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The Way of Reparations: A Brief Letter to the Black American

Today, a current movement for reparations owed to the descendants of slavery in the United States continues to raise its head as violence mounts against Black Americans. However, by circumventing substantive justice, the weight or needle of oppression continues to sit unmoved as we see congressional approval and presidential executive action on behalf of Ukraine, the Asian, Jewish, Latin, and any community other than the Black American one. Down the line, in front of and stepped over, are we the Descendants of slaves in the United States. By drawing on white American power through proximity, historical racism, and discriminatory practices, a bold, shameless audacity emanates from other racial groups (including pan-Africans, the Caribbean, et cetera). As reparations for Black Americans come full circle, they (different racial ethnicities) will happily deprive us further by tethering themselves to whatever reasons or twisted ideology necessary to oppose what is owed in restoration to the descendants. In mass media, local town hall meetings, or watercooler conversations, these other groups petition for our reparations that are spiritually tied to the soil our ancestors' blood, sweat, and tears were forcibly made to build this nation by which we remain enslaved strangers. From the back of the bus to the back of everything else, unless we show and tangibly operate through action our concern (writing our representatives, calling the White House not to sign the HR40 bill (a study, which is what opponents do to kick the can down the road for reparations aka cash payments), or begin to check with our local government), we will once again lose under cover of the night which is our opponents' preference in dismantling our last and final appropriation. Immigrants are showing up for your reparations at these meetings in other parts of the country. Meanwhile, Asians are calling the cops on our children, parents, and grandparents for asking scheduling questions, Hispanics are moving the poorest of us out of historical living situations, and the best we can muster is to shop in their stores in our communities. From here, we can rest assured that their thoughts, based on current social actions, are saying, "when can we get the rest of the Black Americans out of here." Buffalo, NY, reminds us that we are not safe. Nor are we smarter or cleverer than any other ethnic minority, including those immigrants who look like us. No matter where we reside in the United States, remaining oblivious, silent, or indifferent is dangerous. We do not all have to get along to stand in solidarity against those who would see us extinct. We can rest evenly assured that if our ancestors waited on the Lord in prayer and saw His glory, whether through the historical bills passed or civil rights movements that got us this far through the Black Church in fervent prayer, we will not succeed or gain any ground without Christ Jesus in prayer, forgiveness and saving grace, 2022 and beyond.

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