Although many may desire to needlessly debate this issue, the fact of the matter is that there is little room to debate the reality that this nation would not exist were it not for the labor of stolen and then enslaved Africans.
Considering that many of you are naturally going to doubt the veracity of my statement if for no other reason than the source that it is emerging, let me remind you that the first colony settled by Europeans on the mainland colony was not Jamestown, although that is the popular myth that is repeated in nearly every American History textbook that one comes across. The fact of the matter is that it was Roanoke, also known as ‘The Lost Colony’, that holds the distinction of being this nation’s initial colonial settlement. Roanoke, devoid of African labor, failed so miserably that historians related that colonists were forced to resort to cannibalism to survive the winter.
Make no mistake about it, Jamestown would have faced a similar fate had not African labor and genius been able to develop several cash crops (tobacco, sugar, ‘King Cotton’) on the North American Continent. It is this labor contribution that both colonial and American wealth rests upon. Albeit difficult for most Americans, regardless of race/ethnicity, to accept, America, let alone her wealth, exists without the contributions of enslaved Africans.
The entire movement for reparations rests upon what is do to the descendants of those African’s who made an indispensable contribution to this nation. Although the vast majority of Americans have desperately avoided this query, it still haunts the nation.
Considering this nation’s volatile history on racial matters, it is a given that the vast majority of whites are diametrically opposed to this nation issuing reparations to the descendants of enslaved Africans.
Most insulting to our ancestors and revealing regarding the current mental illness/psychosis affecting contemporary African-Americans is the shocking reality that 35% of Negroes are diametrically opposed to reparations. Making this matter even more insulting is the fact that ‘The Exclusive Point Taken-Marist Poll’ revealed that 46% of Hispanics believed that African-Americans are due reparations.
It is bewildering, yet most certainly revealing that so many African-Americans are opposed to reparations for the contributions of their ancestors. Even the United Nations has gone so far as to recommend at the beginning of this year that the U.S. begin seriously considering this issue of reparations.
According to the United Nations, “The colonial history, the legacy of enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the U.S. remains a serious challenge as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent.”
The reality that such a huge portion of African-Americans do not understand not only the moral implications motivating the call for reparations, but also the transformative possibilities associated with reparations should make our community ‘doubling-down’ on literacy, critical thinking, political education, and psychological counseling, its foremost preoccupation. Failure to immediately address such an illogical position makes issues such as ‘Black Lives Matter’, Black-on-Black crime, and self-hatred moot.
I wish that someone, anyone would explain how a sane, sober-minded, African-American could ignore the historic contributions of their ancestors to this nation; whether they want to realize it or not, their opposition to reparations and a host of other issues such as the pursuit of education is indeed one of the most disrespectful thing that they could ever do.
I am certain that our ancestors are rolling in their graves.
Dr. James Thomas Jones III
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