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Write me a brief letter that articulates your experience of completing this portfolio and, especially, of writing this research paper. You may write informally (using bullet points or paragraphs), but please take this reflection seriously

Things to consider/include:

Your overall feeling about the final draft. Are you proud of it? Dissatisfied? Do you think it’s strong?

What did you struggle the most with in this process?

How did you feel the component parts of the portfolio prepared you to put together the final essay? Which component part was the most useful to you (critical summary, engaging/incorporating quotes, thesis/counterargument, research assignment/annotated bibliography, rough draft, peer review)?

What do you think is the strongest element of your final paper?

What is the weakest element?

What did you learn about yourself as a writer and editor/peer reviewer during this process?

What should I keep in mind as I read and grade your final draft?

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Reparations to the Descendants of Enslaved People
Amirreza Baharimehr
English 1
Professor Brianna
Reparations to the Descendants of Enslaved People
There is no doubt that African-Americans and those with dark skin, in general, have not
received a fair deal throughout the history of the United States of America. Anyone thought to be
black has been put at a disadvantage since the first Africans were taken or sold from their
homeland and forced to work in the fields of the South. Even after the abolishment of slavery,
Americans were regarded as inferior to white people in every way.
The Jim Crow laws, which were enacted shortly after slavery was abolished and resulted
in a period of racial segregation, are an example of this. Due to the unfavorable preconceptions
and biases that emerged from slavery, a shared imaginative picture of African Americans as
inferior, untrustworthy savages developed.
African-Americans have been able to rise and break through the limitations of each era
with increasing dignity, rights, and prospects throughout history. However, this has been a long
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and arduous process that is undoubtedly imperfect. These people have not been subjected to
natural adversity. Instead, they result from racism, discrimination, and violence perpetrated
nearly entirely by people of white complexion. Now, at a time when America is publicly
attempting to shed its racist ways and move forward as a land of opportunity for all, issues have
arisen about what to do about past wrongdoings as well as current disparities. Although the issue
of reparation is an excellent move, encouraging and motivating for the black people, the process
is considered to belong, tiresome, and some factors need to be considered before deciding on the
best way to do it.
Body
For years, many black and white people have recommended and favored reparations as a
solution. This concept proposes that the United States government provide money to the
descendants of slaves, which would generally come from taxes. The idea of repaying an entire
ethnic group or group that has been harmed in the past is not new. Following WWII and the
Holocaust, Jewish survivors were compensated by Germany for the atrocities perpetrated against
them. Also, 50 years after tens of thousands of Japanese Americans were interned during WWII,
Each victim of the internment received a payment of $20,000 from the US government.
Giving compensation money to slave descendants, on the other hand, is a whole different
concept. It’s a more challenging topic now that it’s been over 150 years since Abraham Lincoln
issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Since then, so much has changed in America that
determining reparations for former slaves’ family members would be practically impossible.
Individual reparations to African Americans do not strike me as a fair or viable solution to past
wrongdoings.
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There are numerous reasons why direct reparations in monetary payments to individuals
would not be a fair solution to rectify historical and current inequities. The money should come
from is one of the most ignored issues in this argument (who should be penalized). Given that no
former slaves or slave owners are alive now and that no descendants of slaves or slave owners
are living today, it is not entirely clear who should benefit and who should pay for the injustices
of slavery. There have been numerous waves of migration from multiple countries since the end
of the Jim Crowe days. Should immigrants from countries like Spain, Portugal, or other nations
that undoubtedly benefited from cheap American labor, also be charged with paying reparations,
or should this be left up to whites? Many of those immigrants and their children would now be
considered white in
present-day America. Are we to ask them to pay reparations as well? What about
northern white families with origins in America dating back to the slave era? Is it their
responsibility to pay as well? If, for example, my great-great-grandparents owned slaves in
Georgia, should be required to make reparations? What if my great-great-grandparents resided in
Georgia but were not slave owners? The list of potential outcomes is endless.
Many people benefited from and sustained slavery that was not white Americans. Many
slaves were even sold to slave traders by their African people. African chiefs knew what they
were doing when they sold their entire villages to the traders; these acts can be seen in some
ways as more heinous than what the actual slave traders did. There is no way to penalize them
for what they did. Slavery was an industry at the time that involved more than just white
Americans. Reparations could become a hazardous idea that could easily do more harm than
good.
