Table of Contents
At present, after numerous efforts to make sure that there is civil rights movement, the African Americans record the highest number of infant mortality rates, unemployment and high incarceration rates as compared to the white population (Buchheit 71). It is common knowledge that such problems experienced by the African Americans are as a result of slavery which was brought forth through discrimination and racism. Repairing America after slavery in the United States is not a new idea, there are a number of Reparations techniques which were brought forward but never made it through such as a failed bill in 1894 to compensate former slaves. In this regard, it is true to conclude that reparation is very complex and very controversial. In many cases, many authors provide different ways of reparation with the mind that one’s opinion is correct. This paper critically examines the issue of reparation after slavery in America.
Many African Americans feel that they are still being oppressed and judged according to their race in the modern American society. The thirteenth amendment which banned slavery in the United States was a stepping stone in making the African Americans being treated equally with the whites in the United States. One hundred years later in the 1960s, the civil rights movement began a battle for equal rights but was not enough. As per the book The New Jim Crow it is evident that repairing America after slavery has failed big time. As much as there is no usual slavery, the African Americans are experiencing a new kind of slavery called institutionalized racism. It is no secreted that a good number of African Americans are locked up in prisons. In the book, it is definitely clear that the war on drugs is being targeted on the blacks with the knowledge that hard and expensive drugs such as cocaine are largely used by the white Americans. Alexander (33) in his book New Jim Crow to convince the civil rights movement to look into the issue of mass incarcerations which only aims at the people of color especially the African Americans.
Douglas A. Blackmon in his book, Slavery by Another Name tries to discredit the notions that are pumped into school going children that slavery in the United States ended during the American civil war. It is clear that the practice of slavery still persists even today in the twenty-first century. The African Americans, who are being deemed free at the moment, are being subjected to economic slavery where they are forced to work at the workplaces owned by the white people with low pay (Blackmon 72). Due to this most, black people end up living in areas that depict low living standards. In the twenty-first century, modern slavery has taken root when it comes to racial profiling in giving jobs and dissemination of justice. In this regard, the elected leaders have failed greatly in ensuring that the new kind of slavery is put to a halt. It was very disappointing that having a first black president into office for two terms did not change anything as far as new slavery is concerned. In any case, it seems that Barrack Obama sold the African America to the state.
Pros and cons of reparation after slavery
A lot of people and groups have aired their opinions against the reparation after slavery. Major arguments against reparations include the fact that slavery does not exist today since it ended one hundred and sixty years ago. It would be very unfair to ask families which came after slavery to pay for crimes they never committed. The problems of the African Americans are not as a result of effects of slavery but rather the ills that take place in their inner cities. Federal and state governments have taken initiative to have subsidized health care, employment, and affirmative education which largely benefits the African Americans. It is believed that reparation would to be too expensive and would cost the government opportunity to fix problems such as poor health care and social security problems. The young African Americans need to overcome their won problem through hard work and not wait for the help of the government.
There are advocates of reparation who believe that reparation would not make the African Americans to be depended but rather would be an opportunity for them to create their own economic base and become self-reliant. Reparation is not a claim against the white Americans families but a claim against the American government which does not cease to practice slavery hitherto. The efforts to have subsided housing and other affirmative action for the blacks have failed due to the continued racial profiling. As much as the cost of reparation may be high, it is important that the African American settle its scores with whites of what they went through.
In conclusion, the white Americans who at that time supported various forms of slavery were morally wrong. It is no secret that the descendants of slavery are living in the United States as free men and women. As much as they may not be living in luxury, the spirit of people may not be restored through government handout. To put an end and to repair American institutionalized slavery must end.
- Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age Of Colorblindness. The New Press, 2010. Print.
- Blackmon, Douglas A. Slavery By Another Name: The Re-Enslavement Of Black Americans From The Civil. Random House, 2008. Print.
- Buchheit, Paul. Disposable Americans: Extreme Capitalism And The Case For A Guaranteed Income. Taylor & Francis, 2017. Print.