As a 3rd generation jw my grnadparents were neslaved by the WT. That slavery that they were in greatly effected my life and my parents lives as well as my childrens lives. Many here sitll carry the label of "ex-jw". Having gained freedom it was very hard to fit in society and find one's identity.
IMHO I believe that the black man is in many ways like the ex-jw. Trying hard to find where he fits and who he is. The culture of his world just a couple of generations back still pulls mightily at him. He looks in the mirror and sees a decendant of slaves. I look in the mirror and see the decendant of WT slaves. I ponder what my life would have been- who I would have been had it not been for the WT enslaving my grandparents. The black man ponders what his life would have been and who he would be if his grandparents had not been slaves.
Most ex-jws here would jump at the opportunity to find financial gain from the slave holder "WT". No the money would not repair history. We would hope that it would prevent to some degree what we know exist. The black man knows that money would not repair history. He would hope that it would help deminsh the lingering racism that still exist- the injustices that are still here today. He would hope that it would send a message to future generations- a similar message that we would all like to send about the WT.
Will the many lawysuits against the catholic church and the WT bring back what was lost to us and our jw grandparents? Will it rewrite the history of our childhood as aliens in a foreign land? Of course not. But we would all jump on the opportunity to make them pay for their injustice.
A handout? I doubt you would consider it so.
One poster wrote here that the blacks would have a hard time proving that thier grandparents or great grandparents were slaves. That comment in itself shows that many non blacks look down on blacks. Such histories are well doccumented. Such facts are not that difficult to prove. Believe it or not my friend blacks kept records too.
We as taxpayers today are still paying for the land that our forefathers took from the American Indian. We still use taxpayer fund for reperations for injustice to those people. And the ones who slaughtered and took from them are long dead just as the the ones they took from are long dead. But those actions affected the live and futures of their ancestors alive today. Just as the decisions of my grandparents to allow themselves to be enslaved by the WT has effected my life and my childrens lives- though my granparents never knew my children. They died before my children were born.
If approached by a lawyer today that told you that you could get compensation for the abuse that your grandparents sufferd as jw's I doubt you would consider it a :handout". You would take the money and say "justice has been done".
Reperations is for missed opportunities. We as ex-jws lost social skill and education. Of all the peoples on the face of the earth ex-jws should be the best to relate to what this is all about. I am sure that many a jw and the WT would like us to just go away and get over it- they would say- "That is old history!" But we are still here. We are still in many way adjusting to a new culture and pondering the "what ifs". And we are still blaming the WT for having held us back. And regardless of what changes in WT policy might occur we will forever know what they are capable of and doubt thier sincerity. Just as certain others look at the white man and know what he is capable of. Like it or not it will take a long time for this to be lived down. One would be insane to think that such horrifc actions would be erased so quickly from the minds of the families whose ancesters were abused. The great grand child of the jw abuse victim once learning of the life of thier grandmother will remain angered by the WT though the grandchild may never have known the great grandmother. Just as I am touched deeply by the things my ancesters lived through. And how much harder it is to get beyond this issue at hand when the label you wear, unlike the ex-jw label, is the color of your skin. To this day I can drive through my bank window and cash a check for thousands of dollars with no I.D. A black lady I know who visits the same bank and has a longer history with the bank is put through the mill each and every time that she visits her bank- The issue is still strong and is not "old history" to those still fighting to fit in this society. Yes on the surface things look better. Quality of life- housing, suvs and better apying jobs are there. But the day to day reminders are still there. The dealings in public still have strong indicaters of the old slavery history- Until you walk in the other persons shoes it is hard to understand and see what the reality is.
Edited by - kelsey007 on 5 January 2003 15:8:35