Archive for Friday, October 12, 2007

Panhandlers collect for slavery reparations

October 12, 2007


— It was panhandling, it was performance art - and it was a political statement about the legacy of slavery and reparations for black people.

A dozen volunteers, black and white, took to the streets of Portland on Wednesday to take part in what its creator called the National Day of Panhandling for Reparations.

They asked white passers-by to pay reparations for enslaving black people, and then they gave money to black passers-by.

"Artists take the lead on social issues," the organizer, a Portland-based performance artist named damali ayo, told The Oregonian. "This is the way I'm taking the lead on a social issue. Taking it to the streets. Also to get the job done - getting those reparations paid out."

As volunteer Frances Miller asked passers-by for money, they reacted with confusion, amusement or annoyance. Some, like delivery man Jeremy Butyrin, gave money.

"America's history hasn't been so kind to a lot of people," said Butyrin, who gave $10. "You can't always count on the government to take care of it. Sometimes you have to do it yourself."


SettingTheRecordStraight 9 years ago

"They asked white passers-by to pay reparations for enslaving black people, and then they gave money to black passers-by."

They gave the money to black passers-by?? What an insult!

kneejerkreaction 9 years ago

I'll donate when black people donate. Slave ships were owned by white people, but filled up by black people who preyed on their fellow Africans.

White people sailed the ships, black people brought captured Africans to the shorelines and SOLD them to the white people. It was a partnership.

Give me a friggin' break.

SettingTheRecordStraight 9 years ago

Where are the liberals defending this nutty reparations concept?

(pin drop)

Confrontation 9 years ago

It disgusts me that so many people sit around and wait for reparations, rather than getting a job and bettering their own lives.

kneejerkreaction 9 years ago

SettingTheRecordStraight (Anonymous) says: Where are the liberals defending this nutty reparations concept?

Giving reparation money.

50YearResident 9 years ago

(Panhandlers collect for slavery reparations) My guess on this is that less than 10% of what the panhandlers took in was actually given back to anyone. The panhandlers made off like bandits.

kneejerkreaction 9 years ago

Truth is that most of the white people passing the pandhandlers had ancestors that weren't even in the US at the time of slavery. Were the Asians, Hispanics, and as I state before, Black people asked to give money too?

kneejerkreaction 9 years ago

Oregon - It was panhandling, it was performance art - and it was a political statement about the legacy of slavery and reparations for black people.

Would "pandering sycophant" be an appropriate way to describe the author's first paragraph?

kneejerkreaction 9 years ago

bennyoates (Anonymous) says: Whether you like what they represent or not, at least these folks put themselves and their beliefs out there and took a stand. That's American.

There he is, the gullible liberal. Ben. this stupid and futile gesture can only serve to keep the racial tension alive. Read my earlier comment. It was black on black violence that loaded the slave ships.

Are black people apologizing for slavery?

kneejerkreaction 9 years ago

logicsound04 (Anonymous) says: "Are black people apologizing for slavery?"-kneejerkreaction- While we're at it, why don't we make people of Jewish faith apologize for the Holocaust, eh 'jerkreaction

log., No more than I would make you apologize for being stupid. Read my reference for saying that, Dick.

Confrontation 9 years ago

americorps: You really crack me up! Just to make you feel all soft and fuzzy inside, I also think that lazy whites, hispanics, and all others should stop acting like victims and get off their lazy butts. You act like the rest of us should acknowledge every possible race card in every single post. There are those people who blame whitey for everything, while they receive their welfare checks and refuse to do anything else (since whitey should pay for everything). I absolutely don't deny that there is racism, but the lack of initiative can't be blamed on anyone else other than yourself. Honestly, people like you would never acknowledge that things have become better for minorities in this country. Nothing is perfect, but you have to wake up and realize that it's not 1861 anymore.

Confrontation 9 years ago

It may also come as a surprise to Americrap that it's not even 1960 anymore. Wow!

kneejerkreaction 9 years ago

Why do we hear nothing about Native Americans wanting reparations? There might be a case for that.

davidnta 9 years ago

Notice that conservatives are wining and crying about it, while this progressive isn't really caring too much.

beatrice 9 years ago

"Where are the liberals defending this nutty reparations concept?"

