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Reparations for Black Americans and the African diaspora


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avi

I've decided to ask Michael and my astral team to help me figure out how to attain reparations for Black American descendants of enslaved people and former European colonies across the African diaspora. I figure it's more strategic to look at it through the lens as across the diaspora rather than just Black Americans as the Triangular Slave Trade has really connected us all and devastated us all in different ways.

 

From the socioeconomic chasm (I won't even call it a gap) that Black Americans continue to experience due to the institutional exploitation of my people by US institutions to the fact that Haiti had to pay France $21billion after winning the war for their independence (and continues to be exploited and punished by the Western world for their audacity to fight for their freedom), I think this is long overdue. The Western world literally robs the African continent of all of its natural resources to this day and has the nerve to continuously keep them in debt using the World Bank, which also forbids African nations from using any of their loans to build any infrastructure that could possibly get them out from under the oppression of Western nations. The US also uses the imperialist military and CIA to violently intervene anytime leaders and groups across the African diaspora begin organizing for self-sufficiency, including murdering, exiling and imprisoning leaders like Kwame Ture, Fred Hampton, Malcolm X and Patrice Lumumba and propping up leaders who are easily controlled by the West against their countries own best interest. 

 

I used to be super angry and upset about all of this. which I and all Black people have every right to be angry but like Michael said, anger points to where we feel powerless and I don't feel powerless anymore. As I've completed by 4IM and generally began channeling my radical beliefs into productive action, I woke up today and realized there is really no better time than now to start uniting my people across the diaspora for this cause. I have no real attachment to or affinity for America (or any nation really) other than the fact that it was built by and sustained with my people's blood, sweat, tears, ingenuity and (in the words of W.E.B. Dubois), “few men [and women and nonbinary folx] ever worshiped Freedom with half such unquestioning faith as did the American Negro for two centuries.” That fact is the only reason I haven't left this hypocritical land. 

 

In all honesty, I personally don't care if paying the reparations it owes bankrupts the West lol but I do think there are ways to make this happen in ways that will ultimately uplift the entire world. I enjoy WIN-WIN situations, even if one side doesn't necessarily deserve to win anything haha. My people (and now I use this to include the entire diaspora) have consistently shown that we can make diamonds when handed coal, so what can we make when handed the diamonds that little Black boys and girls hands were once chopped off by King Leopold to mine? We also only seek liberation, not revenge and I think that also shows what kind of collective heart we have. 

 

I don't think it was an accident that my Essence decided to incarnate as a Black American woman who is a descendant of enslaved people on both sides in Texas (the last state to free enslaved folks years after the Emancipation Proclamation) in this lifetime. I don't think it's an accident that I'm as young as I am and have consistently been able to easily access the kinds of spaces I've charmed and accomplished my way into with the incredibly powerful people I've been to influence. Baby me always dreamed of being able to not only help free but uplift her people and what better way to use my 5IM (and goal of Dominance) than to bring those dreams back and help lead explorations to manifesting them, regardless of how realistic they are? I specialize in the unrealistic. And with my Priest vision, if I can see it (and if it keeps popping up in my vision no matter how much I try to ignore it), I know it's achievable. I don't think this will be achievable without allies of all identities. I'm sure it'll also be even more achievable if all former colonies of POC (and even working class folx) around the world who were exploited by the West united for this sort of cause, although it would be important to highlight and center the unique experiences and reparations owed to the African diaspora. This is an intersectional issue and this will be an intersectional effort. That's what I always loved about Fred Hampton's teachings and I'm excited to explore carrying it forward, even if I bide my time and don't really work on this until later in life when I've built more influence and abundance and communities of care to support it. 

 

I will conclude this musing with a belief from my hero Angela Davis that I've since committed to memory whenever I feel burdened as a Black woman in this world: "when Black women are free, everyone will be free — as Black women never work solely on their own behalf, but carry their entire communities forward." ("The Iconic Moment Activist Angela Davis Visited Black Brazilian Women")

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Cheryl Varner

Hi Avi,

 

I am just finding this group of forums.  I would be interested in reading your response from Michael.  I'm not so concerned about reparations as I am about the dismantling of racist practices and institutions and mindsets.

