Reparations Are Way Overdue

by on February 21, 2019 · 3 comments

in Civil Rights, From the Soul

by Ernie McCray

Every now and again
in this nation,
talks of reparations
enter into our conversations
and some folks
are saying
that such
could cost trillions
by some calculations,
implying it would be
too costly.

But a few trillions seem
like a bargain to me,
considering that at one point
in our history
my ancestors
snatched up so much cotton
that the economy of the United States
was the envy
of the international marketplace.
It put smiles on many
a slave owner’s face.

But, if it’s going to be a hardship for Uncle Sam today,
I’d say
my people
are willing to cut him some slack
and let him, perhaps, pay
us in installments

or on some kind of layaway plan,
you know,
like whenever he can.

Just cut the check,
signed by “The Man.”

Sign it for every single
tear that was cried
when children were pulled screaming
from their mamas and their papas
who were dying inside
and husbands were separated
from their wives
(common-law or otherwise)
so that a wicked system
of dehumanizing
could survive,
a system with no regard
for a captured people’s lives…
Sign it for the inhumane whiplashes applied
to mutilated backs
that were already wracked
with agonies
from so much bending
and lifting in fields of sheer misery…

Sign it for the mockery
of our emancipation
into a society
that went all out
to see that
we would never fully realize
justice and liberty –
choosing, instead, to
deny us a table at eateries
or the ability to sit anywhere
we wanted to at the movies
or on the bus
where at stops
we drank from fountains
just for dark skinned people like us,
spigots drizzling water
like they were as tired
of Jim Crow as us,
not to mention
corralling us in inner-cities
with very few services
to meet our daily
and longterm needs,
offering us but a few crappy job opportunities
and schools lacking the kinds of facilities
enjoyed by children in more prosperous
communities in our society…

And the beat goes on
and on and on,
now in the 21st Century,
making nothing more true
than reparations are way overdue.
Way overdue.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Thomas Gayton March 1, 2019 at 1:13 pm

RIGHT ON! The American economy was built on slave labor and REPARATIONS are owed to the ancestors of this inhumane exploitation of African Americans.


Avatar Barbara Lewis March 1, 2019 at 3:31 pm

AMEN. This comment is only to validate what you have said here today…..I know we recent descendants of Africa must all chant it with you at some point…but suffice it to say, you nailed it.


Avatar Dr. J March 1, 2019 at 6:14 pm

You present some of the thought provoking presentation I have seen. Great job. Thanks.


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