The Why Behind Reparations
Contemporary thought would suggest that Black America simply cannot adapt to the rapid industrial logistics of 21st century advancement because of genetic slow-wittedness or simple lethargy, and that 13th generation Black descendants of Africans are a intellectually dulled liability to humanity, ripe for extinction. Keyword in the above statement is why.
Measured against every other ethnic group in America where it pertains to economic success, community unity, and educational, career, and financial achievement, Black America continues to fall to the bottom, except in spending power, which we seem to master every fiscal year. Most ironic is that Black America has inhabited this country longer than any ethnicity here other than Native Americans; ponder that for a moment where extinction is concerned. Yet, Black America has benefited least in the flourishing capitalist atmosphere of American society.
Having been here for over 400 years, populating this country well over 1 billion in total numbers, having learned, experienced, lived through, participated in and basically mastered every aspect of this country and how it operates, according to the "State of Black America," we still have nothing and its seems to be getting worse, not better, never better. As natural born citizens, tax payers, employees, students, and would you know it, human beings, Black America is currently living as a politically correct hyphenated group of immigrants socially comparable to people fresh off the boat.
Are any of the above attributes of a co-founding people a result of genetic malfunctions? Has the labor we and our ancestors born [free labor for 200 plus years] deserving of the existing social class status? Why do we recurrently remain in a fight for Civil Rights and social justice in the country we practically built, nursed, and powered, and still do? Why do we not own and control half of all the economic, cultural, political, and military powers and forces of the United States; furthermore, why are we [all] borrowing, applying, proposing, lobbying, protesting, boycotting, and any other imploring forms of getting what we need to survive in the very same country we established with our own hands?
Most companies we work for were established by our labor. The trains that transport ride on the tracks we laid; the roads we travel, the grids that power us, the mechanics that make it all work were all the result of the travail our ancestors endured under the drive of their taskmasters, and to this day, we reap the conveniences but not the profits. Does this spell divine plan or genetic malfunction? By now, should not the "State of Black America" be parading our successes instead of disclosing our failures? To shine light on the perspective at hand, let us look to our brother Amos Wilson who says:
"The American economic system, as is its system of government, its military and para-military system, as well as its religious and media systems - the key power systems of any modern society - are systems organized by, of and for white men vs. Black men. White people vs. Black people. And these systems are not the creation of Adam Smith's mythical "invisible hands" guiding self-interested, self-serving individuals into the coincidental building of an equilibrated market economy, free market and democratic government. These systems were and are constructed and operated by highly conscious and deliberate men, men well aware of what they are about and what it is they want to achieve - the Holy Grail or power and the perks of power. These organizations and systems can only be neutralized or defeated by counterpoised organizations and systems and the oppositional consciousness which informs them" (Blueprint For Black Power, p.33).
To further support the obvious theory of systematic manipulation of this country's past and present dispersion of wealth and power away from the Black hand, we look now to "America's long history of 100 percent racial quotas in favor of whites, cited from Theodore Cross' book, 'The Black Power Imperative', pp.122-23."
"For 300 years the American Colonies, the States and the Federal Government allotted untold billions of dollars of public wealth to members of the white race.
1695 - Massachusetts Bay Colony cedes plantation rights in six-square mile tracts to "worthy" individuals. The population of the colony included Black slaves as well as free blacks. Neither were treated as "worthy" individuals eligible for land grants.
1683 - Maryland and Virginia establish fifty-acre land grants to settlers who pay their own way across the Atlantic. Blacks were given a free ride in slave ships and thus were not eligible for grants.
1785 - The federal Ordinance of 1785 authorizes the sale of 640-acre tracts to settlers for $1 per acre. As slaves, Blacks were legally prohibited from owning property.
1800 - The federal government establishes liberal credit privileges in western territories for buyers of public land at a price of $1 an acre. Slaves not eligible and free Blacks generally considered uncreditworthy.
1850 - The beginning of the massive federal land grant program for private railroad companies. Outright awards of 130 million acres frequently include property for twenty miles on either side of roadbeds. These lands later found to contain billion of dollars of petroleum and mineral reserves. Black businessmen never considered qualified to acquire, finance, or operate railroad franchises.
