Friday, December 03, 2021

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Article Index



VI. Conclusion

Reparations offer the country a unique opportunity to reconstruct fractured communities. It is necessary to acknowledge the ongoing inequities and create a workable plan to restore to African-Americans their rightful place in society. It is not conducive or even recommended that the process attempt to lay blame; reparations is a moral obligation that we all share to take care of those who have suffered. The perpetuation of pain as a direct result of slavery and discrimination taints us all. And yet, coming to grips with injustice is not easy. However, it is not justice's duty to make reconciliation palatable. There is no doubt that reparations must be the result of America's struggle with a problem that is older thanthe nation itself. And there can be no doubt that the U.S. owes a debt to the descendants of those who were the backbone of the nation's growth.

The Fifth Amendment's Takings Clause mandates the federal government pay for private property that it commandeers without the permission of the property owner. Slaves lost the value of their labor, and more importantly, the value of their self-ownership. As a result, their surviving descendants and African-Americans at large continue to suffer from the vestiges of slavery that manifest in modern day society's treatment of the race. In acknowledging the wrongs, a Takings Clause argument creates a kinder, more gentle and reasonable approach to the idea of repairing the damage and expands the possibilities for conversation and debate in the process of attaining just compensation.

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Vernellia R. Randall
Founder and Editor
Professor Emerita of Law
The University of Dayton School of Law

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