Reparations for Slavery Yes or No?

by Jack

Argument in favor of reparations:  It’s been argued that blacks in America greatly contributed to economic growth and power of the Unites States in it’s early days because of slave labor.   And because of slavery, they were deprived of their rights, abused and lost substantial time to grow and prosper like everyone else.

The United States was responsible for this gross injustice and therefore the United States government ought to be held accountable and made to pay reparations.  Until the black segment of American society are financially compensated for their losses, this nation can never heal.

Because of slavery, racism continues and blacks were held back and never fully allowed to take part in those opportunities afforded white people, so the time has come to say we’re sorry as a nation and as a society, by way of substantial reparations!

Argument against reparations:  The United States government earns no money.  The money it has is take from the pockets of its citizens by way of taxes.  To take money from people today for an injustice that occurred over 150 years ago is an injustice in itself.

Today’s descendants of slavery are among many other groups that suffered injustices.  If you look back far enough almost all of us have been victims at one time or another, the Irish, the Scots, the Chinese.   But, the important part is we progressed beyond those times and minorities have been given full and equal opportunity in our modern society.  At times, the black community has been given preferential treatment in housing, government jobs and higher education.

The United States paid a heavy price for slavery during the Civil War.   And the South that  embraced slavery was also severely punished with horrific war losses felt to this day by many Southern families.   No other nation in the world made a greater effort to end slavery or paid a more costly price.   It’s time to let go of the past and focus on the present.

Editors note:  This subject is frequently a topic of academic discussions, debates on colleges and sometimes forums on the air.  Channel 9 KXTV had such a forum last night and I thought you might like to weigh in with your 2 cents. 


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14 Responses to Reparations for Slavery Yes or No?

  1. J. Soden says:

    Pretty simple: We already have too much debt to finance another giveaway for whatever reason some think should happen in order to make themselves feel good.
    In addition, why penalize those who had nothing to do with slavery or the high cost so many paid during the Civil War?

  2. Dewster says:


    We need to solve the problems still. A single payment will not do that

  3. Chris says:

    I’m agnostic on this question. I think reparations should have been done earlier, but at this point it’s probably not politically possible.

    Off-topic: George Zimmerman is auctioning off the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin.

    We’ll never know what transpired that day, but everything this abusive, violent, evil man has done since indicates to me that he was probably at fault for it. He should have been charged for negligent homicide rather than murder, and might be in jail where he belongs had the prosecutor done their job.

  4. Pie Guevara says:


    My family already paid in blood to end slavery as did thousands of other families. Does anyone discuss reparations for the Union soldiers and their families for fighting and dying to end the evil of slavery? No.

    Reparations is a bogus issue discussed by pseudo-intellectual and intellectually dishonest left-wing academic posers with too much time on their hands.

  5. Jim says:

    Not this again. It’s time of move on. Besides the 625,000 men who were killed fighting the Civil War are reparations enough.

  6. dewster says:

    I am a No right now

    Time to fix the problems. There is no move on.

    Today workers are being treated more and more like slaves as worker protection laws are removed. people wearing diapers in chicken factories barbecue they can not be excused to use bathroom? ect ect

    • Pie Guevara says:

      The incoherent and illiterate one strikes again!

    • Tina says:

      “Today workers are being treated more and more like slaves as worker protection laws are removed”

      Please name the worker protection laws that have been “removed.”

      Workers are under assault by a government that oppresses the economy, blunts job creation, and punishes job creators.

  7. Peggy says:

    Hum, how about we hold the descendants of the first slave owner responsible? I wonder if the fact that he was black would make a difference to today’s blacks who want to be paid for the injustice they feel?

    The First Legal Slave Owner in What Would Become the United States was a Black Man:

    • Pie Guevara says:

      And slavery, including sexual slavery of children, still persists in Africa and is practiced by brown people. The same thing exists amongst brown people in Asia and South America and in the Islamic world.

      It was Christian whites who first recognized this pervasive evil and put an end to it in largely white, Christian nations.

  8. Mary B says:

    The United States had to fight for its own freedom from tyranny and became free in 1776. The plantations and slavery was begun under the rule of the king of England. The constitution was not entered until 1787. 20 years later, the abolition of slavery was begun in earnest. By 1860, it was clear the US would have to go to war in order to force the southern states to comply. The southern plantations faced bankruptcy without the slave labor. It was not race but economics that caused the south to holds on to slavery. The war began and there was a heavy toll paid by the union and the Confederacy in lives and property loss. 1000’s of plantations lay waste, refugees from the south fled to the west, many never returned. Racism as we see today actually was born from the civil war. Disgruntled southerners taking it out on minorities and not just African Americans but all men of color began to experience the prejudice and hatred. The United States was to blame for abandoning the ones they freed. They were left to the mercy of the states that lost the war. Their were no economic ways for them to raise themselves out of poverty but the US offered no relief as it does even to foreign countries. Until Civil Rights, the minority groups remained not second class citizens but no class. Racism does still exist today. Not all blacks were slaves, not all whites owned slaves, some blacks owned slaves, other minorities owned slaves and also, were slaves. The petitioner would have to prove they descended from slaves, a long lengthy process. Who would pay? England, Spain and France? They are the ones responsible for slavery in the US. The US inherited the slave issue but it abolished it.

