Reparations for slavery

Since we are honoring Black History Month(s) here at white noise, I want to bring up the idea of governments paying reparations for slavery. I first became convinced of the necessity of doing this in the usa about 5 years ago, when I read this op-ed by Dalton Conley in the New York Times. I just came across a reference to this film, an award-winning documentary by Katrina Browne, a descendent of one of the biggest slave-trading families in u.s. history. The website doesn’t list a price, but I’ll write to find out. Perhaps some of us could share a dvd by mailing it to each other, if there’s interest. Many Britons profitted from the slave trade, and, in fact, black slaves were owned in Britain for a time. The economy wasn’t build on slave labor, as it was in the u.s., and I don’t know very much of that history. What I do know is that slavery reparations need to be paid in the usa. Working for reparations is definitely something that white antiracist allies can work for. In fact, it will never happen unless we whites become active and activist about it.

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One Response

  1. I too am in favour of reparations, although I recognise the difficulty of coming up with a way of making real, valid reparations that has any chance of getting done.

    Dalton Conley’s suggestion of redistributing assets held by white families (especially those built on inheritance) to give a fairer piece of the pie to non-white families interests me.

    The only realistic methods I’d heard about before involved affirmative action (which is illegal here, a situation that is unlikely to change any time soon since it comes from European human rights legislation) or else using taxes to fund projects aimed at redressing injustice.

    As a beneficiary of Empire I also think that our reparations need to address the exploitation of former colonies, which has continuing adverse affects (especially but not only in Africa) – so not just the race disadvantages experienced by POC in Britain.

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