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Should African Americans Receive Reparations Because of Slavery?

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Nick Hayden Dr. Washington PHI 135 22 April 2006 Should African Americans Receive Reparations Because of Slavery? We discussed numerous topics during our ethics class concerning reparations and the harsh reality in which blacks lived as they were put into slavery and entire communities were destroyed by rioting. We watched movies and read articles concerning this topic and discussed our ideas. The debate on reparations is an ongoing concern because it reflects not only a single town or state, but also an entire nation. This is a very sensitive issue and that at times has the power to offend people of different races. The term equality is almost impossible to avoid in this discussion. Should blacks receive reparations for slavery? Also, why are so many people opposed to this idea? In this essay, I will explain my opinions and thoughts on reparations and how they should be dealt with in the utmost ethical and just way. Since the beginning of time slavery has been an issue in all races and all countries. Generations of Egyptians and slaves shackled to each other and boulders, forced to build immense structures out of solid stone. Obeying all orders and suffering though the treacherous heat and unforgiving deserts in Egypt. Going though times where prisoners were forced to fight in coliseums for the sheer entertainment of rulers and emperors. ...read more.


The idea of reparations for a particular group in the United States did not begin with African Americans. One particular culture has received some sort of reparation for ill treatment from the government. In 1987, The Japanese received a cash settlement in the amount of $1.2 billion from the U.S. government for the internment camps during and after World War II. Many African Americans saw this and wondered if it were now possible for the government to acknowledge and take responsibility for its misguided past decisions. During that period of time, the Japanese contribution to the United States could not be compared to the African Americans. In addition, not a single Japanese life was lost during the duration of the camps, yet million of blacks died from the beginning of slavery in the United States to its end. I feel that reparations for blacks are long past due. I do not see the equality. The government should focus on repairing race relations in America, but favoring one group over another only makes it worse. It cannot simply put a dollar amount on someone's pain, then turn to the next person, shrug its shoulders and walk away. Blacks deserve to be compensated for the government's neglect. The reparations should be divided into forms that will have a positive impact on black communities. ...read more.


If they are even partly responsible in shaping and building America, then why are they being denied their fair compensation? Race relations need to be strengthened, and that all begins with making changes. With reparations in the form of grants rather than cash, the money will go to much needed areas within the black community. A sense of equality can be established among blacks that feel that they were pushed to the back burner while other groups were viewed more important than they were. Young black youth and underprivileged would be able to give way to their own future and label themselves as they wish. Society would not be able to stick a label on them and tell them they will never reach the dreams in which they desire. The government has formally apologized for slavery, reparations would then begin to fix the damages that it has caused, and a greater step into making amends will finally take place. It is time for African Americans to receive the respect they earned and deserve. I think reparations are wonderful and a way to replenish what a country destroyed whether it was dignity or an entire community. But in order for these to work they have to be properly implemented and issued. Forgiveness just does not happen overnight we as a whole need to break the color barrier and in so doing so, help all those in need. ?? ?? ?? ?? Hayden 1 ...read more.

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