Dialogue/2003

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Comments sent to CURE from Mr. Howard S. Ford:

I am deeply concerned with the thought of reparations. I am cognizant of the disadvantages that blacks face as a result of slavery. Slavery was, is, and will always be evil, but forcing whites to pay monetary reparations to blacks to ease the disadvantages caused by racism will just cause more racism. Many whites will resent having to make large payments from their wages, and will take out their resentments on the black communty through discrimination and racism.

Instead, all it takes is better innercity and minority schools. Then, we level the playing field, and everybody has an equal opportunity to succeed, as it should be.

P.S. Why are only white people considered "rascist"? What about many blacks' hatred towards Jews?
Louis Farrakhan: "Hitler is a very great man." and "Narrow minded, common Jews...I will grind them and crush them." Jesse Jackson, described Jews as "Hymies.” Billy McKinney, on his daughter Cynthia's election loss: "The election was bought by the Jews." And these are just a few examples.

Response from CURE member Ida Hakim:

Dear Mr. Ford,
I disagree with you, on the question of whether reparations will cause more racism. I am sending your statement to the CURE members, and I will ask them to respond to you. I'd like to respond first to P.S. about Blacks' hatred toward Jews.

First of all, Minister Farrakhan did state that Hitler was "wickedly great" and he has explained that statement a number of times. It was not an anti-Jewish statement, but rather an observation about Hitler. The other statements that you attribute to Minister Farrakhan - i.e. "Narrow minded, common Jews...I will grind them and crush them" - I do not believe these are Minister Farrakahn's statements. Frankly, I know Minister Farrakhan's statements well enough to say that whoever attributed those words to him is a liar. Show me the direct source of that information if you'd like me to believe it.

Regarding Jesse Jackson - he said hymie. Jesse Jackson is one Black leader. I wonder how many Jewish leaders, in privacy, have said nigger. I'll bet at least one has.

Cynthia McKinney had shown sympathy toward the Palestinian struggle, hence some of her most active opponents were Christian and Jewish persons who support the State of Israel.

Response from CURE member Ferrell Winfree:

Dear Mr. Ford,
We must stop doing "as we have done" in the past. The playing field will not be and cannot be leveled by simple steps of more books, better schools, etc. Even though this is something that could be done and should be done even without lawsuits or new laws. The damage is too great and has been intensified for too many years. Each year builds upon the last, each child born into a world that considers them less than anyone else because of the amount of melanin in their skin will not be able to overcome that by attending a school that is simply "equal" to that of some other neighborhood. The degree of damage is what must be considered. We have turned our disdain toward them to the point of destruction for such a long period of time that much more than just a better education is necessary. There are many educators now, African American educators and educated, with all sort of Letters after their names, and they still must drive an old beat up car if they have to drive to the airport late at night. If they drive the Mercedes or BMW, they will be stopped by the police. Their education does not eliminate them from the "driving while black" reality of their lives. This issue is much more complicated and much more serious than most Caucasians realize. The damage is so great and extends to so many areas of the lives of people of color that it will only be turned around by reparations and not simply reparations of money. The issue is not an easy one. It is not easy to think about, to talk about or to support. We have to be willing to step out and do what is right.

Response from CURE member Larry Yates:

The main statement here has two main arguments. The first is familiar to everyone who has ever been in a struggle for justice. It is the argument that you will only make things worse by antagonizing the oppressor. This is certainly true in some cases, and in fact it is the reason why many people in the world facing injustice don't rock the boat. They make a judgment that the risk of struggle is too great, and for the time being they can live with oppression.

We can all respect that position on the part of oppressed people. They have a right to decide that this is not the time to take the risk of struggle. However, no one has the right to make this decision for someone else, or to advise people they don't even know to tolerate injustice a day longer. Every human being, and every human community, has the right to say "I can't stand any more, I am rising up to make a change in my condition."

Every human being has the right to decide for themselves to risk making their own situation worse in the hope of significantly improving it. Benjamin Franklin said of his fellow revolutionaries "we must all hang together or we will all hang separately." Patrick Henry said "Give me liberty or give me death."If these two founders of the USA had taken the writer's advice, they would have said "If I rebel, I will just make the British even more oppressive -- I might even die -- so I guess I'll just put up with British oppression and my country will remain a colony." In fact, if no-one had ever taken that unavoidable risk of rebellion, that it might perhaps make things worse, we would live in a veritable hell on earth of oppression.

The second argument the writer makes is that racism's impact can be easily dispelled by increasing opportunity for African-Americans. The writer needs to look at statistics on the disparity between white and black wealth, white and black lifespan, and white and black penal servitude. These disparities are not minor. They will not disappear in a generation if African-Americans get slightly better jobs. They will not disappear in an era in which the overall disparity between the rich and the poor is growing, not shrinking. And they will not disappear in an era in which new categories of racial bogeymen are being created as part of an authoritarian "anti-terrorist" ideology.

As I understand it, reparations is not about guilt, and not even really about what went wrong once upon a time. It is about a very current social institution whose power is still largely intact, and that has never changed significantly except when resisted.

Response from CURE member Jerry Saltzman:

Dear Mr. Ford,
Thank you for your thought provoking letter. You raise several important questions that require a great deal of thought if the issue of reparations to descendants of enslaved Africans is to be resolved in a way that helps move our country toward living up to its founding principles as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution. I hope that
the following points will be helpful in addressing your concerns.

First, In thinking about the issue of Black reparations, it may be a bit premature to focus on what forms restitution will take. In fact, focusing on restitution without a deep understanding of the vast complexities that make the Black reparations issue such a vital segment of a trend toward racial and social healing in this country will tend to distort the matter. This is not simply an issue about the transfer of monies and other resources. Thinking about reparations requires thinking about what it will take to repair the damage wrought by slavery and the resulting legacies connected with institutional racism. This damage has been wrought not just on the descendants of enslaved Africans, but on all of this country’s inhabitants. We must take a clear look at the enormous human price that was paid in creating the immense wealth and power that this country enjoys. We must take a look at the deep divisions between people which must be maintained if the system of institutionalized racism and privilege is to be preserved. Were we to get a
clear picture of the nature of this damage and its deleterious effects on the humanity of all of us, we could develop a thoughtful picture of how to proceed with the repairing process. And if we made a firm commitment to the reclaiming of our full humanity, I believe that we would be willing to take whatever steps, no matter how arduous, to make this process a successful one.