1862 - The Homestead Act grants settlers 170-acre tracts of federal lands without charge. Over 250 acres of public lands transferred almost exclusively to whites in the most important land program in American history. Negro claimants blocked by lynch mobs, intimidation and refusals of local authorities to protect their claims.
1889 - In the celebrated Oklahoma Land Rush, 150,000 white settlers scramble to claim the choicest. Savage lynchings, Ku Klux Klan terrorism and Jim Crow legislation kept Negroes out. Later the heirs and successors of white settlers were to discover billions of dollars of petroleum resources on these lands.
1920 - The Mineral Leasing Act authorizes the federal government to lease public land for the exploration of oil, gas, and other minerals. Affluent Negroes need not apply. Race discrimination in public awards was the established policy of the federal government in the 1920s.
1926 - The federal Air Commerce Act authorizes the granting of monopoly air routes to qualified aviators. The nation's airlines are born. Twenty thousand white pilots learned their trade in the rigidly segregated World War I Army Air Corps ensuing that the ownership of commercial aviation would be lily white.
1927 - The federal Radio Act authorizes the award of radio station broadcast franchise to private citizens. Under settled policy of the federal government, no grants were made to Negroes. Radio broadcast licenses currently valued in the billion of dollars now held almost exclusively by whites.
1939 - The Federal Communications Commission issues the first licensed for television broadcast station. No grants made to Negroes until token awards of the late 1970s. In 1980, all television franchises, valued at $5 million to $10 billion held exclusively by whites.
1941 - Government contracting becomes a major factor in the sales revenues, and profits of private enterprises. Race discrimination in government contract awards become the official policy of the United States government. During the years 1941 to 1980, approximately $3 trillion in contract awards were made almost exclusively to white firms.
Now, one can argue that Black men today need to get educated, good jobs, learn to speak the King's English correctly, take on the concept of personal responsibility, stay out of trouble, i.e. drugs, gangs, and prison; however, after considering the truth of the past, can anyone truly argue that any of the attributes above can catapult them to the level of white capitalist America? Well, sure, according to the ideology of typical conservative society, after hard work and sacrifice, a Black man from the hood can own his own railroad, airline, oil company, television station and corporation to eventually run his own country like the rest of the "immigrants" did. Maybe all these things are possible and could have always been possible except for the ugly face of race discrimination and the one-sided treatment of Blacks overall.
Does white America owe Blacks anything after such treatment? Technically no, because there was never an agreement on paper or verbal understanding that whites would share the wealth with Blacks, and despite the forty acres lie, what makes us Blacks believe that they would honor such an agreement seeing they were the ones with the whip in their hand. We could [and many have] forget about it and move on, but theoretically, Black America have just as much right to the wealth of this country as whites thus there should be no ninth wards spread throughout this country, no prisons half filled with Black men, no high percentage of single Black women and millions of Black children in poverty. After the wealth this country has produced side-by-side with Black America, this conversation should not be nor this subject an issue.
However, we see what people we deal with yet still continue to use the methods given to us by them to gain what we know and they know is rightfully ours. What sense does it make to take the advice of the very people who swindled us, i.e. vote, protest, sue, propose legislation, or scream and holla to a people who have not and never had the intentions on sharing the wealth of the North American continent with African slaves or their descendents. Far as they are concerned, it is all said and done; get over it, move on, and shut the hell up.
The continued distain, neglect for, and racial indifference toward Blacks in America has not and will not yield any time soon as long as this hypocritical notion of "personal responsibility" overtakes the truth of past discrimination and its current residual effect. The current generation of white America is the direct descendants of wartime peoples who were blatant bigots with imperialistic visions of world democracy, and their children [your managers and CEOs] carry these traits in more subtle yet arrogant ways. Their view of Blacks today is one passed on from their parents who are laced with resentment of Civil Rights legislation. So as long as Negro leaders cry the cry of Civil Rights, there will be no talk of Reparations. That is the why behind Reparations.