Just because a nutty idea comes from a group that identifies itself as liberal doesn't mean that all liberals agree with the nutty idea. It would be like asking all conservatives (whether they identify as political, social, or economic conservatives) to support every utterance of Pat Robertson or Rush Limbaugh. It isn't going to happen. There are liberal ideas, conservative ideas, and then there are just plain goofy ideas. This falls under the goofy ideas heading, hence no defenders.

As far as kjerks blaming of Africans for their own enslavement, I give you today's quote: "Men hate those to whom they have to lie." -Victor Hugo, poet, novelist, and dramatist (1802-1885)

kneejerkreaction 9 years ago

Whatever vague point you're trying to make, Beat., if you're saying that Africans had no role in the initial slavery thing, get out your history book.

Danielle Brunin 9 years ago

As a general rule, Native Americans don't generally ask for their reparations in monetary forms per se (I'm sure there are exceptions, as with everything). Usually the reparations they want involve the preservation of sacred lands, ability to practice their traditional way of life through spearfishing, whale hunting, etc. They are met with just as fierce of resistance as African Americans who want monetary reparations.

Having said that, I think I would have looked at these people as though they were crazy if they would have asked me for money. If I were African American and somebody tried to give me change as a "reparation" I would have told them to stick it. I have bigger fish to fry

kneejerkreaction 9 years ago

For the record, African warring tribes enslaved members of other African tribes long before the white ships came and made it even more lucrative. About 50% of the slaves brought to the US were from this source. (No, I don't have the orginal bill of sale). Either you believe the history books or you don't. I don't care either way.

The fact that the slave sellers remained in Africa (most likely) has nothing to do with my point that slavery was not brought about solely by white people, but also by black people. Therefore, when black people in Africa or whereever, apologize for their role in slavery, which was considerable, they can then get on with blaming whitey. But blaming only whitey is bogus.

kneejerkreaction 9 years ago

rodentgirl16 (Anonymous) says: If I were African American and somebody tried to give me change as a "reparation" I would have told them to stick it. I have bigger fish to fry

Made me laugh out loud. Good one.

kugrad 9 years ago

Now I'm not one who usually agrees with kneejerkreaction a lot, but I have read and watched a lot of the PBS specials of the last 10 years on the subject of slavery. He is not making this stuff up, blacks played a huge role in the slave trade. They brought slaves from the interior regions of Africa to the coast to deliver them to the Dutch and other slave traders. There are some great documentaries about this, although I'm going to have to apologize for not knowing them by name. This is a well-documented part of history. It doesn't absolve anyone. It wouldn't have happened without a ready market for slaves. I don't agree with much that has been posted today, but, on the point of black participation in the slave trade, kneejerk is correct. It happened in a significant way. I would disagree that Blacks should apologize for slavery, but that's my opinion. I think the whole story of the panhandling is sort of humorous. Heck, it's dada enough for our city commission to mandate it in nonsmoking environments!

kneejerkreaction 9 years ago

My point is that asking whites to apologize or give reparations for slavery is just as ridiculous as asking blacks to apologize for slavery.

kneejerkreaction 9 years ago

...and with that, I bid you all a hearty kneeout.

workinghard 9 years ago

Maybe some people do not post because some of the users tend to resort to insults and bashing instead of facts and intelligent discussion. Yes, I know, I'm probably setting myself up but it is a fact that can easily proved. But for the record, maybe they should have donated the money to an African American college fund so they can be as qualified as the white job applicants.

Patriot2 9 years ago

We need a delagation of Republicans standing down on Mass collecting money from the Democrats that pass by and give it "back" to the Republicans that pass by! Since it appears to be Republicans have been supporting this town for too long! Come on Democrats! Walk your talk!

beatrice 9 years ago

"My point is that asking whites to apologize or give reparations for slavery is just as ridiculous as asking blacks to apologize for slavery."

This is a silly story hardly worthy of comment, but kjerk, comparing the relatively few Africans who profited from the capture and selling of humans to the many Whites who made such profiting possible is ridiculous. Were it not for the White Americans who had slaves, then the African traders would not been doing what they were doing (by and large). Can you truly not see the difference? It is like comparing someone who steals a loaf of bread with a bank robber. It is like comparing apples with office buildings. The one thing does not add up to the other.

