A Theology For Reparations

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Rev. Curtis O. Robinson, Sr.
There are roughly 14 million African Americans in this country, and we all cannot sit in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. But we can talk about reparations in the one space where white people have relatively left us alone, and that is in the church.

In the Bible there is a story concerning a community of people that was displaced by an oppressive empirical construct. The Egyptian government enslaved a group of people from the Hebrew nation.

The historical backdrop was centered around a man named Moses, who grew up in the Egyptian White House and had mastered the Egyptian culture.

However, Moses had a date with destiny, and the Zeitgeist of liberty was draped across his mantle. As the journey moved forward, Moses, under the divine unction of Jehovah God, was empowered to lead the people to the “Promised Land.”

Once there, they would be allowed to fulfill a self-sustaining prophecy that would restore their nation and make them whole once again. I read in the book of Joshua that, “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you..”

I return to our discussion for and against reparations. We must continue to press this discussion.

But where do we need to continue this discussion?

I believe that we have had a lot of comments from people at the top. However, if reparations are to become a reality, then we need to have more discussions about reparations from people at the bottom.

There are roughly 14 million African Americans in this country, and we all cannot sit in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. But we can talk about reparations in the one space where White people have relatively left us alone, and that is in the church.

I still maintain that when slave owners allowed their slaves to attend church, they heard about the story of Moses and the children of Israel. I would go as far to say that this

story about a group of oppressed people who found freedom and land, could have been a driving proposition that motivated people like Nat Turner, Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman.

I want us to really pay attention to what whites in America are saying, because despite what is true, they feel that they are the victims of reverse racism.

The definition of reverse racism is this, “Reverse racism means the discrimination or prejudice against a racial or ethnic majority, usually, though, as imagined or perceived by white people.”

I know7 that there are African Americans who believe that reparations are not necessary. I think that if we can develop a theology for further discussions on reparations, then more people at the bottom can join in on this discussion.

And the real conversation is where the power is; and we at the bottom have the power.

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