Why do respirations advocates feel descendants of slaves should be paid in some form? Mainly because, they say, America was built on free slave labor and Black people still experience systematic racism to this day that never allowed for a level playing field.
“Since 1619, when the first enslaved Africans were taken to Jamestown, Virginia, the oppression of Black people by whites has been embedded in America’s economic, political, educational and other institutions.
For nearly 250 years, slavery was legal in America — that’s about 60 percent of U.S. history since the beginning of colonial times.
“Counting the nearly century-long Jim Crow segregation of African Americans, officially sanctioned racial oppression encompassed more than 80 percent of U.S. history to date,” USA Today reported. All this time, the U.S. benefited from slave labor and from the oppression of Black people. The labor by enslaved Black workers between 1776 and the official end of slavery is valued at an estimated $5.9-to-$14.2 trillion in today’s dollars, according to political scientist Thomas Craemer.
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