Should the U.S. give cash payments to the descendants of slaves to atone for slavery? Here's what experts are arguing

Presidential candidates and academics have been debating the pros and cons of a reparations policy. But no two people have the same definition of the word 'reparations.' What does that mean for our country?

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  • MPS Kirtland, NM
    June 24, 2019 8:04 a.m.

    The current thinking is descendants of slaves need reparations. If that becomes the law of the land and payments are made, how long until reparations are indicated for the following groups: Native Americans, Indigenous Peoples (I think that is the term for the peoples of Alaska, forgive me if I indicated them incorrectly), descendants of Chinese Americans (think of those who build railroads in California), Native Hawaiians, Hispanics.

    Perhaps all those who are not of a minority, i.e. white Caucasians, should be lined up en mass against walls and shot. Problem solved in one fell swoop.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    June 23, 2019 11:52 p.m.

    Reparations have already been paid with the blood of every man who died in the Civil War. With massive federal spending on social programs aimed at minorities. With Affirmative Action.

    Now let's start anew by abolishing every program or institution which favors one race over another. No public institution should establish quotas of any type based upon racial identity.

  • SBT Payson, UT
    June 23, 2019 3:40 p.m.

    Please take note of how these "victim mentality" payments have really raise our native Americans out of poverty. The Federal Government pays Billions of dollars every year as part of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and other projects and all it has done is enforced the victim mentality so that far too many of them choose not to improve themselves and are among the poorest people in the nation.

    The ONLY way out of poverty is for each and every individual to choose to become an empowered person who makes their own life work and takes responsibility for their own decisions and choices!

    One of the stupidest things anybody can do is to give more cash to someone that has already proven that they can't handle cash responsibly! All involved would be better off to just burn it, rather than it getting used to by drugs, alcohol or anything other than the minimal necessities of food clothing and shelter.

  • rsmh Burley, ID
    June 22, 2019 10:33 p.m.

    I believe we need to look to the third world nation within the United States which would be our Native American Reservations. Many reservations are way below poverty level, the children have no shoes, food, sub-par education with housing the is in comparison with third world countries. I believe that is unacceptable in this country that so many call great. This is not just history this is current living on reservations all thru the nation. As said above stop looking towards the past, past is over and done. Lets look to the future by cleaning up the present so everyone is clothed, fed, housed and employed to make a better nation.

  • Mustang23 Springville, UT
    June 22, 2019 9:35 p.m.

    I was thinking this was a great idea being the decendant of a Irish man who was owned as a slave by a quite wealthy African American. But then I read only descendants of African Americans would be eligible where is the fairness in that? Why is it that only African Americans are able to claim any damages due to slavery there were alot of other races including European that were also slaves.

  • lustre42 Park City, UT
    June 22, 2019 9:29 p.m.

    This would be great! All who came to this county were slaves, indentured servants, etc. - the British (English, Irish, Welsh, Scottish), Jews, Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Indians would receive - that would be everyone in the U.S.! A terrific idea!

  • water rocket , 00
    June 22, 2019 6:45 p.m.

    Why do we continually dredge up the past? We have learned many things from the past that has brought us to where we are today. Maybe we should be looking at where we are today and try to make tomorrow better.

    For those who claim to be Christian (or any religion for that matter), haven't we learned that most of the turmoil around the world, and especially in the Middle East is all about old rivalries between the twelve tribes of Juda. That is a time even before Jesus Christ. Obviously reliving past "injustices" isn't working in the Middle East, so why should we want to start something like that here? Let's get over the past and work TOGETHER to make a better future, FOR ALL OF US!

  • Breadth and Depth Salt Lake City, UT
    June 22, 2019 3:01 p.m.

    Lets suppose for a minute that reparations are an agreed upon solution. The recipients would be the descendants of all those who paid a price for slavery, and reparations paid by the descendants of all those who benefited from, slavery.

    Those who paid a price were slaves, Unions soldiers, Union KIA, Northern taxpayers who paid for the War, the US Treasury that went into debt, and abolitionist politicians. Those who benefited were slave holders/traders, the Confederate Treasury, slavery politicians.
    Interestingly enough, these groups all fit nicely into 2 categories, Republicans and Democrats with a few minor exceptions. And that’s how elections were decided, and slavery extended and eventually defeated.

    Reparations? I say yes, to descendants of slaves who did not already receive reparations, Northern taxpayers, Union service people, families of those KIA, to the US Treasury for War debt. However, reparations paid SOLELY from the treasury of the Democrat Party whose constituents voted for and financed the Confederacy and Southern states before the Confederacy, and whose constituents personally benefited from slavery.

  • BBLVR Bountiful, UT
    June 22, 2019 2:47 p.m.

    Maybe we should start with our Native Americans. Let’s get our reservations above poverty level!!!

  • wrj SANDY, UT
    June 22, 2019 2:23 p.m.

    I truly believe that if cash payments were approved for reparations this would throw gasoline on the fire of racism. Not all people of color have ancestors of slaves. Not all white people have ancestors that were slaveowners. Not all white people even lived in the country during slavery. Not all white people were involved in Jim Crow politics. So where is the justice in this, is what the question will be. Thus creating more fire and more racism.

  • SilentNoMore Kaysville, UT
    June 22, 2019 1:11 p.m.

    The transatlantic slave trade is believed to have forcibly displaced 12.5 million Africans. Slaves brought to the US represented about 3.6 % of the total number of Africans transported to the New World, or around 388,000 people—much less than the number transported to colonies in the Caribbean (including more than 1.2 million to Jamaica alone) or to Brazil (4.8 million).

    "The African slave trade was a conspiracy, unfortunately, between avaricious Europeans and avaricious African elites. Without the two working in harmony, the slave trade could not possibly have manifested itself the way that it did. It is one of the most horrendous, painful moments in modern human history." Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University

    Blame is being placed on the wrong people. Today's American citizens weren't responsible for this atrocity.

    Would today's African Americans rather have been raised and live in today's Ghana, Angola, Congo, and Gabon. Slavery was one of the world's most horrific and inhumane events. That was 150 years ago. Today's African American has much more available to them, than if their ancestors been left in Africa, where they would have been raised and live today

  • wishiwaswrong Sandy, UT
    June 22, 2019 12:06 p.m.

    Buying votes? The Democrats would be buying a landslide defeat if they push this. Even against Trump.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    June 22, 2019 11:59 a.m.

    No, no, no.
    These current relatives did not go through what their slave ancestors did. In the log run they benefited from being in this country rather than being born and growing up in African countries.
    Stop looking for easy money handouts. Go to school, training, go out and work and make your own life work.
    Stop living in a victim mentality. There is a lot of power in being a victim but in the long run you need to move from victim to an empowered person who makes your own life work and takes responsibility for your own decisions and choices, whatever happened with your ancestors.
    If you start with blacks, then you have to move to Native Americans, then on to other groups. Many have suffered from injustices in the past. Learn from them and move on.
    The U.S. budget is in a shambles with the national deficit and national debt. The national debt along is over 22 trillion dollars. Federal revenue is about 3.5 trillion. Do the math. We do not have the tax revenue to pay everyone who was every wronged or suffered an injustice. We never will so let it go.

