Wachovia to pay reparations for slavery?

I’m afraid that I have finally had it with the entire topic of slave reparations and the level of groveling to which corporate America has sunk, and I am closing all Wachovia accounts. Am I a crazy, southern, white supremacist? Hardly. I am, in fact, as northern and schooled in liberal philosophies as they come. I used to play in the tunnels (although they weren’t so much tunnels that connected to anything as they were just large dug out hiding areas) under my grandmother’s house and take great pride that our family in past years had done their part to help smuggle slaves into Canada. I still believe slavery was horrible, and I laud the day it was abolished. Still, I am absolutely against the concept of slave reparations.

Stepping outside of the liberal fog above the Mason Dixon line was not really the turning point for me. After all I, too, came down here with the attitude that blacks had been oppressed and that the southern attitudes about the war were simply bitterness over having lost. I didn’t believe that displaying the Confederate flag was about heritage, and I thought all southerners were in favor of slavery.

Many would say that my change in attitude came only because I moved to the south. That is not the case. If moving to the south made you southern, then I would be able to cook a decent biscuit. No, the turning point came shortly after moving to the south when I found my biological mother. Upon finding her I started to do extensive research on my Irish heritage. Having been raised by French Canadians I was very excited to find out that both biological parents were Irish and had strong ties to Ireland. I began my research post haste and was in for quite a rude awakening as my research took me into "REAL" accounts of history that certainly did not jive with what I had learned in school.

I had never heard of white slavery. I had never heard that the terms "redneck and cracker" were coined to describe the paddy slaves whose fair skin would turn blistering red. I never imagined the day I would read accounts of how the Negro slaves were worth far more than the Irish, Scots, and other assorted whites and were actually treated far better. These are things that you will never find in a history book or if you do, it will be dressed up with fancy terms like indentured servant. You will never find the accounts of white slaves being treated far more poorly than the blacks because the blacks fetched a higher price.

So perhaps that means that the Irish and Scots might be exempt from reparations, but those southerners surely must pay the price, correct? Not so. Many southern mountain folks practically starved because of slavery, and no southerner that I know would welcome its return. Picture today that you walk into a white southern factory and say, "We are bringing back slavery so we won’t be needing your services anymore." Who can even begin to imagine that there would be hoots and hollers and cheers of joy from all of these white workers who are so often accused of being in favor of slavery??

So should the white factory worker, who labors in 120 degree heat with burns and blisters on his hands pay reparations to the black doctor for keeping him oppressed? For that matter, where is this oppression? I hear much talk of it, but I’ve yet to witness it. When I look at the black communities I see some who are lost, but I also see doctors, lawyers, scholars and athletes. They don’t act the least bit oppressed. They go to church, and they worship and fork over money hand over fist to help the needy. They are out working in their communities to make a change for those who are lost by standing proud and hanging together as opposed to crying victim and demanding a handout for their ancestors’ suffering.

If blacks are due an apology, it should come from the black leaders that have fought so hard to keep them believing they are victims for political gain. I truly believe that men like Jesse Jackson are absolute poison to the very people they claim to champion. Sorry is the white person who cannot feed his or her own, but still believe he is better than the black doctor who has done well for himself and his family simply because of skin color. Sorrier still is the black person who believes he cannot become that doctor because of white oppression while white children are starving on the same street that his children are. Most tragic of all, however, are the black leaders who belittle the accomplishments of blacks with constant drum beating of oppression. These folks do nothing more than encourage racial tension and teach blacks they have no choice but to be poor and desolate. They insult the accomplishments of successful blacks by giving the credit for their tremendous achievements to activists who fight for affirmative action and reparations.

It is ridiculous to think affirmative action is the reason blacks succeed as if they never had to actually do the work or pass the tests or put in the time. The black leaders would have you think that all black doctors, lawyers, scholars, and athletes would not be there were it not for the affirmative action fairy. If there is resounding truth to the talk of oppression that they are feeding the nation, then I think we all should be every bit as oppressed at Jesse Jackson or Oprah Winfrey.

Slave reparations are ridiculous. Slavery was a bad thing that happened to everyone from the black slaves to the white slaves to the southern folks starving in the mountains. Perhaps the Irish and the Scots should sue for reparations because their ancestors were slaves. Perhaps reparations would be appropriate for the descendants of poor southerners who could not feed their children and could not find paying work in a market where slavery was legal. Perhaps the African slave traders who sold their own people should be held every bit as accountable as the wealthy Americans who bought them. Shall we start a witch-hunt in the U.S. to find blacks who are descendants of known slave traders and hit their wallets as well?

Forcing descendants to pay reparations for the sins of the past is a dangerous, slippery slope, because you will never be able to separate the accountable from the innocent. Wachovia will not be paying out any reparations with monies earned from this Irish person’s business. Rather than mistakenly dismiss me as a racist I would also call out to all blacks who bank with Wachovia to take into account that these reparations that Wachovia is taking responsibility for will be paid with money it earned from YOU!

I ask you, if I come upon a black doctor, should I slip him a buck or two to make up for his oppression or pay him the respect he’s due for his accomplishments? Reparations will never equal respect.