Second, a clearer view of the larger picture behind the Black reparations movement ought to provide some understanding of why focusing only on leveling the playing field, although a necessary step, is not sufficient. The damage caused by racism shows up in every aspect of our lives and produces many scars which must be acknowledged and cleansed. Much has been written about the difficulties faced by African Americans as a result of the legacy of slavery and how these difficulties are the result of systematic discrimination, marginalization, violence and bigotry. Taking a good look at how to repair this damage would be a necessary aspect of a well crafted reparations program. There is a great deal more to add to these points, but I would like to point out that the idea of repairing the damage, the idea of working toward a more humanized society is a hopeful and transformational one, an idea which must be kept at the forefront of our thinking as we move forward with this momentous task.

Third, you suggest in your statement of concern that the payment of reparations will bring out more discrimination and racism toward African Americans on the part of white folks. This concern clearly points to the damage done to us as the result of the twin legacies of slavery and privilege. We are heirs of some unfortunate traditions as the result of slavery, traditions such as our not taking very seriously the humanity, needs, desires, contributions and rights of enslaved Africans and their descendants, and an often un-thought about assumption that the real interests of black folks in this country conflict with the real interests of white folks. A study of how these traditions played out in the history of black-white relations in this country will make understandable how some of the specious objections against Black reparations fit within these traditions. A clear study of that history would also show why it is essential to maintain this racial divisiveness in order to keep up a social and economic structure which may benefit a large number of Americans but does so at the cost of marginalizing many others. The racism you speak of is already in place. Our job is to flush it out, see it for what it is, and figure out ways to heal ourselves from it. Its existence constitutes an unfortunate blot on our inherent goodness.

Fourth, I appreciate your bringing up the issue of anti-Jewish oppression. The history of African American-Jewish relations is a mixed one. Jews often played strategic roles as allies in Black liberation struggles but have also played oppressive roles toward African Americans. I am privileged to work with a group of African Americans and Jews on reparations advocacy. One of the superb benefits of our work together on this issue is the room it gives us to hear each others’ stories of how the oppressions against our peoples have personally affected us. This work gives us clues about how to be better allies for each other both in the work of reparations advocacy and in our lives outside of this work. This is an example of a step toward mutual understanding which is necessary to heal the remnants of anti-Semitism and racism that African Americans and Jews must face in order to work together to create a more just society. I look forward to the day when groups of people who carry stereotypical and bigoted attitudes toward each other engage in similar conversations with a view toward ending the divisions which keep them isolated from each other.

Although there is a great deal more that can be said about these topics, I hope that the above remarks serve to stimulate your further thinking about the issues associated with Black reparations. I look forward to further dialogues with you.

Response from CURE member Kathryn Gordon

Dear Mr. Ford--
The comments you sent to CURE were forwarded to me, and I'd like to respond a little to two parts of what you said. "Many whites will resent having to make large payments from their wages, and will take out their resentments on the black community through discrimination and racism." I think it's still an open question about just how reparations might be paid. I doubt there would be a "For the descendents of slaves" deduction from our pay checks, along with FICA etc. But where DO all those taxes go? As a tax payer, I'd like to see some go for Reparations. I think we'd need a national debate where much racism would come out, but I think in the end there would be less as people talked about fears and prejudices. I think your point about leveling the playing field by improving innercity schools is an excellent one. That however would take money--state, federal, private, and also a willingness on the part of white Americans and suburban communities to have a Level Field. Historically, whites have shown that they don't really want that, though they may say they do. Pre-school, you may know, first began in the innercity black communities as Head Start. Until then, kindergarten was thought to be enough. But once suburban parents saw black kids starting earlier, they wanted preschool too, just as suburban communities with fabulous schools--indoor pools etc.-- will fight for every state dollar, leaving innercity schools--who have far less property tax dollars to support schools--starving.
Yes, let's have a level playing field, or least not SUCH a tipped one, but the will to take that will take the same amount and sort of change as the will to put some of our national wealth into reparations. Which is why we need to be talking, as we are here. Thanks for your comments and for focusing on this issue.

COMMENTS sent to CURE from Joshua Sweet:

Question for Mr. Haslett. How is it that those that enslaved the people of African descent that you are seeking to repair their “group psychic trauma” for, were originally sold into slavery by their own people, whose actions were based upon a history of enslavement from conquest extending well into the early history of Africa prior to the arrival of “Europeans.” That prior to the influences of the “Europeans” the slave market long flourished to the extent that it was included in religious teachings dating back to the founding of time. What reparations do you expect to sooth this injury to the group psychic?

Question for Mr. Chestnut how do you rectify your Quaker up bringing with a program similar in nature to the Quaker Indian reparations acts of the early 1700’s, if in deed you believe in reparations lets start with the American Indians who were the first “slaves” of the North American continent, and are still held as less than human adults more child like in need of government guardianship, while the peoples of the African continent are enjoying self rule and freedom the populations of our Nations less class people are still held slave on their reservations. Look up the meaning of that word and tell me you think it fair that the slaves of centuries past should be given reparations while there are still slaves now.

Question for Ms. Thome if you are related to the author of “Emancipation in the West Indies” then you would know that it was little more than a propaganda piece for abolitionist and lacked any real scientific credence thus making the author(s) hypocritical being that he had a background as a theological student, and having been swayed during a debate on the morality of slavery. Is this a contradiction to his ethical standing, to falsify evidence to prove a point?

Question for Mr. Pennington I note that you publish the prison newsletter for “CURE” unfortunately it can only serve as a bases for continued racial tensions in a prison environment, thus adding to the racism that predominates our prison system from the juvenile to adult system. Do you not realize that various races within the prison systems use such materials to support their racist views? And Yes I do know because I have worked in corrections for more than five years.

Question for Ms Drews. Why is your out reach in the “White community in Northern California” why not in Watts or south central Los Angeles where there is a real need?

Question for Ms Lamb. Who attends your workshops on “white privilege” and just what do you consider a privilege that is “white” only? As an aside when is you next workshop and how can I attend?

Question for Dr. Farden. What field is you doctorate in? Would not the nation be better served if the reparations went to the Native population that had their land taken, and their population decimated by both Europeans as well as Afro-Americans? What part will the European nations play in the act of reparations, since for the most part the acts you want to make amends
for started with them?

Question Ms Hakim. I note that you are the founder and CEO of “CURE” what is your yearly salary and what percentage of it is from donations, and what portion of this sum goes to fund an actual reparations account if any?Question for Mr. Yates. As an activist who held his l ties to Virginia out and spoke of the great additions to the cultural values of Virginia, I would like to ask him just who did the people that landed on the shores find there. Why have you neglected their valuable contributions?

