Reason 6 Against Reparations By David Horowitz
6. The Reparations Argument Is Based On The Unfounded Claim That All African-American Descendants of Slaves Suffer From The Economic Consequences Of Slavery And Discrimination No evidence-based attempt has been made to prove that living individuals have been adversely affected by a slave system that was ended over 150 years ago. But there is plenty of evidence the hardships that occurred were hardships that individuals could and did overcome. The black middle-class in America is a prosperous community that is now larger in absolute terms than the black underclass. Does its existence not suggest that economic adversity is the result of failures of individual character rather than the lingering after-effects of racial discrimination and a slave system that ceased to exist well over a century ago? West Indian blacks in America are also descended from slaves but their average incomes are equivalent to the average incomes of whites (and nearly 25% higher than the average incomes of American born blacks). How is it that slavery adversely affected one large group of descendants but not the other? How can government be expected to decide an issue that is so subjective - and yet so critical - to the case?
Reason 6 For Reparations
6. During slavery southern colonies passed laws, which made it a crime to teach slaves to read and write. This system helped to perpetuate a sharply separated social-class structure. After the Civil War, most southern states tried to limit the economic and physical freedom of the formerly enslaved by adopting laws known as Black Codes(1865-1867). The harshest provisions used vagrancy and apprenticeship laws to bind the freedmen to the land, limiting their personal freedom and relegating them to a status similar to serfs. During the period of Congressional Reconstruction, which lasted from 1866 to 1876, the federal government declared illegal acts of discrimination against African-Americans. In response, southern whites launched a vicious, illegal war in the late 1860s and early 1870s under the cover of secret organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan. The federal government only made limited attempts to stop the bloodshed. When the Compromise of 1877 gave the presidency to Republican Rutherford B. Hayes in return for his promise to end Reconstruction, the federal government essentially abandoned all efforts at protecting the civil rights of southern blacks. The decade of the 1880s was characterized by mob lynchings, a vicious system of convict prison farms and chain gains, the horribly debilitating debt peonage of sharecropping, the imposition of a legal color line in race relations, and a variety of laws that blatantly discriminated against blacks. In the 1890s most southern states began more systematically to disfranchise black males by imposing voter registration restrictions, such as literacy tests, poll taxes, and the white primary. These new political rules were used by white registrars to deny political power to blacks. By 1910, every state of the former Confederacy had adopted laws that segregated all aspects of life (especially schools and public places). In the end, black resistance to the new legal order was difficult because the system of land tenancy, known as sharecropping, left most blacks economically dependent upon planter-landlords and merchant suppliers. Also, white terrorism at the hands of lynch mobs threatened all members of the black family--adults and children alike. To put it succinctly: impoverished and often illiterate southern blacks were in a weak position in the 1890s to confront the racist culture of Jim Crow. The Supreme Court's sanctioning of segregation (by upholding the "separate but equal" language in state laws) in the Plessy v. Ferguson case in 1896 and the refusal of the federal government to enact anti-lynching laws meant that African-Americans had to contrive their own means of resistance to Jim Crow. With the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, legalized segregation and the disfranchisement of African-Americans was finally ended. It had taken almost one hundred years of resistance to white terrorism and discrimination to achieve what had been promised to African Americans at the end of the Civil War. Despite the Civil Rights Act, the lack of equal access by African-Americans to adequate and rewarding jobs, quality education, and affordable housing strongly suggests to many observers that the spirit of Jim Crow still haunts the social and economic landscape of the American nation. The 1968 Kerner Commission report of the federal government said the nation was "moving toward two societies, one Black, one White--separate and unequal," and that's exactly what has happened, says a new report. The new report, "The Millennium Breach," released in 1998, said the economic and racial divide in the United States not only has materialized, it's getting wider.
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