The allies who were with us in Selma will not all stay with us during this period. The fact is that there has never been any single, solid, determined commitment on the part of the vast majority of white Americans to genuine equality for Negroes. There has always been ambivalence … In the Negro was granted freedom from physical slavery through the Emancipation Proclamation. But he was not given land to make that freedom meaningful. At the same time, our government was giving away millions of acres of land in the Midwest and the West, which meant that the nation was willing to undergird its white peasants from Europe with an economic floor, while refusing to do it for its black peasants from Africa who were held in slavery two hundred and forty four years.
And this is why Frederick Douglass would say that emancipation for the Negro was freedom to hunger, freedom to the winds and rains of heaven, freedom without roofs to cover their heads. It was freedom without bread to eat, without land to cultivate. It was freedom and famine at the same time. And it is a miracle that the Negro has survived. In the nation passed a civil rights bill, and refused to enforce it.
In , the nation passed a weaker civil rights bill and even to this day has failed to enforce it in all of its dimensions. In the Supreme Court rendered a decision outlawing segregation in the public schools. And even to this day in the deep South, less than five per cent of the Negro students are attending integrated schools.
If it continues at this rate, it will take another ninety seven years to integrate the schools of the South and of our nation …. Now let us be sure that we will have to keep the pressure alive. The second evil that I want to deal with is the evil of poverty. Like a monstrous octopus it spreads its nagging prehensile tentacles into cities and hamlets and villages all over our nation. Some forty million of our brothers and sisters are poverty stricken, unable to gain the basic necessities of life.
Some of them are Mexican Americans. Some of them are Indians. Some are Puerto Ricans. Some are Appalachian whites. The vast majority are Negroes in proportion to their size in the population … Now there is nothing new about poverty. What is new at this point though, is that we now have the resources, we now have the skills, we now have the techniques to get rid of poverty. And the question is whether our nation has the will …. Now I want to deal with the third evil that constitutes the dilemma of our nation and the world. And that is the evil of war. Somehow these three evils are tied together.
The triple evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism. The great problem and the great challenge facing mankind today is to get rid of war … We have left ourselves as a nation morally and politically isolated in the world. We have greatly strengthened the forces of reaction in America, and excited violence and hatred among our own people.
We have diverted attention from civil rights. During a period of war, when a nation becomes obsessed with the guns of war, social programs inevitably suffer. People become insensitive to pain and agony in their own midst …. All works by Martin Luther King Jr.
Frederick Douglass (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
A dangerous trend in fake news has the potential to affect the upcoming U. Fifty years after Martin Luther King Jr. Revson Foundation. Dolly Lucio Sevier evaluated dozens of sick children at a facility in South Texas. She found evidence of infection, malnutrition, and psychological trauma. More than 1, migrant children sat in the detention facility here, and Sevier, a local pediatrician, had been examining as many as she could, one at a time. Government lawyers faced an irate federal judge on Wednesday, after the president publicly contradicted what they had told the court.
Don't believe the biased and phony media quoting people who work for my campaign. The only quote that matters is a quote from me! That left the door slightly ajar for further attempts, and the president thundered about the decision and mused publicly about whether he could delay the census. Five years ago, the flight vanished into the Indian Ocean. Officials on land know more about why than they dare to say. At a. The designator for Malaysia Airlines is MH. The flight number was Fariq Hamid, the first officer, was flying the airplane.
He was 27 years old. This was a training flight for him, the last one; he would soon be fully certified. His trainer was the pilot in command, a man named Zaharie Ahmad Shah, who at 53 was one of the most senior captains at Malaysia Airlines. In Malaysian style, he was known by his first name, Zaharie.
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He was married and had three adult children. He lived in a gated development. The right to [freely chosen, adequate] work, to food, home and so forth. Rights of Participation. The right to co-determination in politics and economic life. The enrichment of one side of the world out of the exploitation of the other has left the African economy without the means to industrialise.
Poverty, disease, and 73 Id. The U. This money is seen as charity with geopolitical undertones. This is unfortunate and in fact counter-productive if we want to see struggling countries grow in sustainable strength. Aid by itself helps to perpetuate cycles of domination, dependence, and oppression. More appropriate in places like Africa is for former and present exploiting countries to pay appropriate compensation and other reparations that establish healthy and productive restorative justice, empowering developing nations to help their people, empower them, and build their economies.
