Support for Reparations

These are comments from the local and global community answering the question:
Why is reparations (for slavery in the U.S.) important to you?

February 2009

This is the most touching message I have ever read on the internet…As a proud black person who…has studied slavery and the impact on blacks and whites, I know the majority of Black and White Americans do want to improve race relations. As we realize there is a great need for an apology for past crimes, we recognize it is even more important to consider reparations for those trying times.

Reparations is the best way to facilitate racial healing.The all mighty question of what fair and reasonable reparations are will arise. and I must admit the answer was revealed to me by a proud white man who I know is my friend. He is dedicated to easing racial tensions just like the people who wrote this message and myself…I find it my duty to offer his remedy as a solution to solve our historical problem of lingering affects of slavery and racism. He explained it as the United States of America Truth and Reconciliation Process. I will forever be grateful to him for this and consider him my soul mate in searching for racial healing between our people.

Please read his solution…at my Black History website at www.rula1.com in the How to Win Reparations section…
In the Spirit of Racial Healing. — B.P.

August 2019

Ongoing, voluntary, individual and institutional reparations is an opportunity:

  • to accept responsibility for past and present crimes of systemic racial violence, terror, & economic exploitation;
  • to inspire peaceful, contagious structural change;
  • to liberate us from complicity; and
  • to heal the heart and soul of the nation &  our precious planet.

    T. Iannuzzi
    European Descent/
    benefits materially but harmed spiritually by white privilege
    Shutesbury, Massachusetts, USA, Planet Earth

October 2019

Reparations to Black People Is Essential To Save White People.

 

George Esworthy
European Descent
Buckland, Massachusetts, USA

— —

It is time to make amends in ways that matter. There is the need for  reparations to the descendants of the Native American First Nation  people who were eliminated in large numbers via genocide, who were  enslaved and whose land was stolen from them-land that they lived on  in harmony with nature and other beings and for which they had no  concept of ownership.

And there is a need for reparations to the descendants of the people  from Africa who were brought here and used as slaves for the benefit  of the wealthy landowners in both the South and in our own New  England communities as well as the tropics.

We can’t return the land to the Native people but we can assist  those living in poverty on reservations by setting up funds for  creating jobs, offering educational opportunities to the youth,  honoring and aiding the traditional people of many tribes who are  working to teach their language and traditions to the younger  generations and who are teaching us the way we need to live on our  Mother Earth if we are to survive the damage we have created to our  environment and to all living beings. We need to honor their wisdom  and acknowledge they are our teachers. We need to stop trying to  desecrate their land by polluting it via mineral extraction and  dumping of toxic chemicals, building pipelines etc.

We need to eliminate institutional racism of all forms, and this is  an important piece–creating more programs and opportunities for  white people to learn about and acknowledge their white privilege in  order to dismantle racism. Money needs to be spent to educate those  in law enforcement who profile people of color. We need to fund  schools equitably and create educational and job opportunities for  people of color who lack access to resources. Money invested in  cultural events, art , music, etc. that empower young people to  express themselves creatively. I don’t know how this will  happen-though foundations, funds set up for specific pieces etc, and  with people of color in leadership roles playing an important part  in how they would like to see reparations happen.

 

Dorothy McIver
White
Greenfield, Massachusetts, USA

 

January 2020

 

This country was founded on land theft, genocide and slavery. It is a shameful legacy, all the more so because we have not apologized nor sought to repair the damage done to generations of native and black people. We will never be whole and never stop our global and local oppressive behaviors if we do not acknowledge the wrongs we have done and negotiated as full a reparation as human decency requires.

 

Sherrill Hogen

European Descent

Shelburne Falls, MA, USA

 

— —

February 2020

 

Peace and freedom require breaking free from cycles of violence and trauma.  Reparations — in all its relational, monetary, memorial, and other creative avenues — is a vital step in this direction.

 

Cara Michelle Silverberg

white(ned) Ashkenazi Jew

Wendell, MA

— —

March 2020


Enslavement and the overt and covert racism that have occurred since have done incalculable damage to African Americans.  The assault on their families, psyches, emotions, livelihoods, health and well-being continues.  The check Dr. King spoke of is long past due.  It is time to repair the damage. Reparations are one way. 


