In recent times, the media and polity have been heated up with debates on whether descendants of Black (African) slaves in America should be paid reparations or not. A great number of Americans feel it is the right thing to do, while others have argued against it.
Many politicians, celebrities, and important personalities have taken turns to speak about the issue and it seems everyone has a slightly different opinion of how they want the reparations to be paid, and why it should be paid.
A majority of reparation skeptics in America feel it is not important to pay reparations to Black people. They compare the brutal chattel slavery of Black people in America to indentured servitude which was practiced in America for some decades.
So, Bo Ajala, the Founder of African Diaspora, had a conversation with some caucasian reparation skeptic, and when the topic of reparations was brought up, he had some very salient points to convince them as to why reparation must be paid.
Parts of The Conversation:
Reparation Skeptics: So how would $20,000 dollars make things better for the descendants of slaves, and why should it be monetary…?
Bo Ajala: You see, the World revolves around international ‘commerce’… specifically ‘Maritime Admiralty Law’ which governs international commerce. Under Maritime Admiralty Law everything is compensated with “money”. Every injurious debt is compensated monetarily… The slave owners were compensated for the loss of their slaves by the United States Government in 1862.
So out of their very long conversation, we decided to take and use the very important points to drive home certain points for those who have argued against reparations. Below we will love to explain certain facts, laws, and concepts so that the reader understands and knows without any flinching doubts that reparations are owed, and it should be paid.
Let’s Discuss Slavery: The Difference Between ‘Indentured Servitude’ And ‘Chattel Slavery’
Many times, Caucasians have compared the indentured slavery of their ancestors in the early-to-mid 1600s in Virginia to the brutal chattel slavery of Africans for over 200 years. The truth is that these two events are not the same.
In indentured slavery, Europeans, Indians, Irish, and around 20 Blacks, chose to serve under a contract of 4-7 years. The contract stipulated that after the 7years, they would be free, and given lands, grains, arms, houses/lodges, and other benefits to starting a new life. In as much as many died during those years because of disease, and malnutrition, many others completed these contracts and went ahead to be free men. But this system of slavery met its end when there were much more people coming from Europe, and fewer lands and payments for the elites to give out. But more servants/slaves were needed to work the fields, and the white elites would get them one way or the other.
Between 1641 and 1661 slave laws were passed and the rights to be indentured slaves was withdrawn for Black people. From then onward, there was a growing demand for Black slaves, and so the white cooperations and traders started to travel to Africa and steal her people, and then transport them back to America to be sold, and never to regain their freedoms again.
And then enter chattel slavery, which was the type of slavery which Black people experienced for over 200 years in America. African towns and villages were raided by slave traders and packed on ships to be brought to America. Many died on the way because of harsh and inhumane conditions of the voyage. Those that survived were to experience hell on earth in their new homes and country.
Black men, women, and children were flogged, raped, killed, sold, maimed, and degraded to the lowest form of an animal. Unlike indentured slavery, they did not sign any contract nor accept to be stolen and brought to a faraway land to toil and suffer all their lives without compensation. No, they didn’t sign up for that.
So how does anyone in their right senses compare these two types of slavery, and then use the first to justify the second? That’s just plain wickedness and cowardice. Caucasians in America need to accept their guilt for the many years Black people were brutalized by their ancestors. And worst still, this generation is still brutalizing Black people – so there is no room for relegating the wickedness to the past generation. This generation is still wicked and racist.
Lets Discuss ‘Maritime And Admiralty Law’
By definition, Admiralty law, also called maritime law, is a combination of U.S. and international law that covers all contracts, torts, injuries or offenses that take place on navigable waters. Admiralty law traditionally focused on oceanic issues, but it has expanded to cover any public body of water, including lakes and rivers.
So by so speaking, this law covers all the slaves who were stolen from Africa and brought to America. Many of them were killed and thrown overboard as food for sharks. Many were raped and maimed. And even after slavery was abolished, Africans were still stolen from the shores of Africa and smuggled to America.
By the Admiralty law, compensations are to be paid to the victims of such crimes, as long as they happened on international waters, and also local waters in the US.
Let’s Discuss The Compensation For Former Slave Owners By The Government After Slavery Was Abolished:
Is it not rather funny that after America had paid $300 compensation for each slave to slave owners in the 1800s, she is now debating the reparations to be paid to those who slaved and died for hundreds of years?
After a long struggle, on April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill that emancipated enslaved people in Washinton. But to pacify the slave owners anger for the loss of supposed property, the slave owners were paid #300 for each slave they freed, under the District of Columbia Emancipation Act.
So, if these measures were put in pacifying the slave owners, why then shouldn’t the descendants of slaves get reparation for all they have been through? If the man-hours that were put into work by each slave in America was to be calculated, including occasional harms and trauma, $20,000 for each Black America does not cut it – it won’t be enough.
Let’s Discuss The Reparations Paid To The Jews For The Holocaust:
The story of the Jewish holocaust and the murder of Jews in millions is not a new one to many adherents of world history. Germany, France, and other cooperations that took part in the transporting of the Jews to the concentration camps have paid reparations to the families and estates of the Jewish people. Each jew got from $100,000 to $400,000, depending on who was paying and which member of the family was receiving it. The complete compilation of the reparations can be found here.
The payment of reparations to the Jews was very important to their healing as a people. This because they lost trillions of dollars in human, social, political and material resources during the Holocaust. That reparation made sure that many of the families restored their economic status, by buying lands and establishing businesses, which today contribute to the well-known Jewish wealth, which their descendants benefit from today.
So if the Jews were paid reparations for what they lost, why shouldn’t Black people get reparations?
Another Conversation Between A Pro Black Woman And Two White Women:
Below are the discussions that were had by a pro-black woman and two white women on a social media platform. The points she raised are very touchy and important, and points to every reason why reparations must be paid:
The conversations above clearly go to show that most white people would dig up any kind of excuse to defend the deeds of their ancestors. Many are just opposed to reparations because they feel Black people will get ahead of them, and then, in turn, they lose their white privileges.