Shared from the 6/22/2019 Houston Chronicle eEdition


Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, right, speaks during a hearing about reparations for the descendants of slaves.


Pandora’s box

Regarding “Reparations needed” (Editorial, June 19): The editorial is exactly what is wanted by Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party. Instead of the large Democratic field of presidential contenders discussing important issues facing our nation — climate change, immigration, health care, sensible gun control, and the Trump tax plan that is adding a trillion, yes trillion, dollars to our federal deficit every year — you call for the Democrats to discuss the divisive and unenforceable plan to give African-American reparations for a system that was abolished over a century and a half ago.

That discussion will rip apart the Democratic Party, uniting whites behind Trump, and it raises many questions: How do you define “African-American”? Do their forefathers have to have been slaves, or does this include more recent African immigrants? How much should each person receive, and does that include success stories such as Barack Obama, Tiger Woods, Beyoncé?

Reparations is a Pandora’s box. .

Terry Anderson, College Station

Slippery slope

What would the editorial board consider a just amount for compensation? Assuming all descendants of slaves would be entitled, would each one have to prove their forefathers were slaves? Would each slave be awarded aset amount to be divided among his/her descendants, or would each descendant be awarded a like amount?

And don’t even get me started on reparations for Native Americans, the Chinese, the Irish, etc.

Your proposal is the beginning of a slippery slope.

Ron Harwood, Katy

Playing the victim

The editorial in support of reparations for African-Americans was a disgrace. Nothing more than cynical, self-serving virtue signaling. What’s next, reparations for Native Americans, descendants of Chinese railroad builders, Japanese internees, Irish immigrants or any other group that chooses to wallow in victimhood?

Jon Elmendorf, Houston

America’s debt

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, several Chronicle readers, and many others have expressed the opinion that since they bare no responsibility for anything their ancestors did in regard to slavery, that there is no reason that they should pay reparations to the descendants of slaves.

But if economists are correct that trillions of dollars of the country’s wealth even today is a direct result of hundreds of years of slave labor, then it seems that even the poorest among us still benefit from that labor and thus owe reparations to the descendants of those slaves. The question is how to make the reparations. Several excellent ways have been suggested other than cash handouts to individuals.

Richard W. King, Pasadena


But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

Galations 6:4

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