The US Should Pay Reparations for Slavery

Perspective Writers' Votes
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The US should pay reparations for slavery.

Pros
Cons
  • Existing legal frameworks point in the direction of paying reparations.

  • Reparations will improve the moral standing of the United States in the world.

  • The nature of slavery was such as to give rise to a moral obligation to pay reparations.

  • The United States federal government should issue reparations to descendants of former slaves in the currency used at the time of enslavement. Namely, Confederate Treasury Notes to families born of Southern slaves and United States Notes for those families born of Union slaves.

  • American society would benefit economically from giving reparations to descendants of slaves.

  • Reparations would benefit segments of society disadvantaged by the legacy of slavery.

  • The US has already paid reparations for other past grievances.

  • The US track record of exploitation is quite long. Paying slavery reparations would be a slippery slope for other groups to claim the same.

  • Public opinion polls indicate that a majority of Americans oppose paying reparations to descendants of slaves.

  • There are severe barriers to specifying who should be entitled to reparations, and what form reparations would take.

  • Financial reparations will do nothing to address the problems facing Black Americans right now.

  • This would only lead to more division and hatred within the African American Community. On one hand, black families not receiving the reparation's will resent the ones who do. On the other hand, actual recipient families may take offense to the protests from non-recipient families. In other words, reparations would only appear to be helpful, but would actually carry a plethora of unintended consequences to these communities.

  • The United States is only a system. It is the people of history who controlled this system, who are responsible for its misuse. The system cannot be held liable for conditions that existed under it.

  • By agreeing to pay reparations to the descendants of  slaves, the United States would be assuming a high level of responsibility for the tragic history of slavery itself.

  • Consider the "War On Poverty" to be reparations to Appalachia for continued exploitation of the region's resources (coal, timber, etc) then analyze the consequences. Generations on and billions of dollars later, Appalachia continues to be one of the most impoverished regions in the country. The "War On Poverty" increased poverty by rewarding a poverty mindset. For example, parents encouraged kids to get into special education to reap the rewards of SSI, a practice that continues to this day.

  • The government should not discriminate, even positively, on the basis of race.

  • The connection between the current US and the US in which slavery were practiced is so tenuous that there is no need to pay reparations.

  • The US has already taken actions and/or changed in ways that deal sufficiently with its history with slavery.

  • Reparations are too expensive.