EAST BAY CITIZEN. EVERYWHERE SINCE 2009

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

County Supes Ask For Federal Apology, Reparations For Slavery

'THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE PAST TENSE' SAYS ALAMEDA COUNTY SUPERVISOR CARSON
By Steven Tavares
steven.tavares@eastbaycitizen.com
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"The government owes Americans an apology," said Alameda County Board of Supervisors President Nate Miley said Tuesday morning during comments in support of a resolution asking the federal government to officially apology for acts of slavery perpetrated over the past 400 years. The board also asks for an unspecified amount in reparations to remedy the injustices of generations past, using similar instances around the world.

The excitable Miley said the long list of injustices against blacks typically upsets him, as he read a list of similar apologies and deals for reparations in this country and abroad. He says the the county's resolution is based on the success of Japanese-Americans to gain redress for their internment during World War II. Miley also referred to land deals made with numerous Native American tribes along with reparations for the Jews by the German government and recent apologies by the prime minister of Australia to its own aboriginal peoples.

"We could do this for many people," admitted Supervisor Keith Carson, who co-sponsored the resolution with Miley.

Himself remembers separate restrooms in Berkeley and hoping to only apply for dishwasher in Jack London Square.

"The apology is not about the past tense," said Carson, who said he remembers racism in the not-so-distant-past as a youth growing up in the East Bay. He recounted segregated restrooms for whites and blacks in Berkeley and often found employment in Jack London Square was limited to the lowly dishwasher.

The problems borne out of slavery still exist today, he says, in the form of drugs in the inner cities and the high rate of incarcerations among young black men.

The prevalence of these problems have a direct effect on how the county administers funding for programs typically in support of poor minority groups. Black babies have an increased risk of being born premature, tend to have higher instances of dropping out of school and falling into poverty, said Miley. Because of the lack of health care, blacks also have a higher likelihood of facing medical problems later in life. All areas  that contribute to allocations of county funding to combat the problems.

"This is not a fluff resolution," said Miley. "It has an affect on our county."

Because of the disparities, I feel reparations are needed. I don't need them, but my people need them." Miley is urging others to call on Sacramento to pass a similar resolution and "sweep it across the country."

Supervisor Wilma Chan agreed, "It's a shame there are these disparities.", She referred to the state Legislature cutting a small program to help black infants last year as proof racism still exists in government. "Why would you pick that?" she asked. "It's a couple million out of hundreds of million. That shows there is something wrong."

Congress has failed to walk in unison on the issue of reparations, although the U.S. Senate approved a resolution apologizing for slavery in June 2009. An amendment tacked on to the resolution, though, sidestepped the issue of reparations. The House of Representatives approved their resolution in 2008 without the reparations amendment.

35 comments :

I will draw the line at "soul brother" on this one. I will hit you if you cross the line. Keep in mind, they never caught the other guy who beat up the Giants fan in L.A. I like the A's

We should be even by now, considering how much crime and mayhem Black men create for society, their own families and communities.

I wholeheartedly agree with reparations - but here's how we have to calculate it:
> Figure out how many black slaves there were.
> Say that most of them worked 12 hours a day - they should have been paid minimum wage plus overtime for 52 weeks per year.
> Minus food and housing costs.
> Minus the cost of the initial boat ride to the states.

Then estimate the number of black people in the USA today and calculate:
> Cost of welfare and Section 8 housing
> Costs for incarceration
> Medical costs (especially with ER visits after gunfights)
> Cost for human life taken by black thugs (for instance, if a Chinese software engineer is killed by an Oakland thug, his earning potential for the rest of his life is probably around $2-3Million)

I think if you do the math, you'll find that black people owe the rest of society far more than society owes them. Unfortuantely, there are relatively few black people that can pony up the scratch for payback - so I'd suggest a sliding scale contribution based on income - sorry Bob Johnson, Oprah and Puff Daddy - but you would get the short end of the stick on this one.

It was their own people in Africa that sold them into slavery hundreds of years ago. Although it was a horrible thing that happened how would the government go about paying people? Can people trace their lineage back hundreds of years with questionable records at best? The black community can not continue to blame the white people for their problems. It is hard to hear but it needs to be said that for a race, not all mind you, that glorifies drug use, being a gangsta and the degrading way they treat and talk to their woman and take no responsibility for the children they produce, woman included, it is time for their leaders to look inward and speak the truth of how their communities have chosen to live.

"...it is time for their leaders to look inward and speak the truth of how their communities have chosen to live."