Question for Mr. Stack. How many students are of African American descent at your Junior college, and how many are Native Americans? College attendance, is this not one of those “White privileges” your group expounds on?

Question for Ms Chehade. Just where have the “act(s) that pave the way to destroying racial superiority is through realization and implementation of reparations” been utilized to achieve your stated goals?

I hope to hear from you soon as these questions are all bothersome as I watch the movement heading towards an unfair act that further excludes the peoples’ whom so much has been taken, who still are held on military compounds called reservations subjected to abhorrent conditions, held hostage against their collective wills in a state of under educated poverty, alcoholism, illness and unemployment. Their lands are not theirs to control as the government still controls the natural abundance of resources and restricts the availability of self government still. You are vocal and in the forefront of reparations for the minority of people that were actually descendents of slavery, an institution initiated and supplied not by Europeans but residents of the African continent. You blindly turn your backs on the racism that is so predominate within the “Afro American” community, ignoring the facts for what ever purposes you claim; the truth is still the truth. The People that owned these lands were and are still treated worse than the slaves that you are seeking reparations for. The first slave in the Americas was of the Native peoples. The first slaves taken from the Americas were to weak to work the cane fields it was only then that the slave trade imported the people from the African continent.

Thank You for your time.

Response from CURE member Jerry Saltzman:

Dear Mr. Sweet:

Thank you for your provocative and stimulating questions to CURE members and for taking the time to share your thoughts on the oppression and plight of the Native peoples. Although I was not personally addressed in your email, I am a member of CURE and, as such, I would like to offer some thoughts in response to your message. It is difficult to find words that can accurately express the horrors that have been and continue to be perpetrated on Native people as well as on people of African descent. The more I discover about the oppression of Native peoples as well as that of African Americans in this country, the more desirous I become of helping to move along the process that will eventually have all peoples living in freedom, dignity and physical, economic, emotional and spiritual security.

I wholeheartedly agree with your position that the present situation for Native peoples as well as its historical antecedents deserves both attention and advocacy. Although Native peoples have received some restitution for past crimes perpetrated against them, these are, of course, woefully inadequate. And your remarks imply, reparations in the form of land claim settlements to Native people have not alleviated the racist oppression that is still visited upon them. You have certainly shown how much more there is to be done.

With that said, I would like to address your concern that members of CURE focus our attention to reparations for descendents of enslaved Africans instead of focusing our attention on the plight of Native people. I do not believe that there is an inherent conflict between working to secure reparations for descendents of enslaved Africans and working to secure further reparations to Native peoples. Working to undo the horrible effects of race and class oppression in any area will ultimately tend to undo the effects of these oppressions in other areas. The structure of our present capitalistic society makes us believe that it is only possible for one group of people to advance or gain access to the material and other goods that the society has to offer if other groups are denied access to these goods. This sets groups up to fight among each other for whatever scant piece of the pie that is available. Thus, restitution to African Americans might mean a denial of further restitution to Native peoples. I believe that it is absolutely essential that we do not fall into this trap of fighting among ourselves about which oppression is worse, which group is more deserving of support, which group has the more legitimate grievance, etc. This kind of in-fighting among oppressed groups is essential to the preservation of the oppressive structure that hurts us all. Imagine what we could accomplish if we backed, supported and cheered on each other’s liberation movements. We could eventually see the elimination of the oppressive structures that keep your people and African Americans in a subjugated status. We would probably see an end to white supremacy and the oppressive aspects of capitalism as we know it today.

I look forward to the development of our alliances which can lead to the creation of a society in which we can all be free to have the lives that we all deserve.

Response from CURE member Larry Yates:

Mr. Sweet,
I am one of those you directed a question to via CURE. You wrote:

Question for Mr. Yates. As an activist who held his l ties to Virginia out and spoke of the great additions to the cultural values of Virginia, I would like to ask him just who did the people that landed on the shores find there. Why have you neglected their valuable contributions?

The writing you saw was related to CURE, and referred to the entity "Virginia," which did not exist before Europeans landed in North America. I am well aware of the indigenous people who were here, and still are here. I have supported their struggles for self-determination over the years on many occasions -- never enough, but always with sincerity.

Only last week I wrote, in response to someone else who wrote to CURE, the following words:
" the chattel slavery of people of African descent is -- along with the theft of land and plant technology from native peoples -- fundamental to the economic power of the USA as we know it -- and ... as long as these two injustices continue to fester, this nation can never be stable."

I am not willing to choose between these two injustices, especially since I believe, along with bell hooks, Alice Walker, and others, that the history of the two are closely related. Certainly, in Virginia, to return to that theme, indigenous people and people of African descent are deeply interconnected by kinship as well as history.

This is not to say they are the same crime -- simply that together they are the foundation of the US economy/culture which has since become global. This takes nothing away from the pain of each unique native society -- those that still persist and those that were obliterated by genocide. I recognize that we do not understand the land we live on without understanding that sorrow -- and I recognize that I do not and cannot fully understand it.

My personal fate has been closely tied to that of people of African descent. We each write and live from where we are. That does not mean we have forgotten the rest of the fabric of humanity. We can always use reminders of our gaps, and I thank you for that. But it is not necessarily true that because you see a person feeding the hungry, that person has never comforted a prisoner.

Speaking of which, I also worked in "corrections," though for less time than you have, and many years ago. I would not agree at all that the information that there are white people who support reparations would encourage racial strife behind bars. In fact, I think it would work to the contrary. I believe that a lot of racial strife in penal institutions is fomented by the system, and white support for reparations would confound and bewilder those who run the system, and make those who see life as simple think about its complexities -- just as it does outside the walls.

Response from CURE member Marilee Thome:

Hello, Mr. Sweet,

Your comments on my great-great uncle, James Armstrong Thome's, book, Emancipation in the West Indies, are intriguing, and I would like to know where you learned of the book, whether you have read it, or know of its profound impact on the abolitionist movement. I'd also be curious to know the sources of your comments and descriptions of Thome and his life and work. In addition to reading widely on the subject of slavery and its history and development, including the abolition movement, I have met with and interviewed several present-day historians and scholars at Oberlin College, where Mr. Thome graduated and then taught for some years. According to them, the book is considered by historians to have led to a true "turning point" in the philosophy of the abolition movement in the U.S; prior to its publication, the general thinking within the abolition movement supported a "gradual" emancipation over time, with increasing independence and "self-management" of former slaves, in the belief that those who had lived under slavery could not survive if freed abruptly. When the West Indies began to free slaves on a complete and immediate, rather than a gradual, basis, it was viewed as an "experiment," as it had never been done anywhere else before. James Armstrong Thome and his co-author, J. Horace Kimball, traveled to the West Indies and lived there for some months in order to observe and evaluate the results. The authors found, and then reported in their book, that the freed people managed very well, contrary to widespread expectations. It was these findings that influenced the American abolitionist movement to make a dramatic shift in their orientation and to endorse immediate, rather than gradual emancipation.

