Reparations for slavery: Just or unjust?

by MYOHNSEPH 43 Replies latest jw friends

  • kelsey007

    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

  • StinkyPantz

    I figure since I'm Black I should comment on this thread. The main reason that many argue FOR reparations is for at least two reasons: 1) Blacks were promised 40 acres and a mule and since they never got it, the monetary value should be spilt amongst their descendants, and 2) We still suffer from our past. Had Blacks immigrated into this country like most others our plight in life would be more equal to other Americans. Unfortunately, we have catching up to do in many aspects, especially economically. So maybe those reparations we were promised could help financially. And even if the money wasn't specifically given as a check to every black man, woman, and child, there could be an infusion of it into "Black" programs.

    Well, there is part of the argument. Nevertheless, I feel they (reparations) are unjust. I do believe that we as a group of people still suffer from slavery in a multitude of indirect ways, but a couple hundred dollars isn't going to change my lot in life. That's why I'm getting a college education. I hope that I will grow from both the knowledge I receive the job I acquire by have that degree. Plus, the money would still be coming out of our own pockets. If it comes from the government it comes from us too.

  • target

    <<That's why I'm getting a college education. I hope that I will grow from both the knowledge I receive the job I acquire by have that degree. >>

    My point exactly. Blacks have the same opportunities everyone else has. My grandparents came here from Norway long after any slavery took place. I am the youngest of 10 children. There was no money for college. My life is what I made it and that is so for most everyone else.

    And I do not feel that grandparent JWs were enslaved the sameway as the blacks. For pete's sake. They could have left any time they wanted to. A lot of them did. Just like we did. I don't see why I should be paid by the WTS if my grandparents didn't get out of the org. That is just plain silly. If someone suffered abuse, that is different.


  • whyhideit

    Several races have been in slavery in human history. If we allow the blacks to sue and win, then what about the Jews suing the Egyptians and so on. Seems like history should at least allow some things to heal without a check made out to the victims families.

  • kelsey007

    Millie- certainly I understand the dif in slavery by the WT and slavery that the blacks endured. But regardless of whether the slavery was through force or brainwash the siminlarities are there. Many a black man ran away from his master. In deciding to gain his freedom he knew that he risked never seeing family and loved ones again. This is what prevented many from leaving- and certainly this is another similarity that we know all to well.

    The jews did seek reperations from Germany. Egypt? Now that is OLD history. The enslavement of the blacks in this country is far from old history. As I stated we are still paying the reperations for the American Indian.

  • kelsey007

    As for me I would rather see billions given out to my fellow countryman than seeing it spent to attack Iraq where lives will be lost.

  • Simon

    Reparations are unjust and unworkable and will be just more 'unfairness' being propagated IMHO. Worst case is that they will lead to resetment and racism (or racist hatred).

    Although, as a brit, who's country has been invafed upteen times we should be rolling in it!!

    I would much rather any money go to help people who are being oppressed now in various parts of the world.

    Edited by - Simon on 5 January 2003 15:55:8

  • NeonMadman
    The jews did seek reperations from Germany. Egypt? Now that is OLD history. The enslavement of the blacks in this country is far from old history. As I stated we are still paying the reperations for the American Indian.

    The enslavement of blacks really is old history, in the sense that none of the blacks who were enslaved are still alive. The Jews who sought reparations from the Germans were individuals who had personally been victims, not their descendants 6 or 7 generations down the line.

    If you were to seek reparations, I think that you could only logically seek them from those whose personal descendants were slave owners. Why should persons of, say, Irish or Italian descent have to contribute to such reparations through taxation, when their ancestors were not even in the country at the time of slavery? And the Irish and Italians also suffered great discrimination! Perhaps they should get reparations, too? And would the blacks who expect to receive these reparations be required to prove that they are actually descended from slaves? Why should blacks whose ancestors came to the country after slavery was abolished receive anything?

    In fact, the whole concept of reparations has little to do with slavery at all, but is simply another excuse for socialistic thinkers to demand redistribution of wealth from those who earn it to those who do not. They seek, not equal opportunity, but unfair advantage for some.

  • Mary

    I saw a segment on Dateline a few months ago about this. Most notable was that one black woman yelling "I WANT MY MONEY!!"

    Sorry to disappoint you ma'am, but YOU weren't a slave, nor was your mother or grandmother a slave........they had one black Professor on there and he hit the nail on the head when he said "there isn't one black person living in America today, who doesn't have a better life, than if he lived in Africa."

    Obviously we know now that slavery was wrong, but there's been a ton of people that have been "wronged" throughout history. As was brought out here, how about letting Jews sue the Egyptian government for enslaving them 3500 years ago? Or how about having every woman today, sue all men because we were treated like dirt for thousands of years by them and had no Rights?

    Unfortunately, there's a group of lazy, greedy people that would rather spend their time whining about the evil white man of the past, rather than be productive citizens today.

  • RubyTuesday

    Whites and others living today, did not have
    anything to do with their slavery, and if you want to take their argument a
    bit further, Rome enslaved my ancestors around 100AD, so Italy therefore
    must owe me land and money in reparation, and Babylon and Egypt must owe the
    Jews, and the Jews must now owe the Palestinians and so on and so on.

    ... Portions
    of every ethnic group on this planet have been slaves to another ethnic
    group at one time or another, how can anyone justify singling out one over
    the others?

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