In the article, Coates maintains that social, economic, and political injustices against blacks have compounded over the years: “Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy.” He argues that even though slavery and segregation ended, these inequities have crippled many black communities and left them on an uneven playing field—only reparations can even this field.
In his 15,000-word treatise, Coates uses many pieces of evidence to validate his case for reparations. Primarily, Coates focuses on three rifts to stake his claim. Initially, Coates highlights the history of American industry being build on the bodies of black Americans. He emphasizes the black workers who created wealth and asks us to consider the fact that “In 1860 there were more millionaires per capita in the Mississippi Valley than anywhere else in the country.” He uses this evidence to show the great wealth that has been accumulated by the subjugation and immiseration of blacks.
Additionally, he underscores the coordinated, state-sponsored effort to keep blacks from owning homes after WW...
... middle of paper ...
... with a flourishing economy, an education will take these students where they want to go. The tools of knowledge must be obtainable for everyone, not just the elite.
In conclusion, it is time for America to atone for its past and finally acknowledge the injustices incurred by black Americans. History will continue to repeat itself until we stand up and battle oppression anywhere it exists, foreign and domestic. Too many times in recent and not-so-recent history, America has stripped certain people’s freedoms and has suppressed certain groups. We must acknowledge these offenses and once again bend the arc of history towards freedom and equality. Equality, freedom, justice: these are our values, and it is up to us to recognize or shortcomings and to move forward to defend them—together. This will be the legacy we leave behind, like footprints in the sands of time.
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