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  BLACKLINES

In the Affirmative
by Earnest Edward Hite
2003-03-01

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Blacks comprise only about 12.7 percent of the American population. Kevin Hopkins notes Professor Derrick Bell's interest-convergence theory, which argues that whites will only support remedies of racial discrimination and the like when they stand to benefit from them as well.

So let us point out the benefits all Americans stand to gain.

First, communities around the country will be revitalized and energized. The flow of money going into communities will only help boost the currently sluggish economy. Many of our urban centers will be rejuvenated with new life and businesses. Funds will be dispersed over a wide range of economic interests, from agriculture to construction, stimulating many sectors of the economy.

The influx of money into the education system will result in gains much like those seen after the G.I. Bill of post-World War II, when colleges and universities dramatically grew increased in size and number.*

Our campuses will also become more diverse, something we will all stand to benefit from. Job training will generate a better educated and better skilled work force that will profit all companies.

Moreover, an educated work force is of paramount importance in a knowledge-based economy that the United States is rapidly developing into. Most importantly, however, the country can heal a moral debt that has only exacerbated and been made worse with time.

This country has still not fully acknowledged its past wrongdoings, and until it can face these problems, race relations cannot truly move forward. While none of us want to inherit the sins of our fathers, the sons and daughters of this country who are born Black continue to suffer from the sins of our fathers, and this is unfair. We can finally begin to remedy this travesty of justice. We can begin to rectify a horrendous wrong that has gone unacknowledged for far too long.

While we can never fully repair the damage done or hope to repay the true debt that is owed, a sincere apology and a genuine attempt to restore what is rightfully owed will set us on a path of healing a wound in this country's conscience that has festered for too long.

Our much-revered founding fathers failed to recognize an egregious mistake—that of slavery. Let us hope that we are not so blinded by the passage of time since the existence of slavery that we fail to remedy the lingering detrimental affects of this injustice as well.

I may be reached at Ehite10496@aol.com .

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* Although Westley argues that this period should not exceed 10 years. 'Sovereignty, land, money transfers, tax breaks, educational scholarships, and medical and housing subsidies all lie within the compensatory arsenal of the government. Their extensive use outside the context of reparations belies the assertion that their implementation within the context of reparations would overburden national revenues.'


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