For many African-Americans, a real choice is not avaliable in the same way as it is for others.

Black people suffer from prejudice to this day. One only need read the comments section of this website to confirm that, but there are plentiful examples from which to pick.

The three previous comments are from people who very well may be business and property owners in our community. Picture these three interviewing two people, one of whom was African-American and one not. The two applicants provided identical job or rent/mortgage applications, and performed equally well in their interviews. What would our commenters do? Would the African-American have ANY CHANCE AT ALL of being hired or gaining housing from these three people?

Right.

The family heritages of African-Americans often place them at a disadvantage to other people. Lack of access to the vote, education, employment, health care, housing, social services and many other rights and privledges routinely enjoyed by other citizens were completely denied their ancestors. Thus their families grew up in households where education and other things valued and prioritized by the families of Caucasians and others was a missing element for them, placing these children at a disadvantage. In addition, many of these rights for African-Americans are repressed in our communities to this day. This current repression is not the denial of rights many of their great-great grandfathers suffered, but repression it is.

The coup de grace is that crimes committed by African-Americans are punished much more consistently and harshly than equal or worse crimes committed by the privledged and those of other races; there are numerous studies proving this to be a fact. Even the basic freedoms of avoiding incarceration or, in some states, the death penalty are denied African-Americans in comparison to others.

I'd claim that our commenters above are engaging in denial and wishing, consciously or unconciously, to justify and rationalize their right not to care about others.

Race...must an election soon.

So why doesn't Carson apologies, he's in government. No one in government today can REALLY please anyone with an apology, since they weren't the ones enslaving anyone.

"This is not a fluff resolution," said Miley. "It has an affect on our county." All resolutions are fluff, even this.

Carson doesn't want money, says his "people" do. Am I not his people, I am American. Does he not represent me, I live in the county.

What about the money stolen from my father-in-law by three punks in Emeryville? 1 was caught, but they didn't return the money. Shouldn't we pay back those who were victims of a crime committed with a deadly weapon? (Funny side story, they couldnt hold the gun right and my father-in-law turned it on them; two ran).

Fun fact: the first black slave owner, was, black.

Proud San Leandrean - cracker, please...

The problem is whatever advantages given to blacks - it's never enough and only seems to leave them worse off. Only they can break 'they-selves' out of a slave mentality. Look at the facts:
> As slaves and under Jim Crow; blacks were denied educations.
> Now - black kids have access to free K-12 education. How do they respond? By creating a culture where achieving academically is "acting white" and by beating up achieving whites and Asians based solely on race.
> Also, hard working Asian and Mexican immigrants have language barrier and accent issues to deal with - black people speak a form of incorrect English called ebonics of their own volition which alienates them from employers and the rest of society.
> Black people didn't have access to good food and medical care:
> Today, they take their families to McDonald's (which now has a black-only marketing web site) and KFC; and drink malt liquor and "grape drank."
> They have higher rates of diabetes and heart disease because they eat a poor diet of pork, fried foods and they smoke Newports. They don't value nutrition.

Under the US capitalistic system - many blacks have succeeded. There are more black millionares in the US than anywhere else. Sorry that slavery was an unfair immoral practice, but you guys (Africans) started it; and at least it got you to the US. Would you rather be living in a mud hut starving or living in a genocidal country, or get free food and shelter with welfare and Section 8?

Those who have made it by hard work and not handouts - a couple comedian examples being Chris Rock and Bill Cosby - lay the blame solely where it belongs - to members of the black community who don't take responsibility for their own actions.

As far as the racist hiring argument - that's rich. Just about every Fortune 500 company has "diversity goals" and is tripping over itself to hire qualified black applicants. Blacks are still given preferential treatment in government jobs and Fire Dept. hiring. Just look at Deborah Edgerely and others who were unqualified criminals who held jobs in Oakland city government.

Speaking of blacks whining - where is Brian Can't-copeland? Probably busy molesting children at the Catholic Church or on the down-low with some of his "buddies."

The above 2 anon. posters probably never graduated from High School. They seem so childish. Act like adults please. There--said it!

Today's self-justifying racist's checklist:

Toss derisive Amos n' Andy slang around- perfect! check.

Slavery was OK, the n****** started it- awesome!! check.

Blame children for not making it through public education when many have unequal, underfunded schools and many lack support structures enjoyed by others- check.

Fault people for poor diets when many literally have NO access to produce in their supermarket-free neighborhoods, and foods with poor nutrients are often the only kind affordable for American poor people of all cultures- check.

