Many people who talk about reparations for Blacks, do so only with slavery in mind. We also must consider that the Jim Crow, legalized, semi-slavery caused damage to subsequent generations of Blacks.

Jim Crow lasted another 100 years from the 1860s through the 1960s. Immediately after slavery, southern states enacted Black codes that again, gave Whites a shared monopoly control on land, economic systems, governments, education systems, and Black labor for another 100 years. The north and south used government to create Whites-only business and political, intellectual, and social monopolies. The head start in property, technology, political participation, and major business opportunities were passed on to succeeding generations of White males. Meanwhile, as Blacks were segregated and released from slavery, penniless, illiterate, and uneducated, many Blacks lived in blind alleys, cellars, and lofts. Blacks who sought public assistance were denied. They were criticized for being uneducated, even though they were kept from learning to read during slavery. And they were called lazy because they were no longer required to work from sun-up to sundown for free to build wealth for others.

Even without public assistance, Blacks still managed to build several prosperous communities for several decades after slavery. They pulled themselves up by their bootstrap. But guess what, many Black businesses and communities were burnt down by racist White mobs. The Black Wallstreet of Tulsa, Oklahoma was burnt down in 1921 due to an angry White mob. Over 300 people died, 1,200 homes and 191 Black-owned businesses in a 35-square-block area were destroyed. About 10,000 Blacks were left homeless. Police did not help protect Blacks being attacked by the racist White mob. In fact, many of them joined in on the attack. When Blacks started to successfully fight back, airplanes were used to spy on the movement of Blacks. Once a concentrated number of Blacks were spotted, planes dropped turpentine and nitro glycerin bombs on them. This was the first terrorist attack on American home soil, not 9/11.

The Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Riot of 1921 was formed in 1997 to study the impact of what happened. They released a report in 2001 recommending restitution to the descendants of the violence. They need to stop studying and pay the damn check. What is there to study?

There were several other predominantly Black towns destroyed by jealous White mobs who didn’t want to see Blacks prosper. There was the Colfax, Louisiana massacre of 1873, and the Wilmington, North Carolina massacre of 1898. The Atlanta massacre of 1906 saw several White mobs threatened by upwardly mobile Black communities. A bogus claim by four white women claiming they were assaulted was the false flag used to drive 2,000 White men to the street to destroy another Black community. The Elaine, Arkansas massacre took place in 1919. This was caused by Blacks demanding economic justice after being forced into sharecropping. This outraged Whites, who hated to see Blacks demand any kind of justice and equality. So, another Black town was destroyed. Rosewood, Florida was another prosperous Black town destroyed by irrationally competitive Whites.

Most of these race riots that destroyed Black communities, and which were started by White mobs, were caused by a White woman claiming she was raped by a Black man. And most of the White mobs were found innocent of any wrongdoings, and police, lawmakers and public officials looked the other way. Many of the pictures you see of lynched people, were business owners. Most of the people lynched during Jim Crow were business owners. The racist power structure of Jim Crow did not want you integrating into the White ruled systems that years of slavery started and built. But when Blacks pooled their resources together to successfully start to build new, separate wealth, they were destroyed. If America is a moral, and God-worshipping country, which it isn’t, (America worships money) they would pay reparations to the descendants of Black families destroyed by years of Jim Crow race riots, lynchings, and destroyed Black communities- on top of reparations for slavery.

After slavery, many Blacks were locked up for petty infractions and sheriffs provided southern planters free labor by way of imprisoned Blacks. Basically, slavery still existed, only in a semi form. The law prevented Blacks from working without a contract, even though newly freed Blacks couldn’t read or write. Those same Blacks were often locked up for breaching sharecropping contracts they could not read. Newly freed, and poor Blacks with no resources were forced to take unfair sharecropping contracts just to survive.

Even the small number of free Blacks before the Emancipation were barred from establishing businesses that competed with Whites. Before and after slavery, there were all types of legal and social sanctions that kept capital, market opportunities from Blacks, and kept them from accessing resources and education. Slavery gave newly freed Blacks the skill to raise tobacco, cotton, and livestock. Despite this, the law prevented them from raising and selling their products in competition with Whites.

Some snide Whites will argue that their ancestors were poor Italian, Jewish, or Irish immigrants who came to this country and pulled themselves by their bootstrap. Then they ask why can’t Blacks do the same thing? Blacks were systematically shut out. That’s why. Italian immigrants were allowed into the industry of shipyards, docks, unions, ethnic restaurants, and fire departments. Jewish immigrants were allowed into the industries of garments, jewelry, banking, lending, and entertainment. The Irish was allowed into industries of alcoholic manufacturing, distilling and distribution industries, police departments and bars. Black people were either shut out of industries during Jim Crow, or had their businesses and houses burned down when they unified and worked around the blockade.

Other Whites, who are against reparations, argue that White people were once slaves too. White indentured servants received small parcels of land, as well as clothing, farming tools, crop seeds, and livestock after their servitude ended. Blacks received nothing. And when Blacks still made a way, their stuff was destroyed. Many Black farmers had their crops burned by Whites, and animals poisoned. Throughout the Jim Crow years, a substantial number of Blacks had thousands of acres of land stolen from them through subtle manipulation or direct threats.

Many Black business owners could’ve built businesses that perhaps, would’ve morphed into Fortune 1,000 or 500 businesses by the new millennium. They could’ve then employed Blacks and gave them good pay and benefits. There wouldn’t be a great deal of low-income, high-crime black neighborhoods known as the projects, ghettoes, or slums.

America gave reparations to Jews, Germans, the Japanese, and even cigarette smokers. Taxpaying US citizens had no problem paying for those reparations. So now reparations need to be paid to Blacks for slavery and the subsequent 100 years of Jim Crow. All the descendants of business owners who were lynched needs restitution. All the Blacks who were cheated out of their land needs restitution. And all the descendants of residents of prosperous black communities that were destroyed also needs reparations.

 

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