Reparations Paper

Reparations Paper - L angston 1 Eric S. Langston History...

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Langston1 Eric S. Langston History 2104 Dr. Jenkins Final Paper April 27, 2011 Debate on Reparations Racism and inequality in America can be traced backed to the mid-17 th century. Africans were brought to America under the pretenses of being inferior to the Europeans. It is safe to say that racism and inequality have been integrated into the African American experience, even until this day. In today’s society, racism still exists; it just is not as open and visible as it once was. Slavery was not a trade that Africans decided to take on, but it was an inhumane injustice that was done to African Americans. According to Dr. Raymond Winbush, “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. The enslaved African was treated with utter disrespect. No laws protected the African from any cruelty the white master could conceive” (Winbush, 7). With the understanding that African American slaves feel victim to moral and physical injustices, the idea of reparations came into play. Samuel C. Wheeler III states that, “The concept of reparations, where a guilty party makes up for an injustice by paying or otherwise benefiting a victim, has been adapted in recent political discussion to historical relations among ethnic groups” (Wheeler, 301). It is an absolute truth that African American slaves encountered traumatic events including, cruelty, segregation, discrimination, and even death. Being aware of the hardships African American slaves faced, it would only be right that they be compensated for the distress that they experienced at the hands of their masters. The premise of this paper is to support the fact that reparations were due to those victims held captive to the institution of slavery; yet, it is also suggested that both the victim and the victimizer no
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Langston2 longer exist. Therefore, reparations have no validity in terms of compensation in today’s society because there are no direct living victims who encountered the injustices and brutality of slavery. If reparations were distributed after the termination of slavery, then it would have been befitting for the occasion. Allocating reparations today would make no logical sense, seeing that no one in today’s society has ever experienced the hurt, torture, and humiliation that African American slaves encountered. Samuel C. Wheeler III, claims that “No individual person can be wronged by events which took place before their conception, no individual person are worse off as a result of past injustices which occurred before their inception” (Wheeler, 302), Wheeler proposes that there is no reason to offer reparations to existing people as a result of ancient wrongs. Reparations are paid to victims of unjust events; it would be difficult and insufficient to pay reparations to individuals who were not even born before those unjust events happened to African American slaves. Today, we as African Americans have been far removed from the
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Reparations Paper - L angston 1 Eric S. Langston History...

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