Discussion Questions on Robert Fullinwider, "The Case for Reparations"


1.  How would Fullinwider respond to the following argument?

  1. It is unjust to demand reparations from one person for a wrong committed by others, of which the person himself or herself is innocent.

  2. The wrongs of slavery were not committed by any living Americans, all of whom are innocent of those wrongs.

  3. It is unjust to demand reparations from living Americans for the wrongs of slavery.

2.  What is "corporate responsibility" and "civic responsibility"?  How are these concepts relevant to the debate over reparations?

3.  Magee and Matsuda argue that to make sense of reparations, one must substitute a "group" conception of victims and wrongdoers for an individual conception.  What do they mean and how does Fullinwider criticize them?

4.  What should African Americans pay taxes to support the payment of reparations?

5.  Suppose that no contemporary Americans were descendents of slave owners.  How in Fullinwider's view would that affect the claim for reparations?

6.  What does Fullinwider think that the case for reparations is strengthened "by dropping both slavery and the benefits reaped by whites as grounds for reparations?