I was listening to a NPR program on reparations and the guest pointed out one difference between the situation of slaves in the US and Native Americans.
Native Americans were not slaves as a group when Europeans arrived, but had been in North America for thousands of years, and that status made them legal owners. Europeans came in and designated them not worthy or not legal owners of the land, partly due to the Native American customs not agreeing with theirs, especially in regard to religion. My husband always calls that Manifest Destiny, correct or not, to me it means that Africans, Native Americans, etc., were not ordained by the true god of the European definition, do Europeans had the god-given right to the land and resources.
In the end, these groups were disenfranchised for many years and still are. Will reparations give back everything these people lost? Is there even a price that can be determined? Is it better to give each individual a small amount of money or perhaps pool that money under supervision by people of their own group selected by that group?
What have other countries done regarding reparations, such as South Africa? How successful have these been?
There are no easy fixes, and our personal opinions do not matter much in the big picture, unless people with like opinions, get together and work together to make those options known to those making those decisions and put some useful pressure on them.
I belong to one group, Native Americans, I am 1/8 going back to my great-grandmother. Do I qualify for reparations if that ended up occurring? I don't know but I don't need the money. But, I would like a public apology in writing in the official history of the United States government official statements not just for me but for all those who came before me and will come after me. I feel the same way about any group, including slaves brought over to the US and elsewhere.
I was reading in the paper today, that my state legislature is going to give back taxes to the ordinary taxpayer, amounting to $167 a year, about $13 a month. I imagined what I could buy with that sum. A meal at McDonalds, 3 movies at senior rates. Wow! But this legislature has given millions of dollars of tax breaks to corporations who have not lived up to the promises they gave in order to receive that money. Well, just a thought.