Normalizing reparations was a foreign concept to me. Admittedly, just to talk about the IDEA of reparations seemed like a waste of precious brain energy, brain energy I could use contemplating what if Michael Scott from The Office were black (mf would’ve BEEN fired) or why are toddlers so enamored with watching other toddlers play with toys on YouTube. African American reparations seemed about as likely as Clarence Thomas marrying a black woman, so it was never normalized in mind. National African American centric policies have always been put on the back burner and its easy for this country to do so. With black folks being only 13% of the American population, there is only so much political power we have; there is only so much budgetary power we control; there is only so much propaganda power we possess. And because of this limited influence in the arenas that matter the most, reparations always seemed unattainable, and White America did a fantastic job of reminding Black America of this seemingly impossible financial equity.
Ta-Nehisi Coates’ 2014 Essay “The Case for Reparations” temporarily forced reparations into the national conversation, even if these same conversations had been discussed in detail in black-centric establishments and institutions for decades. Unfortunately, after Coates’ essay, the conversation took a bit of nose dive. However, in 2019, the idea of African American reparations is slowly gaining traction in the halls of social media and Congress, even if politicians like Mitch “Turkey Neck Bastard” McConnell are actively trying to rev up the powerful anti-reparations propaganda machine that convinced me and others for far too long that reparations will never happen. In a statement on Capitol Hill the other day, Mitch “Turkey Neck Bastard” McConnell flat out stated, all of his Caucasian privilege and might that, “I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago when none of us currently living are responsible is a good idea. We’ve tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We’ve elected an African American president.” It is my belief that White America had a meeting. I don’t know where this meeting took place (My guess is Montana. Kanye made an album there that one time, but he is one of them now so I’m sure they deemed Montana a safe-space for their all white meeting), but in that meeting, catered by Panera of course, all those in attendance were given an allocated amount of “Obama Cards” that are ONLY to be used as a counter to when black people make reasonable and sensible arguments for justice and equity.
Talking points like Obama being elected and equality driven legislation that was passed before the first fucking moon landing has been painted by the American Propaganda machine as symbols of a post-racial utopia, a utopia where black people are on an equal playing field both politically and financially. However, Black America, and most of White America knows or should know that this utopia does not exist. When Senate Majority Leader, Turkey Neck Bastard speaks of a perfect utopia, is this utopia filled with police brutality and over policing; or the failed drug war that has left millions of black folks incarcerated while setting them and their families back for generations; or the horrors of residing at the intersection of poor and black in America that is literally bad for one’s health; or the takeover of urban territory in the form of gentrification which sends those same poor blacks into an even deeper financial hell; or the lack of fair housing and business loans; or the lack of an educational structure in black and brown financially deprived areas; or the increasingly short life span of the Black Dollar because of the lack of black business or entrepreneurship? If Turkey Neck Bastard truly had his pulse on Black America, then he would realize that Black America seems to be all out of hope, hugs, optimism and “Yes, we cans.” And with Black America reasonably coupling the factors listed above with the emergence of Trumpism, Black America has had about enough of White America’s anti-reparations, no, anti-black propaganda. The shit won’t work, anymore.
One of the central counterarguments against African American reparations, from a legal/constitutional aspect, is the Statute of Limitations. Even when I would fall for toxic anti-reparations propaganda, I always found this “intellectual” counter to be an easy cope out for those who are steadfastly against reparation legislation. Yes, slavery happened a long time. However, the ill effects of slavery are still alive and well. And if the idea behind reparations is to repair something that caused great harm and suffering to a mass group of people (slavery, Jim Crow, Drug War, etc) then what does the Statute of Limitations have to do with making a group of people whole again? Every non-partisan piece of evidence will show any literate person, including Senator Turkey Neck Bastard, that slavery as an institution not only caused irreversible damage BUT the effects of post slavery legislation, meant to keep Black America in a physical, mental and financial shit-hole, ALSO caused irreversible damage. And Black America finds it funny that they, White America and its budget, recognizes these generational harms for everyone but Black America, the people White America brought the most harm to. Throughout history, Black America has seen reparations being awarded to other groups of people, based on data, but when it comes to Afro American reparations, it’s based on perception. The perception of, “Well, you got a black president. You n*ggers should be happy.” And while there is is actual data of generational disenfranchisement, both in the legal and financial sector, all White America can point to is the “I have a Dream” speech and Obama’s full court basketball games in the White House.
White America and their propaganda keep shouting equality, while Black America and its hardships are demanding equity.