Reparations For Slavery
Reparations for Slavery
The slaves did much in the benefit of their masters in the slave age. Many people in the recent times have engaged in a heated debate on whether there should be reparations for the slaves; that is to mean that their descendants be compensated or be paid for the injustices endured by their ancestors. In the past times this has been done, that is paying the reparations, to other groups like the Japanese Americans, due to the injuries sustained during the World War II (Ta-Nehisi ).While it is the view of some people that the U.S. government should compensate the wrongs done to the slaves, others are on the opposing end citing the main reason to be wastage of taxpayers’ money, who never participated in the propagation of those injustices. On the other hand, proponents are not left out in the push for reparations. They argue that the African-Americans continue to suffer from the perpetrations of slavery regardless of their lineage. The reparations should be paid to finance their education and health care among other needs. The paper examines through the use of specific examples, why the Reparations for the African American population should be embraced by the government.
After the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, it was very illegal for anyone within the boundaries of the United States to house or offer any form of assistance to a runaway slave. This was Stowe’s time the author of the Uncle Tom’s Cabin which, a novel that sought the freedom of the slaves. Through the characters the slavery is portrayed to be unchristian, evil and intolerable in any civil society (Stowe 34). From the story development it is evident that the slavery reparation is a matter of urgency.
Slavery and Christianity oppose each other strongly, the moral code of Christianity calls for equity and fair treatment of persons irrespective of their economics status, race, ethnicity and many others. Stowe (56) writing to a society that is predominantly religious, she insists that no Christian should tolerate slavery. Eva a character, who is perceived to a morally perfect person in a nation dominated by the White people, fails to understand where the difference between the blacks and white comes from. Legree who is constantly seen revolting every practice, accepts and practices slavery as a policy of deliberate evil and blasphemy, this clearly indicates that principally Christianity has no room for slavery and the need for compensation of the victims’ families.
Additionally, humanity ought to be governed by the principle of universal love. If this principle was to be put into practice by each and every individual, Stowe insists that then the segmentation of people to enslave and oppress another could not have come to place. Tom Locker, the slave hunter, learned this important lesson after the slaves he tried to capture spared his life and after getting a healing from deeply religious and generous-hearted Quakers. Moreover, Uncle Tom clings to the Christ’s command of love and does not compromise his faith in the face of the many challenges he undergoes in Degrees’ plantation, till he meets his death (Stowe 165). The death of Tom exposes the evils and injustices that the slaves went through even unto the point of death. Therefore somebody ought to pay for this wrong doings.
The slaves struggled financially for a long time under their masters. Though St. Clare and Shelby possess intelligence and kindness, their ability to put up with slavery renders them morally weak and hypocritical. Stowe (102) records that the family of Tom is destroyed by Shelby, who sells Tom and when Marie tries to get some attention of being given to her, prevents slaves of St. Clare from mourning her daughter, Eva. Through this the slaves went through trying moments even to a point of losing their beloved and denied a chance to mourn them. So most of them died traumatized people and therefore, for equity to prevail compensation is key
Black Americans’ land was taken away from them and their families left in anguish. Clyde Ross while still a child, the Mississippi authorities raised a claim that his father them $3000 through taxes. Since Ross had no lawyer and could not read, he expected impartiality in the handling of the case. The authorities took everything including cows and mules. The family was entirely reduced to sharecropping, due to the strained upkeep (Stowe 102). The reason as to why compensation is paramount.
The black Americans further were largely deprived off the legitimately the home-mortgage market. After Clyde Ross moving into his house, things went sour. He was not the home-owner as he could pay directly to the bank but through the seller. All this portrays discrimination in the slavery era (Stowe 176). The only way to mitigate the sorrows of the victims’ siblings is to compensate them.
The U.S. government should think of paying reparations to African Americans, this will be a clear indication of admitting their wrong deed and making amends. The damages sustained by the African Americans from the policy of slavery of the White American have been inhumane and agonizing. To this effect, I am therefore in favor of the slavery reparations.
Stowe, Harriet Beecher. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin or, Life Among the Lowly. 1852.” Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1981).
Ta-Nehisi Coates “The Case for Reparations” The Atlantic. Web. June 2004. Retrieved on 20/2015 from http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/
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