Make money; sue America

By on March 7, 2002

Short on cash? Want to sue someone but do not have a reason? Hit the history books and call your lawyer.
Some lawmakers believe that slave descendents should be given permission to sue local governments. Assemblyman Roger Green is at the forefront of this brigade, and he has actor Danny Glover as spokesperson.
The Daily News reports that, “The Black, Puerto Rican and Hispanic Legislative Caucus introduced legislation that would require the state to apologize for allowing slavery and set up a commission to decide how much money to award descendants of slave in compensation.”
Green calls slavery a “crime against humanity,” and I wholeheartedly agree that it was. Slavery was monstrous and there is no denying that.
He wants the state to apologize, which is acceptable. The United States has repeatedly expressed its regrets for slavery.
To some, though, that is not enough. Apparently, compensation for descendants will erase the mistake, and money in their pockets will appease their ancestor’s suffering.
Neither Democrats nor Republicans are jumping to enact this law, and Green has acknowledged that he faces great trouble in getting this law passed.
America has forgiven Germany and Japan of the early 1940s, so why should American citizens still hate their own nation? We are talking about a centuries-old mistake. I am trying to remain sensitive on this issue, because I am not an African American.
However, I do not understand how a compensation awarded to descendants will relieve the mistake.
German survivors who were incarcerated in their country’s concentration camps receive small sums from the government. One survivor gets a monthly check for $140.
This individual was personally affected by Germany’s horrible error, and even he is not receiving much from his government.
Descendants of slaves were not physically affected by slavery; therefore, they should not receive compensation.
The sale of human beings is disgusting, but what is done is done. The proverbial hatchet has been uncovered, but the hole needs to be dug deeper to bury it for good.


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