Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Politics and Judges in Reparations Cases

It was interesting to note that in the decision made by Judge Norgle in the corporate reparations trial in Chicago, that he quotes much of the decision on a paper authored by legal scholar Eric J. Miller (see link to abstract) who has worked closely with Charles Ogletree at Harvard on reparations cases. It shows how many of the decisions that will come from judges dealing with reparations cases will be political with an eye toward public
repercussions rather than the merits of the case. Even more interesting is how these recent cases are viewed as "setbacks" by reporters (Black and white), pundits and white supremacists ignoring the fact that *all* cases involving the rights of Afrikans the world order were rarely won in *one* trial, but were the product of several cases taking place over several years. Dred Scott, Homer Plessy were both *right* in their pursuit of justice despite what the courts ruled. History proved them correct just as history will view Farmer-Paellmann and the Tulsa Massacre Survivors as correct in their pursuit of justice.

Ray Winbush Posted by Picasa

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:50 AM

    One of seven from The Principles of the NAACP...
    1. To abolish legal *injustice* against "negroes".
    "The only means we can employ are education, organization, AGITATION,Publicity---the force of an enlightened public opinion."

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  2. Anonymous1:32 PM

    One of the Principles of the NAACP...
    1. To abolish legal *injustice* against "negroes".
    "The only means we can employ are education, organization, AGITATION,Publicity---the force of an enlightened public opinion."

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  3. I think increasingly the word "agitation" become more relevant to the reparaitons struggle. Since history is our best teacher, it is important to note that until the Montgomery Bus Boycott, virtually *nothing* occurred after Brown. Reparations activists must learn to *press* for reparations as well as sue/legislate for them...

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  4. Anonymous3:16 AM

    In relationship to the reparations movement, would you say that this 4 prong method has been employed and of course I don't necessarily mean by the NAACP? One thing that seems lacking is a clearly identifiable relationship between enslavement and suffering by enough people or do you think that the arena for this movement is the middle class..(not that the so-called middle class isn't suffering) GH

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  5. GH,

    I agree. I think one of the mistakes that reparations activists have made is not connect the dots between enslavement and *present day* conditiions in our community. The Black middle class is usually the *last* group within our community to move on issues. This was true during the civil rights era and even before. Class differences in our community have triggered many in the middle class to disparage those who are poorer. I think much of the Bill Cosby tirade is related to this. I think the NAACP saying that it is going to get much more involved in the reparations struggle will cause the BMC to listen and learn.

    ---Ray

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