Reparations to blacks is a BAD idea


Since the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, many blacks and others have argued that black Americans should be compensated for slavery and its Jim Crow aftermath. Jim Crow laws mandated racial separation for public schools, public transportation, restrooms, restaurants, drinking fountains, etc. Here are 16 reasons why reparations are a very bad idea!

1. There are three groups responsible for slavery in the New World: Black African rulers, ship captains who brought them over from Africa and slave owners. About 90% of the millions of slaves sold to European traders for the New World were captured and sold by Black African rulers.(1) African rulers bear the most guilt since the slave trade would not have been possible without them.

If reparations are due, blacks in the countries that sold their fellow blacks into slavery should be paying the reparations. The Reparations movement ignores the role of Black African rulers in the slave trade.

2. Some blacks claim that the deportation of so many young men from Africa for four hundred years is a major factor in the underdevelopment of the continent today. (So America now owes Africa reparations.)

This narrative is fraudulent. Over 6 million Jews were exterminated during World War Two, yet Israel today is a highly successful and technologically advanced country. Europe was destroyed in World War Two, but today is has a powerful economy.  Millions of Africans were sold into slavery to Muslims countries 700 years before the European slave trade began. The deportation of slaves to other countries ended over 150 years ago. Sending slaves to the New World lasted less then 250 years, not 400 years. 

Only about 450,000 of the 10.7 million Africans who made it to the New World alive ended up in the US.  That's less then 5 percent. The rest went to the Caribbean Islands, Central and South America - but no mention of these countries for reparations. Brazil received 4.86 million Africans alone!(2) But no mention of these countries for reparations.

Slaves were captured from one general location in west Africa, yet all of Africa is under-developed so this is not a valid argument. America already gives billions every year in aid to black Africa although it doesn’t do much good due to corruption.

3. Reparation advocates want America to pay for slavery before America was even a country! America INHERITED slavery from the British and then fought a horrific Civil War to end slavery. America and Britain led the way in abolishing slavery around the world. The US is responsible for slavery from 1781 - when the Articles of Confederation formed the new US government - until 1865, when the Civil War ended. Prior to 1781, the French, British and Spanish were responsible for slavery.

4. About 30% of whites owned slaves in the antebellum South so only a small percentage of white citizens today are descended from slave owners. Blacks also owned slaves - 3,776 free Negroes owned 12,907 slaves.(3) 

5. The US population in 1860 was 31.5 million. In 2018 the US population was 317 million so the vast majority of people came to the US after the Civil War and have no connection to slavery at all. Most Americans bear no responsibility for Jim Crow. 


Download a PDF of "Reparations to blacks is a BAD idea" to share with others.


6. If America DID pay reparations, HOW MUCH would individuals get? $10,00 each? $50,000 each? Some blacks believe reparations should be in the form of low-interest mortgages. Actually, the democrats forced banks to sell a huge number of low interest mortgages to low income blacks from 1993 until 2008, when the economy nearly collapsed. Others think there should be college scholarships to historically black colleges. But the government already does that too.

Black activists have made wild claims for reparations. One claim is America owes blacks $6.4 TRILLION. Another claim is for $14 TRILLION. Although these sums are fraudulent and could never be paid, black activists will continue to use these numbers to push their vendetta of hate against whites. 

Reparations are the perfect way to create a permanent racial divide.  Reparations will penalize people who haven’t done anything wrong and give their money to people are not victims, were never slaves, and are already getting preferential treatment in society.

7. If America DID pay reparations, who would RECEIVE it? Should millionaire and upper class blacks receive reparations? What about blacks who can’t prove their ancestors were slaves, how does that get resolved? 

Should we just pay anyone who is black? About a million blacks have immigrated to America from Africa since World War Two. Do they pay or receive reparations? What if black ancestors were free blacks? What about the free blacks who owned slaves? Do their descendents pay or receive reparations? What if they don’t know if they were descended from slaves or free blacks? What if they are half-black and half-white. Do they get half reparations?

