Slavery was a grave mistake allowed by the federal government of the United States of America at the birth of the nation. The founders of the nation allowed a great sin which is still largely remembered all over the world and is very disturbing. A huge population of the Africans was sold to America and Europe so as to offer cheap labor to the Whites who owned huge farms. The issue of reparations to the descendants of the slaves has come up as a result of previous compensation to descendants of victims of the Jewish community as well as the Japanese after the attack by the Americans (Carrilo, 2002).
The slaves did not have any right as well as the freedom to do anything. Their masters controlled their lives exclusively. The reparation activists argue that the African-Americans are in their low state due to this factor. That their masters condemned them to hard labor in the farms without providing equal opportunities for their children to get quality education. They were not allowed to amass any wealth which would have improved their livelihood (Carrilo, 2002).
They therefore argue that their White masters played a great role to their disappointing lives that they live. There is the attitude that the vice of discrimination to equal education as well as other important social services such as health have led them to become poorer than ever. This may be true but I do not fully agree with the activists on some issues they argue about (Carrilo, 2002).
The issue of reparation should not be a monetary issue only. By this I mean that, by compensating the African-Americans with money will not solve the problems that they are faced with in their day to day lives. They will have the money, yes, but how well will they utilize it so as to pull off from the dark valley. It is not likely that all of them will invest, buy houses or use it to procure any other type of wealth.
We should also seat back and reason and ask ourselves, who are we compensating? The answer is obvious, the descendants of the former slaves (Cose, 2004). Slavery took place over a century ago. This is, of course, quite a long time. It may hence be difficult to trace who are the real descendants of the former slaves of the United States of America. So how will we prove that the black people in the land of America are real descendants of the former slaves?
After the abolition of slavery and slave trade, there were so many immigrants to the United States of America. Since then there have been so many people who moved to the United States of America (Cose. 2004). The identification of the descendants of the former slaves will be stressing as well as very expensive. Using DNA test so as to get the fact will drain the economy of the United States of America.
So, it is obvious that we will compensate the wrong people because it is true to say that not all the black people in the United States of America are descendants of the former slaves. Another intimidating question that I may ask is who is to pay the African-Americans whole package of reparations. It is obvious that the population of the African-Americans have multiplied with such a large proportion. So, the government will have to budget for compensation of the African-Americans (Cose, 2004).
This may be translated to billions and billions of dollars. The repercussion of this is a stressed economy which cannot hold its population. An economy that will not be able to sustain some of the vital services that the government should offer such as education, health, as well as maintenance and development of infrastructure. If these very important amenities are left to fall, there will be an even greater danger in the near future. The whole economy may end up being a failure.
As we continue on reasoning and getting a clearer image to this whole issue, we must ask who is to finance for the reparations of the African-Americans. This must be the taxpayers of course. We must also note that not the normal rate of tax paying will finance for such a huge compensation. This translates that the normal tax rates will have to be adjusted to a higher rate so as to finance the compensation. Higher taxes will be a doom to all the taxpayers, from the industrialist to the casual laborer. Higher taxes will mean an increase in the cost of household goods and more so, the essential commodities such as food, health and education.
Living in America will no longer be cheap but much more expensive than we anticipated before. For basic commodities such as food, one will have to part with a huge chunk of his or her salary. So the spirit of saving as well as investing in the economy will be lost which will adversely affect the economy. We may experience such a disaster as the just passed economic downturn where everybody felt the impact. And anyway will the government be able to service another Stimulus Package. This is practically impossible and so the activists should realize this and get a more applicable way to help the African-Americans.
We should therefore think of some appropriate measures which will not just benefit the African-Americans alone but also the other members of the society as well. This is because the economy is built up by all the members of the society. We should there use an approach which is analyzed to be of benefit to the future generations. A plan that is of long term benefit is the most important. The approach should also be convincing to the victims. The approach should be a catalyst to the healing wounds in the souls of the victims.
Reconciliation would be a better option in this case. The government should apologize to the descendants of the former slaves. The descendants should accept the apology and create peace. Reconciliation will bring love and promote brotherhood. There will be unity among the citizens of the United States of America. Harmony and peace will flourish in the country making the country stronger than ever (Horowitz, 2002).
Having created peace with descendants of the former masters, the African-Americans will be out of the bondage that they have been in. They will be out of the situation of shifting the blame the blame to the former masters for their wanting situations. They should therefore change their attitude and opt for better lives. After all, no man can determine another man’s destiny.
America is a land of opportunities, so they say. This is evident as hundreds of thousands of immigrants are received by open arms of America every year. Most of these people come from poor background with poor amenities provided to them by their governments. They have poor roads, poorly offered as well as inefficient education which may not sustain one in the modern world (Horowitz, 2002). They come to America prepared to toil and get the wealth found in USA and not any other country of the world. Surely, most of them succeed and they help their families back in their countries of birth. Why do they succeed and yet they were not born in America, educated here or even enjoyed the sophisticated infrastructure found in America. The African-Americans who are still not awake should therefore, wake up and smell the coffee. Why are there successful African-Americans participating in the economy of the United States of America.
Slavery ended long ago and despite that it was such a feat to abolish slavery. The African-Americans have taken the attitude of gangster-life. They have become rebellious amongst other members of the society (Horowitz, 2002). This maybe as a result of them having a feeling that the other members of the society view them with contempt. Most of the black youth engage in drug abuse, especially usage of hard drugs instead of utilizing the education that is being offered by the government. They use the drugs as it has been a culture to the black people to console themselves for their wanting status.
Martin Luther King Jr’s war against discrimination can surely be said to be successful. There is no discrimination in America. Obama, a black, is the president. There are equal job opportunities, education opportunities but it is for the black people to change their attitude and get the will. It would be such a difficult thing to pay for the crimes of our forefathers. The European countries cannot be able to pay to all the African countries that they colonized, where there was brutality more than ever and note that slavery took earlier than colonization.
To sum it up, the African-Americans should change their attitude and take the opportunities at hand, compensation will take the economy to its knees and everybody will suffer.