Mar. 3, 2020

Why Reparations? We Cannot Settle For Less “Convict Leasing”

Why reparations? The evil institution of slavery in this country was quite peculiar. It put value on black human souls and that value gave those black souls some levels of protection. While slavery was both vile and cruel. The slave owners financial wealth was based on the number of those slaves he held captive in chains. The children born from black women slaves were forever bound to the evil system of bondage. When slavery ended with the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865, it was assumed that all the evilness perpetrated on blacks in this nation would end. Yet, in many ways that evilness only increased in its deprivation. You see no longer was an economic value placed on people of color in the southern states. Our ancestors became throwaways. Once used up their lives had no value. With the end of Black Reconstruction the onslaught of white supremacy rose to a level of unimaginable terror, unbearable pain to our black ancestors. One system of slavery supposedly eliminated another far more heinous system called convict leasing created. Why Reparations?

Let’s dig a little deeper: By the late 1870s, the defining characteristics of the new involuntary servitude were clearly apparent. It would be obsessed with ensuring disparate treatment of blacks, who at all times in the ensuing fifty years would constitute the vast majority of those sold into labor. They were routinely starved and brutalized by corporations, farmers, government officials, and small-town businessmen intent on achieving the most lucrative balance between the productivity of captive labor and the cost of sustaining them. The consequences for African Americans were grim. In the first two years that Alabama leased its prisoners, nearly 20 percent of them died. In the following year, mortality rates for the leased convicts rose to 35 percent. In the fourth, nearly 45 percent of the leased convicts were killed." This was just one southern state, Alabama, just imagine this system of expansive injustice being spread across the entire southern region of a nation that was supposed to provide protection for its most vulnerable citizens. So, why reparations? One answer is convict leasing and the horrendous injustice inflicted on our black ancestors.
Please don’t allow reparations to become a side issue to be cast aside and forgotten. Don’t allow either political party to think we can forgive and forget. The lives lost by just this method of oppression deserves justice, along with the generations of lives that were forced to accept this vile treatment without a repayment.

Slavery By Another Name
The Black Blogger