    • Tina says:

      Thanks, Mary B, for a very thoughtful comment.

      You wrote: ” The United States was to blame for abandoning the ones they freed. They were left to the mercy of the states that lost the war.”

      The outcome after the war might have been much different had Lincoln not been assassinated:

      While Lincoln had been open-minded, willing to listen to criticism, attuned to the currents of northern public opinion, and able to get along with all elements of his party, Johnson was stubborn, deeply racist, and insensitive to the opinions of others. If anyone was responsible for the wreck of his presidency, it was Johnson himself, first by establishing new governments in the South in which blacks had no voice whatsoever, and then refusing, when these governments sought to reduce freedpeople to a situation akin to slavery through the Black Codes, to heed the rising tide of northern concern. As congressional opposition mounted, Johnson refused to budge. As a result, Congress swept aside Johnson’s Reconstruction plan, enacting a series of measures pivotal in the rightful enlargement of American citizenship and freedom: the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which accorded blacks equality before the law; the Fourteenth Amendment, which put the idea of equality unbounded by race into the Constitution; and the Reconstruction Acts of 1867 and 1868, which mandated the establishment of new governments in the South, enabling black men to vote for the first time in U.S. history. Despite the Constitution’s injunction that the president enforce the laws, Johnson did everything in his power to obstruct the implementation of these measures. In 1868, fed up with his intransigence and incompetence, the House impeached Johnson; after a trial in the Senate, he came within one vote of conviction.

      It is impossible to imagine Lincoln, had he lived, becoming so alienated from Congress, the Republican Party, and the northern public as to be impeached and almost removed from office. Nor does it seem likely that he would have enunciated a policy and then stuck to it in the face of self-evident failure. Lincoln had grown enormously during the Civil War, and his ideas would undoubtedly have continued to evolve during Reconstruction. Even if, like Johnson, he had set in motion the establishment of all- the South in 1865, he undoubtedly would have listened carefully to complaints about the Black Codes and been willing to heed the outcry in the North for further guarantees of the rights of former slaves.

      Lincoln had always been willing to work closely with all factions of his party, including the Radicals on numerous occasions. I think it is quite plausible to imagine Lincoln and Congress agreeing to a Reconstruction policy encompassing basic civil rights for blacks (as was enacted in 1866) plus limited black suffrage, along the lines he proposed just before his death. The Radicals would have demanded more, but moderates, not Radicals, dominated Congress. Ironically, it was Johnson’s intransigence that pushed moderates toward the Radical position, resulting in the Reconstruction Acts. Had Lincoln and Congress reached an agreement in 1866, universal black male suffrage would not have followed, at least not immediately.

      Would a more moderate Reconstruction, backed by a united Republican Party and overseen by Lincoln, have sunk deeper, more permanent roots than the more radical plan eventually implemented? No one, of course, can say. The vast majority of white southerners, supported vociferously by the Democratic Party of the North, were deeply opposed to any equality for the former slaves. Johnson encouraged them to resist the implementation of congressional measures, helping to set the stage for the wave of terror by the Ku Klux Klan and kindred groups that did much to undermine Reconstruction.

      Perhaps, confronted by a united Republican Party and a president willing to enforce the law, white southerners would have accepted the basic rights of the former slaves. In that case, the nation might have been spared the long nightmare of disenfranchisement, segregation, and racial violence that followed the end of Reconstruction. Or perhaps even a more moderate Reconstruction would have aroused violent opposition, and Lincoln would have faced the alternative that in fact eventually faced Congress—moving forward to full black suffrage and a federal commitment to protect blacks’ rights as citizens, or relegating the freed people to quasi citizenship under the domination of their former masters. It is impossible to say what choice Lincoln would have made under those circumstances. All we do know is that his assassination brought to the White House a man unable to rise to the demands of one of the most challenging moments in our nation’s history.

      Thanks again for posting Mary B, I hope you’ll join us again soon.

    • Pie Guevara says:

      Thank you Mary B. You have a remarkable command of real history. Please keep posting.

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