Reparations are a better way to help developing countries improve their human rights record—especially when they see more powerful countries lead the way in doing the right thing, in addressing the sins of the past. Integrity, justice, and compassion are all contagious. Realistic foreign policy must take this into account. Unfortunately, thus far, the United States is going in the very opposite direction. January , Many observers felt the real reason was the U. International law has always been clear that reparations are obligatory when there have been actual damages from violations of international law.
Before examining the international human rights options in a later section, let us first review the domestic law efforts and theories that have been relied upon so far. Unjust Enrichment. The case for reparations has been constructed from many considerations, but among the most prevalent is the equitable theory of unjust 83 DIG. Paust, infra, at Note. The elements classically necessary to establish actionable unjust enrichment are: 1 an enrichment; 2 an impoverishment; 3 a connection between the enrichment and the impoverishment; 4 the absence of justification for the enrichment and impoverishment; and 5 the absence of a remedy provided by law.
The unjust enrichment of slaveholders and their society, costing the denial to African-American slaves of all accruements of freedom and fair labor, results in a constructive trust on the assets of those enriched—which as discussed earlier, is White- dominated America as a whole. An early and still controlling slavery reparations case, according to Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree, is Cato v.
United States87, in which an African-American woman brought a lawsuit against the United States alleging kidnapping, enslavement, transshipment of her ancestors, as well as continuing discrimination. She sought official acknowledgement of the injustice of slavery and Jim Crow and an official apology from the government. Her case was dismissed on two technical grounds, a harbinger of what was to come: the government had not consented to jurisdiction.
Adjoa A. Three procedural hurdles that must be addressed at the initial stages of litigation— Standing, statute of limitations and sovereign immunity—can be met using the experiences of African descendents [down to the present day]. Honoring he experiences 86 66 AM. United States of America, 70 F. Restitution, as we have said, is the principle remedy flowing from unjust enrichment causes of action.
Because restitution for wrongful enrichment can vindicate such interests, rather than merely an interest in lost utility, allowing claims for wrongful enslavement need not commodify the horrors of slavery. XL, No 1. Aiyetoro, the jurisprudence of the 13th Amendment was revitalized in the case of Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co. Wu has studied the failure of the United States to effectuate the fundamental human and civil rights guarantees and protections of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth post-Civil War amendments to the United States Constitution and concludes, 92 Id.
African Americans, the descendants of ex-slaves, may not have direct recollection of the specific cruelties, but they have faced severe limitations as a result of years of de facto practices and de jure laws that affected their liberties…After the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, the U. New York City practicing attorney Kaimipono D.
A seminal case was Ware v. Hylton99 where the U. Supreme Court in held that British citizens were entitled to sue in U. Hylton, 3 U. Farmer-Paellman v. In January of , in Illinois, U. District Court Judge Charles Norgle dismissed a reparations lawsuit against 18 banks, insurers, railroads, and tobacco companies that were alleged to have profited from slavery. In a milestone New York Times Editorial published January 31, , we hear what concerned observers are seeing since the Farmer-Paellman suit has been dismissed: Investors who visit the J. Morgan Chase web site these days are finding more than the usual corporate news.
The bank has posted a letter of apology and the results of an eye- opening research project, which found that two of its predecessor banks had participated in the slave trade, accepting about 13, enslaved people as collateral for loans issued in Louisiana in the mid-nineteenth century. When the borrowers defaulted on their loans, the banks took ownership of some slaves and presumably sold them. Morgan, which in addition to apologizing set up a scholarship fund for African- Americans in Louisiana, carried out this research to comply with a Chicago ordinance Id.
FleetBoston Financial Corp. These disclosures are exposing 18th- and 19th-centuy Northern businesses that sought to profit from the slave trade even after slavery had been outlawed in the North. The disclosure laws grew out of an early attempt to seek damages from present-day companies for the misdeeds of their historical predecessors [Farmer-Paellman]. The courts never took the reparations argument seriously, but the revelations of Northern corporate involvement were timely in the civic sense.
