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Memories of the 28th Century

Reparations and Equal Protection

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As we all know, the Equal Protection of the Fourteenth Amendment:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” It is perfectly that any law of any state must treat all persons equally. And cities and towns within the states are similarly required to treat all persons equally. I realize that this is something that everyone knew and this is at most just a reminder. But some people are trying to make the states or subdivisions of states pay people descended from slaves reparations for the enslavement of their ancestors, But they seem to be referring only to persons of Africa- American descent who were slaves in the U.S.A. Many of my ancestors were slaves in other parts of the world, but that doesn't count. The amounts to creating a class of persons who have rights that are not shared by all, and that is violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

As I understand it, the reparations are meant to reimburse some people for the abuses they suffered when they were captured by traders from other tribes, herded to wholesalers' trading posts, sold to slave traders, shipped to America, sold as slaves there, and used as slaves for many years. While hundreds of years ago some people were enslaved like that, I find it interesting that no one is looking for damages from those who originally grabbed people from their homes and herded them to the wholesalers' places. Those were the ones who enslaved their ancestors.

I also find it interesting that the descendants of slaves haven't brought legal actions against the former slave owners.. Even after more than a century there may be cases in equity that could succeed. Instead of seeking reimbursement from the guilty, they are looking for payments from parties who were not involved. I understand that they are asserting that all U.S. citizens gained advantage from slavery, but I have never seen an attempt to prove that assertion, and I doubt the truth of it.

Another problem is that there are proposals to pay some people for their skin colors even those who live in Massachusetts, where slavery was outlawed and slaves freed in 1783.

While this reparation idea is in the U.S.A., I wonder why people who were enslaved elsewhere would be required to pay the taxes that would pay for this program. Why shouldn't we get whatever those African-Americans might get. And why isn't there a push for the British to pay the Irish and other subject peoples for their enslavement?

I realize that some African-Americans think that they lost something by their ancestors being slaves, but they never considered the benefits they might have received from that. But any benefits that might have been gained is inconsequential. The real issues are “Equal Protections” and “Equal Immunities.” It is clear that giving some people benefits that are not given to all is illegal discrimination. There is no reason to go further.

I realize that some people think that the world owes them something, and they are trying to get something from others without providing anything in return.