I’ve watched with interest the debate on reparations for the descendants of slaves, and it’s got me to thinking… even though I’m white (GASP!) I think I might be entitled to some compensation myself. Here’s my case:
Some of my descendants were (GASP AGAIN!) Mormon. History shows quite clearly that these people were seriously alphabetized! Assaulted, Banished, Cursed, Detested, Expelled, Fabricated against, Gagged, Hated, Intimidated, Jeered at, Killed, Loathed, Molested, Negated, Ostracized, Persecuted, Quashed, Raped, Slaughtered, Taunted, and to top it off they were Unpopular, Victimized, Wronged, X-ed, Yelled at and Zapped Ouch!
Now, you might argue that I, myself haven’t experienced any of that—though I barely got through Jr. High School alive—nor have my parents, grandparents, uncles or aunts. Still… I might have had many more opportunities had my ancestors been Catholic or Protestant. Who can say? On the other hand, if I were Jewish I'd certainly have grounds for mega compensation!
I certainly would have been better off had I not grown up poor. Shouldn’t I get reparations for that? After all I was directly and personally impacted by harsh circumstances. Just think of what I could have become if my parents could afford to send me to dancing lessons, cheerleading camps, sports teams, karate, or get tutored. If I’d grown up able to really cultivate my potential instead of cleaning apartments, schools and churches, waiting tables, washing dishes, ironing shirts or selling cupcakes—who’s to say how far I could have gone? Shouldn’t I be compensated?
I recently had a discussion with a lovely, energetic soul who was obsessed with raising funds for the underprivileged. “These disadvantaged children deserve to have the opportunities that other, more wealthy kids have to experience the arts, theme parks, and many other growth-related activities.”
Hmmm… I thought a minute before suggesting, “So exceptionally unfortunate kids would get the same opportunities as exceptionally fortunate kids?”
“Exactly.” She beamed.
“So that means the kids who aren’t poor enough or rich enough would actually become the underprivileged?”
She looked at me with disgust. “No, you don’t get it.”
I think I do. Everyone who has had disadvantageous circumstances—either generations ago or now—are entitled to compensation. Do I have it right?