Slave Reparations: Rightful Compensation or Unjust Shakedown? .
Recently, many African-Americans have been calling for compensation from both the government and large corporations, claiming that, due to slavery, they have been put at a disadvantage to other Americans. The idea of compensating individuals for suffering endured by their ancestors is a terrible idea due to numerous things, including the fact that it promotes segregation, it targets only a fraction of those responsible for the enslavement of blacks, and, perhaps most convincing, the fact that there are absolutely no people alive today who played any part in the act of slavery.
Many African-Americans claim that they have been put in an adverse situation by the oppression of their ancestors. However, if this is the case, why are many groups able to function and even prosper in the countries where they were once persecuted? For example, Jews are able to lead very normal lives in Germany today, and their persecution happened roughly 60 years ago, while slavery in the U.S. was abolished almost 140 years ago. The thought that blacks are somehow more affected by the enslavement of their distant ancestors than the Jews were by the attempted elimination of their parents or even themselves could suggest to someone that the blacks somehow subordinate to the whites, who made up almost all of the Jews persecuted during WWII; a view which African-Americans have tried so hard to put down.
Another argument against the payment of slave reparations is the fact that no plans have ever been proposed that target all of those with descendants responsible for the enslavement of blacks. Many of the plans that don't call for taxpayers to fund the reparations call for major corporations who are felt to have prospered from slavery to pay. However, these corporations played a very small role in slavery. Why are the descendants of the European slave traders not being asked to pay? Also, Benin, a state in West Africa, is known to have brutally rounded up surrounding tribes and sold them to slave traders for a profit.