California Considering Slave Reparations

wildbirdhunter

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Monday, May 06, 2002
By Claudia Cowan

   

SAN FRANCISCO — California never allowed slaves, but it may become the first state in the nation to make slave reparations a reality.


The possibility has supporters and opponents arguing over whether the time for reparations has come.

"It's a demand, I think, whose time has come. It's a demand that's a just demand," said Earl Hutchinson, an author and political commentator.

"To bring it up now, 150 years later almost, it makes no sense. But it reinforces the point that for some the issue of race will never go away," said Ward Connerly, chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute.


 
AP
California Gov. Gray Davis
Two years ago, Democratic Gov. Gray Davis signed a law forcing insurance companies to disclose policies they wrote for slave owners more than a century ago. This week, the state's Department of Insurance released that information. None of the half dozen insurance companies are based in California, but they all did business in the state.

"It's smoking gun proof that a lot of insurance companies, insurance companies in this case, made money off slavery. They wrote the policies, and especially, they cashed in on those policies," Hutchinson said.

In an event last week, Davis said he would be interested in making amends if insurance companies did profit from slavery.

"Clearly, we want to right any wrongs and do justice to people who were taken advantage of," he told an audience at the Digital Connections Conference, a small business gathering sponsored by civil rights activist Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.

The issue is extremely divisive, in large part because Davis appears to have endorsed the controversial plan being pushed by Jackson to give payments not to slave descendants, but to non-profit groups like Jackson's that serve the black community.

Connerly, who is in the midst of a fight to remove racial data from government records, is wary of Jackson's motive.

"I think it's not only convenient, it's probably orchestrated that way so the organizations that Mr. Jackson represents and others that represent, allegedly represent, the victims of slavery would be unduly enriched by this," he said.

The suggestion that companies may be forced to pay has political analysts wondering what is behind Davis' comment. He is running comfortably ahead in statewide election polls, leading one analyst to suggest that for Davis, it is a matter of principle, not politics.

"If Gray Davis needed the African-American vote in this state, then supporting reparations might help him, but the truth of the matter is that there is no constituency more loyal to Democrats than African-Americans," political analyst Susan Estrich said.

Since Gov. Davis and Rev. Jackson stood together in support of the idea last week, they have been less willing to talk about reparations. Soon after Fox News called about the issue, Davis and Jackson cancelled a scheduled joint press conference.

Others are talking, however, especially minority rights activists who expect a flurry of lawsuits, and Republicans who say they may have just written their first ad for the fall gubernatorial campaign.



Don’t get me wrong I’m not races or any thing like that. I just have a problem with paying for something that I never had any thing to do with in the first place. I also have a really big problem with any tax money going to Jackson he does not care about the blacks just the money his book are a mess and on every one of his tax returns he can account for millions of dollars. All this will do is drive the problem even further in the wrong direction and will only divied people more. I’m sorry if someone in your family was a slave 150 years ago but the fact is that we can never learn from the mistakes of the past if we keep trying to live in it. I would have no problem if someone that was a slave and still alive today got the money but that will not be the case. The fact is the people that will get the money have never been slaves and on one if their family have been for three or four generations. If you don’t learn from the past you will be doomed to relive it.  WBH
 

alanscott

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As a "Whitey", I may have to sue ole Jesse if he does get his way on this Reparations swindle *cough* I mean settlement. I feel that I am owed something also, after all, I lost 11 family members in the Civil War who lost their lives fighting for the North to end slavery. Doesn't this seem as valid as his claim? I'd even invite all the members here to hunt the 1000 acre spread in the heart of the Colorado mountains I am gonna buy with my cut.
:rolleyes-green: :rolleyes-green: :rolleyes-green:


alanscott
 

JBarn3

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And now this, after Davis has already sent us into our $12.5 billion budget deficit. Where does he plan to get the money? Take more from schools? Surely not cut his own pay. Hopefully we can get Simon in there to straighten all this out.
 

Kernhuntr

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I'd say that I cut a check for "reparations" every year around April 15th. This is such a welfare state for all races, not  just the good Reverend's that I honestly feel I've paid my share enough to last a few life times.

JBarn3 is correct....our schools are a mess, roads are crumbling, policeing agencies are projecting a shortfall.....and he's getting the money from where?

Kernhuntr
 

ranchwife

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If we start paying reparations for slaves, then I guess we'll have to start paying reparations to all other nationalities that have ever been held or used for slavery.  If we start doing this, it will open up a whole can of worms that no one wants to deal with.  The people that are fighting for this to happen are jumping on the band wagon because they will be getting money; they can't get over the feelings and issues now, but for a hefty chunk of change, they can.

I have a real problem with the diversity/race issues.  As a teacher, we are encouraged to teach about diversity.  But, when we start recognizing an ethnic group, we are automatically ignoring another one.  And, when we allow one ethnic group to form an organization within the school that is just for that race, we are creating divisions by excluding others.  When this happens, teachers and students get upset and the gap widens.  In my opinion, honoring and recognizing diversity creates diversity and distance.  In our local areas, within the states and the nation, we need to reevaluate the diversity/race issue and figure out ways that these different groups can be recognized without excluding another group.

Okay, I'll get off my soap box now.  :soapbox:   Just needed to vent a little
 

shaginator

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(For those who care about this kind of nonsense -- I'm not "white".)

Teaching "diversity" is a waste of time, especially when there's so much to learn about "similarity".

Ranchwife - I don't know how you put up with all the political crud that gets in the way of fundamental things like reading, writing and arithmetic. You've got quite a job on your hands.


(Edited by shaginator at 2:36 pm on May 7, 2002)
 

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