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Thread: America 200 years later: sorry about that whole slavery thing

  1. #16
    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    I get what you're saying, but I stand by what I said. The U.S. screwed over Native Americans, but never gave out cash reparations, same with free slaves, same with Irish immigrants who were treated like shit. The U.S. only did that because Japan was/is a major economic power, not out of any sense to set things right.

    Personally, I'm not concerned about reparations, because I know it's never going to happen.

    You are right though, the timing is about correct, rise in economic power equals more concessions.

    I think a formal apology is a given and long overdue. Reparations though, I think there's just too many variables and other factors which make it hard to really quantify.

  2. #17
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by celeb_2006 View Post
    You are right though, the timing is about correct, rise in economic power equals more concessions.

    I think a formal apology is a given and long overdue. Reparations though, I think there's just too many variables and other factors which make it hard to really quantify.
    A formal apology is nice, but not worth much in the bigger picture. The best reparation/apology for slavery is to have a country where race isn't a hindrance to life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness.

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    Gold Member mamaste's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darksithbunny View Post
    How do people who were not directly involved in a situation, apologize to people who were also not involved with a situation?
    Because some of us still benefit from slavery while some of us still suffer the backlash from slavery.

    I think more people need to understand what slavery really was. It was an industry that built and supported the U.S. economy for a very long time. There are several U.S. corporations that wouldn't be here were it not for slavery. Families who made their money from enslaving others and continue to live their lives off that money. Most Americans seem to see slavery as a form of domestic servitude, ignoring the entire industry that brought slaves to those homes.

    As for the federal gov't., they bear some responsibility as well. For 100 years after the Civil War, blacks (and many other non-whites) were forced to pay taxes while not retaining equal rights. They took the money of hard working Americans and didn't extend the benefits of paying those taxes.

    Slavery is way more complex than people realize. It helped forge this nation. At the very least someone should apologize.

  4. #19
    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Most definitely a formal apology is necessary. We elected a black president, and what better time now for the government to formally acknowledge the painful past of slavery? Just like Australia. I know President Obama wouldn't want to deal with this, as he has always been an inclusive man and he isn't interested in alienating anyone, particularly someone in his position.

    The problem as we have seen is that the issue of reparations is being debated and dragging the apology issue down.

    There is a part of me that feels that many would rather drag and delay the issue of a formal apology. Think about it, we have elected a black president, breaking THE biggest racial barrier in the history of the United States. Those leaders and public figures who 'benefit' most from perpetrating the message that black people are forever victims, and will never amount to anything in this evil and racist society, are probably some of the least enthusiastic supporters of a formal apology. Once there is a formal apology, then what? They can't use that as a 'crutch' anymore in the victim mentality. So they try to delay the issue by bringing up reparations, which I'm sure they know will have a hard time being settled.

    Does that make sense?

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    Ok people have to realize while our ancestors at least had the OPPORTUNITY of earning money and building businesses for hundreds of years more. So we as their descendants start with more usually. On the Irish (and lets throw in Jewish people and Italians) aspect yes it was hard to get a job or a job you liked but it was better than getting NO pay, and getting beat and sold having your family split up. Unless you descend from the few Irish boatloads who were sold as slaves your ancestors had better opportunities.

    That said it is no longer realistic to do reparations. Nor should ANYONE ever use ancestry as a crutch, but i find myself squirming when I fellow Irish(wo)man starts in on a descendant of slaves about how hard their ancestors had it. I don't think it's fair to compare.

  6. #21
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by celeb_2006 View Post
    Most definitely a formal apology is necessary. We elected a black president, and what better time now for the government to formally acknowledge the painful past of slavery? Just like Australia. I know President Obama wouldn't want to deal with this, as he has always been an inclusive man and he isn't interested in alienating anyone, particularly someone in his position.

    The problem as we have seen is that the issue of reparations is being debated and dragging the apology issue down.

    There is a part of me that feels that many would rather drag and delay the issue of a formal apology. Think about it, we have elected a black president, breaking THE biggest racial barrier in the history of the United States. Those leaders and public figures who 'benefit' most from perpetrating the message that black people are forever victims, and will never amount to anything in this evil and racist society, are probably some of the least enthusiastic supporters of a formal apology. Once there is a formal apology, then what? They can't use that as a 'crutch' anymore in the victim mentality. So they try to delay the issue by bringing up reparations, which I'm sure they know will have a hard time being settled.

    Does that make sense?
    I get what you're saying, but I still don't agree that a formal apology was necessary, but I won't fault the government for making it. And Obama made it clear during the campaign that he didn't support the idea of paying out reparations, so no surprise there.

    And, true, while America has elected it's first black president that doesn't suddenly end issues of racial discrimination or hatred. Obama himself is still a prime target of it. But I agree with you that some people do benefit from the 'black people are victims', and those people come in all shapes & colors. But there are people who love to use racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-semitism as a crutch for everything wrong in their lives, which takes away from the people who are really going through those things.

    But a formal apology doesn't really benefit anyone, in the long run, if racial profiling and discrimination are still an issue. And the same is true if the U.S. paid out reparations, it wouldn't mean anything in the long run.

