Reparations Comparison

Reparations Comparison REPARATIONS COMPARISON Ever since the beginning of time groups of people have been used or persecuted by other groups who believed to be superior. The three groups being discussed in this paper are the Japanese-Americans, who were sent to internment camps during World War II, the European Jews, who were victims of acts of genocide at the hands of the Nazi government in Germany, and the Africans, now African-Americans, who were forced to board ships to America for the purpose of slavery. The Japanese-Americans, during WW II, were taken from their homes and forced to give up any job or business they maintained. This was supposedly a deterrent against the Japanese-Americans being potential security threats during the war. After WW II they were given $25 and a train ticket to wherever their home was before they were relocated.

Most of them went back to find that their job was no longer open. They were forced to live a life of poverty. In 1988, an act was passed which granted Japanese-Americans who had been directly affected by this act $20,000 a piece. The Jews in Germany were treated in worse manner than the aforementioned group. Even though death did occur at the internment camps in The United States, it was mostly due to unsanitary conditions.

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In Germany the government was purposely killing the Jewish people with various tactics such as gas chambers and firing squads. Some Jews were able to leave the country before the brunt of the violence against them started. Though lucky enough to leave with their lives, they were not so fortunate when it came to their personal belongings, including money. The German government, after the Nazi regime, felt obliged to pay those people who were affected for lost property and wages as reparations. Starting in the 1600s, Europeans began capturing Africans to bring them over to the United States to work the fields in the southern states. These men, women, and children were taken from their native environments, in which they may have held positions of authority, and made the property of other people whose only differences were skin color and culture. Even worst was the fact that some tribal leaders were selling their own members to the Europeans.

African-Americans, though legal slavery has been abolished for over 100 years, still have not completely achieved the respect and status of the dominant group in the United States. Unlike the two previous groups discussed, the Jews and the Japanese-Americans, supposed plans of reparations like the Homestead and Land Grant Acts failed because of a lack of concern by the government combined with a lack of resistance by the Black community. I agree that all of these occurrences are definite atrocities. The difference, I see between the first two and the last group is that these were orders given by the government in power rather than free enterprise by certain individuals. It is terrible that African-Americans had to endure such harsh treatment, but how can any criteria be established by which to grant reparations. Had the government made it a rule that all Black people were to be enslaved rather than simply allowing it, the situation would be somewhat different.

I say somewhat because I have not yet heard anyone distinctly give a way that slavery has affected them financially. Plus, how do the people whose ancestors did not come to this country until after slavery get taken out of the equation? I guess I have always taken the stance that, though Black Americans have not completely achieved equality, there are far too many opportunities available for people to be complaining about what opportunities they dont have. Though its sad, its true because I have family members and associates that do it. I personally have never been to Africa, but I guess because of my comfort in the environment I was raised in, Id rather be right here in America. But one last point Id like to make is that those Black people who have been able to achieve certain successes need to help those people who havent so that we can better compete with the majority in this country someday.


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