case for reparations:
you owe us something. We donít want you to dole it out in
welfare checks. If you give us what you owe us, weíll take it from
there. But will America do that? We donít know.
Add it UP!
[Editorís Note: The following
timely article is taken
from an article printed in the Final Call, Vol 1. No. 4]
However, America did detain thousands of Japanese-Americans in
concentration camps (during World War II) and confiscated their
property. Now Congress says America treated the Japanese-Americans
wrongly and have okayed several billions of dollars to be paid to
the Japanese in reparations.
The Germans recognize the evil that they did to the Jews, and
right now they are paying reparations to Israel. East Germany wanted
to unite with West Germany and in order to do so, they repented and
stated their intentions to pay Israel reparations.
"We ask the Jews of the world to forgive us," the East
German parliament said in a formal statement. "We ask the
people of Israel to forgive us for the hypocrisy and hostility of
official East German policy toward Israel, and for the persecution
and the degradation of Jewish citizens, also after 1945, in our
"We declare our willingness to contribute as much as
possible to the healing of mental and physical sufferings of
survivors and to provide just compensation for material
Thatís a wonderful thing done by the East Germans. Now letís
rewrite this a little bit and letís put it in the hands of
America. Wouldnít it be wonderful if America said, "We ask
the Blacks of the world to forgive us? We ask the Black people of
America to forgive us for our hypocrisy and the hostility of
official United States policy toward Black people, and for the
persecution and degradation of Black people even after 1863 when we
called them citizens and said they were free.
"And we (the government of America) declare our willingness
to contribute as much as possible to the healing of mental and
physical suffering of any survivors and to provide just compensation
for material losses."
add up what they owe us. Do you have your computers? Letís
start in Africa. According to the late, great scholar W.E.B. DuBois,
a conservative estimate of Black lives lost in the Middle Passage
was from 50 to 100 million Black lives. We donít need to minimize
the Jewish Holocaust. Six million lives is a lot of lives, but are
you telling me that six million white lives are more valuable than
100 million Black lives? You canít be saying that. For the Bible
says "a life for a life."
Well, if a hundred million of us lost our lives in the Middle
Passage, add it up. What is one Black life worth? Three hundred
years working from "canít see morning to canít see
night," for no pay. Three hundred years working millions of
slaves for nothing. Add it up! Add it up! Add it up!
The killing of our fathers and mothers after mating them like
animals, then taking the children and naming us after the slave
master, stripping us of our language, our God, our religion, our
minds. Add it up! Add it up. Think about it. Ö The destruction of
Black folk fought in the Revolutionary War that made America free
from England, yet, weíre not free. Add it up. We fought in the War
of 1812. Add it up. We fought in the Civil Waró400,000 Blacks on
the side of the North and the South, some fighting to preserve the
old South, others fighting to preserve the Union. After the Union
was preserved, we had no Union, but thousands of Black lives were
lost in that war. Add it up!
You brought us into religion, not to make us closer to Jesus, but
to turn us inside out in Jesusí name. You know Jesus was no white
man. Look at him. The Bible says he had hair like lambís wool, and
feet like brass burnt in an oven. But you make us white-minded and
destroyed our love for ourselves. Add it up!
We fought in the Spanish-American War. We helped America steal
Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California from the Mexicans. Add it
up. World War I came. You got in trouble. Black soldiers went, you
got a victory over Germany. We got nothing but more hell. Add it up.
World War II came along. Hitler got started. We joined the Army. You
say, "Well, if you joined, you joined on your own." No,
No, baby Ö when you joined the Army and signed your name
"Willis Jackson," "Henry Morgan," "Larry
Higginbotham," you signed the wrong name. You were out of your
mindódidnít know who you were. Somebody took advantage of you
and sent you to fight for your enemy. Add it up!
We left our fathers on Normandy Beach, in Palermo, in Rome, in
Naples, in Sicily. We left our bodies on the streets of Paris, in
Belgium. Add it up. We joined the war. They used us in Hawaii, in
Bataan, in Corregidor, in the Solomon Islands, in Iwo Jima. We lost
our lives fighting for America. And after the war was over, America
rebuilt Germany. Now the West German economy is the strongest in all
Europe. We rebuilt Japan. Now the Japanese are world leaders, but
Black people who helped you win the war, they are homeless in
Atlanta, homeless in Chicago, homeless in Detroit, homeless in
Boston, in the streets looking for a job, looking for a handout. We
helped you to win, but you offered us nothing. I say, add it up. Add
it up. Add it up!
We developed leaders to help us. Marcus Garvey came and talked to
us, but here in Georgia you trumped up charges against him and you
brought him into court and you lied on him and you sent him to
prison unjustly. Then you deported him and broke his movement. Only
later did we learn that Garvey was a good man, he had a good
movement, he had a good program, but you destroyed it all. Add it
up. Add it up. Add it up.
In the 1960s, when Black folk began to move, we had CORE, SNCC,
the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Black
Panthers, the Nation of Islam. All of these brothers and sisters
were fighting for the liberation of Black people, but there in
Washington, D.C., the government of America started plotting against
our leaders, and we lost Whitney Young off the coast of Africa under
suspicious circumstances. We lost Medgar Evers. They broke up CORE.
They broke up SNCC. They broke up the organization called Us (under
Ron Karenga). They jailed the leaders of the Republic of New Africa.
They murdered Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They weakened the
NAACP and the Urban League. Everything that fought for justice for
us, they tore it up and tore it down. I say, add it up. America owes
the Black man. Add it up.
What is the
life of Martin Luther King worth? What is the life of Malcolm
X worth? What is the life of our leaders worth? What is the life of
Louis Farrakhan worth? You want me dead, but I say you donít want
that. You donít really want that. If you know what I know, you donít
want that. No, you donít want that.
The way God looks at this thing, the present generation of
whites, they didnít do this to us. The present generation of
whites are innocent of what their grandfathers did, but they are in
a privileged position because of what their fathers did; and weíre
in a hell of a condition because of what their fathers did. So if
you, the present generation of whites, want to escape what is justly
due, then theyíve got to do the right thing. Theyíve got to do
justice by the Black man.
What is the right thing? You (this generation of whites) have got
to apologize for what you did. Youíve got to repent for what you
did. Youíve got to say, "weíve been wrong. Now we know we
donít want you,we donít like you, but weíll give you
Now what does justice look like? If you add it up Ö if you add
it up white folks, you are going to have to give us the whole
country. Add it up, white man. The whole thing belongs to the
oppressed, if you add it up. Weíre not asking for the whole thing,
but we do deserve the whole thing. Just give us some of it and let
us go to build a nation for ourselves. Since you donít want us,
donít keep us here and kill us. Let us go and let us build a new
reality in the name of God. Let us build for God.
"And what if we donít do that?" Itís your thing; do
what you wanna do. You donít have to give us anything, but God
said Heís the Power today, and Heíll take the Kingdom from whom
He pleases, and He will give it to whom He pleases. When I ask for
reparations, Iím asking you to save your life. But if you donít
want to save your life, then leave it to God. Heíll settle it.
Let me tell you how Heíll settle it: An eye for an eye, a tooth
for a tooth and a life for a life. Add it up. Add it up. Add it up.
One hundred million in the Middle Passage and you have 150
million white people in America today. Add it up. If itís a life
for a life, then God is justified in killing everything that refuses
to submit, as He killed Pharaoh and his people, as He destroyed
Babylon, and Sodom and Gomorrah. And He warned you that it was water
the first time, but it will be fire next time. Youíd better add it