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Compensate descendents of slaves

Author Ta-Nehisi Coates and Actor Danny Glover testify about reparations for the descendants of slaves during a hearing Wednesday before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Associated Press)
Author Ta-Nehisi Coates and Actor Danny Glover testify about reparations for the descendants of slaves during a hearing Wednesday before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Associated Press) (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)

As a descendant of a Civil War veteran, I’m conflicted about the subject of reparations. Nevertheless, it’s only right to address the injustices, abuses and detrimental legal statutes enslaved people endured and from which their descendants still suffer (“The moral argument for reparations is easy; now is the hard part,” June 19).

If there are people who can prove their ancestors were enslaved under the laws of the United States, let’s talk about some method to financially address this inequity. Perhaps our government could set up a system like the GI Bill, from which those whose subjugated ancestors might draw funds. But it is essential the monies earmarked for reparations never burden taxpayers. I suggest all reparation relief resources be transferred from our bloated military budget — and there’s more than enough in the till.

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Another form of compensation might be a college or technical school voucher system. This too must be paid from the Pentagon’s finances. America wastes huge amounts of taxpayer dollars on warfare and unnecessary military preparedness. It’s time the United States stopped trying to police the world and instead took care of today’s citizens, who have legitimate claims for recompense.

Rosalind Heid, Baltimore

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