Not sure why all the emphasis on slavery, which is subjected to all sorts of arguments up to and including the fact that most whites weren't directly involved in it.
In a nutshell, that's it.
I've read all these post and it appears to me that many view the call to this action is not warranted...because their take on this like discussing some video game or some none-human related occurrence.
I've thought for years which was worse - the genocide and stolen lands of Native Americans Or the horrific history of enslaved Blacks in America.
The Slavery chapter of American history is by far the worst...and this is why.
Both were shredded of dignity and rampant violence from the start and it has an unspeakable legacy that most cannot look at for any length of time before being compelled to turn away.
First off, Slavery in ancient Rome, the Mediterranean cultures, African warring tribes, the Arab campaign of internationalizing of the practice...all horrible but have zero impact on America past or present.
Where is today's pall from slavery in all those cultures that some have posted here in a feeble effort to say 'it was everywhere'? How does any of those old world places measure up against the American dilemma?
Reparations is being discussed because of what was done to millions of human beings to get this country started.
They brought here after brutal capture and caging in Africa - local Africans helped by way of European bribes (appealing to greed) and or by the barrel of guns/canons - 'either go find us some or we'll take you'.
Humans had to lie prone - for 3 months, next another body, in their excrement, their urine, their after birth, their menstrual flow, their vomit, their blood, their sweat and stench at levels no one here could tolerate for 1 minute - they did it for 3 months...if they survived the beatings, rapes and torture occurring on board from sailors, prisoners who were far from sober most of the time lording over 'animals in which they could do what they wished and at will.
Once here, they were stripped of their culture, their language, stripped of everything that made them African.
They were then rebuilt into an American subservient breed of human designed to labor and be of service after being sold after their cargo journey.
Everything the Native Americans endured...the enslaved Black endured PLUS and Worse. Only the NAs were allowed allotted lands (their own land) to live out their lives and retain their heritage.
But still ostracized (which many obviously preferred)
They were deprived of family, could not be educated under threat of death - so intentionally and deliberately kept ignorant of ways in this new Hell on Earth...while being preached the Bible.
The African American is the TRUE American, he was striped of everything and rebuilt in America's image of him - good and bad...he is ALL American, America created him.
Some will pause to say "well it was different back then"... no it wasn't. It was as acceptable then as we tolerate wealthy residents in the Middle East import Filipinos and other Asians to be servants and workers their own people refuse to do because they are aware of the mistreatment of these people. They rape those women and their children and I'm sure some men suffer it as well...the stories are everywhere. And I haven't mentioned the actual sexual slave trade, but we had Jeffrey Epstein pulling it off right here in America, he smartly involved the highest politically connected and wealthy and held it over their heads...while escaping prosecution for years...until recently.
Back to the dark past, a president found it easier take advantage of his position of power over enslaved women...so if a principled man as Jefferson could do this with ease, what was expected of a scrawny insecure male-master wielding power over his inherited plantation of slaves or his opposite, the slovenly corpulent drunkard brute of a slave owner and their weekly if not nightly crashing of the slave quarters to take whatever they wanted, even an enslaved man's wife (were he permitted) from his bed, or his daughter or son. There was no end to the depravity.
Angry white wives splashing scalding hot water on a slave maid or child because she's angry after catching her husband returning from a night of 'fun'. Young 'master' boys coming of age taking liberty with the cook, the maid or their kids because he could - they knew a word against them was none existent.
There were millions of people like Thomas Paine who torpedoed his friendship with prominent founding fathers by pointing out how wrong, unjust and inhumane this world was. Jefferson, Washington and others heard Paine's message (and others) clearly and could have changed it instantly, but the tidal wave of money, privilege would be a herculean task of nearly impossible odds..they found it easier to let 'future others' deal with it.
So yeah, the 'that's the way those days were.." doesn't cut it. Millions of Abolitionist vocalized opposition to this obvious wrong, ...so everyone knew right from right, but the law said it was legal.
Until the Civil War.
But the act correct wrongs, Reconstruction - a weak attempt to correct some of the inequalities, was kind in thought but poorly executed and fizzled as people got tired of the issue and let the south have their way.
That History has a shadow that lives on to this very day.
When the world saw George Floyd lynched by an agent of the world's most envied system of laws - police of the American Laws, up and close and personal all at once - lynching a handcuffed defenseless man....It connected - globally.
The internet caused this global reaction. Any gamer knows that these young people are connected with each other worldwide. They are in constant communication with each other, sharing their ideas, feelings and thoughts. And most of them good people with a sense of fairness and a desire for justice - everywhere.
But Reparations, if you are white you have benefited from the institutionalized racism which the founders intended - whether you want that benefit or not it is extended to you by default. You can't help whether you are born one race or another nor did anyone alive today have anything to do with that horrid past.
But that Past needs to be redressed. Once dealt with head on..then everyone (in America) can move forward for once and for all. If not..this Sinclair Lewis quote cannot be avoided.
"Those Who Make Peaceful Revolution Impossible...Will Make Violent Revolution Inevitable."
George Floyd's death is a direct to link to the mindset of Enslaved America, your life means just as much as your ancestors - absolutely nothing. A lot of Americans still carry on the mentality or some residuals to those thoughts, we see it daily now as people are expressing their opinions and losing jobs over it.
"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson