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Reparations: a Payback for Centuries of Systemic Racism

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Words: 624 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Jan 28, 2021

Words: 624|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Jan 28, 2021

The United States of America is a country that was founded on racism. It is a country founded on the brutal, harmful work of African Americans, who were stripped from their homes to help build this nation. African Americans have endured two centuries of slavery, upon about a century of systemic racism that still lingers in many forms today. Reparations are an idea proposed by many as a way to make up for the harm done to African Americans over the centuries. Reparations can be done in many ways, such as social programs, or more directly through something like a simple check. The United States is the wealthiest country in the world, and much of that wealth has come from the hard work of slaves when this country was founded. Reparations are a way to help make up for the harm that was done to African Americans over the centuries that this country has existed, and there should be a policy or policies in place in the United States that enact reparations for African Americans in one form or another.

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According to the 2018 Global Wealth Report published by the Credit Suisse Research Institute, the United States brought in the most money than any country in the world, at around ninety-eight trillion dollars. The global total for 2018 was around three hundred and seventeen trillion dollars total. About a third of the money in the United States that exists today, came from the work by slaves. That is more than thirty trillion dollars. An article in the New York Times found that “Attaching a dollar figure to a program of reparations resembles a “Wheel of Fortune” spin, with amounts ranging from the piddling ($71.08 per recipient under Forman’s plan) to the astronomical ($17 trillion in total).” Seventeen trillion dollars is a lot of money, but the United States is the wealthiest country in the world, and was founded on the hard work of slaves and racism. Slavery has been abolished in the United States since 1865, but racism towards African Americans has lasted well into the modern day. When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, it was a step forward in the right direction, but much more work needed to be done, and there was nothing that could have been done to make up for the pain and torture that African American slaves endured since our nations founding. The societal residue of slavery and racism has significantly impacted African Americans, and something, of some kind, should be done to try and make up for that.

Reparations can be done in many different ways. Reparations could be done with something like a large check, or checks spread out over time. Giving money directly to the descendants of slaves could be a plain, and simple way to do reparations. Other ways could include social programs such as providing good, quality healthcare to descendants of slaves.

Another idea could possibly include using the tax revenue generated from regulating marijuana, to give back to the descendants of slaves today. African Americans are still affected more disproportionately by marijuana violations than whites, and by legalizing marijuana and giving them the tax revenue generated from that, could be a more cost effective and efficient way to do reparations.

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The United States is the wealthiest country in the world, and is a country that was founded and built on racism and slavery. About a third of the money in the U.S. today came from slavery. It might take a little more than half of that to enact reparations, but for the amount of pain and racism African Americans have endured over the centuries and what they did for our nation, it would be the least this country could do.

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Dr. Oliver Johnson

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Reparations: A Payback For Centuries Of Systemic Racism. (2021, January 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/reparations-a-payback-for-centuries-of-systemic-racism/
“Reparations: A Payback For Centuries Of Systemic Racism.” GradesFixer, 25 Jan. 2021, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/reparations-a-payback-for-centuries-of-systemic-racism/
Reparations: A Payback For Centuries Of Systemic Racism. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/reparations-a-payback-for-centuries-of-systemic-racism/> [Accessed 23 Jun. 2024].
Reparations: A Payback For Centuries Of Systemic Racism [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Jan 25 [cited 2024 Jun 23]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/reparations-a-payback-for-centuries-of-systemic-racism/
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