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Op-Ed: The Concept of Reparations Will Create More Divisiveness

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Reparations
Activists demonstrate at the White House demanding . Biden sign an executive order to study reparations, and establish a commission for descendants of American slavery File photo: Bob Korn, Shutter Stock, licensed.

SPRING HILL, FL – America is not yet a communist nation. The self-serving government officials taking citizens tax money and choosing to pay members of certain protected groups while withholding it from others will only cause injustice and resentment. It will open a Pandora’s box of unmeasurable unfairness issues that cannot be logically justified. 

All humans have suffered some form of unwanted prejudice, misfortune, or tragedy. Every person has suffered unfairness in their life. The list is never ending. A child witnessed one parent killing the other, a person born with a defect, a child abandoned on the street, being stolen at age five for child sex trafficking, the death of a precious loved one, are a few of the unfortunate situations people must live with regardless of the shade of their skin. Each of them suffered, do they deserve reparations?

Almost all those entering the new world of America had some suffering. The pioneers in history had no government handouts in settling wilderness land that the Indians saw as their own. These settlers honored the land grants they received by building homesteads while having to protect themselves from natives wanting to regain their land and lifestyle. 

As later foreign immigrants poured in from all over the world, many stayed on the east coast in poor urban neighborhoods while others moved into the interior to find a way to survive. There were no upscale hotels and incredible food to greet them. They had to make do with whatever they found to sustain them. 

Slave traders brought mostly black slaves to sell. Many were sold to plantation owners for building and maintaining the crops. Many suffered under horrible injustice from some evil owners while others were more humanely treated. How do you quantify the ultimate loss of one’s being?  Some “indentured servants” were treated worse than the slaves as they were of little long-term value to the plantation owners. They had to work until they had paid off their debt then they would be free and if they died in the meantime, it was not a big deal.

There were waves of immigrant groups who lost much of their dignity when they attempted to be accepted in this new country. The Irish were discriminated against by signs in store windows that stated, “No Micks Need apply.” All non-English speaking people such as the Polish ([Pollocks) German (Krauts) and Slavic (Slavs) suffered humiliation before they were accepted as American citizens. Should they be paid reparations?

The enormous influx of Italians in the turn of the 20th century flooded into Ellis Island. A portion of them were returned to Italy as they did not pass immigration standards. Some were turned back for any physical defect and others for being too dark skinned. Like immigrants before them, they were shut out of business opportunities leaving most of them to do manual labor at a menial salary. Many Latin Americans faced similar housing and employment discrimination living in tenements with several families in a small, poor apartment.  

Currently the United States’ open borders policy is creating a disastrous situation. Border crossers may now be receiving government assistance but eventually it will end when a new administration turns off the spigot of government welfare. Could it be that these individuals flooding into our nation may demand reparations for breaking the law? They have already received financial benefits by not having to go through the bureaucratic hoops and pay the thousands of dollars necessary to receive citizenship legally. 

Today in an age where some children are treated as princes and princesses, too many believe if they do not receive the latest electronics, most expensive shoes and clothing, they are being abused. It is even worse with teenagers. Many act as if they have been horribly abused by punitive parents and should be compensated by the government’s financial reparations.

The wonderful news for US citizens is that they can overcome their discrimination and mistreatment by making good life choices for themselves. They can make choices today and stop wanting the government to take taxpayers money to give to them and certain protected classes.  

If we open Pandora’s box of reparations, all citizens will be holding out their hand for a free phone, free college, free housing, and an exhaustive list of other things. American success is that we have the freedom to choose our own lifestyle. We can work hard and be careful with our money like many immigrants did throughout our history. We have the freedom to decide our own fate. 

When government officials mandated citizens’ tax money go to one group and not another we are in the territory of socialism-communism which has never worked in history. This dysfunctional totalitarian method of taking from one group and giving to another only creates unfair and chaotic divisiveness.

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