that said, this whole reparations issue bugs me. there are too many complications and questions.
first of all, who exactly is going to get this money? people who are descendants of slaves? people who are descendants of families in africa who had members stolen from them? all black people who have suffered from the ongoing racism in the country that came out of slavery? how about people who died fighting to end slavery and their descendants?
then, who is going to pay? they have picked a couple of companies who benefitted from the slave trade. ok, back then, they were probably owned buy a very few people. now they are owned by thousands of people who are stockholders, many of whom are probably themselves the descendants of slaves. and if you really think about it, not just these few deep pocket companies benefitted from slavery, and not just the south either. the entire country did, just as we now do from near slavery in the countries that make our clothing and computer parts, grow our coffee and fruit, and assemble our cars and trucks.
comparisons have been made to the recent holocaust reparations by german companies. remember these payments were made to the actual people exploited when they were prisoners, not to relatives, much less distant relatives. there are no living ex-slaves in this country, and there are precious few living children of ex-slaves, if any.
so what is "reparations" all about? it is certainly not about rectifying past or present wrongs. it is maybe just a little bit about publicly acknowledging and apologizing for these wrongs, but it is mostly about money.
there is no way that anybody is going to get enough money out of this to make up for centuries of slavery and discrimination. there is no way anyone is going to have more opportunities or gain more respect by getting a check for a few hundred dollars from some corporation. the only people who are going to get anything out of this are the lawyers on both sides.