In recent years, there has been much talk and discussion about reparations for African Americans in light of centuries of slavery and horrific discrimination. This has been a part of political discourse and may be part of the presidential campaign in 2020. Several Democratic candidates have begun talking about the topic. It is, of course, not easy to decide how reparation payments would be made. Armenians have also justly demanded reparations from Turkey for the Genocide. Other reparations payments have been simpler: German Jewish victims of the Holocaust, for example, have received payments from the German government.
Imagine this: The Arkansas Legislature (Disregard this fantasy! It would not happen politically!) has voted to offer, provisionally, a one million dollar reparation payment to all members of the Little Rock Nine (one member of The Nine has died, so the payment would go to his heirs). These courageous young people, now in their senior years, suffered enormously throughout their entire year at Central
High School, enduring grotesque racist invective and insults and frequent physical assaults.
As explained in class, these experiences last for a lifetime. The Legislature has decided to put this up to a vote. How would you vote if you were a citizen of Arkansas. Do you think that, at this stage of history, such a reparation payment is justified? Give your reasons.