Jul. 11, 2019

Crimes Against Humanity: Why Reparations

"Without history, there is no memory; without memory, there is no future; if you cannot learn from the past, we repeat the same mistakes over and over again"

Reparations owed to descendants of our African Americans in this country have nothing to do with whether or not living white Americans weren't around during the period 1619-1965 of white oppression. The crimes committed against our black ancestors fall under the category of "crimes against humanity". There is no statute of limitations for crimes of this nature. According to the trials held in Nuremberg, Germany after World War II, the crime committed against the Jewish people by the German Nazis were seen as crimes against human humanity due to the Jewish Holocaust. The crimes were committed by the German people yet they were authorized by the German government. In addition, the German government officials closed their eyes to the atrocious acts performed by German citizens on the Jewish peoples. The Jewish people were thus eligible for reparations due to not only the actions of German citizens but also acts of government neglect, acts of government promotion, and acts of legalized murder authorized by the German government. Hence, even today some 75 years after the end of World War II individuals can still be prosecuted and the German government can still be held liable for the Jewish Holocaust.

The same principles that are applied toward the guilt of the German Government, as it relates to the Jewish Holocaust, can be applied as well to the United States government related to the nearly 350 years of institutional government supported oppression of African Americans during the period of slavery as well as government supported oppression after the decade of Black Reconstruction. The laws that were included in the constitution, the 3/5 clause, and the continuation of the international approved slave trade are examples of laws against humanity. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 is another example of an example of laws against humanity. The Supreme Court rulings of 1858, Dred Scott which judged blacks as subhuman is another example of federal judicial action against humanity. The Supreme Court ruling in Plessey v Ferguson was another example of a federal judicial act against humanity. The very fact that the United States legislative or executive branches of government didn't intercede in the murderous mob killings or lynching of black American citizens was a symbolic sense of federal approval of those actions. These murders which numbered in the thousands, many of which are still unrecorded are indeed prime examples of crimes against humanity. The fact that slavery existed for more than 2 centuries in the United States unabated is the most heinous example of this nation's crimes against humanity.

The fact that our ancestors were forced to work in horrid conditions without pay. Work in slave labor conditions is another example of crimes against humanity. The fact that even after the passage of the Civil War Amendments, the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, our ancestors continued to be forced to work in conditions resembling slavery are crimes against humanity. The convict leasing state and the federal government approved programs are crimes against humanity. The peonage system that was ignored by federal officials are crimes against humanity. The lack of judicial representation of an entire race of people in state and federal courtrooms are crimes against humanity. The inability of citizens to play an active role in the democratic process of voting for nearly 350 years is a crime against humanity. The inability of black parents to have their children receive an equal opportunity to educate their children because of state and federal legislation is a crime against humanity. The inability to earn an income equal to the income of whites, or being denied the opportunity to even earn an income is a crime against humanity. Especially considering federal and state legislation was created to support these economic inequalities.

So, no white person can make the argument that we had nothing to do with the crimes performed by the state and federal governments related to crimes against humanity related to owed black reparations. You see the legal standard has been set by the international courts that crimes against humanity have no statute of limitations. You can look over the dark past of American history to see many thousands upon thousands of cases of crimes performed by both state and federal sanctioned officials in these United States that fall under the category crimes against humanity. In 1947, the NAACP attempted to appeal to the United Nations for a sanctioned ruling that would force the United States to own up to the crimes that were suffered by black Americans. Only to be stiffed by the United States in gaining any traction. Malcolm X intended to go before the United Nations for reparations due to black Americans only to be murdered before he could state his case internationally. Martin Luther King wanted to go before the federal government in 1968 for some form of wealth redistribution only to be murdered weeks before his plan was implemented. We have some of our own black people 35% who disagree with blacks receiving any form of economic reparations. Yet the reality is that reparations are indeed a sacred honored right that must be acknowledged and paid. Because there is no. absolutely no statute of limitations on crimes committed that can be deemed as crimes against humanity. What was the treatment of black Americans in the United States from 1619-1945 if it wasn't a crime against the humanity of man?