Reparation For Slaves Essay

1244 words - 5 pages

Debate: Should Americans Pay Reparations to Descendants of Slaves?With the settlement of the new America, slavery shortly followed. Around the sixteenth century, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade began with ships traveling from Britain, to West Africa, and then to the Eastern coast of the present day United States. These Africans were transported in an unsanitary and abrasive atmosphere. When they arrived in the New World, the conditions were not much better. For three hundred years, they were forced to perform tedious tasks, work without receiving wages, live in shacks, and have no freedoms. Slowly, Africans' began to ascend the social ladder by obtaining emancipation, civil liberties and rights, respect, and finally, equality. Throughout the past four hundred or more years, Africans have struggled down a difficult path. Life was arduous for slaves, however, present day African Americans are able to live a life of happiness. Though present day life may not be simple, it does not equal in comparison to that of a slave. While there are many reasons to support reparations, I support the rejection of reparations to descendants of slaves by the United States government and suggest that a sincere formal apology be arranged by the government.One of the major arguments surrounding reparations is the fairness of allowing payment to other nationalities and not to Africans. Supporters of reparations declare that the Japanese and Jewish nationalities were given apologies and monetary supplements to compensate for their distress. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,Whereas the United States government has acknowledged and taken responsibility for its role in the unjust internment of Japanese-Americans during the Second World War and has undertaken to pay reparations to the internees and their successors and to apologize for the unjust abrogation of their rights (Restatement of the Black Manifesto).When I read this section from the article, I was influenced to change my point of view. However, after reading an article from CNN, I found that only the Japanese who were in the internee camps were paid and those successors were given formal apologies. Of the 1,300 Japanese, each one received five thousand dollars, and the 2,200 descendants were given a polite apology (Hill). This article completely nullifies the preceding statement. Only the Japanese who were survivors of this incident were given the monetary aid, so the first claim is incorrect. For the Jewish community, Germany paid one hundred ten million dollars to the survivors (German Holocaust Reparations). These payments were initiated in January of 1952. With both the Japanese and Jewish reparations, there are two very noticeable similarities. Firstly is that the money was given directly to survivors, not descendants. Secondly, the timeline is relatively shorter than that of Africans. This leads me to my second point.The time difference between the reparations of Japanese and Jewish is minute...

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