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Off the Editor’s Desk 5-31-2023


If you don’t know what is happening in the United States, with the government spending, then you should get on board with this program that will pay every American whose ancestors were slaves.

Several states, including California have already put together a program to see that money is funded to those who have relatives back some five or six generations ago that were held as salves.

Reparation is not a new idea here in the United States. PEW Research Center put it this way. “Discussions about atonement for the enslavement of Black Americans have a long history in the United States. Most famously, General William T. Sherman drafted Special Field Order 15 in 1865. The order stipulated that Confederate land seized in Georgia and South Carolina would be split among formerly enslaved Black people in those states, no more than 40 acres per family.

“Black Americans commonly refer to this as ‘40 acres and a mule,’ and it has become a long-standing symbol for both the promise of and pessimism about repayment for slavery, or reparations.”

Now here is the catch, the cost, and here is what I came across about cost.

“The reparation package should prioritize cash payments totaling $20 Trillion to American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS). Together with targeted policies and protection, the redistribute measure will be ongoing and must remain in effect until, at the very least, the wealth gap between white Americans and ADOS is closed.”

Now, who is going to pay that large amount of money? I have a good idea who is and that is us, the tax paying public. Now, I feel that neither I nor any of my ancestors held or promoted slavery or had anything to do with it. But, I will, and my kids will, and my grandkids will foot the bill for this program.

We have done this type of program before. The Native Americans received some sort of reparation and the Japanese Americans that were locked up by FDR during the Second World War got payments, so there is precedent for this program.

As I was thinking about this, how about reparation payments to the descendants of those that fought to abolish slavery.

I am going to be the first to put my hand out for one of those payments as two of my great grandfathers served with the Union Army. My great grandfathers, Marshall Otis (1833-1914) and Joel Mead DeWitt (1826-1904) both took up arms to free slaves.

So shouldn’t we as descendants of the people that freed the slaves have part of that “40 acres and a mule”?

Pictured below are my great grandparents; on the left is Marshall Otis with his wife, Phoebe E. (Littlefield) Otis and at right are Joel Mead DeWitt and his wife Lyda Jane (Ray) DeWitt.

Thanks for reading!       ~Carlton

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