Reparations Owed & Reparations Due
On April 3, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. discussed the chief goal of The Poor People’s March in Washington DC it was a demand for the redistribution of wealth, this was a major emphasis of his mountaintop speech prior to his murder the following evening in Memphis, Tennessee at the Lorraine Motel. Dr. King spoke about the check for reparations marked insufficient funds. The check due to the entire black community for the free labor of slavery and the massive injustices and racist tactics that occurred during the century following slavery, the period known as American Jim Crow. America actually paid slave owners $300.00 per slave for slave owners in Washington DC prior to the end of the Civil War. Yet, the United States Government never paid a single dollar to the actual peoples who were enslaved.
History shows that 90% of the Black Community lived under the boot of Jim Crow prior to the start of the Great Migration period between 1916-1975. With so much of the black labor force in the south working as sharecroppers and domestic workers, even the passage of the Social Security Act of 1935 restricted payments to only 21% of southern black people. As a matter of fact, the period of Black Reconstruction was only 12 years between 1865-1877. Those 12 years was the actual amount of time that blacks actually were reserved/protected rights of citizenship by the United States Government. After the Compromise of 1877 which terminated union occupation of the formerly southern slave states. The boots of white oppression in the south lasted for almost another 100 years. American Blacks born in 1975 who are now 46 years old still resided in states with laws that suppressed black civil and judicial rights.
It seems that the only reparations that black families receive are if one of their children, fathers, or mothers is killed but the very forces supposedly are sworn to protect them (i.e Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, etcetera). So the United States is saying only by being maligned and murdered unjustly by law enforcement do Black Americans receive any reparations. I would think that most black Americans would rather skip that alternative route to reparations? Let the police kill you, then your family gets a check. But if you are killed by the huge influx of deadly weapons in our urban centers, weapons that were pushed into those communities by the American Government, sorry brother man wrong place, wrong time.
There is a whole bunch of silence coming from our black leadership about why we as a people have been unable to build any significant amount of community wealth. So I decided today to pull out a chart click on the link it shows with just the facts. You have many blacks in the nation whose eyes are completely closed to the degree of punishment we as a people have faced in these United States. I actually was one of those individuals thinking that if you work hard enough and put in the efforts, you will be rewarded by this nation. I was made a disbeliever and now I understand that no matter your station in life, no matter the degree of education, no matter what monies you think you have or property you think you own. You are still closer to being Terrence Crutcher, shot like a dog with his hands up, then securing any measure of true justice in this nation if you are black and caught in the wrong situation. If you happen to be caught in the snare of injustice it’s still 1916 and Jim Crow is still alive and kicking.
So I think we need to be reminded as a people that our rights have been trampled far longer than they have been protected. Those rights that are currently being evaporated daily by judges and legislators saying everything is so, so much better for blacks in America today. I’ll take my reparations with a living body, not a bloodied victimized one thank you. America we can negotiate for true justice but the very first item on our list of demands is restitution for the pain our ancestors and our communities have suffered.