Letter to the editor: Idea of reparations absurd | TribLIVE.com
Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Idea of reparations absurd

Many Democratic presidential hopefuls are advocating reparations for either or both African-American and LGBTQ communities. Their reasoning includes slavery compensation for the former and historical tax inequities for the latter. As a full-blooded Italian- American, I propose that individuals of my nationality also deserve similar consideration.

In the late 1800s, Italians were heavily discriminated against and denied employment. Newspapers, such as the Gazette in Iowa, even recommended not to hire Italians because they “were not in sympathy with institutions and not desirable elements in the population.” Also, many derogatory descriptions were circulated to describe Italian workers. Sicilians were viewed by many Americans as culturally backward and racially suspect. In addition, the 1891 lynchings in New Orleans and elsewhere resulted in unjustified execution of many Italians.

Although the above is factually correct, I am not being truly sincere in asking to be compensated for the historical abhorrent treatment of Italians. In truth, discrimination to some degree has been experienced by many diverse domestic groups throughout our history.

Attempting to equitably compensate today’s generations for such inequities of the past is neither justified nor possible. How would such reparations be disseminated? Who actually would be compensated? In what form would such reparations take? After careful thought and consideration, the absurdity of such proposals should be obvious.

John Lapina


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