Monday, February 1, 2016

Reparations for black folks in the USA?

{{{A photo of a black child picking cotton - after the Civil War black people who had been slaves were not given many opportunities for success.}}} 

After the US Civil War, black people could no longer be used as slaves. However, they had few opportunities. Many of them continued working on the farms where they had worked as slaves. They were now paid, but they were paid very little.

Some historians believe that African Americans in the USA still suffer from unequal economic, social and educational situations because they were not helped after the Civil War.

Therefore, many African Americans, these days, are asking for 'reparations'. Reparations payments are usually paid by losing countries to winning countries after wars are over. In this case, however, African Americans believe that an injustice was done to their ancestors and that they should now receive money from the US government for all the years their ancestors worked as slaves. Many Americans feel this money would finally help African Americans to get on the road to true freedom and equality in the USA.

Here is an article about a UN group and about how horrible conditions are for black folks in the USA. The Christian Science Monitor magazine might force you to take a brief survey to read the whole article. Sorry about that. I took the survey quickly - it was two questions.

The Article:

Vocabulary from the article:

reparatory justice - justice meant to fix or repair a wrong situation

disparities - differences that constitute inequality

preliminary - the first draft

the legacy of slavery - the history which continues to affect black people

subordination - forcing people to become inferior in status

reconciliation - making up, fixing problems so that nobody feels resentment or hurt any more

due diligence - conscientiousness, a sense of doing the right thing

disproportionate imprisonment - black people are thrown in jail at much higher rates than white folks

a massacre - when many innocent people are killed at one time

persistent - in this case: continuing

structural discrimination - discrimination is applied racism and if it is structural, it is built into the system

de facto barriers - 'in fact' barriers...they are not supposed to be there, but they are, in fact, there

wealth - amount of money and property

commemoration - remembering

profound - in this case: serious

manifestations - how something shows or reveals itself

xenophobia - hating people who are different or who come from different countries

reignited - started ignite a fire is to start a fire

internment camps - places people are held temporarily until a time comes when it is felt safe to release them. Japanese Americans were forced to live in such camps during World War 2 because the US government did not trust them.

sins - wrongs done, usually to God, but a sin can be a wrong committed against another person.

maturation - growth, development

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