CURE Rises to Meet Historical Opportunity

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As the economic structure in the U.S. and around the world trembles and crumbles, and as we watch the nation's first Black president try to deal with this frightening reality, we know, and the U.S. President knows, that Black people are once again the first hit and the hardest hit by these hard times.

Back in 2008 when the bank and insurance failures began in earnest, we worried that the reparations demand would not just be off the table, but permanently dismissed as impossible. Then we watched as billions upon billions poured into the greedy, unrepentant and irresponsible hands of the rich. The audacity of it was hard to grasp, and I think it's safe to say that the working public was shell-shocked by accounts of the soulless waste of their money.

Today's bailouts call to mind some earlier, similarly exploitive bailouts of the rich and powerful. During the 1830s, in a move organized by banking families, the British government bailed out slave owners as colonial slavery was being abolished. A few decades later the U.S. government bailed out slave owners as well while it backtracked on decisions to allocate 40 acres and a mule. I recently read that the UK bailout of slave owners was so great a percentage of the annual government expenditure that by comparison it dwarfed the 2008 U.S. government bailout.

We've concluded that yes, it is difficult to do the right thing while relying upon, and shoring up a foundation built upon criminal exploitation. That's why rather than putting aside reparations work because of the economic climate, we must strengthen and increase our education efforts and our advocacy. It's time now for the 40 acres and a mule plus interest. We know the heyday of the exploiters must be over and this is the issue, the moment, and the place where we must make our stand.

Within the CURE organization we see upcoming allies in this work as the churches and spiritual communities whose task it is to uphold morals and spiritually guide parishioners. Belief in the divine and in the brotherhood of man is where human beings meet the crucible of what is right and what is in the base interest of self. There are a number of religious and spiritual organizations beginning to confront this reality, and we laud them for it. Reparations are an honorable way out of the horrific participation of religions in slavery and its aftermath, and some are proceeding in that direction.

The reparations work has not stopped or even slowed down among Black Reparations organizations. Leaders traveled to the UN at Geneva and spoke out clearly against the Western governments (U.S. and E.U.) during the Durban follow-up conference. Since that time grassroots leaders have met and collaborated successfully. We recognize also that a gathering in Washington, DC resulted in the formulation of an Afrodescendant economic stimulus plan that gives increasing definition to reparations at this crucial time.

The CURE Executive Board has been engaged in planning as well. We also making plans to increase our outreach as speakers and providers of educational materials and assistance. The outreach work, of course, is affected by how much we have in our bank account. Our annual minimum budget, just to keep the operation going, is $3,000. CURE members and friends can fund the minimum budget by renewing their $25 membership fee, or offering a small contribution. But this minimum doesn't allow for outreach.

Our dream budget, which would allow us to do the work that we are capable of, is $39,000. With our dream budget financed we will send speakers to churches across the country and to schools, conferences and special events. We will provide free educational materials to libraries and schoolteachers. For the mainstream we will provide, via the internet and media, historical information and analysis to help people see the lingering effects of slavery upon the descendants of enslaved Africans and upon our American society, so heavily sickened with racism, fear and ongoing exploitation at the hands of the rich and powerful. We will continue to support fundraising efforts of Black Reparations organizations and will hold another national conference. It will take more members, and larger contributions to fund this dream budget and we hope you will help us find those members and contributors, or if you have the means, increase your contribution.

The Black-led reparations organizations driving this movement have brought about so much progress, such as state and federal apologies for slavery, requiring slavery-related records of corporations, obtaining official UN recognition of Afrodescendants as peoples whose human rights have been decimated, causing churches to examine their participation, and inspiring numerous media discussions of accountability for past wrongs. It is now openly acknowledged that the effects of slavery linger in today's world. We hope that CURE has played at least a small part in creating this awareness, which we believe indicates a significant change to come.

We hope that you share our belief that this is not the time for fear. To help us in our work, please visit ReparationsTheCURE.org and click the Join CURE or Donate link. Or, if you prefer, just send your check for membership or your contribution to CURE, PO Box 922, Fairburn, GA 30213. Your contributions are tax deductible.

If you have joined CURE in the past and you are unsure of the last time you paid dues, just email me at hakimida@reparationsthecure.org. I'll get a response back to you. We also ask you to forward this letter to friends, family and associates who may not know about us. Let them know CURE has courageously raised its voice to white America on the issue of Black Reparations since 1992 and we wish to raise it louder with their help.

We thank you as always for being in support of reparations and of CURE.