They coincided with a revival of interest in slavery in the North, where many Americans had grown up believing that slavery had been confined to the cotton fields of the South. When the new business disclosures are discussed publicly and integrated into the historical record, Americans will have been made aware that the tendrils of slavery spanned the length of the country and extended into the Northern financial elite. The inclusion of records of long-buried slave transactions on corporate Web sites shows that the process of reappraisal is well underway.
Prosser and Keeton note that derivative tort Claims claims made that stem primarily from injury to another person in whom the claimant has a legally recognized interest are generally not well received in the courts. Reparations, however, can be distinguished from the usual private tort action on the grounds that reparations involves in addition to the claim of succession, an independent, ongoing injury with resulting proximately caused damages to the descendents of slavery. Page Keeton et al. Neuborn argues that those recovery-of-funds cases may demonstrate the applicability of traditional notions of restitution for the numbers of claimholders involved in slavery reparations.
Kelley noted in that many scholars and activists have been doing significant work to calculate what slavery and racial discrimination has cost African- Americans—leaders such as Robert Allen, Kimberle Crenshaw, William Darity, Jr. Whites need to seek restorative justice, including reparations, even more than blacks. The legacy of slavery is a moral cancer on the soul of America. White America needs healing. The integrity that would spring from making things right would reenergize a wandering, worried people. The joy that would usher forth from reconciliation would shine a light into countless dark places in a country that knows deep down that the vision of its founders and prophets has yet to be achieved.
A subconscious weight around an economy that is out of sync and in danger of becoming a two class system—the wealthy, and the poor—would be lifted, and a death knell would be dealt to the resulting legacy of anger, guilt, and confusion. The white dominated economic system certainly would not suffer or fail. With the undeveloped and under-developed receiving assistance, local and regional economies would be diversified and stimulated, and tax revenues would increase dramatically.
Scholars who view reparations as a misguided movement often point to questions of cultural philosophy and implementation. What about me? And 5 Slavery is over. McWhorter is among those who contend that sociopolitical misconceptions pervasive among blacks thwart black advancement than does any lingering white supremacy. GAOR U.
The prohibition of slavery was one of the first human rights in the twentieth century to evolve by consent and practice as a universally preemptory and binding norm, or jus cogens. Treaty Ser. Michael Resiman et. This treaty took effect on July 1, and applies to states that have ratified it.
To date over countries have become parties to the treaty, the United States is not yet among them. The classic principle that still guides international norms of providing remedies for human rights violations is restitution in integrum, which is--making restitution wholly, completely, in full, with one mind.
It is consistent with common law equitable responses to unjust enrichment: restitution. And see, Jordan J. As a consequence of this obligation, the States must prevent, investigate and punish any vilation of the rights recognized by the Convention. The Court went on to explain that the rights so protected include the right to compensation. C0 No. GAOR Supp. I E The Claims of Restorative Justice. See also Raymond A. Winbush, supra note , at The current status of H.
The title of H. This is precisely what occurs day in and day out in homes, shelters, courthouses, community centers, boardrooms, and places of worship all around the world every day. This looks different than standard adversarial models of justice that focus on punishment.
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It also includes components of mediation, transitional justice, and corrective justice. Restorative justice has its contemporary American origins in alternative conflict resolution theories, which in turn has roots in both secular and religious philosophies and practices of peacemaking and reconciliation. The Mennonite Howard Zehr is one of the leaders in this movement in the United States and has written a guide to the concepts of restorative justice as it is understood and being applied by practitioners in a variety of settings, but in particular the criminal justice system The cardinal principles of applied restorative justice are the following: 1.
Restorative justice emphasizes the responsibility of the offender to make things right, and sees punishment as secondary to restoration of those affected. The Roman Catholic Church, for instance, has taken a lead in restorative peace and social justice efforts in the United States. The work Eric J. Hadley, ed.
As of May 1st, the book had been on the New York Times Book Review hardcover non-fiction bestseller list for 13 weeks. They found that most white evangelicals see absolutely no systematic oppression against blacks and they deny the existence of any ongoing racial problem in the United States. Emerson and Smith attribute this denial to an evangelical worldview that emphasizes individualism, free will, personal—especially sexual—morality, and the belief that social problems can be best solved through individual conversion.
