Thanks, but €No Thanks€

William Reed | 7/8/2009, 8:01 p.m.

Thanks, but €No Thanks€

Sorry, but €sorry€ just won€t do.

By now, you know that the U.S. Senate has been moved to apologize for slavery. Those drafting the resolution said it was important for Americans to apologize for slavery €so they can move forward and seek reconciliation, justice, and harmony for all people of the United States.€

But, there is trickery in this contriteness. The Senate tacked on a disclaimer to the resolution saying that nothing in it authorizes or supports reparations for slavery.

The only Black in the 100-member body, Roland Burris said: €the disclaimer in no way would eliminate future actions that may be brought before this body that may deal with reparations.€

African American descendants of slaves have to show their loathing for this farce. Jesse Jackson calls the act "a meaningless gesture with no meaningful commitment to deal with the impact of something as serious as slavery." American history shows that a substantial debt is owned to descendents of slaves for the 250 years of free labor and another 100 years of economic subjection after slavery.

Blacks willing to accept the Senate resolution should consult with Randall Robinson, author of "The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks" first. Robinson says: "Much is owed, and it is very quantifiable. It is owed as one would owe for any labor that one has not paid for, and until steps are taken in that direction we haven't accomplished anything."

America€s debt to descendants of slaves ranges more than 400 years. After being freed, for the next century, generations of Blacks were relegated to a damaging second-class status.

Obstacles to Black€s economic justice included the Jim Crow; prison camps that provided free labor, lynching, redlining and educational and job discrimination.

The Senate's apology follows a pattern of government contriteness. In 2008, the House of Representatives also passed an apology; the key difference being that the Senate version explicitly deals with the issue of whether slavery descendants are entitled to. The scam will continue. The House is expected to revisit the issue to conform its resolution to the Senate version. After doing some basic calculations,

Much is owed the descendants of slaves for three centuries of free slave labor and their housing and clothing allowances don€t count. Early America€s South became a formidable agricultural society through the expansion of tobacco, rice and indigo plantations and later cotton. Cotton became America€s leading export, exceeding in value all other exports of the period combined.

When €cotton was king€ it helped place America on the world stage as a viable economic entity. Slave labor and underpaid Black workers not only picked the cotton but laid the railroads, worked in the factories and erected the nation€s buildings.

Ironically, the Congress that doesn€t want to pay reparations was meeting in one of two important buildings built by free slave labor. Black slave labor was involved in construction of the U.S. Capitol and the White House. Slaves hoisted the Statue of Freedom atop the dome of the Capitol in 1863. Basic calculations prove that the amount of reparations owed for slavery is an estimated $2.5 trillion to $8.3 trillion.

Despite any rationale Whites declare that the liabilities of slavery are pass, today€s establishment continues to reap the benefits of slavery: Jim Crow, restrictive covenants, and all the other crimes and abuses of their forefathers.

Despite the increased numbers of Blacks in middle and upper income levels, and measurement made among Americans today will show racial disparities persist in income or wealth, education and home ownership and, are growing.

It€s time for sensible African Americans put an end to this foolishness. Before we know it, Blacks will be denied a legacy that is due them forever. Expressions of apology have also been considered in a number of states, and eight: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and New Jersey have apologized for slavery without any payments allocated. Nebraska and Missouri - are considering similar resolutions.