Obama Opposes Slavery Reparations And Apology
August 2. 2008
Barack Obama (courtesy of the AP)
Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama stated yesterday that he opposes America apologizing for slavery and granting reparations.
I disagree with Obama on this matter. Slavery represents crimes against humanity in the form of some of the worst human rights abuses that ever existed. It represents an ugly time in U.S. history that is absolutely shameful.
It is plain human decency and good manners that the American government formally apologizes to black Americans for the terrible, inhumane, barbaric treatment that was forced upon their ancestors, with remnants of said time still in existence today, in the ongoing, abusive, racist attitude of some, not all, non-black citizens.
The fact of the matter is, slave labor built America. That’s after the Indians were thoroughly robbed of their land.
To not apologize is to say slavery was right and appropriate. In turn, black Americans should forgive white Americans for those heinous times and what was inflicted on their own.
Reparations would be nice, but with George W. Bush’s current exorbitant war spending, it doesn’t appear America can afford much else.
A penny tax could be created, for a time, to establish a fund to disburse among living ancestors of slaves.
Obama says he opposes slavery reparations, apology
Aug 2, 8:47 AM (ET) – SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama opposes offering reparations to the descendants of slaves, putting him at odds with some black groups and leaders.
The man with a serious chance to become the nation’s first black president argues that government should instead combat the legacy of slavery by improving schools, health care and the economy for all.
“I have said in the past – and I’ll repeat again – that the best reparations we can provide are good schools in the inner city and jobs for people who are unemployed,” the Illinois Democrat said recently.
Some two dozen members of Congress are co-sponsors of legislation to create a commission that would study reparations – that is, payments and programs to make up for the damage done by slavery…
Obama has worked to be seen as someone who will bring people together, not divide them into various interest groups with checklists of demands. Supporting reparations could undermine that image and make him appear to be pandering to black voters.
“Let’s not be naive. Sen. Obama is running for president of the United States, and so he is in a constant battle to save his political life,” said Kibibi Tyehimba, co-chair of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America. “In light of the demographics of this country, I don’t think it’s realistic to expect him to do anything other than what he’s done.”
But this is not a position Obama adopted just for the presidential campaign. He voiced the same concerns about reparations during his successful run for the Senate in 2004.
There’s enough flexibility in the term “reparations” that Obama can oppose them and still have plenty of common ground with supporters.