The Case For Reparations – Ta-Nahesi Coates

Interesting talk by Mr. Coates.

1. I would say that I disagree with reparations. Primarily because all human groups have suffered from oppression. I do not see how Black Americans are unique in this regard.

2. There are peoples in Africa who benefitted and profited immensely from slavery. Spain and Portugal started the African Slave Trade to the Americas. The Islamic African slave trade to the East lasted hundreds of years more and stole millions more Africans away from that land. Other Africans, again, profited handsomely from this (See the Ashanti and Dahomey tribes among others).

2. To whom would reparations be paid? For instance, what of the descendants of Black Slaveowners? (see William Ellison of South Carolina)  Do descendants of slave owners pay more? What of those of us who came to America more recently after the America Civil War or within the past decade?

3. The American Civil War was not fought over slavery. It was fought over the Right of a State to Secede from the Union. Secession was caused by the fear in the South that the election of Lincoln and the Republicans threatened their “peculiar institution.” The war did not have to be fought. Lincoln could have been peacemaker instead of King Warmaker. Lincoln chose war. Not the South.

4. US Grant’s memoirs are superior. If you haven’t read them. Do yourself the favor and pick it up. It is actually a free download online. Google “Memoirs of US Grant + .pdf”.

5. Race, itself, is a societal myth created by Europe in order to justify the African slave trade.

To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.

James Baldwin