Current publishing projects include a collaboration on a biography with a prominent New Jersey construction magnate and geneological research for a non-fiction family history. Her blog address is http://beigerage.blogspot.com.
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Dear Langston, It explodes!
By Regina Faye Brown
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2010 Regina Faye Brown
All right reserved.
Chapter OneWEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2008 Economic Collapse as "Reverse Reparations"?
By: Regina Faye Brown
'In God We Trust' ... it's on our American dollar bills. 'One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All' ... that's from our Pledge of Allegiance. Both presidential candidates ended their recent speeches at their respective parties' conventions with "God Bless America." America talks the talk but when it comes to believing in and fearing God, does she walk the walk?
Watching the financial stocks plummet on September 17th after a $70 billion "bail-out" of the world's largest insurer, AIG, with taxpayer money, the commentators stated that Americans are worried about the safety of their funds placed in all banks big and small. The commentators insure the public that since the creation of the FDIC only three hundred or so individuals were not "made whole".
What about the millions and millions of Americans of African descent whose forefathers and mothers were never "made whole"? Even though they were kidnapped, brutalized and terrorized during slavery and for a good chunk of time afterward, these Americans were not compensated for their labor or emotional distress and in turn they generally did not pass down wealth to their children to grow for future generations.
Thomas Jefferson, one of America's most heralded founding fathers, was also a slave-owner and the father of slaves he never saw fit to emancipate. Being very intelligent he did understand the consequences of the actions of his class stating "I fear for my country when I reflect that God is just."
Lehman Brothers has succumbed to bankruptcy while so far other investment banks have staved off this action. On www.lehman.com we see that Lehman Brothers was founded in 1850 in Montgomery, Alabama. They worked with local slaveholders as brokers of slave-picked cotton and in 1858 opened their office in New York. They made their fortune from the misery of others.
Lehman was not alone by any means. In 2002 lawyers Deadria Farmer-Paellman and Ed Fagan sued insurance giant Aetna, railroad company CSX and Fleet Boston bank for their history of profiting from slavery. But there are so many more companies who did just that as well and not just in America.
And let's not forget the actual slaveholders whose children and children's children benefitted financially for generations from wealth earned and passed down which originated from the wealth earned from the toil of other, uncompensated human beings. Maybe they even had inherited money invested in the markets and have inherited money in bank deposits that they hope are insured.
Unfortunately, many African-Americans don't really know what reparations are, or that they were promised to freed slaves, or that we should be fighting for them. In Martin Luther King's dream speech he didn't just have a dream that his children could have the privilege of going to the same school as white children, he said America had given black Americans a check marked "Insufficient Funds"!! Most of the people who do know about reparations feel it's a pipe dream to expect the government system established by the likes of Thomas Jefferson to correct itself and finally own up to its evil infliction of poverty on a people.
However, true believers in God recognize when He moves. They believe in His word the Bible where in James 5:1-4 it states: 1 Go now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. 3 Your gold and silver are cankered and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. 4 Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.
'God moved on the water April the 19th day' is from a folk song African-Americans sang when the Titanic sank. African-Americans were barred from working or traveling on the infamous ship as it was reserved for the world's elite. As I watched Goldman Sachs' ( a company who sent me a letter stating they'd compromised my personal financial information, including my social security number and in a year of billion dollar bonuses for current employees compensated a former intern with a year of access to a credit-monitoring service!) shares fall today I knew exactly how the lyricists who penned that song felt.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2008 Obesity: Slavery's Legacy?
My most recent reparations article Obesity, one legacy of slavery?
By: Regina F. Brown 11/14/06
In the article, 'Obesity prevalent in Southern States, Study' from October 16, 2006's Jet Magazine, the research pointed out that people living in the Southern states have a higher prevalence of obesity. I'm sure I'm not the only Ebony/Jet reader that noticed the correlation of obesity prevalence and former slave statehood.
According to the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) report entitled 'U.S. Obesity trends in Adults from 1991-2001', the prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults was broken down by population characteristics, including race. Blacks had a disproportionately high occurrence of obesity at 31.1% obesity rate. This compares to an obesity rate of 19.6% for whites and a rate of 23.7 for Hispanics. If the rate is disproportionately high, as it is for African-Americans, the rate is not closely related to the percentage of African-Americans compared to the population as a whole, in fact it is more than double the percentage of African-Americans in the population, 12.8 % in 2004 (http://quickfacts. census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html). The White population comprised 67.4% of the United States in 2004 with Hispanics accounting for 14.1%.
