I finally read Ta-Nehisi Coates “The Case for Reparations” tonight and I have a lot of thoughts about it. American history is not the story of the greatest nation in the world. It’s a tale of murder to the hundreds of nations and millions of people who lived here.
It’s a tale of early indentured slavery by whites looking for a new nation that were replaced by the mass enslavement of much of West Africa in one of the most evil events in the history of the world.
It’s a tale of hundreds of years of slavery, followed by a hundred year of Jim Crow. With fifty years of more subtle discrimination from the Drug War to awful projects.
I wonder if reparations are a good idea and how they would be implemented. I now realize that starting this picture with Lenny isn’t the point of this blogpost.
I do also wonder about how much debt is illegitimate and how much should be forgiven in the United States and the world. We are currently a nation of debt collectors and incredible debt for a huge part of the nation and even many corporations. For corporations it can be used to play games and is extraordinarily cheap.
For many people though it’s debt that is hard to get rid of. Huge medical bills or credit card debt often mean bankruptcy. Huge student loan means default that you can’t become bankrupt from. Both show that we need to change views of what it means to loan money and how we should treat debtors.
There are a very few with a ton of resources and a huge number who don’t feel comfortable answering calls on their phone or looking at mail.
There is a lot we could use to make society better for many. I wonder if a cash payments model and money for all would help. And maybe more for black Americans who have suffered so much.