On Wednesday, California became the first state government in the US to adopt a law to study and develop proposals for reparations to descendants of enslaved people and those impacted by slavery. This is positive news and I am hoping it will set an example to encourage other states to follow suit.
As a transblack individual and an immigrant to the United States, it’s pure coincidence that I’ve recently (since yesterday) been mulling over the idea of moving to California. I believe that I qualify for reparations from the white man who has kept me down and prevented me from achieving my full potential. Only the other week I applied for a position at Microsoft and was told (by a white man, probably, it was on the phone but his voice sounded pale) that I would need a degree in Computer Science to even be considered for any job other than that of a receptionist or cleaner. Now, if that’s not racism I do not know what is. It is sexism too. How is someone like me expected to obtain such a qualification when the cards are stacked so high against me? This has been proven time and time again. The moment I tell someone I am a Black woman (their ignorance and bigotry only allows them to view me as a white male), their demeanor swiftly changes and the atmosphere becomes tainted with the unmistakable stench of hostility, followed by hysterical shouting and racial slurs. Because I’m not just going to stand there while some honky crackerjack stares down their ridiculously pointy nose at me. Not once have I been given a second interview. Discrimination.
In my opinion, it’s high time the subject of reparation was taken to a federal level. I mean, if forcing white people to contribute more taxes to atone for the possible sins of their ancestors won’t end racism once and for all, I honestly do not know what will. The main reason racism is still so prevalent is guilt. When the white population are given the opportunity to cleanse themselves of their guilt along with a portion of their savings and children’s college funds, any feelings of resentment they might hold towards people of color (because of their internalized self-condemnation) will melt away like a popsicle in a heatwave. Sure, they’ll fight it. Their white privilege is so ingrained they’ll convince themselves they oppose the idea. But like a toddler with colic, once their irritable wailing stops, they’ll chug down that sour-tasting medicine and eventually come to realize that it was good for them all along.
I’ve been mulling over what forms these reparations might possibly take. Here are a few of my ideas, I apologize if they seem a tad ‘loose’ but my stream of consciousness is a winding and nebulous serpent which will not be shackled by the rigors of conformity:
- Free stuff
- Gift cards (Amazon, Target, iTunes etc)
- 10-year Disney+ subscription
- Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Blu-ray boxset
- A literal Get Out of Jail Free card
- Only Black people are allowed to vote (or Black people get two votes?)
- When eating at a restaurant, white customers must contribute 80 percent of their meals to the nearest table of Black diners
- Every Black family to be given a butler (must be a well-spoken white man with charmingly traditional British last name)
- National Lampoon’s movies remade with Black actors, especially the Christmas one because let’s face it, that’s the best one (Black Chevy Chase = Leslie Jones?)
- Every American citizen takes legally binding vow to forget that Bill Cosby happened
- At least once per day, each American citizen to remind themselves of the evils white people have committed — there are a multitude of social media accounts that can help with this (self-flagellation is optional but strongly recommended)
- Loudspeaker system rigged up in every city so white people can take it in turns to apologize for the slave trade — (one sorry whitey on the hour, every hour…chosen by raffle/lottery?)
- ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ replaced with ‘Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It’
- Lifetime supply of tater tots
The implementation of any of the above would be a good beginning and go part way to healing the rift between the racial disparities across America. Also, thinking about it, free cinema vouchers every Thursday would be good because I’m usually at a loose end on a Thursday afternoon.