Absolutely it is a problem that someone who is innocent should pay for the sins of their ancestors. How could someone even suggest such a thing? This is exactly the evil perpetuated in North Korea - the 3 generation rule where if your grandfather betrays the dear leader, his children and grandchildren suffer for life in prison.

Are you responsible for the sins of your ancestors? Should you go to prison for what your parents or grandparents did? Should your children be punished for your wrongdoing? Would you be ok with paying reparations over and over for your ancestors wrongdoing?

Reparations HAVE been paid, and multiple times. It's just never enough to please those who will never accept anything as reparations. The mere fact that you think "there were none" just proves that paying reparations is a neverending battle. Not to mention, how does it actually fix any evils of the past? The same way saying "sorry" or paying a $1 million fine will never bring back someone who was murdered.

There is no such thing as "making whole" the Africans who were wronged by fellow Africans or those who practiced (and continue to practice) slavery around the world. Just like there's no reparations for the evils we've seen perpetuated on the world over the last 2 years. But you're also focusing on one aspect of the evil.

Muhammad Ali put it quite succinctly when he went to visit Africa for the "Rumble in the Jungle" and a reporter asked him what it felt like being back in his ancestors' homeland:

"Thank God my grandfather got on that boat!"

It's not a joke, nor is it funny. It's also not intended to downplay the evil of what was done to his ancestors. But he points out that he would NEVER be the heavyweight champion of the world, let alone know what true freedom from tyranny would be, if his grandfather didn't survive the trip to America and became a slave. To completely ignore the reality that Ali's life is far better than it would have been in Africa is not only a lie, it's just childish. It's a sad fact of life that all the evil that was done in Africa led to millions of people being free in America instead, and arguably have a much better life, just a few generations later.

Two examples of reparations that you forgot about or ignored/denied: the US Civil War and affirmative action.

The US Civil War led to hundreds of thousands of people dying, just like your 4x great grandfather, to ensure slavery ended in the US. We can have political discussions about whether the war ever should have happened or whether there could have been much less bloody options, but there's no denying that hundreds of thousands of Americans who didn't even know your ancestors - white people, black people, and everything inbetween - gave their life to ensure freedom from those enslaved. If that's not reparations, nothing is.

More recently, we have programs like affirmative action. Again, you could argue whether it actually works, whether it does more harm than good, etc. But there's no denying that favortism is given to those of certain skin colors over others to meet quotas. You can agree with the program or disagree. You can say it goes too far or not far enough. But you can't deny that it's another example of reparations to "right what was wronged" in an otherwise impossible debt to be paid. Again, if you can't say "sorry" or pay money to right the wrong of ONE person being murdered, how on Earth could you ever expect any sort of reparations to right the wrong of millions of people hundreds of years ago? Therein shows the lies perpetuated by "social justice" - innocent people's money being taken to pay for people who haven't been wronged is futile at best and it is far more immoral at worst.

The more recent reparations request - cash payments - can have the same pros/cons arguments. Not to mention the insane logistics of determining who is the victim and who is the perpetrator. We certainly can't go by skin color because I look white yet my people were wronged hundreds of years before African slaves were ever brought here. What are the odds the government does a thorough investigation and research to ensure people aren't wronged in the process of forcing some to "do what's right"?

Herein lies the problem - you speak of wanting reparations for the wrongdoings of your ancestors and I'm truly interestd in hearing more about the documents you have and the history throughout (perhaps in an article vs our comments back/forth? lol)

But this also is just an arbitrary starting point. I come from the Lakota (Sioux) tribe in the US. As you mentioned, the indigenous people have been wronged by the US government as well (to put it nicely). But why stop there? The Lakota fought and killed and stole land from tribes before them, who fought and killed to steal land and resources from tribes before them.

Life is brutal and painful and downright disgusting sometimes. The vast majority of humanity's existence has been fighting for survival against conquering nations/people and it's only in the last couple hundred years humanity has seen the opportunity to rise above all of that and try this social experiment we call the United States where freedom is not granted to people, it is engrained in our very existence.

