Chicago Mayoral Candidate, Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins raised the subject of African Slave Reparations during last night's six candidate free-for-all debate. As we know, this has been a divisive and controversial subject for some time now. There are many pros and cons on the subject, but, I for one do not believe that it is practical, or even possible. Where do we even begin to separate who is legitimately entitled to such payments in the first place and how many generations would that entail?
And what do we tell the Irish, Scottish, English and the Germans who came to Colonial America as indentured servants? Many of those ethnicity's never gained their freedom or the economic autonomy promised because of a high death rate. Then, what of the ancestors to those children that were ultimately left homeless and orphaned, after their indentured parent died? What about the Chinese? What about the Japanese-Americans who were put into detention camps during World War II? Better yet, what about the Native-Americans?
When it comes to paying reparations, as a policy, haven't all seen the blatant fraud that was perpetrated on Germany after they agreed to pay the alleged survivors and their families? Guess what - not everything is as it seems! The lure of free money tugs at the heart of many despicable people who see nothing more than an opportunity to get something for nothing. And now too, those legitimate survivors of Nazi atrocities must relive their horror and anguish once more, just to prove that they are entitled and that they are who they say they are.
Reparation policies are nothing more than an invitation to massive fraud.
In so far as what Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins said last night about "off our backs," well, I find that to be f#cking repulsive and ignorant. How is it that the African-Americans are the only persecuted group in this nations history? I ain't gonna buy that bullshit for one moment. And no, I am not ignorant of the fact that slavery was immoral or inhuman or that slavery was one of the biggest blemishes on American history. But, at the same token, there have been other human indignities and tragedies when it comes to racial and ethnic discrimination in Americas history. It wasn't only directed at African-Americans!
Americas pursuit of Manifest Destiny has left many peoples in its wake.
You know, many liberals complain about race relations not being further along than it is. Well, if you keep trying to avoid looking ahead instead of behind you, what in the hell do you expect? What happened to real tolerance - is that a one-way street?
Prior to last night, I had really believed that Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins deserved the same opportunity to participate in these mayoral debates, as well as thinking that she had tried to take a higher ground throughout. Quite frankly, after last night's ambush in front of a captive and easily persuaded audience, Van Pelt-Watkins stooped to the same level as her crack head calling opponent Moseley-Braun. If she was offended by Braun's comments, well, then I think she owes ancestors of all ethnicity's an apology too.
Instead of trying to bankrupt, as well as further divide, this nation - why aren't we all thinking in greater and nobler terms? Instead of slave reparations, how about if we start righting the wrongs by improving the educational opportunities of those now being denied that? Of course, that would probably illicit a heated debate too. All anyone ever does in this city, and state, is blindly follow a crippled ideology filled with broken or empty promises. Why haven't any of these hot shot Democrat candidates ever demanded that their party reform the education funding in this state, instead of letting their party elders stick it to everyone with an inequitable method of funding based on property values. We know that that method doesn't work and keeps impoverished areas behind the eight-ball.
A good education is the greatest equalizer in any society. Rather than stoking the fire of historical discontent, perhaps the best thing you could do for the people is the pursuit of equal footing in educating their children. That would be a the most positive step forward.
If it is righteousness that Van Pelt-Watkins wants to preach, then start a grassroots effort to open up serious debate and change for generations of children that have, up until now, been given nothing but empty promises.
The debate should begin with the federal and state government to begin education funding at 125% in disadvantaged areas, as opposed to the so-called richer school districts. I am sure that other formulas, or better ideas would be brought forth if that is where the conversation went. Either way, we need to get every child the exact same educational opportunities that exist elsewhere. Instead of talking about something that isn't going to happen in the first place, people should want to speak of improving the lives of their children?
You just can't keep looking backwards and playing the blame game. There has been enough garbage thrown at every ethnicity and/or nationality. Damn it, I am tired of that "chip on the shoulder or you owe me something attitude" that people seem to carry around as if it were their own personal pain. Descendants of the wronged have no right to claim it as their own personal burden. Why is it that people forget that, just like African-Americans were forced to endure racist slurs or "No Colored Allowed" signs there were also those "No Irish Need Apply" signs, or ethnic slurs directed at them and others?
Racial and ethnic discrimination is one and the same -
and most of our ancestors have suffered at one time or another!
Tags: African Slave Reparations: Race & Ethnicity: Race & Ethnic Discrimination: Education: Education Funding: Politics: Chicago Mayoral Election: Chicago Mayoral Candidate Debate: Patricia Van Pelt