Reparations could be Done

They could start with Tulsa.

Jan Blount
2 min readJun 1, 2021

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All the arguments against reparations that I’ve heard all try to make the point that there is no way to fairly and rationally provide recompense to the ancestors of slaves to repay them for the labor and lives of their ancestors.

They always say how senseless it is to expect white people living today who never owned slaves to co-sign any financial benefit to black people living today who were never in slavery.

But the Tulsa Massacre provides us with what could be a textbook example of how reparations could work in some cases. The white families and ancestors of the people who unleashed murder and hellfire on the black people of “Black Wall Street” are still here. The devastation to human life; the destruction of property and land and businesses is still affecting the black Tulsans still there. There are even three actual survivors of the massacre — who saw the terror with their own eyes — still living.

Not only that, but there is a detailed contemporaneous record of the massacre. Blueprints of the destroyed buildings, financial records of the businesses razed, clear photographs of the crimes and of the people who committed them, records of insurance claims made by the black victims.

The city of Tulsa and State of Oklahoma sanctioned this crime. Why can’t the city and state pay the living ancestors (and especially the. living survivors) a financial settlement?

The Republican politicians of Oklahoma have raised over THIRTY MILLION DOLLARS for the purpose of erecting some kind of memorial or series of memorials to the Tulsa massacre. But not one dime for the people who were robbed of generational wealth, crushed and forgotten.

Help me make some sense of that.

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Jan Blount

Educated, but averse to sophistry. I write about what I know, what angers me and what moves me. I ponder about race, politics, and whether true love exists.