 

hugs!

 

Cheryl

old 4 scholar cast warrior

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  • 2 months later...

@Cheryl Varner ahh idk why i'm just seeing this!! i totally am all for it. but i don't think there can be a dismantling of those things without reparations especially in the sense that so much harm has been caused by those institutions and practices that have made it so that even without them, Black folx around the globe will be ill-advantaged. in the UK, citizens were paying reparations to former slave owners until 2018 i believe. haiti, the rest of the caribbean and liberated african countries still pay reparations to their former colonizers for daring to be free while being exploited by institutions like the world bank and US interventions against their best interests. to this day black americans are disenfranchised in so many areas and have been since reconstruction. i think that if holocaust survivors and survivors of japanese internment camps in the US were paid reparations, our people more than deserve and need them to move forward on a level playing field. 

 

this ted talk explains how it's affected african countries

 

 

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Becca the Student

Did you ever ask Michael about this? I'm also curious to hear their thoughts.

 

I agree that reparations are due. I see it as a physical step toward balancing some of the collective karma incurred by decades of suffering. I truly believe that as our public discourse on the subject continues, the idea of reparations will become one of those no-brainer things we'll look back on from the future and wonder why it was so controversial. It just seems like a natural evolutionary step to me for the species. Both in helping to heal the past and in creating a more compassionate future.

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AnnaD

Surely if there is imbalance, reparations would help with achieving balance? Karmic oppression generates a huge need for achieving balance and a part of that has to be reparations and compensation....

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ckaricai

I’m also not all that concerned with reparations. It’s kinda like, too little too late. I think it’s too big a topic to navigate constructively and reaching consensus would be difficult. If we are talking about global reparations then it makes sense to me that each region might need and want different things. Hell, each person might need and want different things.  What we still don’t have enough of is representation (In all areas of life). Let’s fix those things. I think that would go a longer way towards healing. Well it would for me anyhow.

 

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i don’t think this is something that will be figured out in any short period of time. but i think representation is pretty low bar imo especially since we had a Black president of the free world and well...that did nothing really lol. but it’s not either/or to me. reparations to me includes system changes and representation and all of that. 

 

i do agree that it would need to be regional but i never believe that anything is too difficult or impossible. we never thought we’d see racial equality anytime soon and certainly didn’t think it’d start in this lifetime and look what one summer did according to our own teachers 😊😊an elephant is eaten one bite a time and there are plenty of people who wouldn't mind even the symbolism of reparations to close out this part of human history

 

it wouldn’t be easy. things that are worth it never are. but like becca and anna mentioned, i think i collective karma would make it make sense. i don’t even know if the answer would necessarily be financial 🤷🏾‍♀️ but the fact that the US or any other colonizing country has never even followed through on studying what it could look like is probably why it seems so daunting and unhelpful 

 

anyhoo it’s worth exploring😊 who knows what could come out of even serious conversations about it...i think dreaming small does the history of this oppression a disservice. this Ta’Nehisi Coates article from 2014 called “The Case for Reparations” def puts things into perspective for me

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/

 

 

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ckaricai
10 hours ago, avi said:

i don’t think this is something that will be figured out in any short period of time. but i think representation is pretty low bar imo especially since we had a Black president of the free world and well...that did nothing really lol. but it’s not either/or to me. reparations to me includes system changes and representation and all of that. 

 

i do agree that it would need to be regional but i never believe that anything is too difficult or impossible. we never thought we’d see racial equality anytime soon and certainly didn’t think it’d start in this lifetime and look what one summer did according to our own teachers 😊😊an elephant is eaten one bite a time and there are plenty of people who wouldn't mind even the symbolism of reparations to close out this part of human history

 

it wouldn’t be easy. things that are worth it never are. but like becca and anna mentioned, i think i collective karma would make it make sense. i don’t even know if the answer would necessarily be financial 🤷🏾‍♀️ but the fact that the US or any other colonizing country has never even followed through on studying what it could look like is probably why it seems so daunting and unhelpful 

 

anyhoo it’s worth exploring😊 who knows what could come out of even serious conversations about it...i think dreaming small does the history of this oppression a disservice. this Ta’Nehisi Coates article from 2014 called “The Case for Reparations” def puts things into perspective for me

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/

 


I don’t think money as a form of reparations is gonna cut it. No government could afford to pay every black citizen and what they could afford would be laughable and offensive. That’s why I think there’s no point to that. 
 

