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Should there be reparations for slavery? Show more Show less
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More than 150 years since the end of slavery, racial inequality is still evident in the United States. Black Americans have an average household wealth just a tenth of white families, face housing and banking discrimination, and higher policing. Reparations for slavery is either a path towards equality or a path to further division.

No, there should not be reparations for slavery Show more Show less

The logistics, ethics, and effects of reparations are troubling. Reparations are impractical and divisive in practice.
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Reparations are a racist policy

The policy places blame of past injustices on several generations of white people who had nothing to do with slavery. It is racist to punish them for a historical act that the vast majority today condemn as racist.

The Argument

Reparations have a strong moral argument; correcting the injustices of a racist history of slavery. However, the fundamental structure of the policy is wrapped in racial discrimination.[1] The policy explicitly directs the blame of slavery on the living generations of white Americans, despite having nothing to do with the practice, and several generations removed. In a time where racial tensions are high, a policy which singles out a race for its historical mistakes is needlessly divisive. More importantly, the results of such a system are too unclear to risk the political and social consequences. The system also prioritizes the financial needs of black Americans, despite the many impoverished communities of all other races and ethnic groups. Giving only black Americans an economic boost, while seemingly righteous, discriminates and alienates all the other low-income families in America on the basis of race.[2] Instead, we should pursue a policy that unites Americans and attempts to remove discriminatory practices in society.[3] The more we focus on race, the more it divides the country. Reparations are regressive, not progressive.

Counter arguments

Reparations require current generations of white Americans to recognize that their privilege and wealth is the direct result of the system of slavery. Black wealth is a fraction of white Americans due to a lack of generational inheritance and civil rights. Pursuing a policy or reparations would allow white America reconciliation for their privilege in a way that will reduce the racial disparity in the country. It may be uncomfortable, but reparations are a necessary step towards greater equality in society.

Proponents

Framing

Based on the idea of 'reverse racism,' or that white individuals and communities are victims of racial discrimination. The concept is often used as a criticism of policies that specifically prioritize or benefit other races over white individuals, such as affirmative action and reparations.

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.nationalreview.com/2014/05/case-against-reparations-kevin-d-williamson/
  2. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/06/reparations-are-not-answer-poverty/592594/
  3. https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/09/reparations-talk-harmful-divides-americans/
This page was last edited on Sunday, 18 Oct 2020 at 17:35 UTC

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