Tom Weiner

White

Northampton, MA

— —

June 2020


They are important because … it’s what’s due as black people’s inhertense for our ancestors forced labor and the quality of life white people control … it spread out to allow others to enjoy at blacks expense being last in line … waiting this long to receive it shows fear in white people and holding them accountable to right a wrong it allows blacks to enjoy what our ancestors passed down to us not just white people. …

we will in confidence can say it was not built for white people tho they made it theirs . .

it’s blacks living the way our ancestors intended us to and they wanted to without being forced to build and watch them live their dream of freedom having our ancestors money due them will allow us to own without fear of putting others out of business and becoming owners ourselves …

it’s white people’s fear of being held accountable their loss of control over our reparation brings them down to being equal …

deceit has caught up with them …

white people will should not dignity having a conversation about what’s owed us like the 40acres and a mule ..

Indians and others got their Cashome reparations give us ours and be adults pay your debts read the constitution and stop making excuses and avoiding to paying us it’s not your business how we spend it it’s not a discussion it’s about signing the check and reimburse attorney fees …

stop fighting and give us our inhertense money…

your skin color is holding us back own it …

pride and greed is over … read psalm 14:2

If our slave ancestors could visit you I’d ask them to. . .

be great full they cant or can they

R.A.

— —

June 2020

It is important to me to be in right relation, to be connected to others in ways that acknowledge and are committed to materially and symbolically repairing exploitation and oppression and that help move toward respectful interdependency.

Naomi Scheman,

(identify as being primarily of European Descent)

Arlington, MA

— —

August 2020

African-Americans were forced to slave for centuries to build the wealth of a budding nation that never saw them as human. Systemic racism continues to segregate them from the opportunity to partake equally in the prosperity they and their ancestors helped to create. This history of violence and prosperity denied demands reparations.

Phillip Sherwood-Berndt

(identify as being primarily of European Descent)

Pelham, Massachusetts

— —

November 2020

It is time for white people, like me, to step into responsibility for the actions of our ancestors and the way those actions have created systems to benefit us today. They are irreparably linked and all rights, privileges and freedoms that I enjoy every day come to me as a result of this legacy. Our country cannot undo the past but we must reconcile with it in order to shape the future in a just and equitable way. Authentic, meaningful reparations are necessary and overdue. Reparations help everyone.

Jane Stephenson

white

Montague, Massachusetts

— —

March 2021

Thank you for creating a space for us to speak.  I am 62 and knew from a very early age what injustice looks like and how deeply wrong it is. Yet, I have done nothing. Reparations seem like a good start.

Ramona Hamblin

white

New Salem, Massachusetts

— —

July 2021

There is so much to be repaired between white people and Black people.  I hope there can be healing between the races.  White folks have benefited from the system of white supremacy.  White people should make it a priority to learn the history of what happened to African people since the 1600’s when they were kidnapped from their homes on the African continent. Once white people have educated themselves about the history of African Americans, it would be clear how much we owe to them.  That is where reparations comes in.

Annie Keough

white

Greenfield, MA

— —

August 2021

I began my own anti-racist, reparations project on land I inherited recently in Virginia, which since the 17th century was used to extract wealth from the work of enslaved African Americans. I also found a list, with Eurocentric first names and ages, of 89 men, women and children who escaped in 1862 from my great-great-grandfather when Union troops chased CSA troops out of the area. My wife and I are seeking dialogue with progressive African-Americans and activist artisans toward converting some of the acreage — including the brickwork remains of the waterway entrance to the land, whereon local archeologists believe slave sales likely occurred (this tobacco region was the heartland of the birth of racist slavery as national policy) — to become a site committed to elevating and enlarging the Black (anti-racist AND anti-colonialist) narrative in American history.

Steve Greaves

— —

May 2022

First and foremost it is important for African Americans to receive reparation money due to the pain of our ancestors not only that the memories are still in the present lives African Americans live today

we are still being mistreated

we still don’t have freedom

we are still being judged by the color of our skin being thrown in jail with shackles and still slaving ourselves for the minimum trying to get ahead in life so we don’t end up in the system

we want what is owed to us

we deserve it

others that are against us stated slavery was long ago but it was never forgotten

it’s not something you can sweep under the rug

May the most high our God be with us all this is cruel and unfair the people that are against us you hold a lot of hate and it is very sickening we are truly at the end the most high is on his way

I would suggest you repent and give us what is owed to us

we don’t want problems we want to get away and reminisce I’m the ones that we lost

CR