  • 8 in a row! Ogden, UT
    June 21, 2019 9:39 p.m.

    Sometimes I wonder if these 'do good' candidates have learned anything from the past.

    What about the current form of slavery that tax payers are living? I'm talking about the national debt clock that we are leaving for future generations.

    Congress has no accountability. If you deficit spend you should pay reparations. After all, who has watched over the store while the debt has climbed from 1 trillion (1980) to 22 trillion dollars (2019)?

    "Free stuff..." no such thing. This includes all pet projects, red and blue.

    Sure, there are some folks that need help. We have no problem helping. However, we are running out of parking space for the blue logo at the local merchants.

  • WatchDog Draper, UT
    June 21, 2019 7:30 p.m.

    This whole discussion is nothing more that political party buffoonery. Was slavery wrong? Yup. Our country lost more than 60,000 men fighting a war to rid ourselves of it. This issue is generations old, let it go.

    It is well past time for the Democrats to wise up and start dealing with the problems that exist today in our country.

  • Good Mojo Tooele, UT
    June 21, 2019 11:34 a.m.

    "Here's what experts are arguing?" Who cares what anyone else things. Let the white people in the Southern states pay reparations. Let the blacks sue the confederacy in Federal court. Many people of all colors paid with their lives to eliminate slavery. It is enough.

  • brian of ohio Kent, OH
    June 21, 2019 9:38 a.m.

    Reparations sounds like a great idea. Lets hand out a bunch of money to people that have never been taught how to use it. Lets see, they will spend it on fancy cars, vacations, going out to eat... and then once their fish has been eaten, they will be no better off for it.

    If nothing else, lets spend the money teaching our poverty stricken class how to save 1$ a month, then 2$... Before you spout they are poor and have no money, significant amounts of these people have cable tv, fancy iphones, and netflix. Cancel one of them. I lived off 24K with a wife and 3 kids while going to college while also owning a home -without going into debt. We needed medicare for 2 of the 6 years to help out, but we did it. How? We bought second hand phones that were 4 years out of date, we didn't have ANY subscription services, even netflix, we had an older car, I biked to work, ate out 1 or 2 times a month max. Most importantly, I was taught to budget and live in that budget.

    Sacrifice and frugality will remove a huge chunk(maybe not all) of the poor people and blacks from debt, poverty, and lack of hope - we don't need reparations.

  • drawfordough Springville, UT
    June 21, 2019 8:06 a.m.

    How do I get a piece of this? In Hawaii, in the late 1800’s, after slavery was abolished, my great grandparents were forced Chinese laborers on white-owned plantations. Why should it matter that Hawaii wasn’t a state yet? I want my share and whites should be paying for it!

  • WallE Walla Walla, WA
    June 20, 2019 11:23 p.m.

    @ DannoMontano - You are correct that Utah wasn't a state, but the territory certainly accepted slavery in it's territory, not on a wide scale basis but it was there. I know this in part from some family history that was "rewritten" in the 1980's but the truth eventually comes out.

    History is what it is, look at what you perceive as truth and verify it with multiple sources. A few of Utah's early saints had slaves, later called servants. The period was not a positive reflection of our past in that respect, and thankfully does not reflect present values.

    Again, reparations after this much time are simply divisive. But education and elimination of prejudice is paramount. And it is important to know one's own history.

  • DannoMontano West Richland, WA
    June 20, 2019 5:10 p.m.


    You are wrong when you say Utah was a slave state.
    Utah wasn't even a state until 30+ years after the Civil War.
    The people who settled in Utah, (mostly members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), did not accept slavery.
    There may have been some others that migrated into Utah that had slaves, but do not try to muddy the water with untruths and fiction.

  • worf McAllen, TX
    June 20, 2019 1:19 p.m.

    Wow! Politicians want to take the earnings of today's people and give payments to the desendents of slaves from about a hundred sixty years ago.

    * If these politicians are so compassionate and kind,--why do they not care for the millions of babies denied of birth?

    * Even though they disagree with his policies,--why so much hatred toward the president? This isn't compassion!

    * Why do they not care of drugs coming throug the southern border and killing thousands of Americans?

    What are the true colors of our political representatives?

  • ERB Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 20, 2019 1:09 p.m.

    None of my ancestors were slaveowners. But many of my ancestors were treated horribly by the United States government. Maybe I should get money, too.

  • StevePhilly Philadelphia, PA
    June 20, 2019 12:14 p.m.

    DN Subscriber says ‘Compare the plight [of] multi-generational poverty in the Democrat voters with the prosperity of first and second generation immigrants from other countries who arrived with nothing....’

    Exactly! Doesn’t the existence of this disparity suggest the presence of institutional or societal barriers for some groups of people? But, they say, we’ve offered affirmative action, subsidized housing, food stamps, welfare, etc. for years and they haven’t managed to get it together. Instead of asking why these haven’t worked —what barriers are still in the way — and what, if any, approach should be taken in the future, DN Subscriber’s conclusion is that they don’t have the ‘initiative, hard work, striving for education, and rejection of victim hood’ necessary to prosper. In other words, they just aren’t as capable as others.

    Hmmm, maybe our attitudes haven’t really changed all that much.

  • WallE Walla Walla, WA
    June 20, 2019 12:07 p.m.

    @ Moracle - Sorry to rain on the parade. I agree with you that Joseph Smith was for black rights. But Brighham Young wasn't and Utah was a slave state, though it stayed with the Union as did some other slave states during the Civil War.

    Reparations after this much time are simply divisive. Once paid, then what? Cultural changes are the most important thing we can do. Elimination of the "alt-right" white supremacists among us is the right thing to do along with good public education (K-12) for all Americans.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 20, 2019 11:53 a.m.

    Speaking of economists and economic theories there were lots of economists and theories that claimed communism was superior.

    Also the civil war did a lot of economic damage. Study it if you don't believe. Also before the war, the north which didn't have slaves was economically better off than the south. So apparently slaves isn't what creates great wealth. Free people create the greatest wealth. Apparently having slaves was a drag on the economy.

    Anyway economics isn't like math or physics, It's an inexact science.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 20, 2019 11:36 a.m.

    Jim Crow continued into the 1960's? Ok, now we have some perpetrators who are alive who can pay some victims who are alive.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2019 11:05 a.m.

    @cjb "Any wealth produced by slavery has long been used up and even destroyed by the civil war."

    This is flat out untrue as can be explained with mainstream economic growth theory. Moreover, remember the disaster did not end with slavery. There was Jim Crow after, continuing to the 1960's!!

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 20, 2019 10:30 a.m.

    Re Marxist

    Any wealth produced by slavery has long been used up and even destroyed by the civil war.

    The people who should be paid are dead. The people who should pay them are dead.

    The tax burden is already excessive. We don't need more federal spending or federal debt.

    That said there is nothing to prevent you from donating to this cause.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2019 9:24 a.m.

    FYI, economic historians have studied American black slavery intensively. There is no doubt the United States economy was originally built on slave based commercial agriculture. The Interregional Growth Hypothesis demonstrates the ENTIRE country benefited from slavery (except for the slaves of course).

