Michigan Dems Support Reparations Study
The Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) this weekend adopted a resolution calling for a study on whether financial reparations should be made to African Americans for the "deprivation, indignities and cruelty" imposed on them during the times of slavery.
The resolution called on Congress to adopt U.S. Rep. John CONYERS' (D-Detroit) legislation to put together a commission to look into the issues of payments for those African Americans who "labored in the chains of slavery on the farmlands, highways and byways of this nation, thus contributing fruitfully toward the growth and development of this nation."
The MDP measure was one of 26 resolutions the MDP adopted last week at the state party convention at Cobo Hall in Detroit. The resolutions dealt with issues ranging from opposition to the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI) to a call to eliminate insurance redlining. Most of the resolutions are predictable stands on the War in Iraq, global warming, a living wage, universal health care and other bread-and-butter Democratic Party issues.
The most eye-catching resolution, however, was the resolution supporting a study for reparations for African Americans. To beef up the case for reparations, the resolution notes that the U.S. Government and various states saw "fit to provide some balm to the wounds that they caused by their bigoted actions."
The MDP resolution noted that the federal government paid the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan $32 million as part of an 1836 treaty and that the Klamath Indians of Oregon and the Sioux Indians of South Dakota were each paid around $100 million.
Also, the U.S. government acknowledged "the cruelty, prejudice and arrogance" of confining Japanese-Americans to concentration camps during World War II by paying each survivor $20,000 a piece.
"While we applaud these token expressions of conscience on the part of the U.S. government for these acts, it does give cause to ponder the hesitancy of the U.S. government to honor broken agreements with African-Americans for those acts of criminality and immorality directed toward them," the resolution stated.
It continued by stating, "African-Americans suffered as did the Native Americans and Japanese Americans, from broken promises, broken contracts, abandonment of moral justice, deprived of land of life, of freedom and of property."
When running for governor in 2002, Jennifer GRANHOLM came out in support of reparations but later said that by the term "reparations" she didn't mean money. According to polling at the time, voters overwhelmingly disapprove of paying slave reparations.
The MDP also passed resolutions supporting diverse juries, universal pre-K, congressional recognition for Rosa PARKS and Sojourner TRUTH and an end to the "open-ended commitment in Iraq."
I support reparations. Any living person who was held a slave should receive compensation. Anyone born in the 1860's still alive? If there are no living slaves, then there shouldn't be any compensation. Time to move into the future, not the past.