Articles

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The Authors

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All of the articles presented below are written by white supporters of Black Reparations. Most of the authors are CURE members, some are friends. You'll find that we do not always think alike, but we do all want a just world, where truth is told. If you would like to comment on any of the ideas expressed in these articles, please go to "Discuss Reparations" and take advantage of one of our forums.

Jeff Hitchcock: Quakers and Reparations for Slavery and Jim Crow

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Out of the silence a woman asked, "Why don't Friends take reparations more seriously? It's the kind of issue Quakers take on." Her voice, plaintive and clear, touched me. In that moment I knew she had spoken truth.

Donna Lamb: Meeting the Opposition to Reparations

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I also ask people to be courageous and try to see whether their objection to reparations is really about the thing itself--or about the fact that it's Black people calling for it. I ask them to experiment mentally, change the scenario and see if it alters how they feel. For instance, what if it were Irish people who had been enslaved and Blacks who had been the slave owners and masters--would they still be against reparations? Come on, be honest: suppose it were your ancestors who had undergone chattel slavery: would you still say it was too long ago so just get over it--or would you feel it still deserved redress?

Ted Glick: White Progressives, Black Reparations

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Who is responsible for these massive inequalities and injustices? The average white person in the United States? No. The primary responsibility lies with the white, male, obscenely-rich power structure, the ruling elite, which is the same elite, the same class that has been dominant since the founding of the U.S. and which has profited enormously from chattel slavery, Jim Crow, colonialism, neo-colonialism, segregation and racism. This is the same class of people most responsible for institutionalized racism against all people of color, which benefits from the exploitation of workers and the second-class status of women, and which is destroying the earth's natural environment.

Amanda Furness (co-author): A Regional Perspective on Afro-descendant Quality of Life

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From Jamaica to the United States, Cuba to Canada, Guyana to Guatemala, these individuals share a common thread…although their fathers may have come from a tribe in Cameroon and their mothers from a tribe in Nigeria, making them indeed African people, they are unlike other people of African descent around the world in that they cannot use their mother tongue to call upon any government in Africa for support. Through forced mixed breeding they were deprived of their mother tongue and thereby they are denied the use of it today. Due to slavery’s lingering effects they speak the language of their slave masters—be it English, Spanish, Portuguese or a mixed language. This communal history is a determining factor in the quality of life of Afrodescendant communities, underlying the poverty, inadequate health care and unequal access to opportunity that Afrodescendants suffer in the states in which they reside today.

Larry Yates: Reparations and Whiteness

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The fact is that we are at the same time unique individuals and inextricably part of the collective process of history. You and I did not create the United States of America, but we are part of what it is today. The same goes for the system of racism that was once expressed in slavery, later in segregation, and today in massive disparities of wealth, health care, and access to legal justice. Every one of us has some role in that system, whether we are aware of it or not.

Ida Hakim: Reparations as Viewed From the River of Time

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In this writing I will attempt to briefly describe what is happening at present from two viewpoints: the United Nations, and white America. As a human rights advocate who has come up from the grassroots, my qualifications in taking up these subjects are humble, yet valid. I am one of the officers of an international UN non-governmental organization (NGO) in consultative status, and as such I am familiar with reparations efforts and responses from within the human rights bodies for the past twelve years. I am also the founder of the first organization of white Americans devoted entirely to reparations advocacy.

Pastor Peter Laarman: A debt, a Dream, and a Dilemma

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I need to avoid making this a history lesson, but I am always shocked by the extent to which people have been miseducated into thinking that slavery was merely a Southern anomaly rather than an American phenomenon that brought wealth and power to the whole country, except (of course) the Africans who were producing these riches through their uncompensated toil. Worse still, if and when the true story is taught in our schools, it's often taught as "Black History" rather than as American History--as if Black people are entitled to "their" narrative but the rest of us are exempt from having to know anything about it.

Jerry Saltzman: Reparations: An Issue of Justice and Much More

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I believe that it makes sense to say that a society which is organized so that the material well-being of the few is gained at the expense of the many, where this organization takes place to a large extent along racial lines, and where the organization is supported by institutions which keep that inequality in place, is a society of broken relationships. From a point of view that may be called spiritual, we might say that such a society violates the inherent connection among all humans and the construction of such a society is an affront to our inherent goodness.

Dorothy Blake Fardan: The Right of Sovereign Nations to Self Determination

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Some say it took three generations to make the negro. The first generation having memory and knowledge of self were the hardest to subdue and break in; the second generation, however, was born in slavery and twice removed from their original culture, except through oral transmission by elders in the secret recesses of their huts and gathering times. The third generation was born in slavery, thrice removed, and the umbilical cord severed in their minds. Some calculate this from 1555, their first arrival, to 1619, the American version of their first arrival. These are the 64 years lost in the history pages that in actuality were the years of processing time, "seasoning" and "ripening" the enslaved Africans, and deprogramming and reprogramming in the interests of white economic success.

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