Mr. Thome was much more than "just" a theologian, although his faith was a core part of his identity and certainly of his belief in the evils of slavery. He was a member of and "agent," or public speaker, for, the American Anti-Slavery Society, and is described as "one of the greatest anti-slavery lecturers" in Dwight Lowell"s book Anti-Slavery Origins of the Civil War, (Univ. of Michigan Press. p.8.)
He was personally and professionally acquainted with President Abraham Lincoln, and helped Lincoln with the writing of Lincoln's "Emancipation Proclamation." He is also regarded as an early and outspoken advocate for equal rights for women, and insisted that his female students at Oberlin be held to the same standards of scholarship, and participate actively in class, rather than remaining silent and in the background, as was the usual practice at the time.

Feel free to respond to this email if you would like, and I hope you will also let me know where you got your information about Mr. Thome and his work. I am intrigued in part because he is not terribly well known outside of those circles where this period in U.S.history and social policy is being studied. Thanks.

Response from CURE member Brian Pennington

While I do not work in the correctional system — a term that obviously does not reflect reality since it is well-documented that most offenders are never "corrected" — I have corresponded with many African-americans locked up in the system.

Within the group of individuals with whom I've made contact, it is clear that many of them are imprisoned largely because of their political affiliations (i.e., Panthers, 5%ers, etc.). Of course many in the system commited actual crimes but the whole point is that they all need uplifting; they all need to know that there are individuals, both Black and white, who are on their side and who know that all people, regardless of the circumstances, deserve respect and dignity.

So, no, the newsletter in question was neither racist nor was it intended to stir up something — well, it was intended to stir up something within the individuals for whom it was aimed: once again, to uplift and educate (to the limited degree that whites can educate Blacks about their own plight). The neo-nazis publish newsletters to declare their apparent supremacy over all non-whites; our newsletter and others (the 5%er paper comes to mind) do not support the idea that any one group is superior. On the contrary, papers such as ours support the opposing view, and I'm repeating myself but it bears repeating -- that is that all humans deserve dignity and respect.

How are we to expect anything but the negative when Blacks (particularly young males) are disproportionately represented within the so-called correctional system?

How can we expect these young people to care about life when all they've seen is brutality and atrocity?

How can we expect them to have any self-worth or dreams about a future that to them appears decidedly grim? (Very few people tell them otherwise.)

How? By upliftment and support for them. It's pretty much an unarguable fact that a racist system put these young people in prison to begin with. Surely it's universally accepted, although not always publicly acknowledged, that white america still looks at Black america with fear and disgust. So, again, I cannot comprehend how papers (such as the CURE prison newsletter) can be considered racist or potentially dangerous. Uplifting a lost generation — and certainly there will be many more to come: this is not racism. This is an answer to the cries of the unheard.

We're saying to them: we hear you; we know that you're valuable, simply because you're human; and we will do our best, God willing, to make sure that the world hears you.

Response from CURE member Ida Hakim:

Dear Joshua,
I will forward your questions to the CURE members, and hopefully we will be able to respond personally and on the website. In answer to your question of me, I receive no salary, no compensation whatsoever, not even the cost of my postage stamps. None of us gets paid a salary for the work we do for CURE. The contributions to the CURE organization, to this point, have been given to the webmaster as a small token payment for building the website, and corporate registration fees.

Kenneth Eugene Gay has submitted the following comment:

I don’t have a lot of time right now I must leave for work but I just stumbled upon your site representing whites organizing to deliver reparations to blacks. So I would just like to briefly throw you a few bones to chew on until I have more time to debate the issue with you. First a book review for you. There is a well documented study done by an extremely politically incorrect author (He's one of those hated historical revisionists as well as being Christian of the old school variety which I gather believes that God seperated the races for a good reason. Diversity maybe?). Anyway regardless of how you feel about the author (I tend to view him as slightly paranoid and a little too conspiratorial-history oriented) his book on the enslavement of whites is I believe an invaluable side to the argument which is never heard in this issue bringing it some balance.

Book Review:
They Were White and They Were Slaves

"Michael Hoffman has combed the historical sources and scholarly literature to produce a nuanced, sympathetic study of the hundreds of thousands of British and Irish men and women transported to the American colonies, then held in various forms of bondage -- often in worse circumstances than black slaves. They Were White and They Were Slaves is a searching look into a forgotten American heritage, as well as a memorial to the ordeals and to the often uncommon courage of these men and women who played an unsung role in building America. Hoffman's study covers much more than America, or slavery as narrowly defined: it gives an overview of white servitude from medieval Europe to nineteenth century America, and includes horrifying details of the exploitation of children in the factories and mines of 19th-century England and America. They Were White and They Were Slaves is indispensable in arming ourselves and our children against the historical tunnel vision imposed by the Establishment and against the exactions of the "diversity" industry and the "civil rights" racket."
End Review.

In addition I would recommend an excellent source of information from the American law and justice experts who publish two on/offline magazines Suspicions and Anti-Shyster. See particularly the eye opening article on Contradictory Forms of Government in issue Suspicions Vol. 12 No. 1. Download your free PDF copy of the magazine at [http://www.antishyster.com/ PDF/121pdf/121web14B.pdf]. In the article on Contradictory Government is described the government based on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution before the 14th Amendment and it is compared and contrasted to the new form of split government formed by the 14th Amendment and later Amendments.

The article concludes by showing how it was not just blacks who were effected by this loss of sovereignty although they were the first to be cheated out of it. Now all whites, blacks, asians and anyone born or naturalized in the United States are second class citizens compared to the original sovereign state citizen.

Finally I must tell you whites haven’t been the only slavers in history and infact ARE the ONLY slavers in history to END slavery! Blacks have and still do practice slavery. Infact whites got their slaves from an already existing institution of slavery in black Africa. They bought from black slave owners. Also there were free black men in America who were slave owners. [http://americancivilwar.com/authors/black_slaveowners.htm].

