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Will reparations solve the problem?

No! While abhorring even the concept of slavery, in terms of the United States of America as of April 2024, the idea the descendants of enslaved Africans in the United States are owed something because of slavery is repugnant to an Ole Seagull. He views reparations as a useless attempt to assuage the misplaced guilt of “the few,” many of whom, in Ole Seagull’s opinion, will directly benefit from reparations over actions that most Americans, particularly those of the 20th and 21st Century, had no involvement with. Is it fair to hold and punish the current generation for the actions of individuals from past generations?


“Now hold on, Seagull, don’t you feel a moral and ethical obligation to make amends for the grave injustices of slavery and its aftermath?” “Only if you can explain how the payment of a sum of money to a descendant of a slave, several generations removed from their ancestors who actually experienced the slavery changes what happened or the suffering they endured.”


“Well, no, but what about the aftermath of slavery and the ‘Racial Wealth Gap’ between black and white households in the United States, because of the alleged ‘systematic exclusion of African Americans from opportunities to accumulate wealth and assets because of slavery, segregation and discriminatory policies and practices?’” “Well, of the three items mentioned, an Ole Seagull has a tough time reconciling any 21st Century differences in income between black and white households because of slavery or segregation. It gets even tougher when you get to discriminatory policies and practices. With all the discrimination lawsuits and allegations going on regarding color, it hardly seems like that is an excuse or explanation for the differences in income between black and white households.”


An Ole Seagull research shows most enslaved individuals brought to the United States from Africa were first captured and sold by their own people, African traders, and political leaders. They would wage war or conduct raids to capture people from rival groups or tribes. Afterward, they would sell these captives to transatlantic slave traders who operated along the coast. The areas seeing the highest number of people forcibly displaced include Senegambia, which comprises the Senegal and Gambia Rivers and the land between them. That includes what is today Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali and Senegal.


While excusing nothing about the atrocity of slavery or the obstacles that the descendants of enslaved Africans in the United States have had to deal with, an Ole Seagull has to believe that the average 21st-century descendant of enslaved Africans in the United States has an exponentially better quality of life than the average 21st Century descendants of those living in the countries that initially captured them and sold them into slavery.


To him, reparations revive old grievances that began generations ago and are not easily resolved through monetary compensation today. Shouldn’t we focus on efforts that promote unity and a shared national identity instead of doing things that divide us further? Wouldn’t that provide the most benefit to the most people over the long run?


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