Closing the circle of abolition and restitution with reparations:Corrective economic justiceBy Minister Ari S. Merretazon, M.S.CEDBritain abolished the slave trade 200 years ago. Its landmarks are an abiding legacy of cruelty. Before the 18th century, very few White men and women questioned the morality of slavery as it was public policy. The Quakers were among these few. However, it was the Black resistance and rebellions that destroyed chattel slavery. Abolitionists facilitated and resourced the movement.By 1775, the Quakers founded the first American anti-slavery group. Through the 1700s, Quakers led a strong-held prohibition against slavery. The Quakers’ fight inspired growing numbers of abolitionists, and by the 1830’s abolitionism was in full force and became a major engine for justice in the United States.The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N‘COBRA) is the leading corrective justice coalition supported by human rights and religious organizations, legislators, students, and professionals. N’COBRA was founded in 1988. N’COBRA praises the work of the long line of corrective justice activists for continually seeking accountability and justice from those who codified, participated in, and profited from the enslavement of Black people.The case for supporting a current day initiative to finish the work of abolitionists under the banner of corrective economic justice and reparations is, in brief, that European and American societies systemized the ‘peculiar’ institution of human enslavement, i.e., chattel property, which has no rival or historical precedent. Under the banner of truth and righteousness, these societies are obligated as matter of corrective justice, to help repair the damage done to the ancestors of the holocaust of enslavement.The Quaker community of today should engage N’COBRA in discussion on their inherited legacy of abolition and what role this community is willing to play in respect to the current day reparations movement for corrective economic justice. The engagement N’COBRA seeks is an effort to move the demand for corrective economic justice further to the center of society for open moral discussion about reparations for Blacks in the public domain.The disingenuous apology of “profound regret” is only symbolism and can not take place of repairing the damage wrought by African enslavement. Quakers and other religious organizations are expected to engage the reparations movement, at minimum, with resources which will increase the capacity of the reparations movement as they did the abolition movement. History and the continuum of America’s religious foundation calls for this because the repair of injured people is the basic principle of the great commandment which ends with “love thy brother as thy self.” Upon this all else rests.

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