CURE member Larry Yates responds:

It is certainly a fact that so-called "whites" were slaves in some sense. In fact, a few centuries ago, most of the people of Europe were not far from slaves. They essentially belonged to a lord and master from birth, and had very limited rights to travel, choose their own work, and even dress in certain kinds of clothing. While they had their own crops and land in most cases, they were obligated to do a certain amount of work for their masters, as well as to pay taxes to him or to his master.

On the other hand, of course, they lived in their own country, where their language was spoken, their culture and religion were practiced, and where they generally had established certain customary rights to protect themselves. (For anyone wanting to know more about the peasants and working people of Europe, esp. England, a good author to start with is E.P. Thompson.)

The growth of cities, the money economy, and global trade worked together to open up opportunities for a certain number of Europeans. However, even as this began to happen, many Europeans were still in servitude. Social disruption led to an increasing number owning little or no property. For these people, selling themselves -- or selling their children -- was a practical option -- and many of those sold, or indentured, went to the "New World."

The emerging global trade system, of course, connected Eurasia, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Americas, with the Europeans who controlled the connection getting rich. It also gave powerful Europeans the opportunity to define various people in various ways, especially by the new concept of race, invented in its modern form in the 1700s.

In the early stages of this process, there were no real racial definitions. Someone from Northern France probably considered someone from Southern France just as alien as an Arab or African. And groups that were conquered -- such as the Irish and Scots conquered by the English in the 17th century -- were enslaved as a matter of course, with no regard to the idea that they were "white."

However, for many reasons that I can hardly claim to fully understand, chattel slavery of Africans emerged -- a qualitatively new system, and one that was central to the emergence of the modern North American economy. Tens of millions of human beings were defined as non-humans, and as property free for the taking from Africa. This was a social phenomenon unique in history; for the first time slavery existed on a mass trans-oceanic scale not because of war or feudalism, but strictly for money profit. For the first time, human beings were put in a position where every aspect of their humanity was denied simply so that others could make money -- and their children inherited their condition on a 'one drop of blood' basis.

This chattel slavery, and the subsequent Jim Crow system that followed the Civil War, were enormously profitable to specific whites, but also to whites in general. I use the term "whitefare" to describe the massive subsidy that the white-controlled USA got from centuries of free labor.

This whitefare continued in a different form as a key element of the US legal system until the 1960s, and still operates today -- most evidently in the vast difference between whites and blacks in ownership of assets, especially real estate, and in the racially disparate operation of the penal system, health care system, and educational system.

So while people of all colors and descriptions have been enslaved and forced to work for others for thousands of years, and while there were many "white" people in what is now the United States in the 17th century who were required to work for their masters, this takes nothing away from the basic historic fact that the chattel slavery of people of African descent is -- along with the theft of land and plant technology from native peoples -- fundamental to the economic power of the USA as we know it -- and that as long as these two injustices continue to fester, this nation can never be stable.

Perhaps the most damaging effect of slavery, Jim Crow and modern racism to our nation is that its defenders have, over and over, been the most treacherous and powerful enemies of our democracy. In 1861, they conspired to overthrow the government, and thousands died in a war to crush their treason against the Republic. After that war, the Ku Klux Klan provided the model for the Nazis and apartheid, and used terrorism against not only African-Americans but against labor, Jews, Catholics and intellectuals. During the New Deal, the great opposition to Social Security and other vital programs came from conservative southern white politicians. Today, the likes of Trent Lott and George Bush use their media power and political funds to undermine democracy and perpetuate rule by the rich -- with the denial of voting rights for African-Americans being central to their strategy. In every period of our history, the enemies of working people and of the rights of all U.S. citizens have also been the leaders in exploiting and terrorizing people of African descent.

Thomas Jefferson, who was the great visionary at this nation's birth, was perhaps at his most visionary when he considered slavery, and trembled for his country at the thought that God is just. To me, the question of reparations for slavery is not a question of whether a certain group of people was treated worse than another group. It is whether we are ready to take responsibility for and repair a great wound that was there at the birth of this nation, and has never been fully tended to.

Just as I am not willing to give up any one of my God-given rights for the sake of "homeland security," I am not willing to give up our dream of that all people are created equal and can together create a commonwealth -- in order to hold on to my white privilege. This position is the only position that is truly patriotic, once we understand that to be a patriot of the USA is to love not a wealthy country or its great power, but an evolving ideal. Reparations is a key next step in that evolution.

Comments to CURE website from Peter Conrad Dufault

Greetings I'm a thirteen year old white child. I am NOT a racist as most of my good friend's are Asian or Hispanic, however I strongly disagree with you beliefs on repartions. I believe I owe the blacks nothing because I did not enslave them. And no I am not sitting in my room diabolically plotting to keep them down. For these and other reasons I am opposed to your organizations paranoid luancy. P.S. Do you seriously think that you will ever acomplish your fanatically impossible goals? Hope that you respect my opinon and post this "He who dares, wins!"- British SAS slogan

Response from CURE member Laura Belarbi:

Dear Peter Dufault:
It is a blessing that you found CURE's website. By being open-minded you expand your horizons tremendously. I'm glad you wrote and I understand your opinion. Most people I know feel the same way. Slavery happened so long ago it seems like we should have gotten over it by now. Why not just move on, right?

It is easier to move on when you have the resources to do so. Whites came out with all the benefits after slavery ended. Blacks continued to suffer and our American government supported unequal treatment by enforcing unequal laws. American government taught Whites to depend on Blacks for a living. Imagine yourself, your parents, grandparents and their parents work hard all their lives for someone else and never earning a penny for themselves. Having no inheritance to pass on to children, and no rights to earn or learn. This is what American government did to Black families. Many families were torn apart and Blacks cannot even trace their own family trees. Slavery benefitted Whites only. As a nation we benefitted from it. As a nation we committed crimes against humanity and built our country on it. As a nation it is time we admit it was wrong and find a way to repair the damage. This will make the U.S. great.
Laura Belarbi

Response from CURE member Larry Yates:

Dear Peter Dufault:

Thanks for taking us on. You are creating your framework of ideas, and I respect that. It is exciting to see you confront ideas you don't agree with, though your language -- "paranoid lunacy" -- is a bit on the strong side.

Here's one thing I think you may be missing. Reparations are not a response to guilt, or to something that happened long ago. They are a response to an ongoing condition that has changed over the years, but still exists now. African-Americans who are your age, or even younger, are going to live shorter lives than you probably will, are going to own less property than you probably will, and are going to have less power over their jobs and communities than you will. Reparations, at least to me, means dealing with that problem.