  7. #22
    Silver Member oltifreakinbaby's Avatar
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    I was in history class one day and some girl had the nerve to say that slavery was the worst thing to ever be forced on people. WTF? What about genocide that went on and is still going on in the world right now?

    Slavery was a horrible thing, and it's a shame it happened. But giving a check to people who weren't even involved in it is stupid. Why don't we give the descendents of the Roman's slaves a check too?

    People need to stop focusing on the past, and use the lessons they learned for the future. That's the only true repayment for what people have suffered through.

  8. #23
    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    ^ I don't think you really "get it" to be honest. Slavery still affects people TODAY.

    The American society has deep rooted racism, that honestly, will never go away because Americans have been socialized in a racist country. Slavery has directly affected our nation's institutions from the legal and criminal justice system to the school systems. It doesn't matter if slavery has ended because it has and will affect our nation forever.

    Blacks and people of minorities are still feeling the effects of slavery. They are discriminated against and are living in a society that is of a white American culture. Slavery is one of the worst things that has ever been done to a group of people.

    And it's flat out ignorant for people to say, "The past is the past" or "Get over it" or "When will people move on?" This shit is still going on today, so no, they shouldn't have to get over it.

    Oh and don't get me started on the people who say we needed to stop "giving handouts" to Native Americans over things "we didn't do" and how it was their ancestors who were screwed and not them.

    What if I break into your home, move you into the backyard while I move all my friends into your house. Then I will make you and your family live in a dog house because I realized your backyard is profitable for me. Then you can have your grandchildren and great grandchildren in that dog house. Are they not still affected by my actions? Even if I died and my grandchildren now live in YOUR house, does it make this shit right???? Should you just get over it? Or is the pain the same as it was the day it happened?

    Same thing. I may have not had slaves or stole land from the Native Americans, but my government did and reaped all the benefits. They should be apologizing and making up for this forever, yes, forever. They should have never done this shit in the first place, 200 years doesn't make it okay. They should be held accountable for their actions.

    /rant over

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    I get what you're saying. The U.S. did promise blacks reparations at the end of slavery in the form of 40 acres & a mule, which never happened. The issue of monetary reparations for slavery came to the forefront after the U.S. gave the Japanese reparations for internment during WWII. And that only happened because Japan became a major economic power and the U.S. needed to kiss some ass.

    As for Native Americans any land or tax exemptions they got were just a no-brainer since this entire country used to belong to them and they were virtually wiped out.

    As much as I would love a check, it's not going to suddenly make up for slavery. The only true reparation that the U.S. can give for slavery is to become a country where the descendants of slaves are truly treated as equals and everybody has the same level playing field.
    Well said. We've gotten closer, but we aren't there yet.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by darksithbunny View Post
    How do people who were not directly involved in a situation, apologize to people who were also not involved with a situation?
    It's like Norway apoligizing a few years ago to the Sami for stealing the land and treating the Sami like shit for years. Sure, no one alive now was directly involved but it's a principle thing.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
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  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by buttmunch View Post
    It's like Norway apoligizing a few years ago to the Sami for stealing the land and treating the Sami like shit for years. Sure, no one alive now was directly involved but it's a principle thing.
    True, it just needs to be done, period.

    They can debate about other issues like reparations later without dragging the apology issue down.

    It's sad other nations like Australia have led the way. It really isn't that hard, an apology isn't casting blame on anyone in the present. It's just an official record of acknowledgement of the past wrong. Of course it won't address current issues nor solve problems. But that's not the point.

  12. #27
    Bronze Member Banshee's Avatar
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    Well, if apologies really are going to happen, then the African countries that the slaves were originally from should be apologizing, too. White people (I'm not going to say Americans because the Europeans were largely involved in the slave trade, as well) didn't act alone. They had native African contacts that acted as their agents who rounded up and sold their own people for profit.

    Not saying anyone is better or worse than anyone else, but the blame should be spread to all places it belongs if we are going to be laying it out.

    I personally feel along the lines of what kingcap said. I think the best way to make up for slavery is to strive for the most equal society we can and to offer the best opportunities possible for descendants of slavery and focus on eliminating racism instead of furthering divisiveness between races.

  13. #28
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banshee View Post
    Well, if apologies really are going to happen, then the African countries that the slaves were originally from should be apologizing, too. White people (I'm not going to say Americans because the Europeans were largely involved in the slave trade, as well) didn't act alone. They had native African contacts that acted as their agents who rounded up and sold their own people for profit.

    Not saying anyone is better or worse than anyone else, but the blame should be spread to all places it belongs if we are going to be laying it out.

    I personally feel along the lines of what kingcap said. I think the best way to make up for slavery is to strive for the most equal society we can and to offer the best opportunities possible for descendants of slavery and focus on eliminating racism instead of furthering divisiveness between races.
    You're right about that African trading. But what happened on a larger scale was the Europeans used a form of divide and conquer, and stirred up the existing conflicts between the different African nations & tribes. That led to more wars, and the different tribes & nations sold the prisoners of war to the Europeans, not realizing that the larger plan was to enslave them all and divide the continent up like a pie between the different European countries. The number of Africans that were sold/traded pales in comparison with the millions that were captured and loaded onto slave ships.

