Slavery ended in 1865. It was abolished as a result of the 13th Amendment, ensuring that no one would be able to own slaves.
It’s important to remember the date. No one alive today was a slave. Perhaps their ancestors were, but they themselves have never known what it meant to be a slave in the South.
Yet, that’s not stopping Black Americans from demanding reparations.
Now, let’s take a look at what reparations really are. It’s a way of making amends for a wrong that has been done. Typically, reparation is in the form of money, though it can be another way to help those who have been wronged.
The time to demand reparations for slavery has passed. Why? No one alive today has been wronged by slavery. There’s no way to go back in history and place money into the hands of someone’s ancestors.
As such, anyone demanding reparations now is trying to make money off of the suffering of their ancestors. Placing money into the hands of any Black person now and calling it reparations won’t change anything. It won’t make amends because no wrongs have been committed in terms of slavery since 1865.
Meanwhile, other reparations have been offered by the federal government since that time. Blacks have the ability to own land, vote, and hold public office. Every year, scholarships are handed out to Black people. Every year, millions of Blacks are given access to various government programs if they feel as though they need the financial help – Medicare, Medicaid, WIC, Section 8 housing, Welfare, and the list goes on.
The country is trying to move forward and be united. If the goal is to stop racism, we have to stop looking at skin color. Reparations are no longer available. Now, we help all Americans regardless of color. If you need help because you feel repressed in one way or another, there are programs that will offer assistance.
Perhaps the Democrats need to hear it from another Democrat. Bill Clinton wanted to reform the welfare system so that it offered temporary assistance. He didn’t want it to be a generational form of assistance. Take what you need for a set period of time and then make your own way in life.
A perfect example of a man making his own way in life is Robert Johnson. He’s the founder of BET and he’s America’s first black billionaire.
Johnson was born in Mississippi and grew up in Illinois. He was an honors student throughout high school and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree from Princeton University.
Johnson is proof that Blacks have the power to get a higher education. He is proof that if you work hard, you can have a successful career. He created Black Entertainment Television in 1979 and became a billionaire in 2001 when it was acquired by Viacom.
His story is one of perseverance and success. He could be the voice of Blacks everywhere to say that if you stop dwelling on the past and focus on the future, anything is possible.
We must first remember that Robert L. Johnson is also a Democrat. He believes that the only way that the United States to get over its history with slavery is to pay reparations to black people. Oh, and he has a $14 trillion plan that will heal the rift and close the black-white wealth gap.
Although there are plenty of projects that would include debt relief for black farmers as well as to provide for black small business owners, it’s not enough. He wants the U.S. to make a grand apology – and that means that it has to come from the federal government as opposed to the local ones.
The compensation is for the harm that’s been done.
What Johnson doesn’t realize is that there are plenty of Blacks who don’t need to be compensated. They have been able to prosper without an apology from the federal government because they weren’t slaves.
And, to compensate every Black person at this point in time doesn’t even make sense as many are not even a part of the U.S. history of slavery. A person who was born in Africa 30 years ago and migrated to the U.S. doesn’t have the history of slavery looming over them.
Reparations are expensive, divisive, and unnecessary. And listening to a billionaire make the demand for reparations is just further proof that the reparations are not going to make a difference. The U.S. could easily spend $14 trillion and there would always be that group demanding that it’s not enough.