8. If America DID pay reparations, who should PAY? Should only whites pay? About 350,000 Union soldiers died to free the slaves. About 2 million men served in the Union Army during the war. What possible moral principle would ask them to pay (through their descendants) again. Most whites came to the US after the Civil War. Should Vietnamese boat people from the 1970s pay reparations? Should Jews, Mexican Americans and legal immigrants with green cards pay reparations? Should illegal immigrants and the descendents of black slave owners pay reparations? 

If we decided the descendents of people who lived in the south since the civil rights movement began in the 1960s should pay reparations for Jim Crow, you are not going to have a large number of people. How about whites in the south who didn’t support Jim Crow? Should they pay? 

So reparations would have to be an appropriation from Congress - taking money from everyone.

9. If America DID pay reparations to descendants of slaves, what, exactly, would it accomplish? Admission of “guilt” by Americans who did nothing wrong? And once that money is gone, is the job FINALLY done? Or will there always be something else to make amends for? Would ghettos become nice neighborhoods? Would riots be a thing of the past? Would the black on white crime epidemic end?

Some claim that reparations are necessary to achieve a healing between African Americans and other Americans. If billion dollar restitutions and a wholesale rewriting of American law (in order to accommodate racial preferences) for African Americans is not enough to achieve a “healing,” what will? The black on white crime rate shot up during the Civil Rights movement and remains high.


10. Many believe that reparations have already been paid to blacks since the passage of the Civil Rights Acts and the advent of the Great Society in 1965. The billions of dollars spent on the war on poverty have largely benefited blacks. The efficiency of those billions is debatable, but the money was spent. Affirmative action programs in contracts, job placements and educational admissions are also a form of reparations. Billions of dollars have been spent on urban renewal and other benefits. All this was done for the purpose of redressing historic racial grievances. Shouldn’t these billions of dollars be considered “reparations”?

Many businesses have already made reparation payments to blacks. In August, 1981, Coca-Cola agreed to a $30 million give-away plan. In March, 1982, Heublein Corp agreed to pay $360 million to blacks. There are many more companies all around the country that have made what amounts to reparations to blacks.(4) There are many programs for blacks at the local level supported by local businesses.

And what about the costs for property destroyed by blacks during city wide rioting, turning once nice neighborhoods into ghettos, black crime, prison costs, cost of extra police in black neighborhoods and the black on white crime rate. Shouldn’t these costs be deducted??

11. The Civil War was immensely expensive and destructive to this country, costing about $87 billion in today’s dollars and 650,000 lives with emancipation as one of its primary goals. Well over half of the young white males in the South were killed. Most men killed in the Union Army were white. 

Do blacks recognize the magnitude of what the Civil War accomplished? Slavery existed for thousands of years before the Atlantic slave trade was born and in all societies.  But in the thousands of years of its existence, there NEVER was an anti-slavery movement until white Christians - Englishmen and Americans - created one.  If not for the anti-slavery attitudes and military power of white Englishmen and Americans, the slave trade would not have been brought to an end. 

President Lincoln did NOT have to fight the Civil War. After the south seceded, Lincoln had to make an agonizing decision - let the south go its own way or declare war on the south - recognizing the destruction that would result.  If not for the sacrifices of white soldiers and a white American president who gave his life to sign the Emancipation Proclamation, blacks in parts of America would STILL be slaves. If not for the dedication of Americans of all ethnicities and colors to a society based on the principle that all men are created equal, blacks in America would not enjoy the highest standard of living of blacks anywhere in the world, and indeed one of the highest standards of living of any people in the world.  They would not enjoy the greatest freedoms and the most thoroughly protected individual rights anywhere.  Do blacks recognize these gifts? Descendants of Union soldiers would say that their reparations were settled at Antietam and Gettysburg.

12. One claim for reparations is premised on the belief that slavery (free labor) played a significant role in the economic and industrial growth of the US so descendents should be compensated for this growth.  

WRONG. Enslaved blacks played a very minor role in the industrial growth of the US prior to the Civil War. The South was primarily agricultural. Most slaves in the South were domestics or farmhands. In 1860, the Confederacy had only one-ninth the industrial capacity of the Union. The North manufactured 97 percent of the country's firearms, 96 percent of its railroad locomotives, 93 percent of its pig iron, and over 90 percent of its boots and shoes. The North had twice the density of railroads per square mile. There was not even one rifleworks in the entire South.(5) Any wealth the South gained from slavery was destroyed during the war, and the South didn’t recover to antebellum levels until the 20th century.

