The following argument parallels Locke’s argument: the slaveholders harmed the slaves. Consequently the slaves had rights toreparation against the estates of the slave holders; these rightsreduced the extent of the estates that the slave holders’children would otherwise have inherited from them; the slaves wereforcibly prevented from exercising those rights; but it is absurd tosuppose that people lose rights just because they are forciblyprevented from exercising those rights; consequently the slavesretained their rights against the estates of the slave holders;present day African Americans are their heirs; consequently presentday African Americans have rights against the estates of the slaveholders. This argument does not prove much. Even if many descendantsof the slave holders can be identified, proving that they inheritedtheir property from their slave holding ancestors seems hopeless. Butthe argument can be improved. The first step is to see that the slavesdid not have rights to reparation only against the slave holders. Thisstep may seem to follow easily from Locke’s famous theory thatresidence in a state is tacit consent to it (Locke 1689: sec119). This theory applied to the case of the lawful conqueror mightseem to commit Locke to the view that the lawful conqueror had rightsto reparation against all members of the state that waged the unjustwar against him. But in fact Locke explicitly denied that itdid. “The people” he said gave
Although it can be used in the context of legislation, the tort model focuses mainly on litigation as a strategy for achieving redress for slavery or Jim Crow. The tort model’s central aim is victim compensation. While a few proponents of the tort model seek to punish the perpetrator government for the atrocity, most ”would be satisfied if the government . . . were simply to write a check for X amount of dollars to every slave descendant” (Brooks 2004, p. 98). Since 1917, numerous lawsuits have been brought to achieve this objective. Some have been filed against the federal government, at least one against a state government, and, more recently, many have been directed against private corporations that supported or benefited financially from slavery in the past (some corporations can trace their lineage as far back as the antebellum period).
Sample persuasive essay on slavery reparations
The case for Eulah’s compensation can be repeated for herchildren. The government did not compensate their mother; thisinjustice impoverished her mother, and although this began to harm herbefore her children were conceived, they began to harm her childrentoo as soon as they were conceived; and they therefore have a claimfor compensation against the government for the harm its injustice offailing to compensate their mother after they were conceived causedthem. Their claim for compensation is not a claim to inherit thecompensation she was owed for her harms, but a claim for compensationfor their own harms. The amount of their compensation does not dependon the amount of her compensation, but on how much the failure tocompensate her harmed them. I suspect that it will be greater than hercompensation, given that there are many of them and one of her. Inaddition to their claim for compensation for their injuries, they mayalso have an inheritance based claim for the compensation she was owedbut never paid. Their claims for compensation are for harms theythemselves suffered from, but some of these harms would have theirorigin in slavery since they suffered them because their mother livedin straitened conditions, and she lived in straitened conditionsbecause her parents, Tom and Beulah were harmed by slavery, preventedfrom recovering from these harms and never compensated. And again,there is no danger that their grandchildren would fail to exist hadthe injustice that caused their harms not occurred, for that injusticewas not slavery or the failure to compensate their grand parents whichoccurred long before they were conceived and were probably among theconditions for their conception, but the failure to compensate theirmother, which we can suppose occurred after they were conceived. Noinnocent is asked to make compensation since every new generation ofwhites did its part in holding down every new generation of blacks ator near the level to which their slave ancestors had beenreduced. Proceeding in this way we can arrive at the presentgeneration of African Americans. They are entitled to seek reparationfrom the government for the harms it caused them by failing tocompensate their parents.
Slavery | A Glasgow-West India Sojourn
Three main objections have been urged against the harmargument. First, that although the transgressions of slavery harmedthe slaves, and present day African Americans do suffer from manydisadvantages, these disadvantages may not be the result of thetransgressions of slavery; they could easily be the result of vasteconomic and political changes that have occurred since slavery endedone hundred and fifty years ago. As George Sher put it the presentharms may not be the “automatic effects of slavery” (Sher1981: 7). Second, that even if present day African Americans have beenharmed by the slaveholders’ transgressions against theirancestors, and have rights to reparation against these slaveholders,such rights can only be pressed against the slaveholders who are nowall dead. Third that if present day African Americans demandreparation for the harms that the transgressions of slavery causedthem, then since reparation implies compensation they demand to bemade no worse off than they would have been had the transgressions ofslavery never occurred. But if these transgressions had never occurredpresent day African Americans would not exist. Consequently the harmargument is incoherent (Morris 1984, Levin 1980).