responsibility for reparations

This is not a post to illustrate reasons for reparations. That debate is much too complex for the scope of this post.

Rather, this is a post to illustrate the reluctance of people with white privilege to acknowledge that they benefit from the legacy of slavery.

This post started with an article in favor of reparations. The first comment was disownment.

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That comment, on the simplest way, might sound reasonable—if you don't discuss the history of racism and privilege very often. If you don't discuss the history of racism and privilege very often, you probably have at least some degree of white privilege.

Another person with the same gender and racial privilege chimed in.

After him, a woman suggested an alternative, while mentioning some historical realities that are often ignored.

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At this point, what I thought the most relevant response to white men feeling distanced from the case for reparations had not yet been mentioned. So I did:

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Reparations are not about whether your ancestors were slaveowners. Reparations are about racism, which is institutional, not just personal. We are all living within the legacies of imperialism, colonialism, slavery, genocide, and other atrocities.

My comment inspired the Scot to reply:

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It's a start. I opted not to push my case, though my thought was that many people believe that reparations are a way, in very oversimplified terms, not to perpetuate privilege.

Someone else noticed the same thing I did:

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Exactly. Consider that. And if you're not informed on the case for reparations, educate yourself.

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a legitimate assumption + facing it compassionately

the many ways someone can (try to) derail a conversation