By Dr. Conrad W. Worrill (March 29, 2002)

Those of us who have been active in the Reparations Movement over the last thirty-years are greatly inspired that the idea of Reparations for African people in America, and throughout the world, has become a mass movement. There is no question that reparations are owed to African people from those who participated in the greatest crime against humanity— the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery.

It should be clear to all observers of reparations won by various ethnic groups and nations worldwide that it is indeed, "Our Turn!" It is "Our Turn" to vindicate the crimes against humanity committed against African people that continue to be committed against us today.

That is why we are excited and inspired that thousands of African people are responding to the "Call" for the Millions For Reparations Rally on August 17, 2002 in Washington, D.C. This is an opportunity for the masses of everyday African people to participate in taking a public stand in support of the Reparations Movement. It must be remembered, that, "We are going to the Capital of this nation, built on slave labor, the rightful and only place to declare our human and legal right to REPARATIONS." It Is Our Turn!

It is Our Turn because as the City of Baltimore Council Resolution points out— "Not only has the government paid reparations to various ethnic groups for government wrongdoing (Japanese interned during World War II), but they have paid where individuals, rather than institutions have caused the harm."

For example, the Baltimore Resolution cites the Savings and Loan (S & L) scandal cover up by the United States Government. "In the late 1980’s, the Savings and Loan collapse placed American financial institutions in jeopardy. Most of those who caused the collapse were politically well-connected white men (e.g. Neil Bush) and many were prominent politicians (e.g. Frank Keating, John McCain)."

The Baltimore Resolution explains, "In order to protect the assets of investors and depositors, the federal government authorized the taxpayers financed bail out of these institutions. Estimates of the cost of this bail out range upwards of $500 billion, or an average per family cost of $5,000 to $10,000. All taxpayers were required to contribute to the bail out, even though most had no money in S & L’s (never owned any slaves), and African Americans were often denied access to capital (redlining) by the same institutions they were required to rescue. Thus, the United States government determined that all taxpayers, regardless of culpability, had to contribute to a fund to repair these failing financial institutions." There is no question, "It Is Our Turn."

Let’s cite another example provided in the Baltimore Resolution of why "It Is Our Turn." The Baltimore Resolution explains the following: "Today, while white politicians fight against Hate Crimes legislation (as was done regarding anti-lynching from Reconstruction to the early 1950’s), they continue to pass the most insane, discriminatory, and draconian drug laws. Most African Americans live (and are incarcerated) in the region of the country overseen by the Fourth Judicial Circuit. While there have been a few African American nominees, there has never been an African American judge confirmed to serve in the Circuit where most African Americans live."

The Resolution continues on this point— "Not coincidently, African Americans make up more than half of the 2 million inmates in America’s prisons. More than half of these men are there for non-violent drug offenses, yet African Americans consume only 13% of the illegal drugs in America while whites consume approximately 74%. In Maryland, a recent study revealed that white drug use is 28 times higher than African Americans, yet African Americans are incarcerated for drug use at a rate 9 times greater than whites."

It Is Our Turn, because African people in America have determined that It Is Our Turn to demand reparations for all the crimes against humanity committed against us, and that continue to be committed against us.

The Baltimore Resolution makes it clear— "Prior to the dawning of the industrial revolution, America was a great agricultural nation. The untold riches that were generated from America’s agricultural dynasty were then used to fund the start-up of the industrial revolution. Kidnapped and enslaved Africans produced the vast majority of this great wealth during the 246-year existence of that peculiar institution. After emancipation, "Jim Crow" laws were used to continue to deny African Americans access to capital, while enabling white Americans access to the capital necessary to create the technologies required to launch the current information age. The International Slave Trade was, for white Americans, a centuries-enduring, capital building juggernaut and the genesis of the racial caste system that continues to permeate and influence every segment of American life and culture."

Join the Millions For Reparations Rally on August 17, 2002 in Washington, D.C. IT’S OUR TURN!

National Chairman
National Black United Front (NBUF)

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