Reparations

Truth be told, the idea of reparations has been swirling quietly in the mainstream news (and that’s only if you’re looking for it) more recently.

It’s been reported that these conversations are due to Ta-Nehisi Coates. He’s said to have revamped the conversation on reparations for African Americans through his writing, which has certainly gained a tremendous following and platform.

Though this statement is debatable, it is certainly true that many black leaders have addressed, and continue to address this issue. Reparations is certainly not a new idea. (Black) People talk about it all the time.

Notwithstanding, Coates has become, rightfully so, a soundboard for many issues in the black community. And, his writing I’ve found to be some of the most important to date. His style, language, vocabulary is all quite admirable. Next to Chimamada Ngozi Adichie, Coates has become one of my favorites.

 

What do reparations look like in the year 2016?

We “farmed” way too long for free, so, I’m not about the 40 acres, anymore.

And, as far as I’m concerned, there’s unspoken consensus about the government keeping the mule too.

The reparations I’d ask for today – are no different than what we’ve been asking for all along.

And, the fact that we’re still asking for some of the same basic rights that we’ve been asking for hundreds of years is excruciatingly painful.

 

Education for black American’s, as we know, has always been subpar. And, a visit to most neighborhood schools in Philadelphia  will prove that “separate but ‘equal’” is certainly still good and well.

So I ask: Can we just get some books? And a temperature controlled building? A curriculum that doesn’t tell half truths?

I’ve heard several times over, out of so many different mouths, “education is the biggest civil rights issue of our time.”

We must acknowledge and act upon these words.

Failure to do so is no different than refusing to teach the slaves to read. And, it should be no secret that refusal to teach slaves to read and write is one, if not the only, reason why so many of our children struggle today.

Can we have stable homes to live in? All of us. Ones that aren’t called housing projects. Just homes. Regular homes. Homes that aren’t made cheaply. And, homes that won’t be knocked down to make way for luxury condos. #gentrification

And, next to our homes we need supermarkets. Not corner stores. Supermarkets, with fresh fruit and vegetables that are affordable. We should have a supermarket every half mile. And, cookies shouldn’t be cheaper than eggs. Because, if I only have two dollars, I can buy a whole lot of cookies, but, I can’t buy a carton of eggs.

And, while we’re talking about a few systemic issues – please stop punishing black people for PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES, like drug overdoses.

And, let’s stop arguing over affirmative action, because black people can’t even get an interview because our names are too black. And, I don’t understand because should black people have white names?

Lastly, the zero tolerance policy.

Kids are being kicked out of school for being mad or exhibiting acts of violence. We’ve already talked about why black people are mad. So, I’m baffled as to why people are surprised that our children are as well.

 

I wonder if paying black people the reparations we’ve deserved for so long reminds the country of the socialism it’s so afraid of.

If black people are given the same opportunities that white people have been given, and continue to dwell in (white privilege) every day – – – by many means, there’d be some sense of equality.

I think I’m saying that America is refusing to pay black Americans the reparations we deserve because it might put us in a position that would make us equal to white Americans.

And, God forbid we uphold ourselves to “all men are created equal…”

Because, even Thomas Jefferson had slaves.

Reportedly, all free men are created equal.

And black people ain’t been free since slavery.

 

by: Shamira

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