An article in the Mail & Guardian has triggered some thoughts about reparations.
Thousands of Jews are seeking reparations from the German government not because they are holocaust survivors, but because their parents were.
–“The lawsuit was seen as the first ever filed by representatives of the so-called “second generation” or those descended from the survivors of the World War II slayings of six million Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe. Mazor said his group, representing some of the 400 000 Israelis born to survivors, wants Germany to fund twice weekly therapy sessions for three years for up to 20 000 people he says need counselling because of their parents’ war-time trauma.” “Mazor said that thousands of Israelis born to Holocaust survivors ‘suffer from fears and anxieties because they experience what their parents went through as though it is happening to them’.”
One could make the argument that the legacy of American slavery, the brutality, the trauma, the tragedy, has been passed down from generation to generation causing, in part, psychological damage to African-American people.
It’s almost taboo to bring up a discussion about African-Americans receiving reparations for slavery. It’s been too long. The damage could never be quantified. I believe reparations will never be given to the American descendants of West African slaves. Despite efforts by some states, we will also never receive a sincere apology from our government or the other governments who contributed to slavery. I just can’t help but feeling uneasy about the way in which reparations are dolled out to some, while others languish in the economic margins, suffering from injustices that are deeply rooted in a system of servitude that was abolished nearly 150 years ago.
I’ve never been on to believe that a big, fat check would solve all of the problems in the African-American community, but imagine how free therapy could help heal deep-rooted psychological wounds? Therapy to help quell the fears and anxieties passed down to us because of the experiences of slavery and Jim Crow our ancestors…our parents were forced to endure.