    There is a general lack of knowledge about American slavery by the public however, as is demonstrated by most of the comments here. Reparations for slave descendants are justified.

  • UtahEngineer Sandy, UT
    June 20, 2019 4:48 a.m.

    Coates' absurd and critically flawed and dishonest "case" for 'reparations' needs some honest and rational caveats added, before Demos start writing checks that America can ill afford.

    Millions of blacks have already collected unearned/ illegal "countervailing -reparations".

    Coates forgets the hundreds of thousands of blacks who were able to buy homes they couldn't possibly pay for. They were then able to borrow money on those unpaid homes to 125%...[sometimes more].. of the "value" .

    This might best be called gold-lining and was pushed by Barney Frank and other far-left Demos. That free for all was the massive seed from which the housing bubble grew and flushed away a significant portion of American treasure, leaving us a weaker nation at this critical time in our history.

    How about hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of government checks received for decades from the welfare state by millions of black households; Do they count?

    How about the commission of major crimes? Does a murder or causing major bodily harm cancel "what's due" from society?

    Or, does of torching, during a riot, of a neighborhood Korean-owned business count against the a reparation award?

  • Annette Mesa, AZ
    June 19, 2019 9:33 p.m.

    Years ago at a university student event in Texas, I picked up publications from every available table the students were supporting. The time line was 1994-1995, and the shocking publication author of this very idea of "paying the slaves" was from Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam. So, now Farrakhan is still trying to destroy America by keeping this topic alive in main stream media...dividing the country and weakening the nation.
    NO, if you keep repeating this imaginary racist guilt trip, from a major racist will not happen and your strategy for destroying America will be exposed.

  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    June 19, 2019 4:49 p.m.

    Experts (per the headline)? Who, indeed, are the "experts" on this subject?

    The only experts are those that are self-proclaimed!

  • Momdoc2 Chandler, AZ
    June 19, 2019 2:56 p.m.

    Whatever the resolution of this in the long term, make no mistake: the present proposal in Congress is designed to prompt a „national debate“ during which politicians can pander to groups on which the Democrats are losing their stranglehold!
    The irony is that Democratic policies and programs, including the disastrous „War on Poverty,“ have caused or exacerbated many of these groups‘ problems!

  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    June 19, 2019 2:18 p.m.

    I think President Trump has the right idea: provide JOBS for descendants of slaves and everyone else.

    What better and fairer "reparations" could there be?

  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    June 19, 2019 2:13 p.m.

    Yes. But all of the money awarded should come from Elizabeth Warren.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    June 19, 2019 2:05 p.m.

    Sure. Why not? can help Congress figure out the appropriate payout to each individual. Just add it to the 22 T debt we already have.

    But, we should expect many, many more to get in line to get theirs. And not just Americans. The UN is sure to bang on the door for all those in other countries “victimized” by American aggression and economic domination over the past 250 years.

    Still, for the roughly 25% of Americans that cannot claim to be victims of one kind or another, this country offers opportunities for wealth creation and happiness simply not to be found just about anywhere else in the world.

  • taking a stand for truth Lehi, UT
    June 19, 2019 2:00 p.m.

    Let's open the discussion all the way then and talk about another form of discrimination... reverse discrimination.

    I have been the object of much reverse discrimination. In my profession I have had awarded work contracts taken from me, given to another who charged more for the work and was not qualified, just because I did not have the correct race or gender.

    I want my reparations too.

  • Jim Mesa, AZ
    June 19, 2019 1:31 p.m.

    Just one question well may be more than one, who is going to pay for the repatriation? The government or the descendants of families who purchased or owned the slaves? Does Repatriation also include relocation? That is does the government intend to relocate the descendants of slaves back to Africa?

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 19, 2019 1:28 p.m.

    "It' not the gift, it's the thought that counts."

    Even though this utterly nonsensical and unjust scheme will never pass, the mere attempt to get "free stuff" will absolutely win the votes of potential recipients. And, they will be told repeatedly that if they don't get the promised "free stuff" is it all the fault of the evil racist Republicans.

    Good politics, for Democrats who always seek to divide voters into separate victim groups and target them with outrages and promises that only voting Democrat will fix. (They claim.)

    Ask the inner city populations dependent on the Democrat welfare plantation how much better off they are after 60+ years voting Democrat.

    Compare the plight multi-generational poverty in the Democrat voters with the prosperity of first and second generation immigrants from other countries who arrived with nothing, not speaking English, and no experience in American culture. The difference seems to be initiative, hard work, yearning for education, and rejection of victimhood.

    "Reparations" will only make the recipients even more dependent and less self supporting.

    Shame on Democrat pandering!

  • ducklady salt lake city, UT
    June 19, 2019 1:21 p.m.

    Wait. Does this mean a couple in an interracial marriage break even here?

  • Moracle Blackshear, GA
    June 19, 2019 12:33 p.m.

    I think Joseph Smith may have been the first martyr on behalf of black people in America (although they probably don't know it)...

    If it had been known, the song might have said: "Joseph, Abraham, Martin, and John"...

    Recognizing the unjust plight of the Black Slaves, members of The Church of Jesus Christ disapproved of slavery, and Joseph Smith when running for President, held as part of his platform the freeing of slaves, allowing them return to their homeland in Africa...

    Then, as in the case of Abraham, Martin, and John, he was shot and killed by an armed mob.

    The Prophet Joseph Smith could possibly be the first white man killed, who desired to set the slaves free. In running for President, he said: “...I feel it to be my right and privilege to obtain what influence and power I can, lawfully, in the United States, for the protection of injured innocence.”

    That would have been a timely and comprehensive reparation at that early period, and would have saved the slaves, the nation, and the world, much injustice, bloodshed, and grief.

  • philo dibble Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2019 12:29 p.m.

    Democrat schemes like this one will most certainly assure Donald Trump's re-election.

  • Moracle Blackshear, GA
    June 19, 2019 12:13 p.m.

    Think of all the descendants of people who could claim reparations for injustices:

    Jews enslaved by Egyptians.
    Native Americans abused & placed on reservations by USA.
    South Americans displaced by US expansion and war.
    Jews slaughtered by Germans.
    Africans enslaved by Americans.
    Members of The Church of Jesus Christ abused by Early Americans.
    Early Native Americans abused by Spanish explorers.
    And others...

    Of all of these groups, probably none have already had as much reparation as African-Americans... in slain Americans fighting to free them, free hand outs, public welfare, free food stamps, housing, concessions over others in college admission & employment, accommodation by lowering of educational testing difficulty (after they claimed they were discriminatory), compensation if anyone uses an undesirable term referring to them, etc.

    It seems that we have been doing much to appease and accommodate our black brothers & sisters, who we love and appreciate and want to help succeed to their greatest potential.

    I'm just not sure how much they appreciate it.

  • Light and Liberty St George, UT
    June 19, 2019 11:05 a.m.

    The Democratic party has buried itself in irresponsibility, immoral behavior, and token support of American ideals and God-given rights. Elizabeth Warren is the tip of the iceberg of the fungi growing beneath this party, slavery reparations being just another attempt to control citizen's lives by appealing to the most base of human emotions, self pity. Who would vote for this kind of stuff? Who would support the ideas coming out of the Democratic/Socialist party?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    June 19, 2019 10:55 a.m.

