The Tea Party protests which began in the backlash against the Wall Street bailout by Main Street will not likely embrace Reparations as a cause. A movement protesting high taxes and the like isn’t in the market for a new government program. Does this make it racist?
Hold on a bit! The first blacks imported into the Jamestown colony were indentured servants, not chattel slaves. They were in the same boat as half of the whites who were also indentured servants. It wasn’t a good life. The ‘servants’ were more expendable than chattel slaves who were property and regarded as assets on the balance sheets. To be sure, indentured servants were usually granted their freedom after seven years. The problem was that a majority didn’t live to see it. That’s how bad their conditions were.
In Virginia, the indentured servants who managed to survive were dumped into what is now North Carolina. Since a lot of those forcibly shipped from the British Isles were Scots dispossessed from their ancestral lands, North Carolina today has one of the largest Scottish-descended populations in the country. Surely they must be entitled to reparations. But who do they sue?
With the majority of the Virginia colony consisting of people, black & white, who were not free, that presented a problem for the minority in charge. So chattel slavery replaced Indentured servitude among the new batches of arriving Africans. And some free white whites were allowed to settle in the hill country away from the Tidewater. So much for white privilege.
Then there is Georgia which began as a penal country. Likewise, the early indentured servants were whites forcibly shipped over and not criminals as commonly understood. Their ‘transportation’ was often worse than that afforded outright slaves; they were not property and thus expendable. Who do their descendants sue?
And what about the family of Martin Luther King Jr? Dr King had an Irish grandmother. Do his heirs sue the estate of his Grandma?
Hollywood has ignored the subject of “They were white and they were slaves.” Only the 1935 Errol Flynn movie, “Captain Blood,” really dealt with it. Maybe a film version of the RL Stevenson novel KIDNAPPENED! did as well.
I could go on but what’s the point? There is no point except in the mind of Louis Gates. Gates is Obama’s friend, the Harvard professor, who never experienced slavery and wanted to collect from folks who were never slave owners. And so it goes.
Al Sharpton, don’t hold your breath. You’ll have to keep working on your sundry hustles.