Reparations have been made


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, restaurants, etc., mostly in the south. There is a lot of information that needs processed so this issue can be permanently resolved nationwide.

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.

The Reparations movement generally ignores the vital 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. About 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) 

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 in aid to black Africa although it doesn’t do much good due to corruption.

3. Would reparations achieve a racial healing between African Americans and white Americans? Why would it?? If billion dollar restitutions and a wholesale rewriting of American law (in order to accommodate racial preferences) since the 1960s for African Americans is not enough to achieve a “healing,” what will? 

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 a campaign of ‘you still owe me’ 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.

4. On Jan. 16, 1865, Union General William Sherman’s issued Special Field Order No. 15 - with President Lincoln’s approval. This Order called for seizing 400,000 acres along the coast of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida and redistributing it to former slaves - divided into 40 acre parcels to create 10,000 farms. This land distribution would have helped 10,000 families and the people they hired get a fresh start. Some advocates believe EVERY black family would have gotten 40 acres - which is not true. This land would have benefited a small minority of the 4 million freed slaves. Sadly, the program died with Lincoln’s assassination. President 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. This was certainly a broken promise, so we owe blacks $2 billion - $5,000 an acre in today’s prices times 400,000 acres.


5. Even with the failure of the government to transfer 400,000 acres to blacks after the Civil War, many believe that reparations have already been paid to blacks since the passage of Civil Rights laws and the advent of the Great Society programs in the mid 1960s. The billions of dollars spent on the war on poverty have largely benefited blacks. 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 welfare benefits. All this was done for the purpose of redressing historic racial grievances. Shouldn’t these trillions 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.(3) There are many programs for blacks at the local level supported by local businesses.

We need to recognize that money doesn’t solve everything. Black crime has made many neighborhoods in the U.S. an undesirable place to live. Only a change of heart can fix this and the church needs to step up.

6. 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.  

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 would have remained slaves. It is certain that sooner or later, slavery would have been abolished in the south as it was the rest of the world, but there is no way to know how long it would have taken. Lincoln chose to fight for a society based on the principle that all men are created equal. Descendants of Union soldiers would say that their reparations were settled 155 year ago.

The Civil War was expensive. The national debt went from $65 million at the start of the War to $2.7 billion at the end.(4) About 650,000 lives on both sides were lost. Well over half of the young white males in the South were killed and the South’s economy was devastated. The Union Army was mostly white. 

7. 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 U.S. is responsible for slavery from 1781 - when the Articles of Confederation formed the new U.S. government - until 1865, when the Civil War ended. Prior to 1781, the British, French, Portuguese and Spanish were responsible for slavery.

8. 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. 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.(5)  In 1870 the illiteracy rate among the non-white population was 80 percent. By 1890, it was down to 57% and by 1910 it had dropped to 30 percent.(6)

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. Other Universities were founded to educate blacks after 1870. 

By the 1890s, thousands of small black owned businesses had opened in urban areas. The most rapid growth came in the early 20th century. Blacks owned insurance companies, banks, recording labels, funeral parlors, barber shops, beauty salons, restaurants, record stores, and bookstores. The National Negro Business League, promoted by college president Booker T. Washington, opened over 600 chapters. (7)


9. One claim for reparations is based 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.  

The US economy was NOT built on the backs of blacks, whether slave or free. Nationally, blacks were 18.1% of the population in 1830 and 12.7% in 1870 - about the same as today. Obviously, if blacks are around 13% of the population they are only going to contribute 13% to the economy. Most blacks lived in the south prior to the Civil War and for decades after the War. The South was primarily agricultural. In 1860, the South had only one-ninth the industrial capacity of the North. The North manufactured 97% of the country's firearms, 96 % of its railroad locomotives and 93 percent of its pig iron.(8)

As the following chart shows, the industrial North was primarily white. So white workers were overwhelmingly responsible for the industrial and economic growth of the U.S. - both before and after the Civil War.(9)

Population - Northern Industrial States in 1870, 1910 
New Jersey
New York





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.”(10)

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:(9)


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


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.

10. Another claim for reparations is based on the belief that black descendants of slaves did not have the ability to accumulate wealth due to the economic consequences of slavery and discrimination so blacks do not have an inheritance to pass down - usually a home. This is only partially true. As noted earlier, both freed slaves and the Freedmen’s Bureau agreed that education was top priority. Over a thousand schools and dozens of universities opened, specifically for blacks shortly after the Civil War ended. The government fulfilled their responsibility to educate blacks.

Ownership Rates, by Race and Hispanic Origin: 1940 to1990 (11) 
(In percent)
















 AIEA refers to American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut. 
API refers to Asian or Pacific Islander;
Hispanic origin may be of any race; 
In 1940, 23% of blacks owned their own home. This percentage increased to 44.4% in 1980 and then stagnated. The black home ownership rate was 44 percent in 2021(12) This is despite two major governent programs intended to increase the home ownership rate of black Americans.

The first program was the 1968 Fair Housing Act which prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, or disability. The effect this law had on black home ownership rates was negligible.

The second plan was hatched by Bill Clinton and the Congressional Black Caucus which was a very bad plan. Starting in 1993, Clinton used the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to force lending institutions to make loans to unqualified people. Clinton and the Congressional Black Caucus threatened to drag banks into court and have them fined and branded as racists if they didn't go along with the left's Affirmative Action lending policies - all while federally insuring their losses. 