Representation = system changes. I’m not just talking about in the media. I mean it when I say all areas of life. In business, in education, in medicine, in politics, in technology. I mean, black people in positions of power, setting the stage and making the rules and doing the gate keeping for a change. Seeing yourself reflected everywhere is not a small thing. If black kids can see themselves reflected in all areas of life it would help their self esteem. They wouldn’t feel limited and they would dream bigger. They need to be able to see beyond their neighborhoods. I
 

Having one black president great but it is just a start. Was it a blip in history or a true breakthrough? Can their be another one? We still don’t have racial equality. One summer hasn’t changed this fact. At all. I’m still gonna get treated like I’m stupid by white doctors. I’m still gonna have my judgement questioned by white guys at work. What would be helpful to me is an official apology from the US government over the hundreds of years of slavery, Jim Crow, and redlining among other things. That would just be a start. If you want to call that reparations then fine. 

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@ckaricai obviously one summer has not changed our everyday existence as black people. i was referring to the july energy report (i believe that's what month it was) when michael said the actions this past summer completely changed the game and accelerated racial equality in ways that cannot be stopped.

 

i'm not sure what you're disagreeing with here since the only thing we've said differently was financial compensation. i already said that having a black president was didn't really do anything in the grand scheme. and i know what you meant by representation. as i've said, i think that's all included in what would be reparations. i personally could give a damn about an official apology without systemic changes and compensation in the form of land, money, and power seeing as how the western world is very good at paying lip service without doing anything to change the daily and material lives of the people they exploit

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CurvyWords

Gotta say, I can't imagine living under capitalism and feeling like more money wouldn't make a difference LOL. And it doesn't have to be tracking down every single descendants of slaves in the country and cutting them a check. Black Americans could receive tax codes that would make them exempt from sales and income taxes, they could be allowed free rides to state and private colleges, they could get free government-paid quality legal representation, they could be given free land or the government could foot the bill on some kind of First Home initiative. There's a million ways to make this happen. The last thing we should be saying is "too little too late." It's never too late to make things right, especially as it affects our bottom financial lines. 

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Leela Corman

Have any of you heard the podcast Nice White Parents? It's an exploration of racial inquality in New York City public schools, going back to the middle of the last century, up to now, focusing on a couple of specific schools. One thing that came up multiple times was a vast discrepancy in how white parents and school officials viewed addressing this inequality - a sort of a "kumbaya" mentality, to put it very briefly - and the way Black and Latinx parents did. The latter group repeatedly said that what they wanted was *equity*, and they meant it in pragmatic, specific ways. Equity in resources. Meanwhile the nice white parents of Brooklyn waste everyone's time with good intentions that, intentionally or not, allow them not to look at the massive, child-endangering structural inequality right in front of them. I bring this up here because this conversation makes me think of that, of what it really means to address inequity.

 

My grandparents received some reparations from the German government for the Shoah. I didn't know that until around the time of their deaths, so I never got the chance to ask them if it helped, or meant anything to them. I wonder, though, if reparations for 400 years of enslavement and its consequences is something quite different than those given to living survivors of an atrocity. I feel, instinctively, like reparations are an important piece of taking apart this horrible structure, but beyond that I am not qualified to speak. Only to say I hate living in a country built on and by white supremacy, and if dismantling it dismantles the country itself, welp.

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ckaricai
2 hours ago, avi said:

@ckaricai obviously one summer has not changed our everyday existence as black people. i was referring to the july energy report (i believe that's what month it was) when michael said the actions this past summer completely changed the game and accelerated racial equality in ways that cannot be stopped.

