A few days ago I ran across an article online where a teacher (http://activistteacher.blogspot.ca/2013/01/calculated-minimum-reparation-due-to.html?m=1) decided to do the math behind what black people would be owed if we got reparations adjusted for todays minimum wage values. He did his numbers based solely on a minimal economic value of free slave labor adjusted at the lowest reasonable rate of interest.
The number he came up with was $1.5 million dollars for every Black person in this country that descended from a enslaved ancestor, which is roughly, wait for it…………… $59.2 trillion dollars. Yep approximately $60 trillion in reparations is owed to blacks in America and this is based off minimum values. This is why Congress will never seriously talk about reparations in a meaningful way.
Crazy isn’t it!
So after reading the article it got me thinking. If the newly freed slaves had gotten the 40 acres and a mule promised to them by Lincoln during the Civil War, how much land would we own?
After doing the math it was simple to realize why they went back on that plan almost immediately after the war was over, so here it is!
40 acres of land given out to approximately 4 million slaves would have came out to 160 million acres of land in the south owned by Blacks. Those 160 million acres breaks down to 256,000 square miles of land, which is 18,580 sq miles less than the size of Texas, yep we’d own Texas. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_area)
That’s a lot of damn land, and Black people would have owned that in 1865. It would have more than doubled by now, but even if it never increased by 1 acre that would still be a lot of land to own, especially if you take into account that by 1910 we only owned 15 million acres at our peak. It dropped all the way down to 2.4 million acres in 1997 but has steadily been on the rise again since then. Now we own somewhere around 7.8 million acres (2010) (http://www.blackisonline.com/2010/10/40-acres-crisis/) out of a possible 2.3 billion acres of land in the US.
Now that we know we could have owned land the size of Texas throughout the south, lets calculate what it would be worth today.
According to the USDA ‘s National Agricultural Statistics Service data of 2012, farmland across the US is valued at $2650 per acre on average. And as I said above, if it would have stayed at 160 million acres, Black people in America would control $424 billion dollars worth of land throughout the 11 Confederate states that fought to keep slavery alive and well. But based on todays land ownership numbers we only control $20.67 billion, that’s $400 billion less than what we should have. Even if we take into account that 15 million acres was our peak, and now we own roughly half of that due to systematic racism we still would control 80 million acres or $212 billion dollars worth of land, which is still 10 times better than 7.8 million acres and $20 billion.
So to sum it all up, in 2013, if we were given 40 acres as promised, we would have owned $424 billion worth of land and if we received reparations we would be worth an additional $59.2 trillion. That comes out to $59.624 trillion dollars for 40 something million people. So now you see why we will never see any reparations and why they recognized that if we would have received that much land back then, we would have been a self-sufficient people, which they knew would eventually lead to a nation within a nation.
In 1850 this is what Texas had to say about why they wanted to secede from the Union; (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_States_of_America#A_revolution_in_disunion)
Texas further stated: “We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.”
And again: “That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights [emphasis in the original]; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states.”
The racist of America never wanted us to be free and independent, they never wanted us to be self-sufficient! They wanted us to depend on them and continue to be slaves because they felt as if they were born superior and we were nothing more than a race of people that were born to be subservient to the mighty white race!