Reparations cannot be contemplated without first assesing two things. First who is the responsible party or parties, and secondly what is the amount of damages.Firat the responsible party - African slaves came from Africa, where they were caught and sold by Africans. The initial and de-facto responsible party becomes the Africans who caught them and sold them into slavery. Therefore, the decendents of those persons having benefited from their estates should be the responsible party.Second the amount of damages. - We must compute the difference in economic status of the decendeants of those original slaves. I.E. how much better or worse off are they than they would be if they had been left alone and never aprehended and sold into slavery. Using rough numbers, the Per Capita GDP of the US is $43,500 for 2006. The per capita GDP for the African continent was $1,968 for 2003. PLease excuse the disparity in years, but it was the quickest data I could get my hands on. Based on the above facts, I see a reasonable amount of damages computed at the difference of the 2 GDP's assesed for every year of the person's life shold be paid be the decendents of the original slaves to the decendants of their original captors as payment for their unexpected and wholly unearned economic benefit from their residence in the US. IF this was deemed unacceptable, any person so choosing could be repatriated to their ancestors country of origin after they had paid in to the fund an appropriate amount to account for the superior education, health care, nutrition, and freedom from persecution that they have enjoyed in the US that they would not have enjoyed in their ancestor's country of origin.As ridiculous as this sounds, it is no more ridiculous than the idea that people who have never owned a slave should pay reparations to people who have never been one. Notwithstanding the fact that the vast majority of the families in the US in 1860 did not own slaves, and that fact that the vast majority of those who did were economically ruined during the reconstruction era. In effect the vast majority of the treasure acumulated by most of the slave owners has been redistributed already by the the government which freed those slaves. I think the average african slave was probably much worse off than his captor, but the average descendant of that slave is much better off than the average descendant of his captor. But if you're not happy with your position here in the US, feel free to go to Africa, forget how to read, get AIDS, and watch your family get chopped to pieces with a machete in some racial dispute in one of the most racially violent countries in the world.I really wish that some people who wine about how their great-great-great-grandaddy was a slave could go to Africa and see the misery they would be living in if he hadn't been. Slavery was (and is) a horrible crime against nature. There is no excuse for what was done, but it must be remebered who it was that did it, and it must be acknowledged that at least in the case of the slaves brought ot the United States, their descendants are infinitely better off than they would have been otherwise.Some folks just don't know how good they've got it.
For those who write off reparations as a ridiculous suggestion, how would you answer the following question:In 1944, Congress passed a bill giving $100,000 to your grandmother as an award for being wonderful. FDR vetoed it, but it passed over his veto because everyone loved your grandmother so much. Then the local government officials in charge of paying your grandmother refused to do so. FDR and later Truman, who were against the gift in the first place, didn't force them to do so.Now, it's 2007Does the government:A) not owe your grandmother or her family any money?B) owe your grandmother or her family money?