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On The Road To Reparations
N’Cobra Applauds Slavery Apology; Warns No Time To Rest
Lone Star Power Pages
DALLAS- The Congressional apology for slavery should only serve as the start of a long healing process that should culminate with reparations for Black Americans.
National Coalition of Blacks For Reparations in America (N’Cobra) Co-Chair James Rodgers III said now is not the time to stop pushing for true liberation and self-determination.
“I would like to first caution us to not be over exuberant about the U.S House of Representative recent passage of Apology Resolution 194,” Rodger said. “We must remain vigilant and be about the business of reminding everyone about the atrocities we have suffered at the hands of white people with the sanction of the American government and must continue to stress that our sole mission is to win full reparations.”
N'COBRA, is a coalition of organizations and individuals committed to the economic, cultural, intellectual, political, social, and spiritual empowerment of black people in the USA. We are the descendants, and thus the heirs, of Africans kidnapped, transported, and enslaved in the Americas.
On 29 July 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives’ passed H. Res. 194, entitled “Apologizing for the Enslavement and Racial Segregation of African Americans.”
The action took place mainly due to the efforts of Tennessee Democratic Representative, Congressman Steve Cohen and the work of Judiciary Committee Chairman and Detroit Congressman John Conyers Jr.
The resolution appears to be a watered down version of the second apology resolution presented in the year 2000 by (D) Rep Tony Hall of Ohio. That resolution was ignored then.
Some believe passage of Apology Resolution 194 may have been motivated by election year politics and the growing surge of Green Party advocates and their plank on reparations.
In a statement responding to the measure, the organization released a clear statement on reparations stating, “We must never forget that the struggle for reparations for the Holocaust of Enslavement of African people is about fundamental issues of human freedom, human justice and the value we place on human life in the past as well as in the present and future.
After 246 years of enslavement--the greatest atrocity in American history; 100 years of Jim Crow; and the ongoing affects of racial discrimination, African descendants efforts to obtain reparations remain morally just, as African life is equally of value, as are the lives of other groups that have obtained reparations both inside and outside the US, and whose causes the US has supported and continues to support, including Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust, Japanese Americans interned in WWII US concentration camps, Alaska Natives for land, labor, and resources taken, Native Americans for violations of treaty rights, political dissenters and their descendants in Argentina, and to Colombia for excising the territory of Panama for the purpose of building the Panama Canal.
With such precedents of reparations to primarily non-Black peoples, it would be sheer racism for the United States to continue ignoring this brutal era in American history, and the African descendant morally just claim for Reparations.”
According to Rodgers, a look back in our history from the promises of the Declaration of Independence, the promise of forty acres and a mule, the Freedman’s Bureau, 13th-15th amendments, civil rights acts of 1866 thru 1991, and the United Nations’ international covenants on human rights, up to the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, demonstrates that America has been slow to respond to its own sins and role in enslaving Black people.
Full acknowledgement of the conduct that caused the death and destruction of our African ancestors, and how that fact continues to inflict injuries to African descendants in the U.S. is imperative, and material reparations to compensate the descendants of formerly enslaved Africans must remain our ultimate goal, he said.
“We must first ask ourselves why now, how was it done, and what is the long-term effect of this event,” Rodgers said. “America has never been about the business of the true liberation of the millions of African descendants that have been held in bondage or oppression since the inception of this nation.
N’COBRA remains supportive of the passage of HR 40 to establish a commission to examine the institution of slavery, the impact of these forces on living African-Americans, and to make recommendations to the Congress on appropriate remedies.
Included in that measure would be a plan to:
· Facilitate a national dialog about an era in US history that has largely been ignored or downplayed.
· Demonstrate the link between chattel slavery and the current social, health, economic and political status of African descendants and therefore destroy the myth of White Supremacy.
· Recognize the link between chattel slavery and present day race relations, and enable the amelioration of racial discrimination in America.
· Acknowledge the massive human suffering and the tragic plight of millions of African descendant men, women and children during slavery to demonstrate the sacredness of African life, specifically, and all human life in general.
· Allow United States' residents to make peace with a significant part of this country's shameful past, and end the intergenerational trauma of its current effects.
· Demonstrate to the world, the United States’ commitment to peace and justice, and the same human rights standards to which it seeks to hold other nations.
According to the organization, reparations activists and supporters must be mindful that an apology alone without actions to correct the injuries resulting from slavery, lynching and other crimes that separated and destroyed African-American families is fruitless.
“Let us be true to ourselves and not be hoodwinked and bamboozled into thinking that this is the break we have been waiting for,” he said. “As reparations advocates, we must understand that winning reparations is the key to directing our path toward true liberation and self-determination.”