Reparations — a short story

Posted on 2019 May 20


"reparations" Money_bag.png

You don’t right the wrongs of the past by wronging the people of the present. ― Phil Valentine

Once we start down the road to reparations, every minority will want a piece of the action. — Quippy

Dear Senator Cory Booker:

Thank you for introducing a Senate bill to form a commission to study the idea of reparations to descendants of black American slaves. We people of color have lived under the white man’s oppression for too long. It’s time we got payback. 

You also support baby bonds for every child in America regardless of race, money they can receive at age 18. This is very open-minded of you, but if I can make a request, I would ask that you limit the proposal to bonds for black children. Whitey isn’t oppressed; he’s the oppressor and shouldn’t get a dime. 

It’s true that I am only one-quarter black, but my skin is fairly dark and I identify as African American. (I love Snoop and Drake but I think Eminem is a poser.) I have raised the issue of reparations with people at work, and some have responded badly. One even said that the three-fourths of me that’s white should pay off the rest of me and be done with it. As you can see, your proposal faces an uphill battle. 

Keep up the good work, and best of luck with your presidential campaign. 

Yours truly, 

Anthony “Antonne” Folle


The Hon. Senator Cory Booker:

Many thanks for championing reparations for black Americans. Your efforts have opened a new dialog between minorities and the white majority. With luck and persistence, perhaps Caucasian Americans finally will understand what we minorities have been going through.

I speak as an Asian-American, specifically Chinese. My ancestors came here hoping for freedom and prosperity but instead ended up slaving away, building the railroads out West. Fortunately they persisted, worked hard, and became successful Americans. In fact, their descendants tend to run the curve at major universities like Harvard and Yale, and many are disproportionately represented among wealthy American communities. I myself am a Stanford grad who works in Silicon Valley, where I have launched two startups. I am proud to say that both have been very successful. Currently, I am worth something north of two hundred million dollars. 

I mention this because I would like to support financially your campaign for higher office. Before doing so, however, I must ask if you would be willing to consider promoting Chinese Americans as recipients of reparations. Our forebears have suffered hardships and indignities because of race, sometimes as harshly as the tribulations suffered by blacks. (Manzanar comes to mind, though they were Japanese, but you get my point.) If you would be willing to consider expanding your efforts to include our minority group, I can help your campaign’s bottom line.

Of course, I’m not asking for any money. Since many Chinese Americans have done quite well for themselves, it’s not really about payments. This is more about redressing the offensive, insulting conditions suffered in the past by Chinese immigrants. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I look forward to hearing from you.


Richard Chang

CEO, ChangA Pharmeceuticals


Dear Senator Booker:

Your effort to jump-start the reparations campaign has inspired me to contact you with an idea. It’s true that blacks have been oppressed for centuries, but so have Native American Indians, who have lost their tribal homelands to white settlers and been forced onto reservations. They, too, should receive reparations. 

I am sympathetic to their cause because I am one-eighth Lakota Sioux. Or it might be Cherokee, but the point is that a portion of me can literally feel the pain of the Natives. In my life I have suffered my own Trail of Tears, and I firmly believe that this is due, at least in part, to my genetic inheritance. 

My question for you is this: Is there a list where I can sign up to receive my part of any reparation payments that might be distributed? Thanks, and may the Great Spirit bless you on your path.


Catherine “Smiling Deer” Williams


Posted in: Fiction, Humor, Politics