Perspective: Rethinking Reparations

Feb 24, 2021

It is not possible to overstate the evil inflicted by the United States upon African Americans and their ancestors. The depravity of slavery, Jim Crow Era lynchings, rapes, and intimidation, continued economic warfare and a criminal justice system designed to control citizens of color with brutality. Just a partial list.  Yet proclaiming, “All men are created equal!”

If you understand these evils committed in the land of the free, you must be heartsick. Still, I argue against economic reparations.  Because we would again be judging people’s skin color, not the content of their character.  Second, choosing qualified groups and defining their membership cannot be achieved in a fair manner. Compensating the offspring of well to do minority families, but not, for instance, the children of impoverished white Appalachians changes the players, but not the game.  And it would become a recruiting tool for white identity groups with bad intent.

Instead, let’s, rededicate our national will to winning a renewed War On Poverty, helping all Americans live a life of economic dignity regardless of skin color. Second, let’s establish a National Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine, diagnose and treat the sickness of racism past and present and to create a future where truly all men are endowed by their nation with true opportunity to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Our Union of these United States will never be perfect. But let’s still keep trying.

I’m Joe Rosner and that’s my Perspective.

Joe Rosner is a safety and self-defense instructor who makes his home in McHenry County. He is a contributor to on topics related to politics and pop culture.