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19-Feb-2020 16:28 by 9 Comments

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But the junior Royall, a British loyalist, fled the country during the Revolution.Belinda, now free after half a century of labor, beseeched the nascent Massachusetts legislature: The face of your Petitioner, is now marked with the furrows of time, and her frame bending under the oppression of years, while she, by the Laws of the Land, is denied the employment of one morsel of that immense wealth, apart whereof hath been accumilated by her own industry, and the whole augmented by her servitude.

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The last slaveholder has been dead for a very long time.

The effects of that balance, interest accruing daily, are all around us. But if the practicalities, not the justice, of reparations are the true sticking point, there has for some time been the beginnings of a solution.

Broach the topic of reparations today and a barrage of questions inevitably follows: Who will be paid? For the past 25 years, Congressman John Conyers Jr., who represents the Detroit area, has marked every session of Congress by introducing a bill calling for a congressional study of slavery and its lingering effects as well as recommendations for “appropriate remedies.”A country curious about how reparations might actually work has an easy solution in Conyers’s bill, now called HR 40, the Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act.

Indeed, in America there is a strange and powerful belief that if you stab a black person 10 times, the bleeding stops and the healing begins the moment the assailant drops the knife.

We believe white dominance to be a fact of the inert past, a delinquent debt that can be made to disappear if only we don’t look.

“They have been taught to labor,” the Chicago Tribune editorialized in 1891.

“They have been taught Christian civilization, and to speak the noble English language instead of some African gibberish.

At the time, black people in America had endured more than 150 years of enslavement, and the idea that they might be owed something in return was, if not the national consensus, at least not outrageous.“A heavy account lies against us as a civil society for oppressions committed against people who did not injure us,” wrote the Quaker John Woolman in 1769, “and that if the particular case of many individuals were fairly stated, it would appear that there was considerable due to them.”As the historian Roy E.

Finkenbine has documented, at the dawn of this country, black reparations were actively considered and often effected.

If George Washington crossing the Delaware matters, so must his ruthless pursuit of the runagate Oney Judge.

In 1909, President William Howard Taft told the country that “intelligent” white southerners were ready to see blacks as “useful members of the community.” A week later Joseph Gordon, a black man, was lynched outside Greenwood, Mississippi. But the memories of those robbed of their lives still live on in the lingering effects.

And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing today.