Slavery was minimal in the North by 1830. The list below shows the percentage of blacks who were free in northern states by 1830 when industry started to became significant:(6)


Connecticut: 99.7% of 8,072 blacks

Delaware: 82.8% of 19,147 blacks

Illinois: 68.7% of 2,384 blacks

Indiana: 99.9% of 3,632 blacks

Maine: 99.8% of 1,192 blacks

Massachusetts: 100% of 7,049 blacks

Michigan: 99.6% of 229 blacks

New Hampshire: 99.5% of 607 blacks

New Jersey: 89% of 20,557 blacks

New York: 99.8% of 44,945 blacks

Ohio: 99.9% of 9,574 blacks

Pennsylvania: 98.9% of 38,333 blacks

Rhode Island: 99.5% of 3,578 blacks

Vermont: 100% of 881 blacks


After the war, blacks participated in the massive industrial expansion just as white workers did. The GNP of black America today is so large that it makes the African-American community the 10th most prosperous “nation” in the world.  American blacks on average enjoy per capita incomes in the range of twenty to fifty times that of blacks living in any of the African nations from which they were kidnapped.

Slavery really wasn’t ‘free' labor. Although slaves obviously didn’t receive wages, the cost of maintaining a slave was considerable. Food, housing and medical care was all provided for. An analysis shows that because of cradle-to-grave support for slaves, “slave owners expropriated far less than generally presumed, and over the course of a lifetime a slave field hand received approximately ninety percent of the income they produced.”(7)

13. Another claim for reparations is based on the unfounded claim that African-American descendants of slaves suffer today from the economic consequences of slavery and discrimination. Consequently, whites unfairly prospered.

No one would argue that starting at zero is difficult, especially after a life of slavery. But many blacks DID prosper, even in the 1800s. Millions of immigrants came to America for over 200 years with little more then the clothes on their backs and prospered. To claim that slavery - which ended 150 years ago - is responsible for bad economic conditions today is ludicrous.

14. Many blacks base their claim for reparations on Union General William Sherman’s Special Field Order No. 15, issued on Jan. 16, 1865 - with President Lincoln’s approval - giving freed blacks 40 acres of land. The total amount of land to be redistributed in this program was a massive 400,000 acres along the coast of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. This distribution would have gone a long way to resolving what to do with slaves now that they were free - giving 10,000 families a fresh start. Sadly, the program died with Lincoln’s assassination. President Andrew Johnson overturned the Order in the fall of 1865 - and returned this land to the very people who had declared war on the United States of America. If reparation are due blacks for this unfulfilled promise, we owe $2 billion to blacks ($5,000 an acre times 400,000 acres) which was paid decades ago. 

15. Although land compensation failed, blacks were not abandoned after the Civil War by the Federal government. The Freedmen’s Bureau’s was formed on March 3, 1965 and lasted until 1872. 

Both freed slaves and the Freedmen’s Bureau agreed that education was top priority. Prior to the Civil War, no southern state had a system of universal, state-supported public education and prohibited slaves and free blacks from gaining an education. The Bureau spent $5 million to set up schools for blacks. By the end of 1865, more than 90,000 former slaves were enrolled as students in such public schools. By 1870, there were more than 1,000 schools for freedmen in the South.[8]  In 1870 the iliteracy rate among the non-white population was 80 percent. By 1890, it was down to 57 percent and by 1910 it had dropped to 30 percent.(9)

Abolitionists worked to help blacks even before the Civil War. The first historically black colleges (HBCUs) were Cheyney University of Pennsylvania in 1837, University of the District of Columbia in 1851, Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) in 1854 and Wilberforce University in 1856 (Ohio). LeMoyne-Owen College was founded during the Civil War in 1862 for freed and escaped slaves in Tennessee.  

