Some may find it odd that today, nearly 300 years after the horrible act of slavery thrived, the long descendants of these slaves expect reparations for their suffering. The suffering, that is, that they did not directly experience yet somehow now claim to deserve money for. These reparations must however, be greater than those that have already been extended to people of a different race in the United States. The descendants of slaves alive today should not receive reparations for the act of slavery committed many decades ago. These people should not receive reparations because slavery cannot be blamed on specific people alive today, the form of reparations will never be equally settled, and because it will only bring more controversy in the future involving this issue and the nation's past.
First, the issue of slavery cannot be blamed on specific people alive today. There is no one presently responsible for slavery and therefore no one should be obligated to "payback" what damage was done many years ago. "[ ] the government has to take the money from citizens, and there are no citizens alive today who were responsible for slavery" (Lewin). Taking money from the government is taking money from the people. There are many people who had nothing to do with slavery or were not even in the country when it occurred. "Underlying many race-based programs in recent years has been the notion that all living white Americans are somehow beneficiaries of centuries of discrimination against blacks. Conversely, we are led to believe, all contemporary blacks are its continuing victims. In this formulation, white Americans whose ancestors arrived on these shores after the Civil War and Emancipation remain beneficiaries of slavery, and black Americans born more than a century after slavery's end are still being victimized by it" (Parker). African Americans cannot expect reparations from an entire country when a large portion of the people in it are not nearly responsible for the issue.