Study Reparations for African Americans
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Please consider reading the petition in its entirety. It gives a broad stroke look at some of the ways slavery has had a lasting effect on modern day America. By signing the petition, a copy will automatically be addressed to your representative. If enough people sign the petition it truly does become a mandate that our government take steps toward moving forward on this issue. Please also consider posting the petition to your own Facebook or Twitter account so that it gets the broadest exposure possible.
With the alarming upsurge in violence against so many people following the recent election it has become ever more imperative that we address the social divide in our country on many fronts. While many advances have been made, the damage done to countless individuals, families & society at large remains a festering wound for this country. It is apparent from the numbers represented at the polls that feelings are raw about a number of issues.
Regarding slavery there can be no question of the damage perpetrated on the affected people. The lingering effects of that damage can hardly be understated. If anyone wonders about why people are unable to just “get over it” or that “things are different (or better) now” I strongly recommend reading any narrative about an illiterate slave by the name of Sojourner Truth. The depth of her convictions can hardly be ignored from the events she lived through in her life.
- United States Congress
Subject: Addressing the issue of Reparations
Dear: US Senate
I urge you to vote in favor of HR40.
HR40, the Commission to study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act introduced by John Conyers, Jr. of Detroit, MI, has been languishing in Congress for over 25 years. This is not acceptable.
The injustices perpetrated on African Americans are well documented. Despite Emancipation, despite integration, despite other legislation enacted to assure equality of rights for all people, the list goes on with acts of inequity, in effect continuing a status of second class citizenship which is the legacy of slavery. It continues in a myriad of ways, not the least of which is often substandard education most especially in the lower grades, poor medical services and lack of jobs that will ensure living wages. The list goes on where people of color are dishonored by demeaning treatment. The toll this constant incursion of micro-aggressions has taken is manifest to anyone willing to honestly and fairly examine it.
An excellent article written about the long term effects of ignoring the ramifications that slavery has had on our country as a whole to this day was written by Ta Nehisi Coates in the “Atlantic” entitled The Case for Considering Reparations. (www.theAtlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/thecaseforreparations/361621
If you are a Caucasian, imagine for a few moments any of the following:
Images portrayed in the public domain of people of color are largely negative.
You don’t know who might be a relative because your ancestors were separated & sold into slavery.
You have been elected to a position of power & are relentlessly subjected to barriers thwarting your efforts for the common good of your constituents.
Reparations have been granted to both Japanese victims of wartime internment and Jewish people who suffered immeasurable losses during WWII.
You are well educated & have a brilliant idea which no one will even entertain as viable because of a preconceived notion that it won’t work without even researching it completely.
You are a Caucasian parent who has adopted a child of color & your child behaves in a normal childish manner vying for your attention & the police are called to report your child as being disrespectful or disruptive.
You do not have access to good education nor any hope of economic improvement so resort to a life of crime as an means of acting out your frustration.
The expectation is for you to fail or not measure up.
You are sick and people do not take your illness seriously nor care that you don’t have access to needed medical help.
You are driving a car and a policeman stops you because of the color of your skin.
You watch TV & see all that this country has to offer in the way of material goods but you are unable to access these things because your education and life circumstances are not on a par with other more affluent people.
How about being in a store and the clerk automatically profiles you as a thief?
These are but a handful of behaviors disaffecting people of color with disheartening regularity on a day in, day out, unremitting basis. If you can honestly put yourself in those situations, do you think that you would feel oppressed by these micro-aggressions and resent it?
If you are a person of color you don’t need to imagine any of these scenarios. Regrettably these are only a few of the degrading assaults on a person of color’s self-worth that happen on a daily basis.
To continue to look the other way hoping that the problem of racism will go away if we ignore it long enough is not only counter-productive, it is fomenting a crisis prolonging what is already a monumental issue into a national disaster for all.
Until this country is willing to move forward on the issue of reparations, we are woefully ignorant to our legacy. We claim to be the greatest country in the world and in many ways we are but at whose expense?
People of color have already been scapegoats for those who dominate them. It is time to begin the long, slow, painful process of addressing the monumental wrong that has been done in the name of democracy. I urge you to vote in favor of HR40.
Sincerely, I envision a format asking for the parties name, email address & zip code.
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