This letter is in response to Mr. Albert Golfieri’s “Repatriation” letter from Sept. 8. The letter attempts to argue against reparations for descendants of slaves but does a good job arguing for reparations.
Mr. Golfieri argues that the United States should not provide reparations to descendants of slaves based on two historical examples: Japanese Americans interned during World War II and Holocaust survivors. The problem with this argument is that with both examples, the aggrieved actually received reparations from the governments that committed the atrocities. In the case of interned Japanese Americans, President Reagan signed the 1988 Civil Liberties Act which provided $20,000 to each survivor. In the case of Holocaust survivors, the German government has willingly paid more than $7 billion to Holocaust survivors. When the German government recently found older Holocaust survivors living in poverty without families, the German government increased the amount of reparations.
Mr. Golfieri states about slavery, “A wrong was made and then it was made right. They were freed.” The idea that hundreds of years of enslaving and torturing a group of people because of their race can be righted by simply stopping the action runs counter to our system of justice.
A wrong is not made right by simply stating you will no longer do the wrong action.
In short, Mr. Golfieri’s attempt to argue against reparations actually bolsters the case for reparations.