CORRECTIVE JUSTICE, EQUAL OPPORTUNITY,
AND THE LEGACY OF SLAVERY AND JIM CROW
Boston University School of Law Working Paper 03-15
Being reprinted in David Lyons, CONFRONTING INJUSTICE: Moral History and Political Theory, Oxford University Press, May 2013.
After abolition, freedmen received no compensation for the terrible wrongs of slavery, the post-Civil War “reconstruction” of former slave states was aborted, and the brutally exploitative and oppressive system of Jim Crow was permitted to replace slavery. From the birth of the Republic to the late 20th century, racial subordination was supported by federal policy, which has left a legacy of disadvantage and indignity. In addition to tracing that history, this paper analyzes arguments for reparations and defends a collective approach, which it reinforces with an appeal to the ideal of equal opportunity for all children. It argues that the federal government has a special obligation to rectify those wrongs and sketches a range of programs that are needed for those purposes.
The Paper has been removed from the website, see David Lyons, CONFRONTING INJUSTICE (Oxford University Press, 2013)
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