 

i'm not sure what you're disagreeing with here since the only thing we've said differently was financial compensation. i already said that having a black president was didn't really do anything in the grand scheme. and i know what you meant by representation. as i've said, i think that's all included in what would be reparations. i personally could give a damn about an official apology without systemic changes and compensation in the form of land, money, and power seeing as how the western world is very good at paying lip service without doing anything to change the daily and material lives of the people they exploit

You used the words dreaming smal, which I took to mean you thought me wanting representation wasn’t enough of an ask. I didn’t realize you were talking about the July energy report. I was thinking about everything that happened this summer with the police. 

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ckaricai
1 hour ago, CurvyWords said:

Gotta say, I can't imagine living under capitalism and feeling like more money wouldn't make a difference LOL. And it doesn't have to be tracking down every single descendants of slaves in the country and cutting them a check. Black Americans could receive tax codes that would make them exempt from sales and income taxes, they could be allowed free rides to state and private colleges, they could get free government-paid quality legal representation, they could be given free land or the government could foot the bill on some kind of First Home initiative. There's a million ways to make this happen. The last thing we should be saying is "too little too late." It's never too late to make things right, especially as it affects our bottom financial lines. 


I would think the federal government would pass the responsibility off to the states who would all come up with different rules and the most we’d get is like a check for $100. That doesn’t even cover my phone bill. Like great, here take this $100 bucks as a way to say we’re sorry for hundreds of years of oppression. That’s just insulting. I mean it’s just an example but I think that is what I think about. I don’t think we’d get enough to make enough of a difference.  I also wouldn’t want land unless free meant no property taxes for forever, no mortgage, no banks, and they pay for the real estate agents and lawyers. 100% free and clear. But that’s never gonna happen. The lengths that whites have gone through to keep us out of the voting booth and out of schools, and out of property ownership...And Look at what white republicans just did to the tax code. My taxes went up this year. They did this to their own too. There’s no way we’d get exempted from income taxes for life. 
 

Free college is a great idea. But it should be free for everyone like it is in other counties. No sales tax is also a great idea but those things are never gonna happen. I just don’t want to bother about stuff that is not in the realm of possibility. Call me pessimistic I guess. 
 

But,
 

...Just today, an email from a coworker about Colorlines’ upcoming conference on race did remind me that restorative justice is a thing and I should research that more. The timing was serendipitous perhaps. It’s likely that if reparations has a chance to be a reality it would come through restorative justice practices. 

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ckaricai
53 minutes ago, Leela Corman said:

Have any of you heard the podcast Nice White Parents? It's an exploration of racial inquality in New York City public schools, going back to the middle of the last century, up to now, focusing on a couple of specific schools. One thing that came up multiple times was a vast discrepancy in how white parents and school officials viewed addressing this inequality - a sort of a "kumbaya" mentality, to put it very briefly - and the way Black and Latinx parents did. The latter group repeatedly said that what they wanted was *equity*, and they meant it in pragmatic, specific ways. Equity in resources. Meanwhile the nice white parents of Brooklyn waste everyone's time with good intentions that, intentionally or not, allow them not to look at the massive, child-endangering structural inequality right in front of them. I bring this up here because this conversation makes me think of that, of what it really means to address inequity.

 

My grandparents received some reparations from the German government for the Shoah. I didn't know that until around the time of their deaths, so I never got the chance to ask them if it helped, or meant anything to them. I wonder, though, if reparations for 400 years of enslavement and its consequences is something quite different than those given to living survivors of an atrocity. I feel, instinctively, like reparations are an important piece of taking apart this horrible structure, but beyond that I am not qualified to speak. Only to say I hate living in a country built on and by white supremacy, and if dismantling it dismantles the country itself, welp.


I haven’t heard this podcast. But after working in a NYC public high school I can’t even find all the words I do need to explain how fucked up the education system is here. And how kids in the hood get nothing in terms of resources. I’m not even exaggerating. My classroom was empty except for a few tables and chairs and there was nothing else in it. Also, being in Manhattan and seeing how a literal couple of blocks changes what resources two schools get is infuriating. The school system here is the most segregated in the entire country. It’s crazy. 

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SunSand
On 8/8/2020 at 7:36 PM, avi said:

anger points to where we feel powerless


This is so profound. It totally makes sense. Thank you for sharing this

Also I see that you mentioned Texas. If you grew up in Texas I would have loved to be your friend since I also grew up there 🙂

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