Nice to see this old thread being zapped with the jumper cables of life. :)
I'll sum up my position for anyone that doesn't want to read the first few pages.
1. Companies, families, and individuals that benefitted from slavery when it existed have descendents and other offshoots that still benefit from it today.
2. The vast wealth created through slavery did not disappear when slavery was abolished.
3. Ex-slaves and descendents of slaves were severely hindered in their ability to gain wealth and status for many years after slavery was abolished.
4. The United States have set the precedent of repaying groups of people that have been wronged by our country.
5. Slaves deserve(d) reparations.
6. Since there are no living ex-slaves, the descendents of those slaves should inheret the reparations.
7. Our legal system awards judgements to descendents all the time. (If I found a deed to a piece of land my great great great great grandfather owned and a court deemed the land was never transferred to another party then I would own that land and I could tell the Wal-Mart parked there to pack up and hit the road.)
8. Reparations need not consist of money but they should definitely consist of opportunity.
If any opponents want to bring this back to life I would love to see their take on number five as well. To have a chance, in my opinion, an opponent would need to argue adamantly against the idea that slaves themselves deserved anything other than being "set free."