Blacks Demand Reparations for Middle Passage

July 2, 2001 - 0:0
TEHRAN Black Americans, whose ancestors were once enslaved in the United States, have now boosted their demands for being paid reparations for financial and spiritual damages inflicted on them by the U.S. government. Blacks have suffered years of discrimination and institutional racism imposed on them by the Whites.

They refer to the precedent of the Jews receiving compensation from Western governments. The Blacks say that the U.S. government never kept the promise it made to give each ex-slave 40 acres of land and a mule in the second half of the 19th century.

The Editor in Chief of the Arab journal, Ali Baghdadi, believes that not only the Blacks, but the whole African continent has the right to reparations. "Americans, Europeans, and the slave traders deprived Africa of its youth, who could have worked there.

The Europeans killed 100 million Africans during the slavery period," he said. "According to French philosopher Roje Garrodi, during the manhunt to capture one African, ten other Blacks lost their lives. Do not forget that Africans were squeezed into ships like sheep during their transfer to the U.S. [the Middle Passage] . Most of them died during the journey. Africans built the United States and it is the duty of the government to compensate them."

However, Baghdadi expressed pessimism when asked if the U.S. government is likely to comply with the Blacks' demands. "In the distant future, if Blacks become so numerous that they can take control of some key positions, it is possible they could do something about it," he said. "But now, when the imperialist and White supremacist government of America has everything in its hands and dominates the Blacks and people of the Third World, I don't think this will happen."

Baghdadi also blamed the U.S. government for the Blacks' poverty. "The government of the United States enslaved the Blacks for four centuries, so it should give them top priority and special concessions," he stressed.

Despite the strong U.S. economy, Baghdadi believes that discrimination still exists in the country's economic activities. "The U.S.

[economic] system is controlled by the Whites, and multinational corporations do not like Blacks," he said. "They do not even like poor Whites, and all they think about is filling their pockets."

Baghdadi believes that independence is a goal for all Black Americans but expressed concern over their lack of proper leadership. "The U.S. government suppresses real leaders, such as Louis Farrakhan, who can do something for the Blacks," he said. "But the government creates some leaders who are actually loyal to the Whites. This is why some people like Jesse Jackson are always supported by Washington."