Reparations to blacks

Justified or not?


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, etc. We need to look at the issue of reparations logically, not emotionally. 

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) 

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. 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 British, French, Portuguese 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. 


6. 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? 

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.

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. 

7. 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 1965. 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.(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? Black crime turning once nice neighborhoods into ghettos; prison costs for a large percentage of blacks; cost of extra police in black neighborhoods and the black on white crime rate. Shouldn’t these costs be deducted??

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. 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.(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. 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.


9. The only legitimate claim for reparations is due to Union General William Sherman’s Special Field Order No. 15, issued on Jan. 16, 1865 - with President Lincoln’s approval. The 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 blacks believe EVERY family would have gotten 40 acres - which is not accurate. This program would have benefited about two/three percent 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 an unfulfilled promise, so we owe blacks $2 billion - $5,000 an acre times 400,000 acres.

10. 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, costing about $87 billion in today’s dollars. The national debt went from $65 million at the start of the War to $2.7 billion at the end.(7) 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 devasted. Most men killed in the Union Army were white. 

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 the 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?

12. 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 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. 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. 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.

14. Another claim for reparations is based on the unfounded belief that African-American descendants of slaves suffer today from the economic consequences of slavery and discrimination by not having an inheritance to pass down. Consequently, whites unfairly prospered.

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.

The primary asset for most people is their home. In 1940, 23% of blacks owned their own home. In 1970, 42 percent of blacks owned their own home - so a considerable number of blacks had assets. But in the 50 years since the 1968 Fair Housing Act became law, the U.S. Black home ownership rate declined to 41percent in 2018.(11) A sad fact is that many homes owned by blacks ended up being in ghettos, causing their value to decline drastically.

Blacks were not denied employment after the civil war. Millions of blacks emigrated to the north from the 1920s on because of job opportunities. There was no conspiracy by whites to deny blacks the opportunity to pass down wealth.

Blacks were not denied employment after the civil war. Millions of blacks emigrated to the north from the 1920s on because of job opportunities. Many black owned homes were in black parts of town and from the 1960s on, many of these neighborhoods turned into ghettos which greatly reduced the value of these homes. Black crime was the biggest factor in blacks not having wealth to hand down.  There was no conspiracy by whites to deny blacks the opportunity to pass down wealth.

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.(12) 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.(13)

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.(14) In separate settlements, Indian farmers received $760 million while women and hispanic farmers received a combined total of $1.33 billion.(15)

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. 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. 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.

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.(16) 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: The fact that Reparation advocates ignore everything that has already been done to help blacks 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. 

It’s time to end this. 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
10. Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery (1974) by Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman. p 5,6
16. Up From Slavery, by former slave Booker T. Washington. Pub 1901, p 15,16
July 2022