September 24, 2004

911 and the Death of the Reparations movement

Did 911 kill or greatly injure the multinational unity and momentum for reparations? The World Conference against Racism (WCAR) held in Durban South Africa in August of 2001, is a faint memory for most people. It was arguably, the most publicized and internationalized conference dealing with the issue of race ever. You may also remember it as the conference that the US boycotted due to language concerning reparations and the Trans Atlantic slave trade.

Prior to 911, the international momentum and kinetic energy was flowing positively towards a showdown with the former Slave buying and trading nations. The conference had succeeded in having that Trans Atlantic slave trade officially recognized as a “Crime against Humanity”, which is extremely important for legal purposes. The reason being is that crimes against humanity are not subject to statutes of limitations, which opens up nations who had engaged in the practice to be legally sued for damages. This was a tremendous first step in the journey to reparations.

I can recall that many black leaders, American and otherwise, lamented that reparations would henceforth be on the top of their agenda and that they would rally and push governments to reconcile the damages its past practices have created. Then, totally unexpected and not even a month later, our nation was attacked by terrorist….at least that is what they tell us. I have not the ability to bare witness to that truth, because I was not a creator or witness of it. Thus, I am left with the words of politicians, who are reputed liars, to tell what is supposed to be true.

I do not know about anyone else, but I don’t know if Arab terrorism was, before 911, a bigger threat to the West than the issue of reparations. Not only did the West face being legally held responsible for the payment of trillions of dollars to nations and descendants, it would have opened up a Pandora’s Box, with all types of others seeking compensation from the West for wrongs it committed in its accent to global power and dominance. The natives of the Americas would definitely have a claim to place Against the USA, Britain, Spain and France, who nearly exterminated their populations via wars of conquest and disease.

Not only that, but by highlighting the past, the reparations issue would bring to light the explanation of the present. By that I mean that it is no secret the present is the past’s creation. Thus, the link will be made apparent that the West rise was due greatly to a pattern of conquest and mistreatment of non white peoples, acquiring their land, their resources and their labor and converting it to wealth for European civilization (whites). It would be hard, therefore, for the West to attempt to play the moral superior role and to chastise and punish current nations who try to employ similar means to acquire power and wealth. If your own house has rooms that need cleaning and everyone knows it, it makes it hard for you to criticize others houses for being dirty.

After 911, the reparation issue was intimidated from the media and many leaders’ mouths. To talk about issues of reparations, while the nation was under attack, was made to seem divisive and unpatriotic. People were told that such issues plays into the hands of terrorist and that the nation should be presenting a unified front. Then our nation declared a global and never ending war against terrorism and invaded two nations. As long as the threat of terrorism exists, the reparations issue seems dead. Money that could be used for rebuilding the nations and people crippled by the slave trade is now going to rebuild nations and people that the US feared or coveted their resources.

The true enemy of the present Western man is the past western man. It is the past Western man that creates all the problems that the present Western man must deal with. Yet, he does not learn from history, because he fears looking at it and feeling morally compelled to accept responsibility for the liabilities that is part and parcel with the assets inherited to them from that past. Their goal is to accept all the benefit inherited from the past and write off the liabilities. When they are confronted with the cost of what they purchased or accepted via inheritance, they seek to crush those who dare bring it up.

Now, you will notice how Bush and Blair are always talking about aid to Africa and plans to end poverty in Africa, in an attempt to offer crumbs, instead of the whole pie of reparations.

You never really KNOW...You are mostly TOLD


3 Comments:

At 8:57 AM, Blogger Scott said...

I am unclear on your post, are you saying that African Nations should get reparations for slavery ?

Or are you saying without international pressure we "decendants of slaves" wont get reparation for our fathers fathers being slaves?

Or are you saying that nations in Africa that worked with white slavers also need to pay reparation ?

 
At 8:59 AM, Blogger NmagiNATE said...

In one strategic sense, it makes sense to mount a massive Reparations campaign now. It's not like you're going to endear White America anyway...

The thought is this (and that's all it is... not a suggestion... no necessarily a real consideration):

If the US is entangled in a quagmire aboard, it can ill afford civil unrest at home, especially given that International Terrorism threatens (and has threatened) to the US within its own borders.

Now, how you go about that and not being labeled and made Guilt By (The Faintest) Association with "terrorist" is another issue. The point is that you want to catch you opponent while their weak and in a comprosing position. The only problem is you don't want that Cornered Beast though...

More than anything... there is no good time to get someone to do something they don't want to do. For them, any excuse will do.

The juxtaposition of rebuilding other countries while not our own has the potential to resonate across class and color. The problem there, as always is being Co-Opted in the Same Size Fits All type of policy measures that would only maintain White Supremacy, Power & Privilege...

Did 9/11 kill the Reparations Movement? Hardly... but it has, no doubt, shifted it to the back-burner if its even on the stove. But that's up to us; and we shouldn't be intimidated into not putting into the public arena. You just had a 9/11 Commission basically immediately after a "terrorist" tragedy and we can't get a Reparations Commission or Study for state terrorism that happened (been happening) since the inception of this nation.

Perhaps that's the tact we should take and the focus...
I still fail to see how that is too much to ask for... at anytime.

PEACE! (Good piece!)

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger Noah TA said...

Your right Nmaginate. It might not be dead…but it is on the backburner….the one that you need a match to light. It is said that a person only controls 50% of any relationship…the portion that represents them. However, with power or the absence there of, that ratio is not written in stone. Likely, in regards to the reparation issue, it fruition is probably 30% black dependant and 70% white dependant. That is because white seem to be more successful today in getting us to sympathize with their point of view than we are at getting them to sympathize with ours.

I do believe that blacks have crosses a success threshold, that will not allow for anymore compassion from whites on racial issues. Instead, when we push, they will not bend. The reason being is that they see all this black Bling Bling from the entertainment industry; they see some high profile blacks in the white house and they see more blacks on their jobs and in their community. Thus, our rise, even though it is far from equality, is seen by them as evidence of equality, which makes even affirmative action seem unfair to them….let alone reparations.

I think that the reparations issue was powerful, even if no monetary amends were made. The reason being is that if properly and truthfully articulated, the world would be exposed to just how the wealth created its status…which was not from theoretical capitalism, hard work and ingenuity. It was done via conquest and exploitation. However, if such information propagated to the forefront the descendants of the oppressed…you could possible create yet another recruiting tool of terrorism.

 

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