    Since nearly all slave owners and Jim Crow practitioners were Democrats, I assume the Democrat Party will be offering to fund the lion's share of these reparations from Party funds.

    It's only fair.

    And, since so many of Democrat candidates and large donors are in favor of reparations, I'm sure they'll just kick up their contribution levels to cover it. Then, if they don't, I'm sure modern Democrats would be in favor of forcibly taking it from them.

    This is, in essence, the modern Democrat platform, with the exception that the current Party insists that the truly innocent be hit the hardest.

  • zipadeedoodah Lehi, UT
    June 19, 2019 10:48 a.m.

    This is a cheap appeal, just like paying for college tuition and forgiving student debts is to buy our youth. And just as standing back and letting our country be invaded so they can count on more Hispanic votes in the future.

    Attention all you liberals out there. How obvious can it be that your Democrat party does not have the interests of Americans in mind but will do whatever they can, regardless of how ridiculous and absurd it may be, to buy votes? They suppose that no one is smart enough to see through their lies and distortions of truth and fact.

    This is so disingenuous it is appalling. If the 25th amendment applied to Congress, we could remove the who lot of them as having lost their minds. This is proof of that.

  • MacD slc, UT
    June 19, 2019 10:45 a.m.

    Slavery has been abolished.
    The descendants of slaves in the US are now citizens with more rights than anyone else in Africa and anyone in the world for that matter.
    These African American US citizens also enjoy more economic opportunities than anyone in Africa.
    What is the value of being a citizen in the US ?
    People of color are walking thousands of dangerous miles to illegally enter the US.
    They are focused on the opportunities in the US not the remnants of past racism.

  • American First Merced, CA
    June 19, 2019 10:37 a.m.

    We already pay reparations, its called the Great Society i.e. welfare, only its just a new form of slavery.

  • David Centerville, UT
    June 19, 2019 10:15 a.m.


    I disagree. Our nation was not made strong because of slavery. Many nations engaged in slavery. Not all nations are as powerful as the USA.

    What made our nation great was the ideals, the defined freedoms, the system established by our founding fathers.. We are the greatest nation on the earth because of our government. We did not become great & powerful through slavery (others nations had slavery and they aren’t as powerful today), nor through socialism or Marxism. We became great with the establishment of freedom, the Constitution, our form of government, and capitalism.

    This is a simple play for votes. The Democratic Party is out of control.

  • SC-PatentAttorney Layton, UT
    June 19, 2019 10:13 a.m.

    "BestSolutions" -- There are about 300 million people in America. Just go with the simple math. Paying each person $1,000/month would cost $300 BILLION per MONTH.

    How much money do you think Jeff Bezos has?

  • J. Smith Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2019 10:12 a.m.

    I said it once and I will say it again:

    Reasonable Input - Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2019 5:52 a.m.

    Gimme, gimme, gimme, take, take, take.........

  • Western Rover Herriman, UT
    June 19, 2019 10:09 a.m.

    The federal gov't paid reparations to Japanese-Americans because it was the federal gov't who interned them and forced them to sell their homes and businesses at a loss. In the case of slavery, it was the Southern states who forbade whites from teaching slaves to read, forbade slaveowners from freeing their slaves in most circumstances, suppressed slave revolts, etc. It should therefore be those states that pay any reparations. The federal gov't already did its share by equipping and sending thousands of soldiers to keep the South in the Union, ensure former slaves were able to vote, etc. If Reconstruction wasn't able to achieve all its goals, it was because of Southern influence.

  • Common sense conservative Herriman, UT
    June 19, 2019 10:06 a.m.

    Here's a good example why this makes no sense. President Obama, who was raised in poverty, would not qualify for reparations as he does not have slave ancestors. But Michelle Obama does, so their two daughters, who were raised in wealth and privilege, would.

  • top of the world ,
    June 19, 2019 10:06 a.m.

    This is about votes. Sad state of affairs in our country. I see little sincerity in anything our politicians do any more. For most of them, not all, there are three motivations that drive them: greed, power, votes. Someone please tell me, where will the pay for votes end? And let me add this very important consideration to this issue: it would take very little research to educate those who might be interested in how the American Indian was treated as poorly as any other group in our country. They were slaughtered and forced to live in areas that could barely sustain life. And how about the Japanese citizens who were put in concentration camps? And how about the ancestors of those poor women who were burned at the stake because they were witches. And how about the Mormons who were driven from homes and businesses, killed and ravished because of what they believed in? How about their ancestors? Can they get their land back? There are more examples, each of these actually sponsored by and encouraged by government officials.

    Reparations of wrongs committed many, many years ago, as horrendous as they were, cannot be reasonably paid. I'm not an expert in such things. Just my opinion.

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    June 19, 2019 10:04 a.m.

    Why do Democrats insist on telling their voters that they are not responsible for their own lives but are instead victims of discrimination from all sides? Ridiculous and simply a bold faced attempt to "buy" votes.

    It is better to continue to work to prevent real discrimination and not just whip up phony claims as justification for failure.

    We all inherit advantages or disadvantages from our parents and extended familys. What is citizenship in American worth compared to being born in Africa? Did prison cause some black familys not do well. How about a culture where 70% of black babies are born to single mothers? Dont forget to include calculations of generations of blacks on welfare as part of their reparations payments.

    Dems do more to divide America than anything Russia has ever done.

  • JRB449 Spring, TX
    June 19, 2019 10:04 a.m.

    You can call this concept of atonement reparations, compensation, damages, redress, restitution, satisfaction, or anything else you want to call it, but doing so is not going to change “attitudes”. People’s attitudes. Your attitude. My attitude.

    Human slavery to some was an acceptable attitude of the time. Jim Crowe laws, to some, were an acceptable attitude of the time.

    If this concept ever comes to fruition, and I said IF, the only ones to benefit will be the receivers of the doll. And when their doll is gone, it’s gone, yet attitudes of different people will remain.

    People can cite reparations paid to the Jews for the Holocaust victims, but did negative attitudes about Jews change? People can cite the reparations paid for internment of Japanese-Americans by their/our own government, but did negative attitudes

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    June 19, 2019 9:59 a.m.

    When all welfare benefits and subsidies have been repaid and returned to the treasury, then we can start debating reparations.

  • DudeDude Chicago, IL
    June 19, 2019 9:56 a.m.

    This is a slippery slope. Reparations to the Mexicans for Americans taking over the west? How about to the Indians for the Spanish take over? How about to the slave owners who had their legal (at the time) property taken from them? Too many examples to list.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    June 19, 2019 9:56 a.m.

    Anyone alive today who was a victim of legal slavery should be compensated, but there’s no one like that alive today.

    And how would this work? Say someone alive today has 1 ancestor who was a slave, and another has 16? How do you compute the guilt money paid to each? No, it’s just another attempted money grab.

    None of my ancestors had anything to do with slavery, why should I pay for the sins of southern democrats?

