is defined in the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary as follows:
DISCUSSION: In the context of the ongoing debate over reparations for slavery, the last Webster definition has particular importance. The key phrase in the Webster definition is "compensation ... payable by a defeated nation for damages ... sustained by another nation as a result of hostilities with the defeated nation..."
That definition begs the question: Who is the defeated nation in the debate over reparations for slavery, and who is the victorious nation which is owed reparations (damages)?
Do black Americans represent a defeated nation? If so, then they would owe money to the U.S. for damages incurred in the course of their defeat instead of the other way around. (One would certainly get the impression from the victimology of black Americans that they feel they have been defeated, wouldn't one?)
Conversely, does the U.S. represent a defeated nation, having been defeated by black Americans? If that were the case, then the U.S. would owe damages to black Americans for damages incurred in the course of black Americans defeating the U.S.
But just maybe it is possible that black Americans HAVE defeated the U.S.! A cursory examination of so-called civil rights law in the year 2002 would seem to indicate that black Americans have already been awarded "reparations" in the form of 30 years of racial preferences, race-based hiring goals, and racial quotas.
Do U.S. Citizens Owe Anything to Black Americans? Frankly, yes, we do owe black Americans equal treatment under the law without regard to race, gender or ethnicity -- just as we owe that to any citizen of the U.S., including white Americans and Americans of any color. We do NOT owe any racial group, including black Americans, special treatment based on their skin color any more than white Americans deserve special treatment based upon their skin color. Offering special treatment based upon skin color would be unconstitutional after all!
The U.S. is based upon equal opportunity for all and is NOT based upon any guarantee of equal results for all without regard to qualifications or abilities.
REPARATIONS FOR SLAVERY: The current movement to provide black Americans with "reparations" for slavery is based upon the dubious, legally indefensible assumption that "white" Americans living today have somehow mysteriously and unfairly benefited from oppression of black Americans during the pre-1865 slavery days.
Advocates of "reparations for slavery" presume that white Americans are guilty of some sort of illegal benefit (prior racist advantage), and the underpinning of the "reparations movement" is that white Americans are presumed guilty of an undefined crime (prior racist advantage), are not entitled to a presumption of "innocent unless proven guilty", and are not entitled to a timely trial in a court of law in which they can face their accusers. All of these important precepts of criminal justice in the U.S. are bypassed by the advocates of "reparations for slavery".
Under the terms of today's twisted, racially-biased "affirmative action" programs, white U.S. citizens are routinely excluded from billions of dollars in federal, state, and local contracting and employment opportunities simply because of their skin color.
It is notable that proponents of so-called "reparations for slavery" always omit any serious discussion regarding the race-based benefits which black Americans have received during the past 30+ years of enforced racial quotas, race-based hiring, and racial exclusion of whites from billions of dollars in federal, state and local contracts and employment opportunities.
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