Michael Knowles on Reparations

The first formally recognized slaveholder in America was black . . . [H]e was named Anthony Johnson, he was a black Angolan farmer, he was captured in Angola by Arab slave traders, [who] sold him off. He ended up in Virginia, and he was a slave [there]. He was eventually emancipated after his indenture was over, he was freed, and he himself became a successful farmer. 
He also owned slaves; so, he owned a black slave named John Casor . . . [T]he question is: are the black descendants of Anthony Johnson, a slave owner, entitled to reparations for slavery? Doesn’t make a whole of sense, does it? Are the black descendants of John Casor- the slave owned by Anthony Johnson- entitled to reparations from the black descendants of Anthony Johnson? So that means, when we have reparations for slavery, that some black descendants of slave owners have to pay reparations to some black descendants of slaves? 
How are we going to work that- are we going to be taking DNA tests, and Ancestry.com is going to get hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants just to figure out who was descended from whom? What if you’re descended from a black slave owner and a black slave- does it cancel out? Or a white slave owner and a black slave- how are we going to adjudicate your culpability today in 2019?
-Michael Knowles, via John Hirschauer

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