how much money has come out of your pockets?

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I shall not try to persuade these poor, misguided souls concerning their very pressing need to make amends for the so-called historical wrongs done to the African Negroes. So, I shall ask you this. How much money have y'all contributed towards this absurdity called reparations for slavery? How much of this money has come out of your own pockets? Have y'all sold your homes and given all the money to some more deserving ghetto-raised momma and her half dozen kids, each by a different breeder? Or has the money been given to Michael Jordan? Oprah Winfrey? Bill Cosby? Or any of the hundreds, no, thousands of very well off Negroes currently living in the US? No? Well, how hypocritical of the whole lot of you. I expect that, before any White man, or woman, demands of me that I owe a bunch of Negroes money, just for being Black in the States, y'all would have already made the ultimate sacrifice and given all your money, including your children's college money, your retirement money, any and all your moneys that you ever expect to have, to Black families, hopefully those living in the ghettos so that they can escape. Can y'all think of a better legacy to leave your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren? J. SHIRLEY JR

Comments

For forty years, since the age of 15, I have been publicly active in support of African-American struggles. I am the first to say that I have not sacrificed so much. In the course of a life working for nonprofits and for social justice, I slid back a little from the upper middle class status of my parents, but I still have a nice home, health insurance, etc. But I have confronted a lot of people, for some reason, with opposition to racism and a belief that the oppression of African-Americans is the central moral crime my nation has engaged in. It's really not much to do, but it's enough to make a lot of white people very uptight. Perhaps because they feel a certain guilt.

For that reason, I expect to get unreasonable challenges like yours. Let me ask you similar questions-- Have you ever supported a war, but not fought in that war yourself? If you belong to a church or congregation, have you given every cent you own to that congregation, or at least 10% of your income? Do you believe that we are harming the environment, but still drive a car? Did you promise to marry for life, but get a divorce? In other words, are you a flawed human being? I will admit that I am.

But I take racism seriously, and I am seeking solutions. I believe the fight for reparations leads in the right direction. I know I am not perfect, and nor are the other members of CURE. But we start with the principle of respect for African-American experience, and try to go from there.

If you come back with some effort to meet us human to human, not to challenge us for not being perfect, perhaps we can have a conversation.