There is a measure of hypocrisy I think in the conservative religious passion that has been driving the efforts of many Whites to be active in the fight against modern day slavery—the scourge of human trafficking. Not that such effort is unfortunate. Not at all—in fact, everyone involved is crying out that the level of action needs to be Id. It is estimated that , to 2 million persons are trafficked internationally every year around the world, including the United States, and governments and law enforcement are often in the dark and ineffective when they do get engaged.
It is estimated that millions more are trafficked within national borders, and that 27 million people are oppressed in enslaving conditions worldwide. But I believe that being able to fight human trafficking has allowed white America to deflect, evade and deny accountability for its own legacy of slavery.
First things first: White America cannot say proudly that is a flagship for liberty when it refuses to balance the accounts of justice. There is a bill to pay. There is a wound to heal. There is an opportunity to grasp. White American churches have a grievous history of supporting slavery and Jim Crow. Abolitionist faith communities were in the vast minority when it counted. Thomas University School of Law Summer which will be devoted to combating human trafficking. OpenPage last visited March 5, Handy, ed. The Rev. Charles M. Only very recently have progressives and liberals attempted to again step forward into the battle.
2. Natural Law
The Reagan and Bush era conservatism is not reflective of the upsurge in theological reflection on human rights that has accompanied the human rights post-WWII movement. One of the children in that kindergarten, Elijah Scott later, under the tutelage of Sheldon, became a successful trial attorney in Topeka and named his son Charles Sheldon Scott, after the Pastor. Charles Sheldon Scott was one of the local attorneys who prepared, filed, and argued Brown v. Board of Education Douglas Meeks, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, He must make restitution in full, add a fifth to the value of it and give it to the [rightful] owner… Leviticus 6: Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.
SUMMARY This Resolution calls upon the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ, its Associations, its local churches, related agencies, to be educated about the historical evils of the slave trade and its legacy which is a pernicious and perpetuating distrust and fear that continues to feed the sin of racism and its fruits of inequality and injustice. It further call upon the Conference to take actions in support of reparations. Cone, What is primary is that blacks must refuse to let whites define what is appropriate for the black community.
Just as white slaveholders in the nineteenth century said that questioning slavery was an invasion of their property rights, so today they use the same line of reasoning in reference o black self-determination. But Nat Turner [slave rebellion leader] had no scruples on this issue; and blacks today are beginning to se themselves in a new image. We believe in the manifestation of the black Christ, and our encounter with him defines our values.
This means that blacks are free to do what they have to affirm their humanity. Many perpetrators who came forward and were truthful were granted pardons as part of the national healing effort. Some perpetrators were prosecuted. Out of more than 7, individuals who applied for amnesty, a little less than a thousand were granted. The government has been slow to award compensation to over 20, identified victims. In , Peru established a Truth Commission in regard to the killings and forced disappearances of some 29, Peruvians during the preceding twenty years.
Significantly, the Commission was made up of two Catholic priests, one evangelical pastor, and six representatives of civil society. B Previous U. The Alaska Claims Settlement of awarded one billion dollars and forty-four million acres to indigenous Alaskans whose rights had been violated. The Civil Liberties Act of authorized U. One recent example is in Waco, Texas, which has been reexamining its shameful part in the lynching past of Central Texas that came to a head after the grisly castration, cutting, lynching, and burning of Jesse Washington, a 17 year old black farmhand.
Over 22 cases of murders on the civil rights era have been reopened in the South since , reports Andrew Blejwas, a spokesperson of The Southern Poverty Law Center, a Montgomery, Alabama-based non-governmental organization NGO devoted to monitoring hate crimes and bringing civil litigation for damages and injunctions against perpetrators. See also, Alfred L. Ogletree, Jr. See also Derrick A. Bell, Jr. Law Serv. See Note , supra and Note , infra. A A Lamentable Legacy will continue unabated if positive efforts do not combat it.
A report by Stephanie Simon from St. Louis, Missouri published February 14, in The Miami Herald demonstrates that far from being behind us, racism and the uglier irrational and hateful legacies of slavery and Jim crow are very much still with us—even growing: White supremacist groups around the country are moving aggressively to recruit new members by promoting their violent, racist ideologies on billboards, in radio commercials and in leaflets tossed onto suburban driveways. Watching with mounting alarm, civil rights monitors say these tactics stake out a much bolder, more public role for many hate groups, which are trying to shed their image as shadowy extremists and claim more mainstream support.
