Furthest Right

How Reparations-With-Repatriation Might Work

Witness the history of the American Colonization Society:

American Colonization Society members were overwhelmingly white and initially included abolitionists as well as slave owners, all of whom generally agreed with the prevailing view of the time that free blacks could not be integrated into white America. Other black and white abolitionists, however, began to question the intent of the ACS, claiming its true intent was to drain off the most educated of the free black population which often challenged slavery and thus preserve the institution.

The society’s program focused on purchasing and freeing slaves, paying their passage (and that of free blacks) to the west coast of Africa, and assisting them after their arrival there. The federal government provided some initial funding for the Society and helped the ACS purchase the Cape Mesurado area off the coast of West Africa which subsequently became the colony of Liberia. In 1830 the government ended its payments to the ACS; from then on the colonization program was financed exclusively by local and state branches and from churches. In 1838 the ACS adopted a new constitution, one in which the organization became a federation of state auxiliaries.

This was a tiny effort compared to the numbers required to make it work, but it was nonetheless both correct and most compassionate to all individuals involved. It gave freed slaves some starter capital and relocated them. If this had been done on a large scale, it would have created an entire economy of free slaves, and driven the creation in Africa for a nation dedicated to them.

Instead, this was a volunteer effort which happened on a small scale, leaving Liberia too small and underfunded to do what it needed to, which was to beat back all nearby groups and establish its own internal economy. In the future, as it becomes clear that only one ethnic group can occupy a nation without destroying it, we will see more efforts of this type.

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