Is it necessary to offer reparations for decades of suffering and pain, even after slavery ended and was supposedly “illegal”? Yes. Reparations are necessary. White slave owners that separated families, destroyed lives, and created an unequal balance between whites and blacks that survives even until today. The U.S. Government is responsible for slavery and they are responsible for repaying those affected. While the Government did not go out of their way to support slave trade, they did nothing to stop it. It was most literally a dog fight in order to pass the 13th Amendment and the Government did nothing to support said Amendment after it was passed. Slavery lived on even after slavery was abolished. Even after slavery was completely gone, blacks had to fight tooth and nail, most of the time against the government in order to achieve Civil Rights. (carnegiecouncil.org) Now the Government should not be the ones who repay the effected. It should be the families who owned the slaves that should repay. If the Government was the one to repay, then they would just raise taxes, so in essence, they would not pay anything. It should be the actual offenders, not just the bystanders. The ones who caused the pain should be the ones who should be caused pain now.
Reparations, though necessary and the right thing to do by the government, it is not the easiest mountain to climb. The new men and women of npr tell us that “Critics say it will be difficult to determine plaintiffs and defendants, arguing that non-black Americans living today are not responsible for slavery and that their tax dollars should not be used for compensation” (www.npr.org). The people of America do not want the government taking their hard earned money and giving it to the people who deserve/need it. In reality, the government already does this. The people pay their income tax, the government takes it, and puts it into the many social programs that our leaders have created over the years. Welfare, Medicare, and Public Housing are called entitlement programs. These programs give “reparations” to the desperate, poor, and needy. Maybe some of these descendants of slaves are needy, or poor, or desperate. These reparations would change their lives for the good. It would not repair all the damage slavery has done, but it would let the descendants today know that we have not forgotten about their ancestors.
Even though reparations are opposed by many, the good people who support this deed should get their reparations. As the people of this great nation wonder what the future holds, they will have to give back to those who deserve it, the descendants of slaves. Money can never fully buy back centuries of discrimination, hatred, and hypocracy. For some of these people the older African-Americans still tormented by the past segregation and being seen as second class citizens, this would be a way to show them that we have not forgotten about their troubles and their hardships.