Even the New York Times warned on Sep. 30, 1999, that Democrats continuing to force banks into lowering their standards would lead to economic catastrophe.(13) In 2005, John McCain co-sponsored reforms that would have prevented the housing market collapse in 2008, but Democrats opposed these reforms. The Congressional Black Caucus condemned anyone opposing this program and (of course) claimed racism.(14)  

At the end of Clinton’s last term, he bragged how he used the Community Reinvestment Act to leverage banks for almost $1 trillion in subprime loan commitments for the "underserved." This scheme by Clinton and the Congressional Black Caucus was largely responsible for the economic crash in 2008.(15)

Another factor that prevents blacks from accumulating wealth is that many black owned homes were in neighborhoods that turned into ghettos over time and their value declined and became difficult to sell. Black crime is largely responsible for this decline. The homeless and people who are wards of the state will have nothing to hand down.

Despite a well funded education system in America, many blacks are leaving high school without being proficient in math and English. Washington DC has the second highest expenditure Per pupil in public elementary and secondary school in the fiscal year of 2023. The median for the country is $15,047. DC spends $23,679 per pupil, the second highest in the country after New York, $29,897. (16)

Despite all this funding, blacks perform poorly. Only 11% of blacks were proficient in math, while 75% of whites were proficient. (17)(18) It is very difficult to accumulate wealth to pass down when you are deficient in the basics.

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 - or Jim Crow in the south is responsible for bad economic conditions today is ludicrous. This argument ignores all the help given to blacks since the days of the Freedmen’s Bureau following the Civil War and especially since 1965 with all the anti-poverty programs and quotas. This claim is a continuation of the victimhood mentality.

11. If America DID pay reparations, WHO would RECEIVE it? Should we just pay anyone who is black? Should millionaire and upper class blacks receive reparations? 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 are half-black and half-white. Do they get half reparations? What about blacks who can’t prove their ancestors were slaves, how does that get resolved? 

How much should individuals get? $10,00 each? $20,000 each? Once that money runs out, what then? 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?  Reparation will not solve the wealth gap because racism is not what caused it.

12. If America DID pay reparations, who should PAY?  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.(19) 

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 Asians, 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.

13. 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.

14. On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the “District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act.” This act provided immediate freedom for slaves in Washington D.C. by paying their owners up to $300 for each slave. This was intended to keep the local slave owners loyal to the Union. 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. This 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 was 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.(9) Compensating local slave owners for their slaves was intended to keep them loyal to the Union while eliminating slavery in Washington D.C. No slave in the country received compensation for being freed.

Many have wondered why Japanese who were sent to internment camps in WW2 would receive compensation but not blacks. The reasons were most Japanese had possessions and most lost these posession while in Internment camps.  Also, the number of victims was relatively small, many were still alive and the injustice took place during a relatively short time period - under 3 years. This was an injustice that could be identified and resolved. The US Government paid $142,000 to Japanese in 1948 to settle 26,550 claims. Additional compensation was made in 1988 under President Reagan, along with an official apology.


15. An example of how reparations would be never ending. In 1999, the Clinton administration paid out about $1 billion to 15,640 black farmers who claimed the USDA had discriminated against them by refusing to provide them with subsidized farm loans from 1981 to 1996. This lawsuit was known as the Pigford case.  

Then everyone else got in on the action. Blacks who had missed the filing deadline, Indians, hispanic and women farmers filed discrimination lawsuits against the USDA.  On Dec 8, 2010 Obama signed the Claims Settlement Act of 2010.(20) An additional $1.25 billion was paid out to 94,000 black farmers who farmed or "attempted" to farm in that same 1981-1996 time frame. But according to the Census Bureau, the number of black farmers in America between 1981 and 1996 peaked at 33,000 in 1982.(21) 

The bill also included a separate settlement of $3.4 billion for Indians who claimed the U.S. government incorrectly accounted for Indian trust assets.(22) In separate settlements, Indian farmers received $760 million while women and hispanic farmers received a combined total of $1.33 billion. Only a small percentage of this payout was justified. This was really extortion.(23)

Only black farmers received another $5 billion from the $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief package passed in March 2021. Whites were excluded. White farmers then filed a lawsuit.

16. If the ancestors of American blacks hadn't been sold into slavery, black Americans would be black Africans - and many would have been descendents of African slavery. 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.(24) 

If blacks don’t  feel ‘at home’ in America by now they should consider going back to Africa so they will feel ‘at home.’ It’s ironic that Africans are immigrating to the U.S.

CONCLUSION: The fact that Reparation advocates ignore the huge amounts of money that has already been invested in black America along with quotas in everything proves that reparations will be a never ending extortion scheme. Reparations will not change black attitudes. The whole Reparations movement is based on misinformation and the ‘you still owe me’ mentality. 

Blacks are not oppressed. They have all the opportunity needed for success and they have had this opportunity for decades. 


To find this article on the web:
3. Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson by Kenneth Timmerman, pub 2002
10. Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery (1974) by Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman. p 5,6
11.    (pg. 29).  
24. Up From Slavery, by former slave Booker T. Washington. Pub 1901, p 15,16
Jan 2023