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Throwing money at individuals will not solve the inequalities that face blacks today. It is
more important to address the problems that prejudice and racism create today than it is to repay
certain blacks for past wrongdoings (Simon, 2017). In giving reparations, many new immigrants
that are just as disadvantaged as those who descended from slaves would not receive any funding
at all. It would be much more beneficial to the black community if the money went to social
programs like welfare and inner-city schooling than to specific individuals. It would even be
more advantageous to those who would have received reparations because the entire black
community would receive funding that would enable them to gain dignity and leadership that is
not usually prevalent in the inner city. Money that would go towards reparations should be
invested into poverty-stricken areas across America. Those blacks (African-American or
otherwise) who need and deserve the money live in impoverished areas, mainly in the inner city.
There are undeniably descendants of slaves who have somehow benefited from some
government effort and were able to raise themselves out of the ghetto. To give these people
money would not be wrong; however, it would be foolish. The money should be invested where
it is needed, not where it is wanted.
Affirmative Action is a program created intentionally to give blacks a deserved level
playing field when it comes to the real world of education and employment. This program is vital
when it comes to reversing the discrimination and prejudice that blacks face every day( Corlett,
2018). With blacks working alongside whites and in positions of power, it helps to destroy racial
stereotypes that have fueled racism in America. This very crucial program is reparations in
Action. Instead of throwing money at African Americans, Affirmative Action allows them to
achieve their success without getting handouts. It is an essential tithe mindset of the inner city,
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and it teaches inner-city kids that it is possible to achieve on your own and to make it out of the
ghetto. It all goes back to the old saying, “give a man a fish, and he eats for a day.
Teach a man to fish, and he eats for a lifetime.” it is never more accurate than when it
comes to the idea of reparations. One point that is not usually brought up but should be
scrutinized in this debate is that African Americans are better off today than they would have
been without slavery. It is paramount to clarify that this does not mean that slavery was good or
morally right.
When you compare African-Americans to those who live in Africa, the disparity in
wealth is fantastic. African-Americans have been able to overcome slavery, Jim Crowe, and the
Civil Rights era. They now are much more prosperous than their African counterparts. Those
who were enslaved did not benefit from slavery. However, after all of these years, the
descendants of slaves unquestionably have advantages in the standard of living compared
to those living in most Western African Nations. The growing number of civil wars in Africa and
the current AIDS epidemic are issues that African-Americans have not had to deal with
indirectly due to slavery. It just shows that while their ancestors suffered because of slavery,
current African-Americans are not suffering today because of slavery. Slavery was a black eye in
American history (Gilbert & Williams, 2020). It is not something that the country as a whole is
proud of today, and it is not something that taken down. However, reparations in the form of
individual payoffs do not serve to right the wrongs of slavery. It also does not go anywhere
towards solving the problems that blacks face today.
The amount to be paid to all descendants of slaves, on the other hand, would oblige the
government to take away property possessed by other people, either by taxes or physical
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eviction. It infringes on the property rights of such citizens. Premise 2 is correct since infringing
on others’ property rights to pay restitution would value the descendants’ inheritance rights.
However, it is not too late to solve the problem of prejudice, racism, and the inequalities they
cause in everyday life. Instead of giving away handouts that will not change anything, the
government and community leaders should be looking at ways to solve the actual problems that
racism causes. The problem is not the suffering of those whose great-great-grandparents were
slaves.
African-Americans and blacks do not deserve some assistance from the government.
However, this assistance should be in government programs such as welfare, food stamps, and
most importantly, Affirmative Action. Also, with no clear-cut place for the money to come from,
it is not fair to penalize those who have had Clothing to do with slavery.
The idea of reparations must be scrapped entirely. It is too late to repay those who have
suffered, and it is too late to punish those who deserve punishing. What about northern white
families with origins in America dating back to the slave era? Is it their responsibility to pay as
well? If, for example, if ones great-great-grandparents owned slaves in Georgia, should that
mean they are required to make reparations? How does because the premises are true, this
objection is valid. The government is the most likely target for reparations because it has been an
institution since before slavery in the United States. It backed slavery until the Civil War. The
problems are insufficient funding of inner-city schools, drugs, gangs, teen pregnancy,
overpopulation, and inequality in employment and education. Research is to be done to decide
what would be the best way to tackle these problems. Slavery ended almost one hundred and
fifty years ago; there are new problems at hand for America, where the attention and funding
should go.
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