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The Black Cornerempty posted on: 4.01
Mike Ramey Mike Ramey
The Reparations Assassins
by Mike Ramey
The Manhoodline
some text

Let me do my warm-up for this month's column by opening with a question: Brothers, how do you know that you are moving in the right direction with a major, life-changing decision that you are about to make? Simple--you count the enemies that show up on your doorstep!

By the grace of God, I have been blessed to pen a few articles here and there on the issue of Reparations for African-Americans. In a nutshell, I believe that we--as a people--are entitled to Reparations, because America--during the slavery era--reaped the economic fruits of our labor without providing one dollar of repayment for services rendered.

I am not obsessed with the concept, but the common-sense of it is rather intoxicating: one who performs a service is entitled to just and reasonable compensation for the services performed. I might also add that as a Christian, let me also state for the record that Reparations are Biblical.

I can tell that black folks are starting to move forward in this battle because of the number of enemies popping up on the horizon. Some of our race and some not are saying that: "...African-Americans are not entitled, should not seek, nor will ever get Reparations."  I call these critics the 'Reparations Assassins'. And, for those black folk who are in these ranks, I have simple questions as well: 'WHEN we do get a settlement, will you send your checks back? Or, will you take the money and hope no one notices?'

Let's look at the record of how Reparations have already been paid out to other cultures in the United States. First and foremost, the Indian got his Reparations in terms of land, called a reservation. The Japanese-Americans who had their property confiscated, and were locked in U.S. Concentration Camps during World War II received Reparations in the form of Uncle Sam issuing an apology and a cash settlement for every survivor. I believe that the amount was $20,000. Jewish-American descendants of family members who survived the Holocaust of Hitler's Germany are in the process of getting their checks--which could begin arriving this spring, thanks to federal court decisions and other litigation and negotiations that were backed by the U.S. last year--both here and on the international scene.

As an added aside; don't think that the U.S. Navy won't be sending checks out to the members of those nine Japanese families who lost loved ones because of a recent accident caused by a U.S. Navy submarine. A top Admiral has already paid a visit to Japanese government officials in an opening overture by the Bush Administration.

I have nothing against my brothers in these cultures. They simply banded together, listed their grievances, went to the authorities and courts, used their political and moral muscle and got their complaints addressed. The end result--they got PAID!

It may have taken a long time to come, but payment did show up. Now, it is our time and our turn! While I still love America, and will do all I can to support our land, nevertheless, if you have read any of my writings on this subject, you know where I stand: AMERICA, CHECK PLEASE!

Pastor E. V. Hill of Los Angeles once put it this way: "I still want my forty acres and my mule! My mule may be old, sick, or lame...but I STILL WANT MY MULE because it was promised to US!"

We are making progress on this front! I can tell because of the number of enemies--or, I should say 'Assassins' who continue to surface. Make no mistake about it, the critics are out there; in the feminized mainstream press, in various conservative and liberal groups, and even in the federal and state governments.

No matter how many assassins surface, or the weapons that they may use, the issue is still the same. African-American men, women, and children of this modern day are entitled to Reparations because of the blood, sweat, and sacrifices by many of our fore parents--many of whom, I might add, were brought to this nation against their will.

Yes, we finally have economic access to the mainstream. Yes, we have had both political parties (reluctantly, in some cases) allow us our rights. But, my brothers, there is still a long way to go.

These modern day night crawlers are slick in their approach. The first lie they use is that "...we can't find all of the survivors of slavery." Well, the various government agencies that determined the boundaries of the various Indian reservations seemed to have little trouble in finding my red brothers--and their families. I also might add--the surviving ones.

The second lie is even more sinister in its scope " will cost the federal government too much money." Let's blow that lie to pieces. In the case of the Japanese-Americans, the federal government, first, had to spend money to build the Concentration Camps, then spend money to find all of my yellow brothers--and their families, then had to spend the money to ship them to the camps--and clean up the various financial messes from such a massive operation, during a time of war.

The final lie is the best one yet: "...we can't tell who are slave descendants and who are not because there are no records." Well, that didn't prove to be much of an obstacle for my Jewish brother--and his family who suffered through Hitler's death machines, and the supporting business structure that profited from their slave labor--to overcome.

American history documents when black folks arrived on American shores, and their status when they arrived here. AMERICA, CHECK PLEASE!

Everyone is familiar with the efforts of Michigan Rep. John Conyers in putting forth yet another bill in 2001 to get the federal government to fess up and pony up the estimated three to ten trillion dollars owed to African-Americans. Famed attorney Johnnie Cochran, back in November, 2000, became a part of the Washington, DC 'Reparations Dream Team' of lawyers getting together to take the matter to court.

What you may not know is that there was a convention held in Chicago during the early part of February, 2001, that launched a formal call for Reparations for African-Americans. One of the organizers of the 'National Reparations Convention', according to published reports, was Chicago Alderman Dorothy Tillman.

While U.S. Mainstream media coverage was 'slight' at best about this Windy City gathering, the Reuters News Service got the word out. (You can do an Internet search and find out the goings on The Drudge Report at ( The bottom line of the convention; it's our time and it's the right time for Reparations for us! February should be renamed 'Reparations Month', as a lot of major league information has surfaced under the radar in addition to what I already have mentioned:  *It was revealed--again--that former President Bill Clinton did not like the idea of Reparations for African-Americans, and never truly addressed his support of the issue during his eight years in office. This matter came up again in published reports earlier in February. *An underground effort is underway for a national  'Reparations March on Washington' around April 4th--the anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. One source close to the planning emailed this columnist and noted that the march is catching on in some quarters. Time will tell if the march comes to fruition. *News surfaced that the Reparations issue is big in Canada, as African descendants in that country are starting to monitor more closely what is happening on the Reparations front in the 'lower 48.'

Now, why will Reparations for African-Americans catch on? It has a lot to do with how America has treated other races. Remember, World War II ended under 60 years ago, and settlements are coming for those afflicted. The way Washington treated Jewish-Americans caught up in the Holocaust is just now coming to light, as exampled by the following published information:  *In January, 2001, a blue-ribbon commission appointed by then-President Clinton revealed that the U.S. has failed to pay Holocaust victims everything that they were entitled to from World War II. One member of the commission, Edgar Bronfman, who is also president of the World Jewish Congress, stated in published reports that settlement efforts were far short of the promises made, and that efforts could be made to pressure Washington to pay more in settlement money.

*A major league bombshell was dropped in the U.S. corporate sector while I was researching this latest column. According to published reports from Reuters, a new book, scheduled for release in mid-February, 2001, documents how IBM (that's right--Big Blue itself), allegedly supplied the World War II Nazi regime with business machines and other support in the Nazi drive to conquer the world. Other U.S. corporations are supposedly involved. However, thanks to this book, written by famed Holocaust investigator Edwin Black, with a team of 100 researchers, IBM may be open to lawsuits by Holocaust survivors. Of course, the news is causing a public relations nightmare for the corporation. The full name of the book is: "IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporations".

If one author and 100 researchers can dig up the truth about an American corporation's role during WW II, what can we do with a good team of loyal lawyers, a host of researchers, and hundreds of praying descendants of African-American slaves? Don't sweat the assassins, brothers and sisters, because right always wins out over might, even if it takes several centuries for justice to be served.

Mike Ramey is the author of "The Manhood Line" a column written monthly for men from a biblical, business, and common-sense perspective. To correspond, drop an email to
Copyright Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications. The opinions expressed are those of the author and are used by permission.

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