The Case for Reparations – The Atlantic. By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.
Andd if thy brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him. 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.
— Deuteronomy 15: 12–15
Besides the crime which consists in violating the law, and varying from the right rule of reason, whereby a man so far becomes degenerate, and declares himself to quit the principles of human nature, and to be a noxious creature, there iscommonly injury done to some person or other, and some other man receives damage by his transgression: in which case he who hath received any damage, has, besides the right of punishment common to him with other men, a particular right to seek reparation.
— John Locke, “Second Treatise”
By our unpaid labor and suffering, we have earned the right to the soil, many times over and over, and now we are determined to have it.
— Anonymous, 1861
- I. “So That’s Just One Of My Losses”
- II. “A Difference of Kind, Not Degree”
- III. “We Inherit Our Ample Patrimony”
- IV. “The Ills That Slavery Frees Us From”
- V. The Quiet Plunder
- VI. Making The Second Ghetto
- VII. “A Lot Of People Fell By The Way”
- VIII. “Negro Poverty is not White Poverty”
- IX. Toward A New Country
- X. “There Will Be No ‘Reparations’ From Germany”