Reparations for Blacks; The Great Debate

There’s an ongoing debate instead of delegation as to whether Blacks should receive reparations.  But before we get to that, let’s delve a little into reparations that were given to the Native Americans (Indians) and the Jews, starting with the Indians.

The Indians on a whole were given gambling rights consisting of casinos, bingo halls and other gambling operations located on reservations across America.  As of 2011 there were 460 gambling operations run by 240 tribes, located in states such as California, Idaho, New York, Connecticut and Indiana, with a total annual revenue of $27 BILLION.

At Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in the Smoky Mountains on North Carolina which opened in 1994, benefits for the children are placed in trust funds until the age of 18.  If they do not graduate high school then they get it at 21, but they still get it.  So a Cherokee born today stands to receive approximately $168,000 at age 18.  There are some native Americans who say they don’t receive benefits but overall their picture is rosy as long as they have a percentage of Indian blood or be of lineal descent.

America’s richest Indian tribe, the Shakopee Mdewakanton tribe, has a 99.2 percent unemployment rate.  That’s because they don’t have to work.  Each adult receives more than $1 million a year and there’s at least one luxury car parked in each yard.

The New York Times (a shout out there) reported that payments of $84,000 per month were given to each adult, and all this was revealed to the Times through a tribal member’s divorce filings.

In southern California we have Pechanga, Morongo and Pala Indian Reservation in San Diego.  At Pala the majority of the 800 tribal members live on the reservation.   Each receive payments of more than $150,000 per year, as well as free healthcare, free college and again minors get trust fund payments at the age of 18.

In Seattle, native Americans receive rent.  Real Rent was started by a group called the Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites or CARW.  The 600 member tribe of the Duwamish people receive a check every month.  This is counted as reparations.

How the Indians spend their money is their business but the fact is they’re getting it and they’re getting it plenty.


For the Jews.  In 1952 the first Israeli Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, signed a reparation demand based on recovering as much Jewish property as possible, arguing that it was needed to finance the rehabilitation of the holocaust survivors in Israel.  This agreement had West Germany paying 3 billion Marks over 14 years and 450 million Marks to the World Jewish Congress.  A good part of this money went into purchasing equipment for 1,300 industrial plants and fund 36 factories.  From 1953 to 1963 reparations money funded one third of Israel’s electrical system, helping it to triple its capacity.  The Bank of Israel credited the reparations money for approximately 15 percent of Israel’s GNP growth and the creation of 45,000 jobs during that time.

Then in the 1990s, they started to make claims of stolen property in eastern Europe.  Investigations were made into monies deposited into Swiss banks by Nazis.  Among them Deutsche Bank AG and Siemens, so in 1999 the German government established a fund from these companies for the survivors and for Jews relocating to the U.S.

The Obama administration also earmarked $12 MILLION in reparations money for the Jews and as one can see, this is pretty recent.

In 2009 the Israeli Finance Minister announced that he would DEMAND a further $450 million to $1 billion from Germany on behalf of 30,000 forced labor survivors.  The heirs are collecting big time and also very recently, Krispy kreme pledged $11 million after discovering their Nazi past.  Artwork sold to the Germans under duress were returned.

Overall the Germans have paid over $90 BILLION in reparations to the Jews.

Even the Japanese are getting theirs.  In 1998 the U.S. pledged $1.25 billion to Japanese Americans who were in labor camps during World War II and their heirs.  This is in ADDITION to ANOTHER $1.65 billion previously paid to 81,278 claimants.  What can I say .

Black Americans are told on the other hand to “forget” their history.  The only reparations They saw was their former slave masters getting paid for loss of property after the slaves were freed.  Very unconscionable.  Blacks worked as slaves, were lynched, massacred, burnt to the ground (Rosewood in Florida and Black Wall Street in Oklahoma for example) but are being told today that reparations are for the actual victims and not the heirs.  Many white Americans see reparations for Blacks as affirmative action which they strongly oppose and that’s probably why unfortunately some Blacks think that reparation demands are futile.

However, an overwhelming portion of Black Americans can trace their ancestry to slavery and at the heart of the reparations claim is the compensation for FREE LABOR done by the slaves that was the core of America achieving vast economic success and super power status.  Blacks had no property.  They could only claim their bodies. And then you have the likes of Elizabeth Warren saying if Blacks get reparations then native Americans should get too.  The Indians are already getting Ms Warren as you should know.

As Blacks we need reparations in programs. As a matter of fact  trust funds for minors is very appealing.  The more programs for Blacks the better.

There’s nothing wrong with cash however.  We all need money.  What we need to do as Blacks is invest wisely and cut back on the frivolous spending as we are prone to do.  We need to make wise and prudent choices not if but when we get the money.  I’m keeping the faith.  Take a business course or something.  Patti LaBelle did!

Reparations money is being paid out by the billions to other races.  My question is what about Blacks?

Dorrette G. Young




Written by Dorrette G. Young
Jamaican. Born December 15, 1961. Worked for a bank in Jamaica. Was promoted to Secretary to the general manager for the entire banking system. Left for a PR firm, also in Jamaica. Wrote articles for our clients, interviewed local celebrities like Jimmy Cliff, traveled the island covering events with a professional photographer and I sang with the Jamaica Folk Singers, touring the island and Costa Rica. Moved to the USA in 1988 to pursue a career in entertainment. Worked as an LVN in the meantime. I can be contacted at Profile


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