The U.S. African American Restoration Act
As did the Hebrews of Egypt, enslaved Africans in America once
prayed to God for righteousness and emancipation from the cruel inhumanity of
slavery. That prayer was answered through the passage of the “Emancipation Proclamation”—an executive
order issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. 100 years later,
on August 28, 1963, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln
Memorial in Washington D.C. and declared that, “one hundred years later, the Negro is still not free”. That historic
afternoon, before a crowd of 250,000, the African American hymn, “We Shall
Overcome” was sung at the beginning and
end of Dr. King’s historic, “I Have A Dream” speech. That hymn and speech were
gifts from God—vessels of faith and hope. Forged from the prayers of the
suffering and compassionate, these sacred proclamations carried the promise
made to American Blacks by God—that they would indeed “OVERCOME SOMEDAY”.
More than fifty years later, African Americans shout, “Black
Lives Matter!” Their tear-filled and blood-drenched cries for freedom, justice
and equality, once again appeal to the heavens to end the suffering, anguish,
misery and torment they continue to suffer in America. No matter the pain,
their spirits are not broken. No matter
the cruelty, humiliation and indignity they must endure, they continue to pray
to God. –And God is listening.
African Americans are not a broken people in need of reparation;
they are a distressed, oppressed and suffering people in need of restoration. In order to survive and
prosper, like any successful culture or civilization, American Blacks must
build their futures on a deeply embedded foundation of high-quality education.
-Something that has been legally and categorically denied American Blacks since
being abducted from Africa.
Experts the world over agree that education is the proven
solution to eradicating poverty and crime. It is also the key to the cultural,
economic, social and political transformation of Blacks in America.
The devastating generational byproducts of slavery in America and
across the globe are well documented, having resulted in crippling emotional
and psychological damage to the descendants of those once thriving Africans,
who were kidnapped and enslaved for profit. The after-effects of slavery in
America have also now manifested themselves into cancerous racial polarization
and profound damage to the overall psychological and ideological state of the
Among other effects, the malignant vestiges of Slavery, Jim Crow
Laws, Mass Incarceration and Institutional Racism in the U.S. have metastasized
into the five-to-one ratio of Black men incarcerated in America, over that of
Caucasian men (According the US Bureau of Justice Statistics). Countless
studies have demonstrated that African Americans do not commit more crimes than
other Americans, however, due to institutionalized racial profiling by police,
they are arrested and incarcerated in far greater numbers than non-African
Americans. The disproportionate, mass incarcerations of Blacks continue to
damage the lives and futures of African Americans long after slavery was
One would think that these proven facts would be sufficient to
cause positive changes in American domestic policy. Disturbingly however, in a
2014 study published in the journal, “Psychological Science”, Stanford
University psychology researchers Rebecca Hetey and Jennifer Eberhardt found
that "White participants who were exposed to higher racial disparities
in incarceration rates reported being more afraid of crime and more likely to
support the kinds of punitive policies that exacerbate these racial
In other words, presenting studies and statistics proving that African
Americans have always and are still suffering hatred, discrimination and abuse
because of the color of their skin, does not solve the problem for Blacks in
America. In fact, it actually makes it worse. Instead of demonstrating outrage
and compassion after being informed that Blacks are unjustly locked up five
times as often as Whites, many Americans put more locks on their doors and
support harsher punishment of Blacks than Whites.
Perhaps this explains why, Detroit Congressman John Conyers' “Reparations
Bill” - "H.R.40 - Commission to
Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act", after more than
28 years since he first proposed it, has not been dignified with a congressional
vote...let alone passed. The “HR 40” bill did not itself seek monetary reparations
for American Blacks, but simply to secure a budget to establish a commission,
which would then examine the institution and impact of slavery on American
Blacks and “recommend appropriate remedies”. As we now know however, publicly demonstrating
statistics of Black lynching in America, increases rope and pitchfork sales.
Ironically, it is perhaps American Republican President Donald
J. Trump’s own words—a man who has publicly discriminated against blacks all of
his life, that best display the scorn with which far too many Americans still
hold Blacks. In an attempt to woo African American voters during his 2016
presidential campaign, Trump famously stated:
“What do you have to lose by trying something
new like Trump? What do you have to lose? You live in your poverty, your
schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed.
What the hell do you have to lose?"
Apparently unimpressed by Trump’s heart-felt speech, 92 percent
of African Americans voted AGAINST him in the 2016 Presidential election.
Nonetheless, as we know, Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th
President of the United States.
As Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King put it: "We must come to
see that the roots of racism are very deep in our country, and there must be
something positive and massive in order to get rid of all the effects of racism
and the tragedies of racial injustice."
Dr. King was right. We know that, while critically important, studies
alone wont solve the problem and in some cases, make things worse. However,
there is good news. There is a much simpler alternative to shaming America into
doing the right thing.