Other colleges founded shortly after the Civil War were Alabama State University in 1867, Allen University in 1870 (S. Carolina), Barber-Scotia College in 1867 (N. Carolina), Benedict College in 1870 (S. Carolina), Bowie State University in 1865 (Maryland), Claflin University in 1869 (S. Carolina), Clark Atlanta University in 1865 (Georgia), Dillard University in 1869 (Louisiana), Edward Waters College in 1866 (Florida), Fayetteville State University in 1867 (N. Carolina), Fisk University in 1866 (Tennessee), Hampton University in 1868 (Virginia), Howard University in 1867 (Washington DC), Johnson C. Smith University in 1867 (N. Carolina), Lincoln University of Missouri in 1866, Morehouse College in 1867 (Georgia), Morgan State University in 1867 (Maryland), Rust College in 1866 (Missouri), Shaw University in 1865 (N. Carolina), St. Augustine's University in 1867 (N. Carolina), Talladega College in 1867, (Alabama), Tougaloo College in 1869 (Mississippi) and Virginia Union University in 1865. Some of these colleges were founded with the aid of the Freedmen's Bureau. Many other Universities were founded primarily to educate blacks after 1870. 

There were thousands of small black business owners in the 1800s. By 1920, there were tens of thousands of black businesses around the country. Blacks worked in every industry in the country. 

16. On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the “District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act.” This act provided for immediate freedom for slaves in Washington D.C. In an effort to keep the local slave owners loyal to the Union, Abraham Lincoln’s administration paid up to $300 for each slave as compensation. The law was also used to pay newly freed slaves $100 if he or she chose to leave the United States and colonize places such as Haiti or Liberia. The act was the only compensated emancipation plan enacted in the United States.

Reparation advocates wonder why slave owners would receive compensation and not freed slaves. The Civil War was raging around Washington D.C. and the war is going badly for the North in 1862. Rumors of the south planning an attack on the nation’s capital were frequent. Washington D.C. was surrounded by two slave states - Maryland and Virginia. (Maryland remained loyal to the Union while Virginia seceded.) There was worry over slave owners in D.C. plotting with the confederacy. Yet it was intolerable for the nation to be fighting a Civil War to eradicate slavery when 22% of blacks in Washington D.C. were slaves.(6) Compensating local slave owners for their slaves was intended to keep them loyal to the Union while eliminating slavery in Washington D.C.

17. If the ancestors of American blacks hadn't been sold into slavery, black Americans would be black Africans - and possibly slaves since slavery in black Africa was wide spread at that time. They might have died from the incessant tribal wars in Africa or disease. Even today, Africa is a backwards continent. Blacks in America have it much better then blacks in Africa and should appreciate life in America. Former slave Booker T. Washington believed blacks were better off having been brought to the US rather than staying in Africa.(10) If blacks don’t  feel ‘at home’ in America by now they should leave and apply for citizenship in some country in Africa. It’s ironic that Africans are immigrating to the US.

CONCLUSION: Reparation advocates ignore everything that has already been done to help blacks - proving they are not interested in justice. The whole Reparations movement is based on misinformation, hate and the ‘you still owe me’ mentality. They believe white America is guilty of everything and want to keep blacks down. Of course black people are not guilty of anything.

So why would more reparations change anything? More money will not change black attitudes. The fact that all previous help is ignored proves that reparations is a never ending extortion scheme.

America’s racial divide is getting ever wider. Racist blacks have divided America into two groups - POCs - People of Color and NPOCs - non people of color. If you are not 100% black, you are an NPOC, and they have declared you guilty of slavery and Jim Crow - no exceptions.(11) ‘Professor’ of Sociology at Trinity College in Connecticut, Johnny Williams claims, “all self-identified white people (no exceptions) are invested in and collude with systematic white racism/white supremacy.”(12)

It’s time to end this insanity. Nothing else needs to be done for civil rights for blacks. They have all the opportunity needed for success and they have had this opportunity for decades. 

Since most democrats support reparations, it is vital to VOTE REPUBLICAN.

4. Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson by Kenneth Timmerman, pub 2002
7. Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery (1974) by Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman. p 5,6
10. Up From Slavery, by former slave Booker T. Washington. Pub 1901, p 15,16
Oct 2019