Also, while I agree that reparations seem impossible now, I remember when millions of people (of all races) believed that legal racial segregation would last forever, at least in the South. Not long before that, it was accepted by everyone that all working class children would be working full time by the age of 13, often in highly dangerous jobs. It was also accepted that women were not mentally equipped to vote or own property.

In the decades ahead of you, there will be radical change. What it will be, I don't know. But I guarantee that the world you live in when you are 35 or 60 will be very different from the one you see now in ways you (and I) can't imagine now.

Finally, you say you are not a racist. I believe that you are not prejudiced, and that you have no desire to hurt anyone because of race. But that doesn't mean you don't have some unconscious bad mental habits that harm others. After all, your great-grandfather didn't hate your great-grandmother, or his sisters and mother and aunts. Yet he probably actively supported a system that kept them from having any control over their lives. I would like you to consider that you might be doing
something similar. I just ask you to keep an open mind on this.

Larry Yates

Response from CURE member M. P. Dobbins:

Dear Peter Dufault,

I respect your honesty in expressing your feelings. I have to admit to you that when I was 13 years old, I was a racist. But I did not know I was. Now, years later, I still think, say, and do things I suspect black friends might think are racist, but that I don't think are. For example, I was recently really mad at a black co-worker I blamed for a lot of problems we were having doing a job, and I let it be known I didn't want to work with him again. He never called me a racist, but I was pretty sure he thought I was and told his friends so. I asked myself and our mutual friends, black and white, if my attitude toward him was racist. We all reassured me it wasn't. A few weeks later, I had to do even more extra work because of a similar sort of mistake by another co-worker, white. I didn't feel mad; all I said and all I did, was let him know we still had a good working relation. If the situations hadn't come so close together and been so obviously similar, I probably wouldn't have realized racism had caused me to feel as I did in the first case or to say and do things I want to repair now.

And if the concept of "reparations" hadn't been put out there, I wouldn't have gotten this far; because to tell you the truth, Peter, I still don't want to give that first guy, who I know thinks I'm a racist, the satisfaction of admitting I was. It's too much like apologizing.

Best wishes to you for honest and good working relations with your African American friends.

M. P. Dobbins

Comments to CURE website from O’Delle Hall

I am a new member to CURE. I am not a professional writer as some of you are so please forgive my errors, and know that I am speaking from the heart.

I cannot thank you all for this amazing web site. I have been one of the thousands of white people "in the closet" in full support of creating a social environment that fully integrates African-Americans at every possible level. We are a young country as countries go..we have not completed our mission so many years ago. There is not yet "Liberty for all". We as Americans are broken.

I am a 44 year old Caucasian female that was primarily raised on the west and east coast respectively. I now live in the south..Texas..and feel reduced..silenced by the open racism at every turn. I am one of those people that has burned with a fire against injustice from my earliest memory. Typically shy and quiet, I rise like phoenix for others rights. I successfully changed pay/promotional policy at two facilities that I worked for in past years. I will add that I am not eligible for re-hire at either facility...only because of my open support.

I have experienced a deeper awareness lately that I wanted to throw out there. I have enjoyed the great outcomes of those that I 've helped throughout my life. I consider my self an advocate for peace in my own time. The truth is.. I am not in touch with my own racism! How in the world could someone like me be racist? First off, I was born in America as a white girl. Period. Just because I believe in taking direct action to heal the African-Americans does not make me immune from racism...within me!

Being raised as a white in this society has created in this little American a place where I am deaf, dumb and blind to the actual social truth.. I can not possibly begin to know what it is to perceive myself and my ancestors through the eyes and ears of a society based on active distinction between types of people. No one raised as a white person will ever know. Can our inability to fully perceive the subtle giant of our "privilege" be considered racism? It does in me. I am not guilty..guilt stops my progress..it's a paralytic. I can say that by challenging my socialization I began to see the edges of my own limited thought. Aspects of this kind of deeper "self awareness" in general, can account for a significant amount of white negativity.

Although this astounding realization was terrible, it was worth the discovery. I can only work with what I know. Knowing more is a good thing. Racism to me ..is the projection of the human experience based on life long assumptions - taught or acquired through socially excepted behaviors- that there are "classes of people". It's bred in all of us from elementary school. My conviction to promote true Liberty for the African-Americans with my life if required, came from deeply challenging my real motives. This wonderful web site, has given me a place to "go back to school-Humanity 101"- I challenge all white people that already love and respect our fellow African Americans, to take a closer look. I suspect that the oppression that exists in every aspect of the African-American experience..legal, economic, perceived worth at the individual, family and national levels ...have an equal and opposite manifestation in the white community. We are in this together. We are in so much pain and confusion..together.. As in all dysfunctional families, no one is exempt. The disease is equally shared by all the members, each having his/her own part. I hope that by my own terrible realizations, that we can seek to begin to pull off layers of old socialized racism we didn't know we had.

What a blessing to come out of the "closet". What a wonderful forum. I am a student again..God bless us all..we are at a great crossroads in America. It's bringing out the best of us..Thanks Ida and staff.

Comments to CURE website from Stephanie:

I would like to start off by saying that I am a 19 year old Jewish female originally from Chicago, Illinois and currently going to school at the University of Colorado. I heard about your organization on the Phil Donahue show about "Angry White Men Against Reparations." I am so grateful for what you are trying to do with C.U.R.E. As a minority myself, I know what it is like for people to not understand your tribulations. Unless you are African American no one can possibly understand what these people go through every day.

As white people, we are automatically born with a privilege. Our skin is WHITE. We do not have to worry about not getting a job because of our name. We do not have to walk into an all white area and know that people are judging us just because we have DARKER skin. For all of the people that say "Black people should have picked themselves up by their bootstraps long ago" must not know anything that is taking place currently in this country or the world.

Take a look at the school systems across the United States. How much funding goes to inner city schools? Hardly ANY. Who's fault is that? The GOVERNMENTS. Look at all of the black men that are in our jails. Black men get twice the amount of time a white man gets for committing THE SAME CRIME. Not until recently was the FIRST time a white man got the death penalty for killing a black man. However, thousands of black men, women, and children have been killed by white people and received NO penalty. Reparations are essential to this country functioning as a successful interracial society. Money needs to be put into the inner city school systems so that young black children receive the same level of education as white children. Affirmative Action is also critical.