    Your third group merits no concern as far as dems are concerned, they are viewed as the enemy.

    Tell you what, if you want to pay reparations for slavery, get the funds for it from the Africans who sold their fellow Africans to the slavers and the democrats who supported their “peculiar institution”

    Not so. Slavery existed, but the nation’s economy was not founded thereon – southern agriculture may have had a boost from it, but not the northern economy. And it really did not kick in until after 1803 with the invention of the cotton gin, making cotton plantations feasible. That was after our founding.

    But if you feel guilty, feel free to write a check to the United Negro College Fund or the NAACP.

    Karen R
    Thank you.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2019 9:56 a.m.

    A question or two. Does the payment of reparations mean that Affirmative Action programs, which have been operating for over 50 years, be discontinued. Will those given reparations no longer be included in programs for the poor ?

  • Flipphone , 00
    June 19, 2019 9:48 a.m.

    The Answer is "NO"!

  • n8ive american Shelley, Idaho
    June 19, 2019 9:44 a.m.

    Great. I'm of Irish and Cherokee ancestry plus a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Where do I sign up to get my money?
    Seriously, when does all this victimhood end?
    Hundreds of thousands of lives were lost, mostly White, freeing the slaves from their owners, mostly Democrats. Plus, there were Black slave owners. Google it. How do you handle that one?
    If we start reparations for one group, then others will follow wanting theirs. Every group with a grievance will expect to be repaid for every injustice against them. Where will it end?
    This is nothing more than the Democrats trying to buy votes just like free college, paying off all student loans (how about paying off my home loan?), wealth redistribution, etc.

  • worf McAllen, TX
    June 19, 2019 9:43 a.m.


    * We all have ancestors who committed crimes. Should we all go to jail?

    * Should we give payments to Chinese people? We did used them as slaves for building our railroads and continue this practice today by purchasing their products and creating businesses there.

    * Will man be judged for their own actions and not the transgressions their forefathers?

  • SAS Sandy, UT
    June 19, 2019 9:37 a.m.

    I'm surprised to see so many people claiming that the blood shed during the Civil War is adequate reparation for the effects of slavery.

    Time was, many many people insisted that the war had nothing to do with slavery, but was instead about state's rights.


  • Joan Watson Twin Falls, ID
    June 19, 2019 9:34 a.m.

    Well why not? And while we are at it why not also pay the descendants of those who fought and died in the civil war to keep this union together and free the slaves? What about giving money to the descendants of early Mormon members who were driven from their homes by mobs in Missouri and Illinois and had to flee the United States in order to survive? After all, fair is fair - it we are to burden an all ready out of control national debt, let's just go hog wild and give millions if not billions of tax money to everyone whose ancestors suffered abuse.

  • Bigger Bubba Herriman, UT
    June 19, 2019 9:34 a.m.

    The people who used slavery (now dead) are responsible for their crimes and sins. Today's taxpayers should not be responsible for paying for their sins. This talk is more nonsense from "free stuff" Dems.

  • BestSolutions Orem, UT
    June 19, 2019 9:33 a.m.

    If we were smart we would elect Andrew Yang, and each American Citizen adult would get $1,000 a month and that would not take away social security to do it, but would rather come from Jeff Bezos, who paid zero in income tax and other big, extremely rich people who pay nothing in income tax. We should institute a value added tax like Europe and make these people pay their fair share. We could do away with the welfare system, and since everyone get it, there would be no stigma attached to getting the money. Poor people could put their money together and get housing, they could buy a house and not be renters. People could become entrepreneurs and start businesses. Then everyone would have reparations. What about American Indians forced onto reservations, and the Japanese that were put into camps in the U.S.. There are so many groups, I think that covering everyone is the only solution. Andrew Yang is the man.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    June 19, 2019 9:17 a.m.

    This is typical liberal thinking. Grand ideas of buying votes without a smidgeon of forethought on how to pay for it nor how to implement it.
    The persistent and heightened racial division in this country can be put squarely at the feet of the Democratic Party and their doctrine of victimhood.

  • MatthewD Oregon City, OR
    June 19, 2019 9:12 a.m.

    Men should be punished for their own sins, not for their father’s transgressions.

  • Cougar_Trojan_Spurs_Fan San Diego, CA
    June 19, 2019 9:09 a.m.

    I read several previous comments saying that it would be a monumental task for the *government* to have to sort out lineage lines in order to determine reparations. I say make the individual do it. If they can prove that their ancestor(s) were slaves, and these slaves were owned by the US Government, *not* by private citizens, then maybe they are owed some reparations. But as far as I can recall, the government itself owned no slaves. Therefore, no reparations ought to be paid by the government, rather by the ancestors of those private citizens who owned and propagated slavery.

    This is simply a vote grab of the worst kind!

  • LYSOLL Kaysville, UT
    June 19, 2019 9:08 a.m.

    It starts with a balanced budget amendment. If the budget won't balance incumbents can't seek re-election.

    Let's make the Legislative branch a revolving door until some adults who can manage a check book can get elected.

  • Latter-daySaintForever St. George, UT
    June 19, 2019 9:03 a.m.

    NO!!! NEVER!!!

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    June 19, 2019 9:02 a.m.

    Reparations is group justice to innocent third parties. As the Democratic candidates have gotten religious they should consider:
    "The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin." (Deut. 24:16)

    It is not even us who would pay. We would borrow a bunch of money to paid for by our descendants. We can't pay reparations, we don't have the money.

    But we can do something, We are responsible for the present made by our past. We need a history disturbing enough to change the present.

    "It is our own banality that needs to be disturbed, our presumption that we are disempowered by the very structures and systems which we make ourselves and sustain with our moral lethargy." (Greg Dening)

    If we study history, and if we are rightfully disturbed by it, then we have to think and resolve how we are going to learn from their mistakes. Slavery was permitted because it was the custom. The people who ran it were not thinking. They did not question their paradigms. They didn't think that they could change anything so they went along.

  • Tumbleweed Centerville, UT
    June 19, 2019 8:59 a.m.

    Attention Independent Voters! The Democrats want YOUR TAXES to pay for something you never had a hand in. Who's trying to buy votes? Do you believe another handout will help African Americans trapped in the nation's slums after 3 generations of welfare to be more self-sufficient?

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    June 19, 2019 8:50 a.m.

    What's done is done. We can't undo the past. But we must repudiate denials and come clean about the dark side of our history. And we must enforce laws designed to prevent discrimination and denial of basic rights to any person.

  • windsor Logan, UT
    June 19, 2019 8:47 a.m.

    "Should the U.S. give cash payments to the descendants of slaves to atone for slavery?"


    Wish US African Americans could have gone with me to Ghana recently to see what their lives would be like there now- had their ancestors Not been taken as slaves.

    Not that Slavery was in any way good at all--
    Except it put their descendants in the United States where they have all kinds of opportunity and choices and education and indoor plumbing and they don't legitimately wonder when they will eat again-and where that food will come from, like the people I met in Ghana. They have no health care, no sanitary facilities, not enough food, rapes and danger-------

    So No, African Americans should not expect a 'cash payment'.