Keep the '80's alive with the bizarre "ebonics" meme- check.

Claim that extraordinarily rich retired comedian (I'm not a bigot- Cosby makes me laugh!) is a truthteller rather than the outlier he is- check.

Outright lie about the whole of a younger comedian's work- check.

("A black C student can't do shit with his life. A black C student can't be a manager at Burger King. Meanwhile, a white C student just happens to be the President of the United States."-
Chris Rock)

Try to bury the fact that only 1% of Fortune 500 companies have an African-American CEO, and the first was hired in 1999- check

Associate corrupt/incompetent African-American officials with African-Americans as a whole, while denying that corrupt/incompetent officials from other ethnicities represent their "people"- check

Engage in appaling condescention and hostility towards good faith and truth throughout- check.

Self-justifying racists are the worst racists, I believe. Anonymous June 8, 9:51 pm is appalling and silly, but is admirable in comparison to cowards who blame others for their own warped morals.

How bout suck it up. Life is a brutal fucking fight every day. Instead of relying and blaming others, Take control of your situation and make your future better than the present ON YOUR OWN. Life is much more gratifying when you work for what you have and pride is taken in a life that is earned not handed out. niggers are a joke. get off the white mans back and take responsibility for your laziness

Life didn't used to be quite such "a brutal fucking fight every day". Why should it be? We're not supposed to be savages any more; this is a modern culture. The pursuit of happiness is a promise from the beginning of our Nation.

Previous Congresses, Executives and Judiciaries, and our current ones, have been tasked to create "a more perfect Union". It is obvious that this must be a constant struggle; that's quite a high goal we've extended to ourselves. Of course, those arguing for the bizarre concept of "American exceptionalism" would have it that our Nation is superior no matter what we do. Forget about the need to consider the effect of our actions on others, inside and outside our great Nation. This is the "AMERICA- FUCK YEAH!" brigade.

Brutal fighting is not the way it needs to be, and it didn't used to be as brutal as it is now. This is what three decades of near-constant Republican control of the policy agenda and thematic control of the major media outlets has given us.

You tell African-Americans to make it ON YOUR OWN. How would you propose they do so when people like you won't hire an African-American for a job, or give them housing, or give them TRULY equal access to a higher education, or vote for politicians which support the right of African-Americans to access these and many other services as easily as you do.

Because they're n******, you know.

Based on your statements, I'm sure you would agree with Zaluchi in "The Godfather" when he said the Mafia should dump the drug "traffic in the dark people, the coloreds. They're animals anyway. Let them lose their souls."

And I'm absolutely sure that you got to where you are entirely on your own work and accomplishments, and that you had no parents, no mentors, no teachers, no friends or relatives with connections who helped you along the way.

Yes, it's been all about you. So, so gratifying.

McDonald's has an Asian-focued marketing web site as well. Is that because Asians "don't value nutrition"?

Actualy I work 2 jobs 12-14 hours a day 5 days a week because I, like most of the Negro population wasted my highschool years to drugs and being way too cool for school.

The difference between myself and the wild Africans is that I blame only myself for wasted years. Not my parents and defiantly not the drugs that I consumed that NO ONE FORCED DOWN MY THROAT...
Ive been clean and sober for years by my own account. I bust my ass every day at non skilled manual labor jobs and make an honest living. Not once did I reach my hands out to the government for help. I DID IT ON MY OWN.

There are way too many hard working lower middle class people to feel bad for the lazy blacks. Just stop and shut the fuck up.

Take you library communist bullshit somewhere else

Proud San Leandrean,

How come the immigrant Asians buy a big bag of rice and cheap produce in Oakland Chinatown markets; while KFC and McDonalds have lines of blacks out the door? Do the Chinatown markets discriminate against black people? No--Chinese are capitalists driven by money and will sell vegetables and rice to all who have the cash to pay for them.

Btw, by calling a successful black man an "outlier"; you're showing your own racial prejudice by associating being black with failure. Which is part of the liberal mantra because continued failure in the black community is crucial to keeping liberals in power. And btw, apparently you haven't heard Chris Rock's famous black people vs. ni**ers routine. That's the most truthful talk there's ever been on racial problems in America.

11:08 am: You should be getting paid more than you do for the important work that you perform. In our parents' and grandparents' generations, fewer people had to work two jobs and 60+ hours a week to make a decent living for themselves. Why are pay and benefits for most jobs becoming poorer all the time, failing to keep up with inflation, while pay of the CEO's, Wall Street, bankers, upper level executives, and others is going up astronomically?

