We are inheritors of the consequences of slavery practiced by our forefathers, but not the guilt. Therefore any reparations for the harm of slavery must be justified by charity, not justice.

Repairing the PastBy: Stanley RalphApril 20, 2021  Merriam-Webster defines Reparation in this way. “the act of making amends, offering expiation, or giving satisfaction for a wrong or injury”. Meditate on this for a moment.
Reparation is an act. It is not a state of mind, an order, or opinion. 
To fully understand this initial word, one must contemplate seriously why an act is required. 
Slavery was not considered wrong at the time; it was actually a common occurrence. But it was wrong then, just as it was wrong historically to use slaves to build the pyramids or castles or a fortress. It is wrong now anywhere on earth. As a human race, we have a general understanding that slavery was, is, and forever will be wrong.
But, acknowledgment is not enough. There are consequences for our past, which live longer generationally than we, as a society, are willing to tolerate.
So, therefore, a curative act of making amends seems necessary. In America, slavery was ended through war and emancipation. The country was not well settled after the war but slaves were freed. 
However, there was really no pathway ahead at the time for former slaves to become assimilated into the population. Many former slaves had little education; some had no trade; some chose to stay on the plantation because of that.
And yes, with the voting rights act and other laws, African Americans became more integrated into society but not assimilated. Separate but equal does not define the American ideal. Rather it was an acknowledgment of reality without charitable outreach. This, too, was (and is) wrong.
An act of making amends, offering expiation, or giving satisfaction for a wrong or injury must take place. Passivity will not do it. So whatshould be done? Some propose cash payments to ancestors of slaves; others want to build better housing; still others believe we can legislate assimilation. It’s true that incomes are low in the African American community. It’s true and the housing is often unlivable and uninspiring. It’s true that crime is the profession of many young people and drug dealing motivates them.
We have to go way back to realize that our society freed the slaves without a pathway to prosperity. And, this terrible mistake continues to this day in well-meaning programs that maintain a status quo, but never lift people out of that status quo.
What to do? Let’s consider the root causes way back in the 1850s that exist now. 
Education is the ticket to prosperity. We have city neighborhood schools that are completely broken. This includes the lack of family role models, the churches, and the schools. Until these schools are worth the children’s time, the rest won’t matter.
So why not take an action to repair the inner-city schools. Yes, the buildings may need updating, but nothing will change the teaching environment without some level of incentive for the teachers and staff. 
The best way to effect this repair is through school vouchers and expansive use of Charter Schools, forcing competition. Most parents in these environments have demanded this for years. They know what’s needed.
Unions scream; they represent the teachers, not the children. 
Politicians moan; why not just give everybody money? 
No, over the last 100 years, none of this has worked, because it robs generations of an educated pathway to prosperity.
Repairing past wrongs is necessary. It begins with quality education. And action.

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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2 Responses to We are inheritors of the consequences of slavery practiced by our forefathers, but not the guilt. Therefore any reparations for the harm of slavery must be justified by charity, not justice.

  1. [New post] We are inheritors of the consequences of slavery practiced by our forefathers, but not the guilt. Therefore any reparations for the harm of slavery must be justified by charity, not justice.

    On Fri, Apr 23, 2021, 10:07 AM ABYSSUS ABYSSUM INVOCAT / DEEP CALLS TO DEEP wrote:

    > abyssum posted: “” >

  2. nono524 says:

    Our Forefathers should include native Americans, free Blacks, and every nation since the beginning of time. Everyone has practice slavery until Christianity rose up and made it a sin.

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