When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke about the beloved community, the imagery that he used was a racially at ease world. Everyone would benefit from the richness of the earth and the community. One of the things that makes reparations so difficult to understand is the undercurrent of white privilege and the abuse of black peril. America has been recently reintroduced to the story of the “Central Park Five.”
This story is reminiscent of many episodes when a black man was absolutely found guilty for being black because of the fear of white women being raped by black men, and the possibility of contaminating the blood line of white people. When we think about people like Emmett Till, and his gruesome murder, it roils of black peril. I read that “The Black Peril refers to the fear of colonial settlers that black men are attracted to white women and are having sexual relations with them. This goes back to class and race prejudices. Examples can be seen in British colonialism of India and Africa. Black Peril is a colonial based fear that started in Southern Rhodesia and survived all the way to the independence of Zimbabwe.” It is evident, that this was a tool to maintain control of black men, and to condition the mind of the public that black men were dangerous to the race community of white people.
With this type of thought, white men were justified in continuing to terrorize black men, and this gave them a legal conscious that allowed them to accept this psychological trap. That’s why the acknowledgment of reparations is so important. Yes, we believe that the Forty Acres and a Mule dialogue be reintroduced to the American public. I read where Roy L. Brooks, in his essay of “The Anatomy of Reparations,” said, “First, blacks were the main target of slavery and Jim Crow. No other American group inhabited the peculiar institution.
No other American group sustained more casualties or lengthier suffering from slavery and Jim Crow.” What is missing is the conversation at the bottom about reparations. The more I write and discover about this subject, the more I see of a distant struggle that continues to haunt this country. America seems to be unable to get over this hump simply because a lot of white people would rather believe that these monstrous things never happened. If America wants to be great again, we must stop this schizophrenic activity. Face up to your sins, and America will become something that it has never been before; the beloved community!