America’s Admission of
In 2009, six months following the election of President Barack
Obama, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin—a White man—successfully sponsored a bill, which
admitted to the evils of slavery and apologized to Blacks on behalf of America.
In presenting this bill to Congress, Senator Harkin stated the following:
?“While the reconstruction amendments, the 13th amendment
banning slavery, the 14th amendment granting full citizenship to all slaves,
and the 15th amendment guaranteeing the right to vote supposedly signaled
equality for all, widespread oppression continued. Jim Crow laws,
African-Americans were denied voting rights, denied employment opportunities,
denied access to public accommodations, denied entry into military service,
denied criminal justice protections, denied housing, denied education, denied
police protection, denied due process. In short, denied their very humanity.
“Not until the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the
Voting Rights Act of 1965 and other federal protections did legal -- legal --
segregation effectively cease in this country. The destructive effects of both
slavery and Jim Crow remain, however. As President Bush noted, 'the racial
bigotry did not end with slavery.' President Clinton stated that the racial
divide is 'America’s constant curse.' Today many African-Americans remained
mired in poverty. Average incomes remain below that of white Americans. There
remains an achievement gap in education and, for many, health conditions.
African-Americans bear a disproportionate burden of disease and injury and
death and disability. African- Americans are more over disproportionately
involved with the criminal justice system in our prisons."
As a meaningful and long overdue gesture of contrition for what
the New York Times has called, “America’s Original Sin”, I propose that the
United States Congress pass, the “U.S.
AFRICAN AMERICAN RESTORATION ACT” (USAARA).
Once passed, the USAARA will, without prejudice, provide to
African Americans—regardless of economic status or criminal background—FULL post-secondary
and vocational scholarship vouchers for tuition, books, materials, housing and
meals. No direct cash disbursements need be made to any USAARA recipient.
Question: So, who will pay to execute this LAW?
The answer is; it has already
been paid for. –Paid for with the blood, sweat, tears and very lives of
Africans enslaved in America and whose unpaid forced labor was used to
establish and build America into what it is today. The value of that toil—the
murder, rape, torture, and abuse levied against of African American slaves, is
indeed immeasurable. As such, the descendants of African American slaves will now
be the direct beneficiaries of this historic and just entitlement.
How much will this all cost? Well, have you ever asked yourself
that question when you see the police putting an African American youth into a
patrol car? Consider that according to a recent College Board report, for the 2015/16
academic years the average overall cost for tuition, fees, room and board to
attend an in-state public college in America was $20,090. By comparison,
according to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, the average annual taxpayer
cost in America of housing a prisoner is $31,286 per inmate with some states
such as New York, as high as, $60,000 per prison inmate.
In addition, countless studies have concluded that education
drastically reduces crime, recidivism and poverty rates. ? In other words, this
historic legislation will, among other things, actually SAVE US taxpayers
billions of dollars annually by providing African Americans with the
educational resources they need to truly OVERCOME—not just get by. –Resources,
which have been historically and legally denied to them since first stepping—foot
and shackle—onto American soil.
These essential entitlements will free American Blacks from
systemic and generational cycles of educational, economic and parental poverty.
They are essential to restoring all African Americans to their pre-slavery
place of cultural stability, relevance, productivity, prosperity and
self-sustainability. –These traits—the building blocks of any successful
civilization, were systematically stripped from American Blacks through slavery
and denied them through the legalized murder, hatred, racism and discrimination
of Jim Crow Laws and institutional racism.
To be certain, the U.S. African American Restoration Act shall
by no means constitute a "free lunch" for anyone. To begin with, the
word, "Free" is unsuitable to describe these educational
dispensations. As previously mentioned, a quality education for all African
Americans must be considered an entitlement, having been PAID IN FULL by the
blood, sweat, tears and lives of their enslaved ancestors. That said, this
program will mandate a full and sustained scholastic commitment from each and
every recipient, in order to redeem USAARA educational vouchers. –Recipients
must attend class and get passing grades in order for the federal funds to be
disbursed to the academic institution.
There is no downside here. This action is long overdue and in
order to succeed MUST be supported by Americans of all races. We now ask for
your support—as Americans—to stand with us and use any and all legal means
necessary to compel a bi-partisan congressional coalition, as elected and paid
servants of the American people, to sponsor and sign the U.S. AFRICAN AMERICAN
RESTORATION ACT into federal law. In doing so, America will have finally atoned
for its atrocities and close one of the darkest of chapters in its history.
America will truly earn the right to represent itself as, “the land of the free and the home of the brave”.
For African Americans, education is and has always been the key
to the gates of the “Promised Land”. There can be no further obstacles standing
in the way of the fulfillment of this dream.
In the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,
The Negro has no room to make any substantial
compromises because his store of advantages is too small. He must press
unrelentingly for quality, integrated education or his whole drive for freedom
will be undermined by the absence of a most vital and indispensable
and may God Bless America.
We Shall Overcome Foundation
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