    They should instead be grateful every day for their poor Slave Ancestors who sacrificed so greatly that at least their descendants could have the chances and opportunities they have here that their cousins in Ghana (who's ancestors were not taken as slaves) Do Not have.

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    June 19, 2019 8:45 a.m.


  • sman columbia, MS
    June 19, 2019 8:38 a.m.

    95 percent of people that lived in the south pre civil war did not own slaves. They were poor people that lived off the land. If you visit the south you can visit the old plantations. They are few and scattered far apart. The mega rich owned the slaves and plantations.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    June 19, 2019 8:32 a.m.

    The debt is so huge we can never pay it off. It's all funny money at this point.

    So, the candidates figure to get-while-the-getting-is-good.

    As one famous lady said, At this point, what difference does it make?

    They won't raise our taxes. They will bleed the rich, but that really doesn't amount to much when compared to the debt.

    It's the spending spree before they cancel your credit card.

  • Chuckee Kamas, UT
    June 19, 2019 8:30 a.m.

    The supporters of such a seemingly noble scheme as this have one goal in mind - getting elected. Buying votes with taxpayer money is the ultimate corruption in our democracy.

  • Den Den West Jordan, UT
    June 19, 2019 8:22 a.m.

    Government does not exist so people can get free money!

  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    June 19, 2019 8:15 a.m.

    the answer is 'no'

    of course if we are going to buy votes... send some cash my way

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    June 19, 2019 8:03 a.m.

    Important to know the truth; the US economy and subsequent world power was built during the "second industrial revolution," well after slavery.

  • JLindow St. George, UT
    June 19, 2019 7:55 a.m.

    We should certainly compensate any individuals who were slaves. Slavery ended in the United States in 1865, so we should start by looking for individuals who are more than 154 years old.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 19, 2019 7:52 a.m.

    I didn't have slaves. I don't want my taxes increased to pay for reparations. If we have enough money to pay for reparations, let us decrease taxes even more for all people and all businesses.

    Otherwise let's pay down our national debt.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    June 19, 2019 7:35 a.m.

    Ka-ching! Sweet idea.

    The Lord commanded Joseph to prepare a list of grievances and appeal for redress. It's all there. And, our genealogy records link us to the suffering.

    Missouri, Illinois, The Utah War. It's all there. folks. Oppression and cruelty in spades.

    I'll take my my now, thank you.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    June 19, 2019 7:29 a.m.

    Yes because this has worked so well for the Native Americans and has really improved their lot in life........................

  • Thinkin\' Man Rexburg, ID
    June 19, 2019 7:15 a.m.

    About 620,000 (mostly white) Americans died in the Civil War over slavery. The debt is paid in full.

  • imsmarterthanyou Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2019 7:14 a.m.

    ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! We owe them nothing. Their forefathers may have had a rough life but so did mine. Life is tough especially a couple hundred years ago. No matter your argument, those people today have a much better life than they would have if their great great grandparents never left africa. Not one penny of my tax dollar should go to this. We owe these people NOTHING!

  • Orson Woods Cross, UT
    June 19, 2019 7:11 a.m.

    What are we coming to? A terrible idea from beginning to end, no matter how it is defined. It is a clever way for a politician to buy the black vote though.

    This is also another way of saying "re-disposition of wealth", or "entitlements" like welfare and free medical care for all.

    The money would have to come from somewhere, so are we now saying, tax the white (and Hispanic) to give to the black? No blacks today (in the US) are slaves, and no whites are slave owners. Money can't fix history.

    And where does it start and stop?

    This idea was kicking around 25 years ago and only extremists gave it any attention, and now it is a topic of mainstream political discussion. How we are sinking as a society. Back to that clever way to buy the black vote.

  • LMNOP Barstow, CA
    June 19, 2019 7:11 a.m.

    Are we out of our minds ?

  • kbee Syracuse, UT
    June 19, 2019 7:09 a.m.

    Should Germans pay for reparations to victims of the Holocaust and should we give the land back to the native american indian? What about the LDS church? Shouldn't Illinois and Missouri pay reparations for murder and illegally taking land from the ancestors of many current LDS people? The world is unfair and cruel and it continues even to this day. If you start down the road of fairness and reparation for things that happened decades and centuries ago it will never be fair and it will lead to total chaos. The cruel people who supported slavery are dead and gone. They are not us. That was a different time and place. The people who live now are not slaves. This is insanity.

  • Hockey Fan Miles City, MT
    June 19, 2019 7:07 a.m.

    Having studied the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with my family history, which includes five generations of the Church members, I have to wonder if those descendants should not be included, as well. Many members of the Church had their homes and fields burned; many women were sexually violated; many men were brutally assaulted; many men, women, and children were murdered, among other things.

    Actually, I think we would all be best served to remember this extraordinary piece of wisdom that I saw attributed to Lily Tomlin: "Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past." We cannot change the past, so while we need to learn from our nation's many tragic atrocities, we need to leave them in the past and move on. We can only change the future by changing the present. So far we are not collectively doing a very good job with the present, in my opinion.

  • Christmas Carole Hurricane, UT
    June 19, 2019 7:06 a.m.

    I YEARN for the day when we are ALL Americans....for the day the democrates stop trying to divide(and conquer!)our country, when we are not black Americans, white Americans, etc. I yearn for the day when we are ALL judged by our character not the color of our skin...WHERE have I heard THAT before? Wise man you were, MLK...

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    June 19, 2019 7:04 a.m.

    I have never owned a slave. No one in my genetic lineage has ever owned a slave.
    My ancestors did, however, fight and die to end slavery.

    Where is the world's gratitude?

    If the true proponents of slavery were the ones required to pay reparations it would be "Democratic Party Members".

  • Doug Ex-Fat Guy Fair Oaks, CA
    June 19, 2019 6:46 a.m.

    Not "NO" but " 'Heck' NO" !!

    NOTE: for this purpose, I make no distinction between those having the legal status of a slave after 1783 in the then-USA, those whom freed prior but remained in the USA, and those that came from territories acquired afterwards, such as the Louisiana Purchase, Spanish Florida, or "Tejas"

    As another poster well pointed out by the example of our 44th POTUS, having all or part sub-Saharan African heritage does not of itself confirm having American slaves in their lineage. Also, since quite a few generations have elapsed in the some 153 years and 6 months since slavery ended as a legal status thanks to the 13th Amendment (ironically, in the "Union", as Delaware remained during the (un)Civil War), what portion, how many generations back, and what PORTION of "African" heritage would qualify one for this status of having enough "Slave" ancestry to qualify for these payments? Never mind that prior to the mis-named "Civil" War, slavery was LEGAL, even in most states NORTH of the Mason-Dixon line (just not commonly practiced in the "North").

    This sordid idea is the worst form of race-baiting and plays right into the liberal notion of "Victimology").

    June 19, 2019 6:38 a.m.

    The 655,000 who died on the battlefields of the Civil War made a more than adequate atonement for the sin of slavery. Shall we mock their sacrifice by making "reparation" payments to people who are among the most privileged, in terms of opportunity, to have ever lived on planet earth? For those mired in the culture of victimhood, reparation payments would only reinforce dysfunction.

