Racial Guilt & Reparations

 

There has been a LOT of acrimonious talk back and forth the last several years regarding racial guilt over wrongs done to “our” ancestors, and the reparations due us because of those wrongs done.

Here are my thoughts on that issue.

There is no such thing as racial guilt.  It is an artificial concept invented by people with huge guilt complexes who want to share the wealth, and adopted by the greedy and lazy.  Now, before you jump all over me for my “lack of social sensitivity”, please understand one basic item:  I am a triple minority.  I am female, I am black (not in appearance, but by law), and I am Native American.  If there is anyone out there who “has reason” to jump on the ‘Racial Guilt and Reparations’ bandwagon, I would fit that profile, don’t you think? 

Please allow me to explain my premise.  First of all, unless you are personally responsible for an incident (or by your INACTION; knowing something “bad” is going on, and doing nothing to stop it), you have no liability for that action.  That includes (most especially!) anything your ancestors did, as you could NOT have changed, altered, influenced, stopped what they did – it was before your time, was it not?  How, therefore, do you consider yourself to be guilty of their actions?  PLEASE, please, please; do not quote to me “the sins of the fathers…”.   That would be like taking a 1 year old baby and sending him to prison because of a crime his grandfather committed when HE was a teenager!  It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.   If that were the case, over half the world would belong on death row awaiting execution. 

Now, on the other hand, if something bad is happening, and you know about it, but turn your head away “it’s none of my business!” – thus allowing it to occur, then YES, you have guilt, and I hope it plagues you every night in your sleep!  Or, if you actively participated…  but then, that’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?? 

Now, on to reparations.  If the offense did not happen to me, HOW can I demand to be paid for “my suffering”??  My ancestors were sold as slaves (most often by their own kind – other Africans!  Check your history, people.), shipped halfway around the world to live an existence I wouldn’t wish upon my dog!  In fact, I’d shoot someone who did many of those things to my dog!  However, they did NOT happen to me.  I cannot demand payment for that – it’s asinine!

As for the descendants of slaves;  As bad as things were in the United States (and elsewhere in the world – the US wasn’t alone) for displaced Africans after slavery ended (legally), as much as I abhor what was done to them (and some of my own ancestors, don’t forget!), they were still better off than they would have been in Africa!  No, I’m not crazy, think about it.  There is STILL slavery, prejudice, rape, wholesale slaughter and genocide going on to this day in Africa!  And the disease!  Yes, what was done by the standards of the rest of the ‘white’ population was horrid.  Compared to what they would have had in Africa?  Think about that for just a moment or two. 

On another side, I am Native American; Apache, to be specific.  My ancestors were chased off their land, they were slaughtered simply because they were in the way of greedy ‘white’ men who wanted land and their way of life was not understood.  They were eventually reduced to poverty on some of the worst land (and damn little of that!) in the entire US and cheated and lied to repeatedly by the government they were told would ‘take care of them’.  Poor bastards.  Stuffed onto reservations with little or no funding for educational programs, health care and extremely poor general living standards.  We wound up with several generations of uneducated alcoholics (NO, not all Native Americans are alcoholics – don’t be ridiculous.  But when booze is the only thing plentiful and cheap, and hope is in short supply – you wind up with a propensity for alcoholism). Again, it did NOT happen to me.  Demanding the government PAY me for what was done to my ancestors is so stupid, that we won’t even go there.  Please show me where I suffered from this? 

Yet another facet of my ancestry, had events not gone the way they had, I would be a Duchess, a Princess; or at best, a Queen.  My Great Uncle was Francesco II, the last King of Sicily, and he died without issue.  My Grandfather would have been the successor to the throne.  Should I file suit with the current government of Italy because of what Garibaldi did to my family?  After all, they killed my Great Uncle, and a few members of the family barely escaped -  shouldn’t I be due SOMETHING?  Please.  Let’s get real here.  The Italian government would laugh themselves sick were I even to try! 

Now if the last is a ridiculous example, why shouldn’t the first ones also be?   The premise is the same; something bad was done to my ancestors, therefore I’m owed!!  And the fact that my “standard of living” would be so much better, only makes the pot sweeter, does it not?  No, it simply underscores the idiocy of the entire “Racial Guilt and Reparations” concept.

 

 

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