations and how they will receive them. He argues that how reparations will be distributed is just as important an argument as whether or not they will be distributed. Steele’s argument in his essay is about whether or not seeking for things such as reparations is the best solutions for blacks to improve their place in society. He argues that causes such as the case for reparations puts blacks and whites at the opposite end of a power struggle that likely may not lean in the favor of the black community. He argues that bargaining with whites and accepting their idea of innocence whether correct or not may be the most productive route for black Americans. Coates, Reed, and Steele together provide a very diverse view of the argument for reparations, and while they agree on the idea that the black community deserves reparations for what has happened to them, they disagree on whether or not
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Rahotep 2 reparations are a true possibility that should be pursued. I agree with Reed and Steele in their assertion that they are not. In his essay “The Case for Reparations” Coates gives historical perspective for the argument supporting the debate of African-Americans right to reparations. In the essay he uses the story of Clyde Ross in order to give a personal example to show the additional hardships that blacks had to endure in post-slavery America. The story of Ross starts with the seizure of the Ross family’s properties by the state of Mississippi and how they were reduced to sharecropping. Coates explains that this is not an isolated incident, citing the 406 victims and 24,000 acres of land reported in the Associated Press’s investigation on black-owned land theft (Coates). The story then moves on to how Ross was prevented from better education despite his natural intelligence because he was barred from the resources allotted to white children. It is also told how at ten years old his horse was taken from him by a group of white men who stated. “You can’t have this horse. We want it,”. Ross worked hard to take care of his horse and it was taken from him for no reason other than the fact that some white men did not want him to have it. This event illustrates that no matter how hard a black person worked, all his efforts could be made naught by the whims of a white man. Ross child hood problems did not end their; it is also
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  • Fall '16
  • Alex Franklin
  • White people, White American

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