    The vast majority of Americans start out in life with nothing. We have never received benefit nor disadvantage from slavery, regardless of the color of our skin. The era of slavery, and the era of Jim Crow, were a different time and place. We take advantage of the opportunities presented to us and we work hard. When unfairness inevitably impacts us, we shrug it off and move on, knowing that we must focus on the things we can control if we wish to succeed. We are all Americans, no hyphen necessary.

  • The Trooper Riverton, UT
    June 19, 2019 6:32 a.m.

    This is such a bad idea. There are questions about who should receive it. There are questions about who should pay it. There should be questions about is this the only time. Why this generation of people? It all boils down to pandering politicians. They are just the worst.

  • OldSalt94 West Jordan, UT
    June 19, 2019 6:25 a.m.

    Tracing family lines becomes onerous. The federal government at the time of slavery was still fledgling enough to not be concerned. On another note since slavery of some was instituted by African nations, or so it seems, why not make them pay. Victims of (choose a topic) always want reparations. I spent years in the navy during the affirmative action era and watched injustice happen to those who were passed over for advancement in favor of minorities. Later while in the National Park Service, I watched diversity fail due to location, some people just don't want to live in the sticks. I managed to survive and now eke out a meager wage, sufficient to keep food on the table and a roof over my head. Now if you want to talk reparations, let's repay social security so us old people can go out to dinner once in awhile. Anyone in their 30's and younger will need to put money away now, as social security may not exist in 30 years...who will pay then?

  • Reasonable Input Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2019 5:52 a.m.

    Gimme, gimme, gimme, take, take, take.........

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 19, 2019 5:51 a.m.

    I believe bias and racism still impact non-whites in our culture. I do not see a remedy in any of the definitions of reparations described in this story. IMO, the remedy with the most potential is for African-Americans to move from victim to survivor stance. Victims wait (futilely, IMO) for others to heal them. Survivors take that responsibility upon themselves.

    IMO, African-American leaders fail their own when they remain laser focused on the obstacles that still exist rather than emphasizing all the routes now open because they've been removed. African-Americans now have political power, influence in media, sports, culture, academia, etc. The ones who fill those slots didn't get there by waiting to be made whole by others.

  • captainA Mesa, AZ
    June 19, 2019 5:33 a.m.

    It sounds like typical Democrat class warfare to isolate a particular group of people promise them "free money".
    All this accomplishes is to drag the rest down to the lowest common denominator instead of raising the lowest to a higher level.
    I had ancestors who fought on both sides of Civil War, so where would that put me? And those ancestors were from the lower economic class and didn't own slaves.
    I agree with a previous comment, let the Democrats pay after it was their party the promoted segregation, started the KKK, and passed the Jim Crow laws.

  • Hearseman Perkinston, MS
    June 19, 2019 5:31 a.m.

    My family and nobody living today owned slaves. Why aren't they asking the country who sold the slaves to us for reparations. Besides it was a legal activity at the time. Paying reparations for something that happened over a hundred years ago sounds like their trying to buy votes?

  • Copybook Headings Draper, UT
    June 19, 2019 5:20 a.m.

    What upsets me most about this notion of reparations is that nobody, nowhere ever points out the lifestyle choices that lead to poverty. It's always someone else's fault. If we're going to do reparations then let's make sure we give nothing to the father's who abandon the children they make. Let's make sure we give the most to the African Americans who stay(ed) in school too.

  • Max Upstate, NY
    June 19, 2019 5:10 a.m.

    Reparations have actually been going on for very long time with preferences in education, admission to professional schools, hiring preferences, and so on. Sometimes even to the extreme with students being moved ahead and graduating without having learned the required material (I know this first hand as I have seen it with my own eyes).

    So, reparations? If we give them cash, do we then we eliminate every other preferential program. But what if they burn through the cash and have nothing left but memories of living high for a while? Do we chalk that up to more racism and pay more reparations? If "equality" is never achieved do we pay reparations again and again and again? Exactly where does it stop? When is enough, enough?

  • sman columbia, MS
    June 19, 2019 4:55 a.m.

    No. There has not been any group in history that has not been abused at some time. The Indians, Irish,Chinese,most religious groups,ect. Millions of lives were given to end slavery . That is a big payment in my opinion.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    June 19, 2019 4:18 a.m.

    I know of a religion that was treated badly in the 19th century in the land of the brave, home of the free. And maybe Hollywood should pay out money for how they have treated women the last 50 years. And the Ivy League excludes most people, and they sit on tens of billions of dollars. God will make it up to those oppressed. Many times over. Justice is beautiful.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    June 19, 2019 3:58 a.m.

    Great responses to this issue on YouTube—

    "Larry Elder - Reparations for Slavery"

    "Thomas Sowell - Reparations are not the answer"

    "Ben Shapiro on slavery reparations and 2020 Democrats"

    According to a news story in the New York Times in 2012, newer estimates put US Civil War deaths around 750,000, more in the North (probably), than in the South.

    Yes, a lot of black died, also, from slavery, as well as from disease, and very many blacks were very badly treated under slavery for hundreds of years—even after slavery was (supposedly) abolished. Jim Crow laws, KKK, segregation, mistreatment of supposedly freed blacks, etc.

    But I think the Civil War dead is sufficient payment, after all is said and done, for black slavery in the US.

    Don't only count the curses; remember also to count the blessings.

    How many blacks have better lives in the US than they would have in Africa? Not all. Maybe not even most (not even now).

    However, there isn't enough money in America, let alone the world, to pay reparations to every deserving group of people.

    If we paid more reparations to native Americans ("American Indians"), we'd be broke.

    But count the blessings, not just the cursings!

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    June 19, 2019 1:52 a.m.

    There will always be unpleasant and hated parts of human existence history and yes they do happen but do we need to dwell way too much on them and create more hate and divisiveness among ourselves? Let us move on, learn from the past and tell ourselves that we need to positively contribute to the goodness of the human race.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2019 1:01 a.m.

    Important to know: the u.s. economy was built on slave based agribusiness. Let this sink in.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    June 19, 2019 12:54 a.m.

    @SpÄter73 -

    "How about having all the Democrats pay the reparations since they were primarily the ones who owned slaves and fought against emancipation."

    And don't forget they founded the KKK.

  • Holy-Schamoly-What Baloney Kaysville, UT
    June 19, 2019 12:41 a.m.

    What a marvelous idea. But let's make it fair:
    1- Only Slave states need to pay (those who were part of the Confederacy and fought to retain that right). Those States that were from portions of the country that didn't accept slavery and those States that weren't legally a State of the Union prior to the Emancipation Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln are off the hook.
    2- After getting payments, those people forfeit the right to refer to themselves as "African Americans" and must, since they were made whole by these payments, simply be called "Americans."... the term is just plain "Americans." No more whining allowed after payments have been made.
    3- With respect to 'reparations' referring to allowing the black families to climb the ladder of prosperity that "white, privileged" folks enjoy, start by getting an education and quit producing so many children without a father at home, but only a teenage mom to raise such children. It's a cultural thing that easily could be controlled if desired. One might ask where all the results are of "Affirmative Action" in employment and college admissions that have been prevalent for decades....has that been wasted or of little affect?

