Friday, April 19, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 134



Reparations are moral but not logical

Terrence Persaud

Slavery has always been an immoral, indecent, aggressive and despicable condition created by humans.

Crimes of slavery and indentured servitude have been committed against various groups of people since Biblical times. Though it has been
done to everyone from the Irish to the Africans to the East Indians to the American Indians to the Jews, that doesn't make it right. The fact of the
matter is simple: Slavery, segregation, indentured servitude and other various forms of repression are wrong and the victims' descendants
should receive reputations.

In a recent class-action suit, a group of African-Americans is suing three individual corporations for crimes committed against the
African-American race. The suit listed three different companies, FleetBoston Financial Corporation, Aetna Inc. and CSX, that have either openly
admitted to using slave labor in the past or are newer incarnations of former companies based in the slave trade.

Though these companies profited from slavery and the slave trade, crimes against the African-Americans are not just the companies' fault. They
are the fault of the people who purchased the slaves and the government that allowed the trade to flourish.

Slavery in America has brought an onslaught of problems to minorities in the past and in many instances indirectly into the present and possibly
the future. Ending slavery brought on segregation, an increase of racism and socioeconomic differences, thus creating a different quality of
school system and opportunity between predominantly minority and predominantly Caucasian neighborhoods.

Furthermore, slavery and its repercussions have brought indirect differences in the populations of the current penal systems in the United

Even though slavery has had an effect on most of the problems that plague this country, it would cause even more problems to give reparations.

For example, if these three companies stated above were to pay the $1.4 trillion asked for, these companies might go bankrupt and put
descendants of people who did not own slaves out of work. This would cause an increase in unemployment and harm innocent parties.

Another possible solution is to ask the government for repartations. However, that would take money from innocent parties also. The third
solution would be to take the desired sum from the descendants of slaveholders. However, that would still be taking from a beneficiary and not
the guilty party.

There should be some form of solution for this problem in American society, but at this time, there is no logical solution for one to see.

However, there are a few logical actions the government should take. The government should apologize for the utilization of these malicious
acts. It should also increase the amount of money spent in certain areas of society, such as better public schools.

Persaud, a sophomore computer 
engineering major, can be reached at

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