Reparations for the nation’s history of slavery

Reparations for the nation’s history of slavery.

Yea or nay?

With a history of being editor and publisher of newspapers where racial disharmony was a constant stain on the communities I served, where cultures conflicted as a part of everyday life, and having a black son-in-law and biracial grandchildren, you can guess where I stand.

Or maybe not.

Attempting to erase the nation’s nefarious and horrid treatment of people of color — Black, Asian, Native American or “other” — by handing out wads of I’m-sorry! cash is not a plausible solution.

History is what it is, and the white contingent’s treatment overall of citizens and residents of different cultures, religions and colors is reprehensible and indefensible.

But trying to solve our collective consciences with bucket loads of lucre is not the answer.

Who would we pay? How much? For how long? For what specific act or collection of acts?

The answer to the past disputable behaviors lies in visible change, in the switching of attitude, creation of laws and additional opportunities with an aim of an equalization of cultures. These goals must include the education of all citizens on the importance of the fundamental right of equality.

This is the United States of America, once described as  “A City upon a Hill”, a phrase derived from the teaching in Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. In a modern context, it has been used in United States politics to refer to America acting as a “beacon of hope” for the world, a “shining city.”

From a global perspective — and also from a domestic viewpoint — the democratic luster  is gone from our nation. Where once the United States was held aloft as a symbol of freedom and hope, our political, racial, cultural and religious differences have caused us to be pitied and scorned.m by nations which once held us as a positive example of freedom and democracy.

Now, right now, is the time to summon  our better angels, to pray for uplifting support and guidance and make a determined effort to work in unity to recreate the America of promise and hope. Our goal should be to create, finally, a kinder, gentler America, a nation that values all citizens equally and welcomes all who share our vision, our hopes and our dreams.

We can do better. We must do better. We must change. Our children and grandchildren demand action from us.

We must not, cannot let them down.

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