One of the Jet Obesity article's main points was that poverty increases the chances that a person will be obese. This is partly due to the lack of availability of more nutritious, more expensive foods available in neighborhoods where real supermarkets exist. Almost one-third of African American children lived in poverty in 1999, compared with 27 percent of other minorities and nine percent of non-Hispanic Whites. (http://www.prcd.org/summaries/blacks/blacks.html). The White population comprised 67.4% of the United States in 2004 with Hispanics accounting for 14.1%. So if you live in the South, as 53.6% of black people do, are affected by poverty and also happen to be black, is there a good chance that you will have a higher prevalence of obesity? Is this so, and if so, why?
In 'Rethinking Weight' by Amanda Spake the story of the offspring of women who survived the Dutch winter famine of 1944-45 is noted. The article points out that "Babies born to women who suffered severe malnutrition early in their pregnancies tended to have more fat and become obese more readily as adults." Are these findings exclusive to the Dutch of that year or could these findings, on human beings, be related to the experiences of others, human beings as well.
This is essentially what this paper is all about. Are we humans? Because if we are, and I know we are because if white is human, and I am that also, then black is human because you cannot (no matter how hard they try to beat you in the head with this concept) be half human unless your name is Jesus! If we are, then where is the outrage? Am I the only one outraged, me and Farrakhan? If we are, where are the revolutionaries? All murdered? Ron Brown?
On the United States Department of Veterans Affairs' website in the section entitled 'National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in an article called 'As Survivors Age: Part II', Yael Danieli, Ph.D. argues that "victimization/trauma" causes a rupture, a possible regression, and a state of being "stuck", called fixity." Danieli states, "The Holocaust not only ruptured continuity but also destroyed all the individual's existing supports. The ensuing pervasive conspiracy of silence between survivors and society including mental health professionals, deprived them and their children of potential supports.'
Dr. Danieli's article contends that survivors of the Nazi Holocaust suffer from Post Traumatic Stress and pass it to their offspring. It also mentions a study done by Matussek where "survivors in the USA and Israel ... have been more successful in coping with their concentration camp past than ... in Germany which for them, is still the land of their persecutors."
Can slavery have predisposed blacks to obesity and other Post Traumatic stress symptoms? If the Nazi Holocaust could have done that to future generations of Jews, then certainly an argument can be made for this assertion. Is obesity more prevalent for blacks living in the South because the South is technically "still the country of their persecutors"? Or even more broadly, is coping with intergenerational Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for African-Americans more difficult in an entire nation which is essentially, "still the country of their persecutors."
In her new book, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing, Dr. Joy DeGruy Leary tackles this most important topic. On inthesetimes.com Dr. Leary is interviewed by Silja J.A. Talvi. Dr. Leary effectively countered the argument that whites often give for ignoring the problems passed down intergenerationally from slavery. The argument is that they weren't alive then and therefore do not deserve to be blamed or be made to feel guilty about any of the circumstances that occur today in the African-American community because of the existence of the Slavery Holocaust. She states "It's irrelevant that you weren't alive during slavery days. I wasn't there either. But what we as a nation face today has been heavily impacted by our history, whether we're talking in the gulf between the haves and have-nots; education gaps between white and black children; or the racial disparities in our prisons." How about the disparities in health problems like obesity? I would further add to her argument the fact that whites as a group derive benefit from inclusion in the upper echelons of the racial hierarchy which exist in this country whether they saw the institution which gave birth (LITERALLY) to this hierarchy with their own two eyes or not.
This is provable statistically with the data that their prevalence toward poverty is less than their normal, statistically expected rate ... correlated with percentage of the population they hold. A whopping 67.4% of the U.S. population is white in 2004 (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/ states/00000.html), yet only 9% of Non-Hispanic whites live in poverty. It is actually negatively correlated, meaning it would be expected to be 67.4 % of the cases of poverty, ceteris parabis or all things being equal and there's probably a really interesting reason why the actual rates of white poverty are over 7 times less likely than they should be. If this is true, that whites derive a benefit from their race, how can anyone in good conscience (key) refuse to entertain the concept that the converse of their reality does not also exist?
In the October 16th, 2006 edition of Jet Magazine, 'Black Plaintiffs Push for Federal Appeal of Slave Reparations Lawsuit in Chicago' divulged that "lawyers for slave descendents are asking for federal appeals court to revive a landmark reparations case that demands 17 of the nation's insurers and banks (including JP Morgan Chase & Co., Aetna Inc., Bank of America and Lehman Brothers) publicize and pay for their roles in the country's slave trade."
