Commentary: The unpaid debt

Reparations for slavery in the United States

By Donna Willis 

An old debt Congress has ignored since 1864 is coming due, and there are no extensions left on the books.

From the moment foreign-owned ships docked at ports on land bodies stolen from their owners, European thieves had a choice to make, and they chose to make the wrong one.

The buyers in what would be called “human trafficking” today also chose to drag such a practice into the new country they formed.

Laws were enacted by the newly formed Congress and its original thirteen state legislatures that sanctioned, protected and taxed owners of those being trafficked.

They became slaves.  

Forced to do the bidding of others without pay, choice or rights of any kind.

Along with the trafficked Africans, the natives of the  land now called America and unfortunate criminals shipped from Europe worked their lives away under sanctioned laws.

Throughout history slave holders and their subsequent generations have denied wrongdoing. They claimed, and many still claim, that Africans sold Africans into slavery.

Americans who have not studied the history of the slave trade have failed to learn that at no time during “slave trading days” did America have any legally binding agreement with Africa.

In other words, “What happened in Africa stays in Africa,” mainly because it has nothing whatsoever to do with what took place in America.

Slave reparations is a long overdue debt in the United States.  

When the three most powerful bodies chose to reinstate Confederate-held states back into America’s fold after they surrendered at the end of the Civil war, Congress incurred their part of debt due to the newly freed.

The gold held by the United States Treasury belongs to those slaves. 

It was the slaves’ sweat, overworked bodies and tears that formed every one of those gold bullion blocks.

As for the silver owed, well that’s interest due on a unpaid bill

And since the slaves, who earned the gold and silver are dead and can’t collect, the burden lies on their descendants to do so in their absence.

Such payments are not “racist” or “unconstitutional,” not by a long shot.

Restitutions are reparations, and Congress has a long history of paying out both.

The only debt Congress has failed to pay is that owed to slaves.  Now that’s “racist” and “unconstitutional.”

Here is a fact that all late to America’s making immigrants, descendants of immigrants and those who recently in the last twenty years immigrated to this land; invitations have never been sent, RSVP never requested and if choosing to be here connects you to America’s debts, that’s an immigrant problem not anyone else’s.

It seems that sometimes on occasions it’s worth researching a place before making it your home. Raising a hand in allegiance.  

Donna Willis lives in Institute, West Virginia.

Get the latest headlines from Black by God right in your inbox weekly.

Sign up for our newsletter

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top