Opposition to Affirmative Action. One of the hate-groups cited was The National Alliance, which has been very active, Simon says, and is calling for eliminating minorities from America. Also note: Although in the Supreme Court case of Grutter v. Bollinger, U. Nunn, and Jordan Paust They help us realize that the many success stories of African-Americans economically overcoming the legacy of slavery and Jin Crow do not in any way minimize the overall relative deficit and oppressiveness that still greets blacks who are born in the USA.
In , Chicago became the fifth American city to endorse the call for a national slavery reparations commission Those propositions are: 1. The enslavement of Africans was a crime against humanity. International law recognizes that those who commit crimes against humanity must make reparation to victims. There is no legal barrier preventing the claim of reparations.
The claim would be brought on behalf of all Africans, in Africa and the Diaspora, through an appropriate representative body. Claims would be brought against the governments of those countries that promoted and were enriched by the slave trade, legitimized the institution of slavery, and profited as a result. The claim should be assessed by experts in each aspect of life and in each region affected by the institution of slavery. The claim, if not settled, would ultimately be determined by a special international tribunal recognized by all parties. C Legislation for the short-term will get lost in the shuffle and litigation will hammer away.
In this environment, legislation directed at reparations does not have good prospects in the short-term. I believe it is therefore wise to prepare the way by an intentional plan that can realistically place the nation in position to be proactive, not merely reactive. V Alternatives and Recommendations. A The Movement. The reparations movement, to be successful, must move forward on four fronts: academic, professional, civic, and religious.
To date, the public leaders of the reparation movement have been predominately African-American individuals and organizations. It is time for Whites to take the lead— to accept responsibility for the legacy of slavery. In my judgment, this is perhaps the single greatest impediment to the integrity and the success of the efforts to achieve justice and reconciliation on this issue. It is time for White representatives in the House and Senate, especially from districts and states where slavery and Jim Crow were most entrenched and defended, and where the worst atrocities occurred, to exhibit the kind of courageous, historic leadership that could well help usher the United States into a new era of liberty.
B Litigation: Keeping the Feet to the Fire. It is sadly amazing to me that White supremacy has been so effective in institutionalizing itself that its legal system has true enough been shown thus far virtually immune from having to hold its benefactors accountable for the continuing legacy of slavery.
I think it is clear that though litigation may help publicize and force the issue onto the national agenda, for the technical reasons we have examined, litigation should not be the primary strategy for change in the reparations status quo. The system is adversarial, and by its nature has not the tools for the deep and broad healing that is needed. Though, as Brown v. Board woke a nation up from a drunken slumber of injustice in — opening a door of opportunity that could not be closed, so too the right series of lawsuits could again be the solicitor that catalyses other cultural developments to reach a tipping point for change.
I suggest first that we consider articulating a new name for the reparations movement. Rather than a seven person Commission to study the issue and make recommendations, I suggest that a visionary and comprehensive plan be prepared that calls for a series of regional roundtables corresponding to federal judicial districts around the country, under the supervision of a an executive bipartisan commission of twelve experts from law, social sciences, and economics. The regional roundtables would be convened by a Convener from that district, who would be appointed by the executive Commission, who would in turn hire a full time facilitator, with appropriate staffing.
The Convener would select and invite, with the advice and consent of the executive committee, no less than 30 and no more than 75 depending on the population, history and complexity of that district representatives and spokespersons of the most relevant stakeholders and organizations to serve as members of the roundtable. The process would conclude with a consecrating and celebrative Convention to be held in Washington, D. I propose thirdly that this Commission and Legislative restorative justice process be tied to the year anniversary of the tragic commencement of slavery in the United States.
Slavery here began in Jamestown, Virginia in Thus, I suggest the ten year payment of reparations end that year—requiring the first transfers to be in This provides three years or so to organize and conduct a grass roots campaign o set the stage and build the necessary popular and political involvement and support. Lastly, I propose that Congress enact legislation independent of or in conjunction with the USSJRC process that eliminates on realistic public policy and human rights grounds that eliminates at least these three technical procedural issues that have been sources of contention and delay as identified by Adjoa Aiyetoro and others: standing, statutes of limitation, and sovereign immunity It is time to begin preparing decision makers and the public to think about these kinds of specifics.