There’s a lot of talk about reparations for Blacks. The Democrats talked about it more than usual at the 2020 elections as a ploy to get Blacks to vote for them. Some people are for reparations, and some are against it. Some argue that the U.S. government doesn’t have the money to pay Blacks for reparations. Well, they sure as hell pulled $4 trillion out their ass for pandemic stimulus money. But I digress. Others argue that the Black people living today weren’t slaves. They also argue that the Whites living today did not own slaves.
Not all Whites owned slaves. Poor Whites couldn’t afford slaves. During slavery, roughly 25% of all White southerners owned slaves. According to statista.com, in 1790, there were 697,681 black slaves and 59,524 free blacks. In 1820, there were 1,538,022 slaves and 233,524 free blacks. By 1860, the count for Black slaves rose to 3,953,760 slaves and 488,070 free Blacks. Between 1860 and now, there has been several generations of descendants of that almost 4 million slaves who are owed wealth and resources to their lineage for building this country and generating revenue for businesses. Between 1860 and now, there has been several descendants of that 25% of wealthy White southerners who are holding on to that unearned wealth that Blacks generated. That check needs to be cut.
Most of this country compiled its wealth through slavery. Slavery produced a 1500% return on it’s investment by not having to pay wages, employee benefits, and taxes. According to Dr. Claud Anderson’s Powernomics book, 87% of the nation’s economic assets are now frozen within the wealthy White elite’s hands and passed down from one generation to the next in stocks, bonds, land, businesses, trust accounts, endowments, foundations, and insurance policies. That check needs to be cut to American Black descendants of slaves.
During slavery, Blacks owned a half percent of this country’s wealth, and the number is the same today. Even though Blacks owned half a percent of the nation’s wealth during slavery, their years of free servitude made this country a lot more wealth. Slavery helped grow the cottage industry, and provided Europe with a consistent flow of sugar, tobacco, molasses, rum, vinegar, and precious metals. Blacks produced wealth for slave traders and settlers in European countries as well. In the South American and Indian markets, the average price sold for a slave was $500. And this is during the 17th and 18th century. According to historian, Howard Zinn, there were approximately 10 to 15 million black slaves transported to the Americas. If you multiply the slaves and the sale price of slaves and adjust the price for today’s dollars, the dollar amount would be more than a trillion dollars. Reparations are owed to Blacks.
According to Robert Fogel’s book, Without Consent of Contract, in 1860, two out of three White males had a net worth of $100,000 and owned slaves. Several southern businessmen attained wealth by providing services and goods like household items, farm tools, and leather slave restraint. Farms and local businesses also bought and sold black slave-made products and made hefty figures. Several businesses generated capitol off slavery, and this helped finance seaport towns like Charleston, Savannah, Norfolk, and New Orleans. Many New England textile mills retailed and sold slavery-produced cotton. The first cotton mill was built in 1808 in Massachusetts. By 1817, Black slaves were producing 126 pounds of cotton valued at $15 million.
Once Blacks were freed, reconstruction didn’t provide for newly freed, empty-handed slaves. They were denied the 40 acres and a mule owed to them, and this kept them from being apart of the American ownership class.
So many industries benefited off Black slavery. The shoe industry benefitted, jewelry companies, and insurance and shipping companies benefited. Slavery empowered the industrial revolution and brought capitalism to Europe. Many White immigrants came after slavery ended. But many of them received preferential treatment in receiving political and judicial positions.
Many current corporations, companies, institutions, and organizations benefitted from slavery. Different railroad companies like Union Pacific, CSX Corp, and Canadian National benefitted. Norfolk Southern owned slaves, for crying out loud. Brooks Brothers made clothes for slaves and Tiffany’s was founded with cotton mill profits. J.P. Morgan accepted slaves as collateral, New York Life insured slaves. Wells Fargo company owned slaves and accepted slaves as collateral. Princeton and Columbia University recruited and raised money from slave-owning families. I mean, got-damn. I could go on and on naming a lot more current, well-known, household name US companies, institutions, and universities that profited from slavery.
It’s only right reparations for slavery are given to blacks. The American political and legal system paid reparations to other aggrieved parties over the years. White indentured servants received a form of reparations in the form of freedom dues after they were freed. Southern slaveholders, not the slaves, but the slaveholders, received monetary reparations and approximately 1 billion acres of land, after the government seized their human resource property in the form of Blacks. Japan received billions of dollars in the late 1940s in the Point Four program. The US government even paid $20,000 in reparations to each Japanese American who was forced to live in internment camps during the four years of World War II. America transferred $13 billion ($114 billion in current times) to Germany in 1948 with the Marshall Plan. Jews received reparations for the German Holocaust. Taxpayers had no problem paying these groups without complaint. The government and politicians had no problem producing income to pay these groups without complaint or hesitation. So now the biggest aggrieved group needs to be paid.
The British Empire introduced slavery to North America on a large scale. So, all those nations, governments, wealthy families, corporations, and even churches need to pay Blacks their reparations. It’s the moralistic thing to do- if America is the actual saint it claims to be.
There was a post on Facebook by The Blackout Coalition, stating that there are 614 billionaires in the United States, and only 7 of them are Black. One commenter stated that she works in banking and that she sees a high number of trust fund babies with loaded accounts. The person stated that by 25, the generational wealth passed down allows them to already become millionaires. The commenter also stated that many of them were White. This is because they had access to stocks long before Blacks. I couldn’t help but think that many of the wealthy White bank accounts are descendants of that 25% of wealthy slave-owning southerners.
I know. Not all Whites back then owned slaves. And not all present-day Whites benefited directly from slavery. But every person that benefited from slavery was White. And if you were Black living in 1860, there is an 89% chance you were a slave and an 11% chance that you were free and not producing wealth for other people and institutions.
Many Blacks go on Ancestry.com to see if they’re from Sierra Leone or Senegal, or to see what native tribe they belong to. Nothing wrong with that. But we need to do that to confirm if we were American descendants of the 89% of Black slaves to make the case for reparations. The check needs to be cut.