Evil White Males?

EVERY TIME I HEAR about the reparations issue ("How I Changed My Mind," by Bob McLalan, March-April 2001), I start to feel this creeping guilt. That is, until recently. Reparations for slavery are inherently racist and victimizing. Only a small part of our forefathers owned slaves. Some of the slaves happened to be white. Will their families be compensated? There were black masters who owned other blacks, so should they pay extra? I know my entire family didn't arrive on the boat until the very late 19th-century immigrations. Why should anyone in my family feel guilty or pay taxes to make these reparations? What about all the other immigrants from various parts of the world in the 20th century?

More important, this century has seen laws and rights enforced. Affirmative action has been here for decades. We even have a black billionaire now! Blacks aren't the only people to have been enslaved. It just so happens that they had a nation of Christians who said enough. This happened at no other time in history! All other slaves from time immemorial have had to move on without public and private assistances like these! I have gotten tired of being the evil white male and everyone else trying to fit into a victim group.

Kris Swanson
Madison, Wisconsin

Bob McLalan replies:

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Sojourners Magazine May-June 2001
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