I am a history buff. I love studying history, especially U.S. History. Throughout my studies, I have seen how African-Americans have been treated and I have a clear picture of what has led to the unique struggles of African-Americans for the past 150+ years since the abolishment of slavery. After slavery was abolished, specific policies were enacted and designed to hold African-Americans back. That is why we see stark differences in the African-American populations today when compared with other races. Therefore, I support legislation that would right this grave injustice.
However, I have many questions that need to be answered in order to draft such a bill. Who gets reparations and how much? What about people who have come to America after slavery was abolished? Should reparations be limited to only the descendants of African-Americans slaves or should descendants of Caucasian slaves (yes, there were some white slaves) also be included? What about biracial or multiracial people who are descendants of slaves on one side of their family, but descendants of slave-owners on the other side of their family? Who should be responsible for paying the reparations?
There are many people today, myself included, who have ancestors who fought against slavery (Union side of the Civil War) and have fought against the oppression and suppression of African-American rights. How do they factor into the reparations debate? Should their descendants be required to fund reparations or be allowed to receive a benefit for fighting against slavery?
In my heart, I want to support reparations, but I need these questions and many more, answered before I support, or oppose, any particular bill. I would like to see a special commission of experts brought together to research this issue, and these important questions, and provide guidance to Congress. Only then can Congress draft an effective reparations bill.
I also believe that if we are going to do reparations, it needs to be done soon, preferably within 12 months of the special commission of experts being initiated. 150 years is far to long to wait the correct this injustice.