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The United States Government to Consider Reparations to African Americans

WHEREAS, in the United States, a nation forged in a revolutionary struggle for inalienable human rights, natives of Africa were torn by force from their homeland and subjected to the barbarities of institutionalized slavery; and

WHEREAS, in the post-revolutionary United States, slavery was maintained by governmental fiat, with violence, depriving African-Americans of freedom of association, privacy, life, liberty, property, and due process of law in complete abdication of the spirit and letter of the Bill of Rights from its inception and ratification to the enactment and ratification of the Anti-slavery Amendment of 1865; and

WHEREAS, the dehumanization of the African American began by constitutionally relegating his or her statue to three-fifths (3/5) of a white man;

WHEREAS, this continued even after the passage of the 14th Amendment in 1868, in the form of local Jim Crow laws and public policies across America well Into the 20th century imposing lasting political, economic and cultural harm on generations of African-Americans, persisting to the present day; and

WHEREAS, the United States Government and various states therein have seen fit to take reparative steps for the wounds that they have caused by their bigoted actions towards Native Americans and Americans of Japanese heritage; and

WHEREAS, these reparative steps can be cited as a payment to the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan in the amount of thirty-two million dollars, which represents money plus interest on the money promised them by the United States Government by a treaty signed in 1836, and to the Klamath Indians of Oregon, who were awarded eighty-one million dollars and the Chippewa of Wisconsin, who were awarded thirty million dollars, and the Sioux Indians of South Dakota, who were awarded one hundred five million dollars plus; and

WHEREAS, the United States Government has acknowledged the cruelty, prejudice, and arrogance, if not the racial hatred, of their acts to confine Japanese Americans to concentration camps during World War II. Said acknowledgment resulted in an agreement to compensate each survivor to the sum of twenty thousand dollars each; and

WHEREAS, African-Americans suffered, as did Native Americans and Japanese­ Americans, from broken promises, broken contracts, abandonment of moral justice, and were deprived of land, life, freedom, and property. Further, African Americans labored in the chains of slavery on the farmlands, highways, and byways of this nation, and, thus, contributed fruitfully toward the growth and development of this nation.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People bring to the attention of the United States Government the obligation on the part of this nation to acknowledge its debt to the African-American slaves; and the descendants of slaves; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP supports the bill by Congressman John Conyers of the State of Michigan to create a Congressional Commission to make reparation proposals to direct descendants of African slaves.