If a white person and an African-American were competing for the same job, both had identical qualifications, and each interviewed identically well, which would you hire?

I know the answer, even if you don't. That's the problem. That, and the fact that the rich are making you, I, many African-Americans, and 95% of us fight for the scraps.

A white school dropout, a black school dropout, and a CEO are sitting at a kitchen table, a dozen cookies on a tray in front of them. The CEO takes 11 cookies and stuffs them in his pockets, then breaks the last cookie in half, leaving one half on the tray while stuffing the other half in his mouth. The CEO points at the black person and says to the white person "Hey, he wants to take your cookie!"

11:50 am: How does that explain why McDonald's has a marketing plan and website that targets Asians? KFC and McDonald's have lines of ALL cultures out the door.

I'm not calling Cosby an outlier because of his wealth. I'm calling him an outlier because his contrarian rhetoric separates him from the vast majority of prominent African-Americans. Bill's wealth may or may not have something to do with that. I'd be unsurprised if it has caused him to lose full cosnsciousness of the fact that most African-Americans do not have truly equal access to the best that American society has to offer.

Here's another way I'd ask you to look at this. Howard Zinn, Noah Chomsky, and many, many other white people who are distinguished by their work in the world and in the classroom, have views which are much more strident than mine about the destructiveness of the American power system on all those who are victimised by their lack of access to power, African-Americans included.

They are outliers, as sure as Cosby is. They have conducted studies and gained experiences on the issues they speak about. I'm certain that Cosby has not gained more broad experience on his chosen subjects as Zinn and Chomsky have on theirs. Why do you admire Cosby for his contrarianism, and not Zinn, Chomsky and others?

Waiting...

I've heard Chris's "the n***** have got to go" routine. I've also heard his many, many routines which express similar sentiments to the one about W. Bush quoted above. Why would't you consider THAT "the most truthful talk there's ever been on racial problems in America"?

We know the answer, even if you don't. That's the problem.

Proud San Leandrean,

Chomsky is an anti-Semitic communist anti-American. He blamed the US for 9/11; not those who did it. Anyone who takes him seriously is mentally ill.

And your prejudice is showing again - assuming that Cosby hasn't done extensive research on the subjects he speaks because he's black. The man has a Doctorate in Education. But you assume because he's a negro that he doesn't have any knowledge of research or how to gather empirical evidence.

Please realize that most liberal celebrities that espouse their opinions on politics are high school educated or high school dropouts like Sean Penn and Jannine Garafolo.

You make me sick because your brand of racism is the worst of all - low expectations for blacks; and wanting them to forever wallow in the chains of victimhood - their only salvation is the handouts from rich, white liberals and not by education and hard work. Ever notice how liberals (including Hillary the Clinton) want to invest taxpayor money for job training for ex-convicts in black communities, instead of paying for their college educations? Like you, they have no incentive for the black man to succeed; because rich blacks might start voting Republican...

we all get out of this life what we put in. Work hard and at the very least you will know on your death bed that you gave it everything you had. Sit back and receive handouts from the government and you will never know what potential could have existed.

The liberal bullshit has to end and blacks have to take responsibility for the lives as everyother race has

Anonymous, I hate to rain on your parade, but when you cut taxes, give state government new duties and raise the cost of providing those services, something has to give. The giving has come from the parts of the state budget that do not command powerful lobbies or enjoy constitutional protection.

Social welfare spending, the third biggest piece of the budget a generation ago, has been elbowed aside. Fewer Californians receive welfare today than when Reagan was governor, despite the doubling of the state's population and it's unemployment rate. Their grants but half as much as 20 years ago.

But the hardest budget blows under Arnold, a Republican governor, rained down on higher education. As a result, tuition has soared at campuses which I attended at little cost. It seems Republicans like yourself don't want to pay for education. That's why most rich minorities still vote Democratic. Just saying.

Uh--Last I saw Jerry Brown's budget cut education and raised fees at all state universities - while no cuts to the prisons and the prison guards got an increase. Just saying.

These discussions often require constant corrections of false information. It seems neccessary for many commenters to build their arguments on information which is false. Some of these mistakes/lies are factual. From The Governor's May budget revision:

"The Governor's Budget proposed a major realignment of public safety programs from the state to local governments. This realignment assigns program and fiscal responsibility to the level of government that can best provide the service, eliminating duplication of effort, generation savings, and increasing flexibility. The implementation of the Community Corrections Grant Program authorized by AB 109 will end the costly revolving door of lower-level offenders and parole violations through the state's prisons."

