Poking around the Web

Time for a bit of a general nose around the Internet for stuff of interest. Firstly, an ill-fated attempt to organise a rally against the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the US…

The most ironic thing for me, is that this rally is all about curtailing freedoms, in the name of freedom! The reality is, it’s simply about the imposition of the religious right’s will, and hurting the freedom of those who have absolutely zero impact on the religious right? That’s too bad.

There’s been talk lately about reparations being paid to the families of those who suffered during the slave trade. This can be a thorny issue – where is the line drawn between personal responsibility and the responsibility of the state? I’ll be honest, I don’t know how I would feel if I were personally told I had to pay reparations for acts that I’d had no involvement in (and had taken place over a century before I was even born). On the other hand, whilst this discussion primarily concerns the USA, and it may be unpalatable for many, but the US owes a lot to the work of slaves. What followed after abolition was persecution via Jim Crow laws, and the economic damage done to black people over the span of centuries (including comparatively recent history) cannot be ignored.

One thought on “Poking around the Web

  1. You know, I had similar thoughts about reparations. I mean, my family didn’t even live in the United States, as far as I know, before the 1900s. Plus, we’re Jewish; we weren’t exactly welcomed with open arms.

    Then I started thinking – Slaves built the United States. Slaves gave it the prosperity that made/makes many people want to live here. Slaves made some of the wealthiest families, families that furthered the country with money earned by unpaid labor.

    Even after slavery, people of color were treated horribly & people took advantage of them. They were “corralled” into undesirable areas, given poor education, refused the access to loans & other means of “getting ahead,” & treated like they’re less than human.

    So, what many people I’m sure are asking, what about the White people? What about the people who weren’t living in the United States during slavery, or whose families didn’t own slaves personally?

    Well, we benefited from slaves’ work & slave-ownership. Even Jewish people & other oppressed people who presented as White. We had opportunities that weren’t available to Black people.

    But, I don’t think handing out a check to people of color will help in the long run. It’s more important to fix the system that oppressed them for the last several hundred years. I think that the money, which could be figured out with a lot of help from economists & maybe even historians, has to go to fixing the system.

    How the system is “fixed,” well, that’s going to take a lot longer than doing the math & it’s going to take a LOT of conversations. I’m confident that, in the end, there will be unhappy people on either side. The problem is too personal & painful for there to be one “right answer.”

    Liked by 1 person

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