    Not taking anything out on you Banshee, but it irks me whenever the topic of slavery comes up and people keep trying to bring up the fact that some of the Africans were selling/trading other Africans, as if it equals or lessens what the Europeans did. It's like the people who say that the Indians traded with/shared the land with the Europeans, as if it lessens the fact that the Indians were virtually wiped out and their land stolen.

  14. #29
    Elite Member lurkur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamaste View Post
    Because some of us still benefit from slavery while some of us still suffer the backlash from slavery.

    I think more people need to understand what slavery really was. It was an industry that built and supported the U.S. economy for a very long time. There are several U.S. corporations that wouldn't be here were it not for slavery. Families who made their money from enslaving others and continue to live their lives off that money. Most Americans seem to see slavery as a form of domestic servitude, ignoring the entire industry that brought slaves to those homes.

    As for the federal gov't., they bear some responsibility as well. For 100 years after the Civil War, blacks (and many other non-whites) were forced to pay taxes while not retaining equal rights. They took the money of hard working Americans and didn't extend the benefits of paying those taxes.

    Slavery is way more complex than people realize. It helped forge this nation. At the very least someone should apologize.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeadDwarf View Post
    ^ I don't think you really "get it" to be honest. Slavery still affects people TODAY.

    The American society has deep rooted racism, that honestly, will never go away because Americans have been socialized in a racist country.
    Slavery has directly affected our nation's institutions from the legal and criminal justice system to the school systems. It doesn't matter if slavery has ended because it has and will affect our nation forever.

    Blacks and people of minorities are still feeling the effects of slavery. They are discriminated against and are living in a society that is of a white American culture. Slavery is one of the worst things that has ever been done to a group of people.

    And it's flat out ignorant for people to say, "The past is the past" or "Get over it" or "When will people move on?" This shit is still going on today, so no, they shouldn't have to get over it.

    Oh and don't get me started on the people who say we needed to stop "giving handouts" to Native Americans over things "we didn't do" and how it was their ancestors who were screwed and not them.

    What if I break into your home, move you into the backyard while I move all my friends into your house. Then I will make you and your family live in a dog house because I realized your backyard is profitable for me. Then you can have your grandchildren and great grandchildren in that dog house. Are they not still affected by my actions? Even if I died and my grandchildren now live in YOUR house, does it make this shit right???? Should you just get over it? Or is the pain the same as it was the day it happened?

    Same thing. I may have not had slaves or stole land from the Native Americans, but my government did and reaped all the benefits. They should be apologizing and making up for this forever, yes, forever. They should have never done this shit in the first place, 200 years doesn't make it okay. They should be held accountable for their actions.

    /rant over
    Quoted you two, for your great posts. Reparations ARE due, but it's impossible to trace specific amounts and lineage, not to mention that people who don't have blood lineage to either slaves or slaveholders are also affected in various ways. Which is why we need to focus immediately on creating an environment of equality.

    The doghouse analogy was a perfect one. You could also add in that simultaneous to your family kicking the other family to the doghouse, you announced as scientific and social fact that people who live in doghouses are dogs, not even human.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banshee View Post
    Well, if apologies really are going to happen, then the African countries that the slaves were originally from should be apologizing, too. White people (I'm not going to say Americans because the Europeans were largely involved in the slave trade, as well) didn't act alone. They had native African contacts that acted as their agents who rounded up and sold their own people for profit.

    Not saying anyone is better or worse than anyone else, but the blame should be spread to all places it belongs if we are going to be laying it out.

    I personally feel along the lines of what kingcap said. I think the best way to make up for slavery is to strive for the most equal society we can and to offer the best opportunities possible for descendants of slavery and focus on eliminating racism instead of furthering divisiveness between races.
    This is just one of the many reasons why people like our President won't probably comment on this issue. It is just too divisive any way you put it.

    Again the issue isn't what country did what and who is to blame. The issue is simply to apologize for what our government did in the past to a specific group of people. That is all, nothing more and nothing less. It needs to be part of the official record, like as happened in Australia. An apology for past wrong is not an attack on anyone in the present, and we need to get away from that sort of thinking.

    The sad fact is that there are policies and institutions in place to help rectify past wrongs. We the current generation don't realize how great we have it. We can, for the most part, use the same facilities regardless of race and whatnot. Imagine what it was like back in the 60's, when people were killed trying to vote. Of course things are not perfect and there are lots of problems, but when we have elected a black president, and accorded people of different races/cultures opportunities their grandparents couldn't, I don't think it honors people who fought and died for civil rights to think everything is bad or stacked against them. Like that young woman who is going to Harvard, she never blamed her race or background, which is a million fold worse than many of us could ever imagine, from keeping her from studying her butt off and working hard to be somebody in this world. She could easily have played the race card and be a "victim" but she didn't.

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