A press release from the State Department of Personnel Administration on April 15th:

"California's Department of Personnel Administration and the union representing State correctional officers have reached agreement on a new contract that, if ratified, generates immediate budget savings by requiring correctional officers to pay a greater share of their pension cost and take a day of unpaid leave each month for a year."

So, the Governor's proposal does cut funding for the State correctional system, and places it on a path for further cuts in the long term. The Governor got the State prison guards to accept cuts in compensation. The only attempted refutations of a post full of good points are incorrect. Why? Just saying...lies, apparently.

Noam Chomsky is anti-Semitic, so the claim is. Many parts of the security strategy of the state of Israel are very counterproductive, and in fact have placed Israel's security in greater jeopardy. The United States lacks the will to influence its ally while our country exhibits constantly coercive military and financial control over many of Israel's neighbors.

These facts creates problems for our country's security. The September 11th attacks were the most traumatic manifestations of our security problems related to Israel, but so are our multiple military occupations in the Middle East, which have now lasted longer than our involvements in the Civil War and the two World Wars combined, causing our country massive losses of life, health and money.

Chomsky points this out in accurate historical detail. The person claiming anti-Semitism puts the accusation forward as a smear. NOT ONE SHRED OF EVIDENCE, not one quote by Chomsky is brought forward by the commenter to support their claim. It's a smear, and it makes me angry.

Here's what was written: "I'm certain that Cosby has not gained MORE broad experience on his chosen subjects as Zinn and Chomsky have on theirs." No assumption was made that Cosby lacked scholarship, intelligence or experience. Zinn and Chomsky have held great amounts of these attributes as well, to the degree that claiming Cosby has greater expertise lacks merit.

Bringing in someone's completed education as the final arbiter of the validity of their opinions is inconsistent from the writer. Chomsky holds a doctorate and is one of the most prolific authors and public speakers in the history of America, but the commenter rejects that as a measuring stick for truth. Given this, bringing lack of scholarship forward as a rejection of a others' views is a bad faith argument.

Much of the rest is contemptible or laughable, unworthy of response. When you write that an entire race of people needs to change their behavior, you're a racist. No group of people is monolithic, nor are their circumstances.

I don't have low expectation for blacks: I have higher expectations for our society. We are moving further away from equal opportunity and choice for minorities and women in this country, not closer.

The top personal income tax rate is lower now than when Reagan was Gov. The corporate tax has been cut and the code turned into a Swiss cheese of credits and exemptions. The estate tax has been abolished. Prop 13 cut and capped property tax rates and limited reassessments. The vehicle license fee has been halved. The sales tax rate is higher but it's yield has fallen because tangible goods make up a declining slice of our consumption.

So it should be no surprise that the budget fight this year in Sacramento is not over whether state government will be big or small. It's about whether the state government will be small or smaller.

With the Republicans saying NO to all revenue enhancements and NO to even keeping the taxes we have, Brown had no choice but to seek an all cuts budget. He and the majority of people in Calif. want to let the voters decide, but the party of NO won't even let the voters decide whether we want an all cuts budget, or one that keeps the taxes we have, plus the cuts that have been proposed, as part of compromise budget.

people need to understand that the white man always knows what's best.

Proud San Leandrean said,

"When you write that an entire race of people needs to change their behavior, you're a racist. No group of people is monolithic, nor are their circumstances."

You've just made the argument against reparations. Reparations assumes all people but blacks are guilty of slavery and need to "change their behavior" by giving the darkies a free handout. If no group of people is monolithic, nor are their circumstances - then no one race of people needs reparations at the hands of another.

Liberal moron!

Liberal is the nigger of the world.

I wasn't making the argument for reparations; I never mentioned them. I do argue that many affirmative action and social service programs must be maintained, more should be created as Republican-appointed judges tear others down, and the public school system must be strengthened and better funded.

Of course, all of these are viciously opposed by the Republican Party base and the bigots they elect, as well as people who use the word n****** pejoratively. Those two groups have an extremely large subset; one only need read this comment thread for confirmation of that fact.

way to back pedal proud. When you decide to be a real man and stop babysitting the porch monkeys call me... For a good time


Manuel

Manuel, you are really an embarrassment to San Leandro.

Anon 10:24--please try and make intelligent comments!

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