Native American Reparations: Pro or Con?
The subject of paying some sort of reparations to Native Americans is a hot topic, and views range from the popular Fox News commentator Glen Beck who is very against reparations to the University of Colorado former Professor, Ward Churchill who is for reparations. President Obama himself has also put of his input on the topic with speeches both during the Presidential campaign and after his Inauguration. This paper seeks to present both sides of the argument and conclude with my own views of this issue.
“It has been said that America will never be right until they right themselves with the American Indian. America must now seize this historic opportunity to deal honorably with the Native Peoples on the issue of Restitution, Reparations and Restoration of Lands that guarantees Indian people a future in America. “
Dennis J. Banks, Ojibwa Nation
Chairman of the Board
American Indian Movement
The Case “For” Reparations
In his book "A Little Matter of Genocide," (City Lights Books, 1997) Ward Churchill writes:
"During the four centuries spanning the time between 1492, when Christopher Columbus first set foot on the "New World" of a Caribbean beach, and 1892, when the U.S. Census Bureau concluded that there were fewer than a quarter million indigenous people surviving within the country’s claimed boundaries, a hemispheric population estimated to have been as great as 125 million was reduced by something over 90 percent. The people had died in their millions by being hacked apart with axes and swords, burned alive and trampled under horses, hunted as game and fed to dogs, shot, beaten, stabbed, scalped for bounty, hanged on meat hooks and thrown over the sides of ships at sea, worked to death as slave laborers, intentionally starved and frozen to death during a multitude of forced marches and internments, and, in an unknown number of instances, deliberately infected with epidemic... [continues]
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