Every one needs to be cultured in this country otherwise, things will never get better. White college students can go through their whole college career NEVER even speaking with an African American person. This is not right. This country will not change if people ignore the issue of race and do not listen to minority points of view. President Bush is making a fool out of himself and the rest of white America by being against affirmative action. He was a product of affirmative action himself, and he needs to wake up and realize that we NEED to diversify our classrooms and offices in order to make progress. Thank you for taking your time to read my comments.

Comments to CURE website from Valerie Sherrod:

I am a Christian African American who just stumbled across this website today. I have been reading over the past two weeks and engaging myself in extensive research on racism, ancient history, etc. It was nothing I set out to do, but somehow this racism subject seemed to have invited itself into the home of my heart. After studying and reading I became very angry on the inside and started feeling prejudice like I've never felt prejudice before. I cried out to God to help me because I do not want to harbor these types of feelings. Going from one website to the next, many unveiled the deceptions of the falsification of history....and to think the Church in a sense was behind all of this is beyond anything I can imagine. The "Church" of which I am a part also need to make reparations. We as the body of Christ need to repent and seek God's forgiveness for falsifying history and causing millions of people (especially African Americans) to turn to Islam because of this falsification of history. Islam provides history to the many African Americans who sense a just cause to know their ancient identity. Christianity does not provide this in a sense. Reading through the bible (which also has its own prejudices...translated by European scholars and Jewish Ashkenicwz's) for history is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Let the truth be the truth. I believe the healing process can begin when the truth is spoken.

Reading the article on Ferrell Winfrey says it all. This is the best website ever on the beginning of the healing process. This website provides answers. I pray to the living God that your voices will be heard through this nation!!!

Leo Horishny sent the following statement to CURE members:

I was watching the program tonight on Donahue concerning this topic, as well as other articles and columns, Concerning this idea and I have yet to hear anyone supporting the idea of reparations with the answer to this question:

Why only America and American companies??!! Slavery, as we are dealing with today, began formally from PORTUGESE slavers and occurred throughout Europe from the 1400s. As well as impressment, many African tribes took advantage of the slaver connections and sold their prisoners of war, regardless of where they were selling their captives to. Most European nations utilized African slaves for centuries before they changed their laws, America got into the game late and directly as a result of EUROPEAN, CHRISTIAN, ideas that were brought to these shores.

If we are agreed that this is a heinous operation, why is it only America is guilty of it?

I watched the program on Donahue for an hour, heard a caller call in this very question and listened to the woman, Deadria, focus on Fleet Boston's history in this matter and TOTALLY ignore this legitimate point of view.

I beseech you, as someone who supports this idea to enlighten me as to why the rest of Europe and Africa who sold their fellow inhabitants into slavery are in no way less reprehensible than America is?

Response from CURE member Aimee Sands:

Slavery was wrong. No one should have been doing it. The Europeans and Africans who participated in the slave trade should definitely come to terms with how slavery built their economies, and the human rights violations that their ancestors committed.

In the meantime, we in America have to come to terms with our own role. Pointing the finger at other nations does not change the fact that Americans were just as guilty, or more, or less, it doesn't really matter. As I see it the point is that the racialized way of life that slavery created is very much with us today. Slavery's legacy is still corrupting the great dream of what America could be. We have to deal with our own business here. Maybe if we do, it will set an international standard for reparations that other nations will feel pressured into following.

Response from CURE member Kathryn Gordon:

Thank you for your question. I am not a historian or expert on the history of slavery and have only recently joined CURE, but I have some thoughts on your question and am grateful for the seriousness of it, and the challenge.

As an American, I feel much more responsible for my own country's actions and debts than I do for Europe's, though my ancestors were from there. Realistically, we cannot much affect what Europe or Africa does about their past wrongs. We don't vote there. I think the only and the best effect we might have, so to face this problem ourselves and wrestle with it, as a model for them.

I know that slavery and the importation of slaves was outlawed in England before it was outlawed here. And when you consider what a rapacious empire England was, the fact that they saw and accepted the moral wrong before we did tells you something. Does it tell you American were less moral, more greedy, more racist? I don't think so. As you point out, many of our ideas, like many of us, were of European origin. I think that by the mid 18th century, our economy was just very dependent on slavery. Cotton really was king, and the northern mills and rail roads depended on it. We were growing fast. Ending slavery would have put a brake on it all.

It's true that slavery had existed in many times and places, but I believe that the form it took in the colonies was new, that is--the form of chattel slavery, in which the slaves were not considered captured enemy who had forfeited their freedom by losing the battle. American slaves came to be considered property, with no rights, and their children also became the property of their owners. Am I wrong--I believe the Greek slave's children were free, and that the slaves themselves were often set free after a time. In the Bible, the Old Testament, the Israelites are told to set free their slaves after a time, and to give the former slaves some payment, so that they can start a new life and not become a burden to the society.

As our sad history shows us, when the American slaves were emancipated, not only were most of them given nothing for their decades and generations of labor, they were very often hindered from a) trying to get an education, b) buying and working their own land c) organizing politically so as to try to improve their situation.

So I think American slavery is unique because of it's large scale, the way it was limited to only one race, the important role it played in the foundation of our economy, and the violence and injustice that the freed slaves suffered. I don' think you can point to any country in which, as in some southern states, the enslaved population was higher than the free population. Nor any place where for so many generations, the children were born slaves. Nor any place where all the enslaved were freed at the same time, and where the backlash was so violent, so widespread, and so supported or overlooked by federal and state governments as to render in a few short years the former slaves virtual slaves once again, meaning, they worked from "can't see till can't see" for food and shelter, never being able to leave their "employers" who, often, were their former owners.

Well, I've talked myself into it. Reparations for American slavery are due. It may also be due, to a lesser extent, in Europe and Africa. I know African countries and leaders are working on this, holding conferences on it. But I think those of us, like you, who see the validity of this issue, while we may disagree on the details, or even on some of the principles--we need to be talking about it, as we are, and taking African Americans very seriously when they talk about this issue. Of course the ideas came from Europe. We have a very European worldview, and that's a big part of the problem; but we also have the Constitution, with its beautiful ideals, and we also have a diverse society such as few countries have ever seen. Our culture has been influenced by the former slaves, by African and Caribbean traditions. Really, American culture, music especially, is unique and alive in large part because of this influence, as well as that of the many immigrant groups. let's lead the way for Europe. Let's lead the way in Reparations.