  • worf McAllen, TX
    June 19, 2019 12:28 a.m.

    All of us have ancestors who were slaves.

    Democrats need to focus on all of Americans being prosperous.

  • iceskatercjudd Coalville, UT
    June 19, 2019 12:16 a.m.

    Cash payments are difficult, but there is a decent case for some level of support to primarily African American communities but this likely could be expanded. Someone made a comment about life being unfair. That is true. I am white and could have been born to a family in poverty with nothing and that may seem unfair, if I am non white I am way more likely to be born to a family in poverty however and that is an issue. Most of the disparity comes from policies white people put in place. My ancestors came to the U.S. shortly around the time the civil war ended. The western part of the US was still quite undeveloped and they were able to get access to lots of cheap land, despite having little. African Americans however had little opportunity to ever accumulate land (aka wealth). Post slavery they were given tiny parcels and has very little money. Those that did move to urban cities for better jobs found themselves left out of the good paying jobs and regulated to communities that had little investment via housing discrimination. My family has been able to accumulate wealth for 200 years with no roadblocks, but African Americans have been able to for maybe 40 years without blocks.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2019 12:10 a.m.

    We didn't do it for Native Americans, Japanese put in camps, and many others. There have been a lot of injustices over time. Taxpayers don't have the money to pay for all of them.

  • ERB Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 18, 2019 11:35 p.m.

    I want reparations paid to me for having to read the ridiculousness of those wanting reparations in this article.

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    June 18, 2019 11:31 p.m.

    Great idea. Let’s start with finding out which African-American ancestors sold their brothers into slavery into the first place and charge them first. Of course they won’t get any money either. Then, let’s figure out which black Americans aren’t from Africa at all so that they are separated out from the pool of payees. Then we will need to figure out how to separate the Northerners from the Southerners and somehow double up the reparations bill on the south since they owned the slaves and figure out a way to compensate those who had ancestors that fought and died for the north. They suffered too. Once we get that figured out, we will need to separate out the Native Americans and the Mexicans and cut the Mormons a break because after all they were treated poorly too. Finally we will have to figure out who descended from immigrants that came here after 1865 and make sure they are not included in the reparations. Seems pretty cut and dried. I think we can do it. Great idea Democrats!

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2019 11:13 p.m.

    The US did not invent or originate slavery. The US eventually did end slavery through a bloody and devastating civil war. Others have already mentioned the impossibility of deciding who really qualifies. Additionally, it opens Pandora's box of who in America should receive reparations for ill treatment. And why stop at the US. Let's go after the world for all the ills, including slavery, various nations have wrought. Time to grow up and just move on. The best moving on is to work to stop problems that currently plague humanity; not to get mired in the past.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    June 18, 2019 10:59 p.m.

    My good friend, lives in my neighborhood, is from Uganda. Idi Amin's men killed his father when he was 5, leaving him & his 4 younger siblings near orphans & his mother a widow. But, he shouldn't get any money from U.S. slave reparations. Unless they do a DNA thing. But, that wouldn't be just!

    I mean, Barack Obama is half black. But his black if from his father who was a Kenyan. So, DNA wouldn't help.

    And, if we give Blacks reparations as slaves, we'd have to give American (natives) "Indians" something, unless they already have "reservations" (LOL)! In that case, they got something.

    However, many, if not most of them, got displaced from their original Indian lands the U.S. Government promised them in treaties white men broke. So, do they still deserve something more?

    Again, this could be genealogists busy for years! Not a bad gig, if you can get it. But, how about if you're black, but adopted?

    But, don't the conquerors get to keep anything without paying for it (later, in money), that they may have paid for (initially), in blood? In Charles Mann's book 1493, he quoted 2 Berkeley researchers who said about 90% of all American natives died. Who do we make the check to then?

  • SpÄter73 Hughson, CA
    June 18, 2019 10:53 p.m.

    How about having all the Democrats pay the reparations since they were primarily the ones who owned slaves and fought against emancipation. They were also the party primarily advocating and propagating segregation.

    My ancestors came after slavery ended and I have always been against programs that keep the blacks in the slums - modern day segregation also championed by Democrats - namely welfare programs. I also am against abortion which disproportionately kills more minority babies than white babies. The reality is that reparations in a veiled attempt to buy votes.

  • Red Smith , 00
    June 18, 2019 10:48 p.m.

    Dems are buying votes with our money. Free college, free food, free day care, free health care, free student loans, free housing. And now free money from the Civil War crime times.

    What's next? free cars, free car insurance, and free gas?

  • David Centerville, UT
    June 18, 2019 10:40 p.m.

    what about gay Americans?

    Jewish Americans?

    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint Americans?

    Irish Americans?

    Teenage Americans for not being able to vote and largely getting bad jobs.

    Americans with student loans?

    Americans with credit card debt?

    Transgender Americans?

    Women Americans for not being able to vote?

  • zgomer Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2019 10:36 p.m.

    Absolutely not! Just another neatly wrapped package by liberal power players to put more government control in the lives of the people in this country. Why trust libs like Shelia Jackson Lee, Cory booker Kamala Harris, and the ever dangerous Elizabeth Warren with OUR money to try and be used like this. It is a political stunt to buy votes and keep the minority people the victims and keep playing the same old record over and over to have people then to the government for everything! I have yet to see it said in the Constitution that the government should always be in control of everything in our lives! The Constitution says what the government can't do in our lives! Look at CA, and NY and MD run by liberals and tell me this is a good idea! It isn't! This is the typical lib play to keep dividing the country into groups and not as a whole as a country. Why is it the blacks! Why not native Americans! We pay enough taxes.this is just another

  • Thomas Paine South Jordan, UT
    June 18, 2019 10:34 p.m.

    Life isn’t fair. Some are born to wealthy parents; most aren’t. Some are born with genes of height, speed, and more; most aren’t. Some are born with a propensity for incredible intelligence; most aren’t.
    Most of us are average. That’s not fair, but when we make laws and payments to try to equalize these things, it only makes things more unfair. It doesn’t make anyone better; just some a bit wealthier.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    June 18, 2019 10:30 p.m.

    I've already listened to quite a few commentators who have gone through various scenarios as to how sticky trying to do this could become. Extremely so! Figuring who owes how much for what could be virtually impossible, without someones producing family line charts showing (essentially proving) whose ancestors were slaves, and whose were slave owners, etc.

    For example, none of my dad's family even arrived in the U.S. until after the U.S. Civil War. So, should any of them pay reparations? Absolutely not!

    On the other hand, my mom's mom was from Tasmania, Australia. So, only my mom's dad's ancestors might be "on the hook" at all to pay anyone anything. And, even his line had many immigrant ancestors. My mom's dad's dad's mom did come from England in the 1850's. But none of them lived anywhere near the Southern U.S., hence, none in any of the Southern States.

    And my mom's dad's ancestors who came to the U.S. all did so through New England. To my knowledge, none of them even had an indentured servant, let alone a slave in the U.S.

    So, you see, my family should be completely off the hook. Can't count anyone guilty who weren't even where they could be (guilty)! Justice demands it!