And just what are the limits of Reparations claims? How long, or through how many successive generations, should such claims for reparations survive? Since there is no statute of limitations which limits claims for murder and genocide, does this mean that Mexico could ostensibly sue Spain for reparations over the excesses of Hernan Cortez in the Sixteenth Century? Here we enter into the realm of Sophistry couched in legal arguments: reason is twisted to suit historical hurts at the expense of true justice.
Surprisingly, as recently as Spring 2002, a significant number of African Americans in the region surrounding the aforementioned UN rally were against reparations. In a March 2002 Eyewitness News(ABC)/Survey USA poll of 500 (NY area) asked if respondents thought “the government should use taxpayer money to compensate the descendants of former slaves, and an overwhelming majority (74 percent) said no. Only 19 percent said the government should.” Broken down racially, less than half of the black poll respondents (49 percent) felt that the reparations should come from federal taxpayer money. That less than half of the black respondents supported reparations is significant; does this regional poll suggest a national trend?
Flyers distributed for the rally by Millions For Reparations (http://www.millionsforreparations.com) were emblazoned with the incendiary “They Owe Us!” But who are “us” and who are “they”? Correct documentation is nearly impossible in most cases of ancestral slavery. Just how does one calibrate the reparations for ancestral slavery? How would pain and suffering be converted into dollar amounts? Further, it seems reasonable to argue that any calibrated amount would meet with significant opposition as being a low figure. Would any dollar amount in the settlement be subject to further arbitration at a later date or would the case be closed forever?
Who would be the parties arbitrating the sum between the African American descendants and the United States? The International Criminal Court? The United States Congress? Can a consensus be reached about the arbitrator? Would the Southern nations be responsible for a larger allotment of the reparations because they benefited more as an agrarian geographical region? If so, how much more responsible would they be?