A dollar figure is mentioned for the current day "market value" of the company-owned slaves at $850 million. What about the current day "market value" of the non company-owned slaves? Are only corporate enslavers responsible to remedy their victims?
Given the evidence on multigenerational inheritance of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Nazi Holocaust victims, information discussed in Dr. Leavy's book, the incidence of disproportionately high levels of obesity and the Dutch study which suggests that malnourishment of a mother can cause obesity in a child it follows that a new outlook on slavery reparations lawsuits should be adopted. We should not be singularly focused in our reparations lawsuits. Corporations.... fair game. Individuals ...(genealogical research required, possible denied inheritance, DNA tests?) fair game. If they can dig up Jefferson for his currently white descendents to claim their presidential burial plot by alleging relation to his black children, they can dig up anybody. Government ... (which enacted laws both condoning and outlawing the Black Holocaust and up until today has not formally even apologized to African-Americans for the crime against humanity that slavery was and that its intergenerational consequences continue to be) ... you see the direction in which this is headed.
To even mention a dollar figure associated with the worst crime against humanity that has ever occurred is pointless because there is no dollar figure that can quantify this obstruction of justice, which continues. Until this concept is accepted by reparations advocates and those hell-bent on denying even the prospect of reparations, consideration of reparations to the descendents of slavery will be less than comprehensive in scope.
Visit http://www.prcdc.org/summaries/blacks/blacks.html Posted by Beige Rage at 10:44 AM
REPARATIONS NOW! BY: REGINA BROWN WITH ADDITIONAL RESEARCH BY: RAVAN PATRICK
I was watching t.v. several months ago and heard a woman, a Nazi Holocaust survivor, speak the words that compelled me to write this paper. She said, to paraphrase, "any time work is done, the worker deserves to be compensated." This statement struck a chord deep within my soul. That chord was plucked by my ancestors who slaved for this country without ever being compensated. It was also plucked by my more recent ancestors, who although never worked without compensation, were hindered by being relegated to begin their careers on the lowest socio-economic rung of society's ladder for no other reason than being descendants of slaves who built this country with blood, sweat, and tears ... for free! I decided that I must write a paper about this issue. After being in school for over sixteen years, this seemed the obvious answer for me. You see, anytime I was given a paper assignment where I was free to choose my own topic, I would choose something that bothered me about society and basically just vent my anger. I knew at least one person (teacher or professor) would have no choice but to give my thoughts a forum. But as a financial analyst, I found myself without a forum to vent. But then, I thought of Bill Gates. He bought Hotmail because of the advertising power that inserting a plug for his company at the bottom of each email sent would give him. This is the exponential information dissemination power of email via the internet. This is why the revolution will not be televised ... it will be on the internet.
So, I started doing research where I could. Where I could was the automobile industry. In The Detroit News on March 17, 1999 it was reported that in Cologne, Germany a fund was set up by Volkswagen (and DaimlerChrysler, Bayer, ...) to pay slave laborers used during the Nazi regime. While the fund paid 219 people so far, Volkswagen estimates that some 17,000 forced laborers toiled in its factories from 1941 to the end of World War II, and others estimate the numbers are much higher. In the Detroit Free Press on February 17, 1999, they mentioned that the creation of this fund came only as a response to lawsuits against German companies in the United States by former "slaves". In the New York Times on February 18, 1999, there was an article entitled, "Holocaust Lawsuits Spark Demand for Historians." It said that the mounting wave of Holocaust-related lawsuits has created both a litigation and public-relations nightmare.
So what? What does any of this have to do with African-Americans? It's simple, the Jews are creating legal precedents for reparations for descendants of African slaves in America. African-Americans would still be attending segregated schools if some brave Black lawyers had not sued for the right to an equal education. We still would not be able to vote if we hadn't sued and protested for the right. We would not have Affirmative Action if people hadn't given their lives to the cause of equalizing the playing fields when it comes to employment. Oh that's right, Affirmative Action is on its' way to extinction since we have grown complacent. Those who benefit most from its existence feel they are just so special and qualified that they had to be picked from the masses to succeed, instead of being grateful their predecessors paved the way and making sure to further pave the way for future generations.
Excerpted from Dear Langston, It explodes! by Regina Faye Brown Copyright © 2010 by Regina Faye Brown. Excerpted by permission.
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