And life is certainly not fair no matter how many times people lie and tell you the opposite. Of course not, the same people who wrote "all men are equal" obviously continued the thousands year old idea that slaves were not human. That's fucked up! Let's just say it. Don't sugar coat it. It's not "bad" or "wrong" it's absolutely fucked up that anyone would see someone with different skin pigmentation as anything less than human. But the fact that some have darker or lighter skin itself is literal proof that life isn't fair. But it's not fair because we're all different, so this isn't a bad thing. Life would be boring if we all looked, acted, and thought the exact same way!

The best we can hope for is that we are treated justly. The underlying issue is that those in power exempt themselves from the law and rarely face justice. So it is up to all of us to ensure those in power are held to the same standard and prosecuted when they do wrong. This is a serious issue in our society as we see millions suffer because of [fill in whatever worldwide issue you'd like - climate change, pandemic, inflation, basic human rights, etc] and no one is held responsible or prosecuted for wrongdoing. So the evil grows, like a deadly cancer.

But picking slavery or the decimation of Native Americans by the US government as the focal point is as disingenous as picking a point in the last 20 years where a group of people were mistreated and want reparations. As I hinted at earlier, there are now millions of people who have a right to demand some extreme justice just for the evils perpetuated on governments around the world for wrongdoing and outright theft of trillions of dollars and unnecessary death. My son will be born in a couple months and HIS children and grandchildren already have a bill waiting for them from the evil actions of the US government. That is, unless we have total catastrophic collapse in which case their lives will still be far worse than they could/should have been.

The evils perpetuated in the last 2 years are just coming to light and when people finally realize just how bad it is, it will be far more evil than what happened 400 years ago. I know, it sounds ridiculous but in sheer numbers alone the amount of suicides, drug overdoses, and even hundreds of millions of people around the world brought BACK to poverty due to the lockdowns is far worse in actual numbers than all those affected by slavery in the US.

You could easily argue "why only go back 2 years? Or only 20?" the same way I'm saying "why go back only 400 years?" The evils of humanity did not start in the 1600s. Or the 1400s or 1200s. Or AD 1 or 200 BC. My entire point is that picking any point along the history of mankind and ignoring everything else is disingenous at best.

The other question is when does the "owing" end? If 5 generations isn't long enough, what about 10? Will your great great great grandchildren still be the victims of slavery? And what about Native Americans? Should I be getting reparations for what happened to my 4x, 5x, and 6x grandparents even though I've never had to deal with a single issue that they encountered (warfare, starvation, disease, outright murder of my family/friends by the US govt, etc)?

What about the dozen+ nations around the world where I PROMISE you, the US government has perpetuated even more evil than what was done to anyone in America? Why hold the goalpost at not only the last 400 years but only focus on evils done within the US territories? Trillions of dollars would then be owed to Japan (let's not forget they dropped two atomic bombs there), Russia, most African nations, pretty much all of South and Central America, even Britain ("how dare you break from the queen?!"). Is there a single country the US hasn't affected? Switzerland maybe?

Where do we draw the line before you literally bleed every American (except the politicians, of course) dry of money and force them in to poverty? How much flesh is enough? Are you looking to destroy the whole system out of revenge? What system/who will take power in the US afterward? Are you sure they won't be 10x more brutal and evil than the US government? Look at Iraq and Libya for current day examples. Slave trading returned to Libya now that the "evil Gaddafi" is gone, making the country far worse than when he was there. When you irradicate evil there's no guarantee that "good" takes its place. Oftentimes the result is even more evil. Just look at every country the US has meddled in since at least the CIA's coup of Iran's democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953. It's been downhill from there, and I don't just mean Middle East relations.

How about we all fight to stop the evil from spreading rather than arguing how the evil government hurt people X more than people Y?

Write about politics, religion, economics, & finance. If you like most Medium articles you probably won’t like what I say. https://compiled.social/bryanwithawhy

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Bryan With a Why

Write about politics, religion, economics, & finance. If you like most Medium articles you probably won’t like what I say. https://compiled.social/bryanwithawhy