Reason 2 Against Reparations By David Horowitz
2. There Is No One Group That Benefited Exclusively From Its Fruits The claim for reparations is premised on the false assumption that only whites have benefited from slavery. If slave labor created wealth for Americans, then obviously it has created wealth for African-Americans as well, including the descendants of slaves. The GNP of black America is so large that it makes the African-American community the 10th most prosperous "nation" in the world. American blacks on average enjoy per capita incomes in the range of twenty to fifty times that of blacks living in any of the African nations from which they were kidnapped.
Reason 2 For Reparations
2. Blacks in the "black belt" of former slave states and territories are the dead last poorest group in this country, even though they are the closest to the "wealth" built by slavery. Most of the black middle class emerged in the 20th century and in the North where slavery and Jim Crow were were relatively weaker, Horowitz's supposition that blacks benefited from slavery is incorrect. The black middle class, as defined by education, occupation, and income, is primarily a post-1960s development. Prior to the 1960s, because of racial discrimination, segregation, and the fact that most blacks lived in the rural South, African-Americans experienced limited opportunity. The small number of black professionals were largely confined to serving the black population. Outside the black community, African-Americans worked in unskilled industrial or service jobs. There's a direct cost for slavery's legacy. Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Andrew Brimmer estimates that discrimination costs blacks $10 billion yearly through the black-white wage gap, denial of capital access, inadequate public services, and reduced social security and other government benefits. This has been called the "black tax." He's also wrong on Africa. While Africa is economically crippled, that is partially due to slavery. The need for cheap labor, cheap raw materials and new markets fueled what is frequently called "New Imperialism." Africa became fully colonized by European merchant powers in a matter of decades. The extractive economy of imperialism kept local capital and civil society from developing, and the US, as one of the largest market for slaves, and later for raw materials and finished goods, fueled this. Even today, nations with immense natural wealth, such as the Congo, are impoverished because of the political and economic manipulations by the US during the colonial era, and also in the post-colonial era. Far from being an argument against reparations, the state of Africa suggests that African nations should sue for reparations based on the terrible impact slavery had on their economies as well.
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