It is funny, however, because the pointing of fingers at someone else is the same exact tactic kjerks uses when defending President Bush. The size of the blinders that guy must wear to never see anything wrong with White, conservative, Americans is astounding, simply astounding.

beatrice 9 years ago

Well then, I guess that cleans the slate for America! Gosh, who knew that slavery in America was so insignificant. And to think, I always believed that the rest of the world lived in one big happy communine where all food was delicious, the wine was free, money grew on trees, and you always got to eat desert before dinner -- until the big, bad America came along and ruined it for everyone. Thanks for clearing that one up, oh super google historian!

So kids, the lesson for today is: Slavery wasn't so bad in America, simply because it was even badder somewhere else! And remember, when told about something you don't like, be sure to point fingers at somebody, anybody, else. Never, ever question yourself, or your fellow White Americans. That way you (or those with whom you identify) never, ever have to take the blame for anything! Even when those people were slave owners!

And I thought these panhandlers were fools ....

badger 9 years ago

reads article



...I have no response to that.

Which isn't entirely true, as I do have one response: How arrogant is it of these people to assume that just because someone walking past had white-looking skin that he had no slave ancestors but did have slave-owning ancestors, and to assume that just because someone walking past was black, he had slave ancestors and supported the notion of reparations? I know a lot of black people who want nothing to do with the notion of reparations and are embarrassed by people who demand them. I'd be kind of horrified if someone started making assumptions about my politics based on skin color (or gender for that matter).

kneejerkreaction 9 years ago

beatrice, no one is saying slavery wasn't a horrible thing. No one is saying that white farmers in the US didn't create the conditions that led to black people being suppressed and maltreated. And certainly, no one is saying slavery was right.

But, most of all people are saying "get over it. I didn't do it to you."

It was just an interesting point to make of black Africans' involvement in the early years. Can you imagine the white ships pulling up to the African coast, sending out expeditions and bringing back a single African? I can't imagine white slave searching expeditions even SEEING one African. Nope, their ships were filled up by a much more efficient method which involved active participation by black Africans.

This was at first, then the US slave population promulgated on its own for hundreds of years. But without the very active participation of black Africans, the US slave economy quite possible may never have flourished to the extent that it did.

Fatty_McButterpants 9 years ago

This whole string of comments makes me laugh. I get a kick out of the "enlightened," white, "progressives" who feel that the only way to be friends with non-whites is to get down on their knees and beg for forgiveness for crap they haven't even done, such as slavery. Guess what? We stopped the slave trade a while ago. I'm not going to pay money to apologize for something that I had absolutely nothing to do with. In fact, my great-grandfather wasn't even alive when we stopped the slave trade. To say that white Americans need to pay for the sin's of generations long since dead and buried is absolutely ridiculous. Tell me, what would your response be if someone walked up to you and said that you need to pay them for a service that was performed for your great-great-grandfather that he never paid? What if he was never told about the amount due? Yep, you'd tell them to stick their "reparations" where the sun don't shine. Anyone who says otherwise is just plain lying.

kneejerkreaction 9 years ago

Marion, her cat, Victor Hugo, ate it.

pace 9 years ago

I don't know if arguing against some stupid remarks actually is confined to liberals. i think that definition would artificially swell the ranks of liberals to an unrealistic number. That is a horrible definition but maybe your right. I don't think that it is true. You come on and say if anyone thinks any different than me, then that person is a liberal. Poor remark, makes you seem stupid. Makes for a stupid discussion.

pace 9 years ago

I know I am nit picking but according to b3 (Anonymous) says:

"get over it, it happened 200 years ago!" i don't think Slavery ended 40 years before the civil war? odd. No after effects of slavery in our culture? odder. No reason to admit that it was important? convenient. Lets not talk about it or think about it, lets play football. I don't need to understand the history of our country, footballs on. Lets deny it, ignore it, it didn't happen. lets play football. I don't think it is too much to ask to at least to admit it mattered. I think it is too much to ask us to say it didn't matter, even though it makes some people feel more comfortable and warm inside,

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