America’s history as a slave-based economy needs compensation for evil

❝ Mélisande Short-Colomb sits cross-legged on the purple comforter draped over her twin bed. She lives in the dorms here at Georgetown University, where she just wrapped up her first semester as a freshman.

Short-Colomb is 63. But that’s not all that makes her different from her student peers.

❝ Last year, she learned about her ancestors’ ties to the university when she was contacted by a genealogist tracing the descendants of slaves that Jesuits at Georgetown owned almost two centuries ago. She had been working in New Orleans as a chef, but when Georgetown offered her and all of the descendants of the slaves a special legacy admission status, she decided to become a student again.

Compensation for past injustice is not a new concept in law – even American law. Though, let’s face it, we have no shortage of politicians who would fight against such compensation unless it provided direct benefit to their own corrupt lives. And then there still are Dixiecrats who miss the “good old days” of institutional racism.

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