The Case for Reparation and Against Reparations for Slavery is contentious. The argument against preparation is largely anchored in the concept that we are not liable for the sins of our forebearers. It says so in the bible as in Exodus 34- 7 “The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son. That is a convenient truth, but it is under severe attack from many quarters.  In essence, reparation for slavery refers to the idea that governments, institutions and individuals should provide compensation or reparations to descendants of enslaved people as a form of acknowledgment and restitution for the wrongs committed against their ancestors. There are many arguments for and against reparations, and in this blog post, we will explore some of the key points on both sides.

Arguments for Reparations:

Historical Injustice

One of the primary arguments for reparations is that the institution of slavery represents one of the greatest injustices in human history. Millions of people were forcibly taken from their homes, transported across oceans, and subjected to horrific abuse and exploitation for centuries. Many argue that this history of slavery has had a lasting impact on the economic, social, and cultural development of societies and that reparations are necessary to begin to address these historical wrongs.

Economic Inequality

Another argument for reparations is that they could help to address ongoing economic inequality that can be traced back to the legacy of slavery. Many argue that the wealth gap between black and white communities in the United States, for example, can be traced back to the fact that white Americans could accumulate wealth through slave labor and discrimination. In contrast, black Americans were denied the same opportunities.Symbolic Value

Reparations can also be symbolic in acknowledging the wrongs committed against enslaved people and their descendants. Providing reparations shows a willingness to take responsibility for past injustices and promotes healing and reconciliation between different groups.

Arguments against Reparations:

Practical Challenges

One of the primary arguments against reparations is that they are impractical to implement. Many of those who were enslaved or their descendants are no longer alive, and tracing genealogy back to slavery is often difficult or impossible. Determining who would be eligible for reparations and how much they would be owed can also be challenging.

Political Implications

Reparations can also be politically divisive, as they are often viewed as a form of affirmative action or reverse discrimination. Some argue that providing reparations could create a sense of entitlement or resentment among those who do not receive them and could create further social and political tensions.

Ethical Considerations:

There are also ethical considerations to consider. Some argue that it is not fair to hold current generations responsible for the actions of their ancestors and that it is impossible to fully rectify the harm done through slavery.

Conclusion and Personal Consideration

I sit on the edge of a volcano, believing that Reparation is just and needed. While many of my peers believe that no generation should be liable for the sins of their great-great-great ancestors. This is a convenient argument. But it just does not hold up. Should ill-gotten gains not be reconciled? Should the riches stolen from the past not be given back? I can’t see how one could think differently.

The Case of The Woman in Gold

reparation and reposseeion

source Pinterest

There is a lot of jurisprudence to support this view. I remember the film ‘The Woman in Gold,’ based on the true story of Maria Altmann, a Jewish woman who won a lengthy case against the Austrian government to regain ownership of a Gustav Klimt painting of her aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer.

The painting was seized by the Nazis, along with other family possessions.  With the help of young lawyer Randy Schoeberg, Maria prevailed over Austria’s government which considers them national treasures.See details at

Most today would agree that treasures stolen by the Nazis should be returned to their rightful owners. Why, then, do some argue against reparation? 

The settlement to Colonial masters was stolen from their slaves (see Masters Compensation).  The Masters went home with cash and profits from free labour and the slaves got nothing.

The debate over reparations for slavery is complex and multifaceted. While many argue that reparations are necessary to address historical wrongs and ongoing inequality, others believe they are impractical or politically divisive. Ultimately, whether or not reparations should be provided is complex and will likely continue to be debated for years to come.

There is considerable debate and action across the world, and some initiatives have resulted in significant payments. Such as Canada’s $2.2 Billion $ to first nations for abuse pertaining to the residential schools.

See Current State of Reparations

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Notes – The Feature image source is from FloidaDailyPost
Part of a statue depicting chained people is on display at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a new memorial to honor thousands of people killed in racist lynchings, Sunday, April 22, 2018, in Montgomery, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)