Mr TBrown sent the following statement to CURE members

I don't think that whites should pay reparations for something that they had no control over. If my ancestors faught for the union to free the slaves then I should recieve money too. The blacks that suffered through slavery are no longer living and their ancestors are reeping the benefits of their ancestors suffering because thay can live in the greatest country in the world.

Response from Carol Chehade

Your ancestors fought to save the Union. The Civil War was not waged on the moral premise of freeing slaves. Abraham Lincoln himself said that if he could save the Union without freeing the slaves, he would. Freedom of slaves was a calculated move used by the North to de-stabilize the South’s slave-based economy. In fact, the Emancipation Proclamation was issued to free slaves ONLY in rebel territories. When the Civil War added slavery as a reason for the war, the majority of Northerners and Southerners were dismayed because neither Whites in those areas viewed Blacks as equal. In fact, Irish Americans in New York upon hearing they would be drafted into the war waged one of the bloodiest attacks on African Americans, known as the Draft Riots of 1863-same year as the Emancipation Proclamation. Mind you demonstrations and riots by Whites in the North against Blacks were frequent, but New York’s was the most publicized. Blacks of today have reaped the racist and unpacked baggage passed down from their ancestors, while we as Whites have reaped the White privilege passed down from ours. America is indeed a great country but it did not become great by having passive citizens who turn a blind to injustice.

Response from Bob Powell:

When I hear the magic words "greatest country ",,, its like a mantra, if we say it loud enough and long enough, we will all believe it. Militarily, we are number one. Norway ranks above us in per capita income. European social democracies have just as broad constitutional rights with a better social net. We rank number one in dumping mentally ill people on the street. We rank high in infant mortality, drug addicts/prisoners. And I am sure we rank number one in racist delusions.

Response from Dorothy Blake Fardan:

Frederick Douglass said the Civil War was begun "in the interests of slavery on both sides. The South was fighting to take slavery out of the Union, and the North was fighting to keep it in the Union." And he added, "both despised and insulted the Negro." Your ancestors that fought on the Union side had already benefited from slavery and could very well have stood to lose wealth if slavery were confined to the Confederacy. You say you should receive money too because they fought for the Union. But your ancestors were not slaves, and they were paid to fight in the military, just like military people are paid today. You have already reaped the benefits from slavery by having ancestors who fought to keep slavery in the Union and by having ancestors who were wage earners and could own land, have businesses, and send their children o school. None of which the slaves could do.

It is true that African slave descendants owe much to their ancestors here for their struggle and devotion to make a better way for their children. And you say they have benefited by living in America. But an African slave descendant just might say the greatest country to live in would be one back in the Motherland of Africa. No white person can comprehend what a Black slave descendant is thinking when it comes to reflecting on the African (Black) Holocaust in the Middle Passage and on this soil. This Great Grief is called "Ma'afa" by Africans.

I think the great writer James Baldwin's words must be quoted to you: "I know you weren't there—but it was done in your name—it will continue to be done in your name until you stop it." "It" is the system of slavery, the continuing slavocracy called the U.S.A., and you will continue the rule of white supremacy unless you see the need for whites to atone and repair the damage.

Response from Larry Yates

"I don't think that whites should pay reparations for something that they had no control over."

If I looked away from a child being beaten, if I walked away from an injured person without doing anything or seeking help, if I failed to act when my neighborhood's kids and seniors were at risk from speeding cars on a residential street, I would expect to be criticized, even though none of these bad things would be my fault, and in no case would the solution be completely in my control.

I have control over my brain, my heart and my speech. I have the ability to speak up, the ability to reach out. I do not fully control any aspect of the society around me. But I do control how I respond to it.

As a white person, I have control every day over benefits, privileges, and powers that come from slavery and Jim Crow -- even if my ancestors came over here after slavery (as some of mine did). This is not a matter for guilt. I did not ask to be born white. But it is still a fact.

Every time I look around a room, a store, a classroom, or a neighborhood, and see almost all white faces, I should be able to figure that it somehow got to be that way. It wasn't just random chance, and it probably wasn't that no people of color wanted to be there shopping or learning or making a good salary or living in safety and comfort.

I have control over my own ability to say "Wait a minute! Have we done everything we can do to make sure that slavery's legacy isn't at work here?" I have control over my ability to talk to people of color and ask them what they think is going on. I have control over who I associate with, what positions I take, and what I read and look at to learn more. I have control over whether I seek out other white people who will also ask questions and work with me for change.

I have control over whether I let embarrassment and apathy be more powerful than my conscience.

Every time I hear a statistic about how more African-Americans or Latinos die younger, or are in jail, or live in crappy housing, I have control over my ability to ask why this is true. I have control over my brain and my mouth, so that I can ask the question "Since I know from my own acquaintances that it is just as likely white people will be stupid or violent or take drugs or have unhealthy habits, how come they don't suffer the consequences as often?"

I have control over what I do with the money and assets that I inherit from my ancestors. They may not be much, but generally white people have relatively much more in assets, reflecting the advantage whites have had as a group for a long long time. In 1988, more than a century after slavery ended, and after a generation of civil rights laws, white families had, on average, 4 times the assets of African-American families. Do I use my assets only to perpetuate my advantage, or do I devote some of my energy and resources to making things more fair? Do I support a government and a system that keeps things tilted towards whites, or do I support African-Americans who are seeking a reasonable solution?

Remember, until the 1960s, segregated neighborhoods were the official policy of the federal government. Government loans were for whites, and, according to thousands of African-American farmers, still are. Almost every real estate transaction, every purchase of a farm, every opening of a business, is riskier or more secure depending on the race of the person involved.

If I look on coldly while a cruel system of racism enters its fourth century, even though the evidence of all this is right in front of me, I deserve criticism. I deserve criticism not for what someone else did long ago, but what was in my control yesterday and today that I chose not to act on.

If, while I was an innocent child, I accepted stolen goods, and then as an adult I found out they were stolen, it would be in my control to stay silent -- or to try to set the matter right. It would be in my control.

Comment from bavarianmonk@hotmail.com

I am very disappointed that I have not recieved an intelligent reply to my lengthy e-mail. Not one of my questions was answered. If the purpose of your organization is to educate you have fallen short. I would greatly appreciate a proper response to my original email if in fact someone has not deleted it for its content.

Response from CURE member Ida Hakim

I recommend that you read the information on the website. The questions you posed have already been answered in a number of the writings by CURE members and in the dialogue section. That is the reason why your correspondence has not been distributed to the CURE members for a personal response.