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Letter to the Editor: Reparations a creation of academia

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Monday, May 20, 2019

Do you feel guilty because descendants of Southern slavery have not received reparation payments?

If so, it's probably because Ivy League New Yorkers with a Bronx perspective of the universe are busy rewriting history novels about the era of history radical abolitionists labeled Southern Reconstruction authorizing Southern Destruction in hopes of colonizing the South. According to their redactions, descendants of Jefferson, Washington and Lee should foot the bill as well as have their names erased from history.

Not so fast, carpetbaggers!

First, "white supremacy" did not begin with Southern slavery. Racial supremacy has been around as long as ethnocentrism. White supremacy was used to justify British colonialism. The British believed they were God's emissaries and their subjects were the "White man's burden." The British were as arrogant as they were brutal: the colonies, both free and slave, experienced the hob nailed boot of British occupation.

OK, professor, who should pay?

There are two sides to this history. Relying upon Dray & Drummond, Southerners should be reimbursed by northern textile merchants who confiscated their land under martial law during Reconstruction. The "Freedmen" argued they had worked the land therefore it belonged to them. Cloaked in self-righteousness and backed by federal troops, carpetbaggers exploited the South like a California gold rush. Freedmen were expected to sign indentured contracts and go back to work in the cotton fields. Naively, Freedmen believed they were "free" and refused to sign "labor contracts." Like indentured servants, they were beaten into submission by their new masters.

Finding moral high ground in the Reconstuction era is a difficult task at best. Perhaps academia has profited most by exonerating merciless economic predators posing as abolitionists.

Joe Exum

Snow Hill

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