12 Voices: Reparations Must Be Priority Number One By Carl D. West

This is the best time to raise the flag and pump the fist! It’s Black History Month and portions of White America are fraudulently celebrating our historical past. So, while they have “Black life that matters” on their lips and in their hearts, let us force them to talk about Black suffering, Black pain, and Black progress, mainly for the future of Black’s children’s children.

Carl D. West

The reparations chatter is being discussed by a few political operatives, like Illinois State Representative La Shawn K. Ford and former State Representative Ken Dunkin, who always pushed the reparations narrative when he was in the state legislature. There are others who are keeping the reparations issue a priority and attempting to show America how it can right the wrong–especially since America has had a difficult time apologizing, even though America participates in the much-hyped Black History Month salute each year, which recognizes America’s evil misdeeds.
WVON’s Charles Thomas has also been pushing this issue since joining the morning radio broadcast. He, basically, each day has some conversation on reparations and is encouraging Black people as well as local and national Black politicians to keep this conversation alive.
What exactly is reparations? Who would benefit? How would the resources be disbursed? These are questions that not only have White legislators asked but even Black reluctant elected officials have asked trying to get solid responses. They want to know how reparations would look, taste, and smell. But as far as Black people who don’t believe or who are still on the fence about should Black people receive reparations, you either should shut up or go along with the game plan.
And to answer a few of the questions posed above, let me try and give my prophetic thoughts and hopefully the Negroes who don’t want to see people compensated for centuries of neglect can at least vote in favor of, and/or again, keep their freakin’ mouths quiet!
So what is reparations? It’s as simple as when Dr. King gave the powerful speech eagerly stating that Black people must cash a check from America that is rightfully owed for services unwillingly rendered (I’m paraphrasing). This great nation, which was erected on forced, free labor by millions of slaves, whose generational offspring must be compensated for such bogus employment. Because, during these 400 plus years of extremely hard and sometimes deadly work, dozens of today’s most profitable, accomplished and recognizable corporations were born.
And their existence has benefited generations of not only their founder’s families but other mainly White families who were and still are employed at these once-emerging companies. Also, through employment, generations of White children were raised and educated, which was not the case for the offspring of the slaves who contributed to these companies’ growth.
Who would benefit from reparations? WHO DO YOU THINK! Black people, of course. Definitely not the slave master’s children’s children!
And here is how I think allocated resources should be used. We have great minds who can calculate how much it would cost to educate two generations of Black kids who have the desire to attend mainly Black colleges and universities. This will also help those historically Black institutions remain relevant and it’ll ensure that Black students are taught the history of slavery and forced to never forget.
And here’s the final phase of how reparations funds should be disbursed. There will be an endowment erected under the name of Madame C.J. Walker. It will assist aspiring entrepreneurs who have platforms for building his or her community through social and technical enterprises that can not only build wealth but employ mainly Black people within the communities where these businesses exist. This fund will act the exact same way that Venture Capitalist funds invest in (White) startups, today.
Remember what Harriett Tubman was credited with saying: “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves!” Reparations is our way of letting Harriett and America know that we’re officially FREE!
Carl D. West is the CEO/Publisher of TBTNews and founder of the TRUTH 4 Literacy Foundation, Leadership Luncheon, Legend and Pioneer Awards, all powered by Midwest Gap Enterprise.


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