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Post Abortion Stress Syndrome
Anti-abortion advocates say abortions cause debilitating stress. Find out what you need to know about their campaign.

Ms. Goes to College
Wanna know what college is like for a feminist? We go to the source with essays by students.

MS.CELLANEOUS
- What?
- Just the Facts
- Word: Tolerance
- Women to Watch
ART
-The Price is Right
: A classical music pioneer is rediscovered.

-La Virgen Gets a Makeover
Ms News
Editor's Page: Blood Money
Portfolio: Eyes of the Beholder
African American women photographers turn the "gaze" inside out.
She Says
Kathy Najimy Takes on Hollywood Every Day In Every Way
Back Page
Brenda Starr Goes to the Hall of Fame

A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
After losing much of her family to the Khmer Rouge, one woman fights against land mines and her own demons.

Where is the Love?
Maybe the world needs a Black Love Day, according to the author of this provacative essay.

Books:
-Recollections of My Life as a Woman, by Diane di Prima
-Arts of the Possible, by Adrienne Rich
- The Hero's Walk, by Anita Rau Badami
-Misogyny: The Male Malady, by David D. Gilmore
-YELL-Oh Girls!, edited by Vickie Nam
-Even Dogs Go Home To Die, by Linda St. John
-Days of Awe, by Achy Obejas
-So Vast the Prison, by Assia Djebar

Mother Millet: A book excerpt
Kate Millet
Columns: Daisy Hernandez, Patricia Smith and Gloria Steinem
Your Work
Academic Discrimination Lives On


The call for reparations for slavery is gaining momentum here in the United States. And yes, as an African American I am well aware of the fact that the enforced servitude and labor of my ancestors increased the coffers of individuals and institutions. Just as the pyramids were built with the blood, sweat, and tears of slaves, so were the industrial war machine of Nazi Germany and the cotton, rice, and sugar kingdoms of the South, as well as much of this nation's capital. Yes, this must be acknowledged and should never be allowed to be forgotten. But the sum of the oppression is far, far greater than the price of the labor, the direct and indirect profits reaped.

How does one come close to figuring out the bill, much less collect it? What's the dollar value of the millions of lives stolen in the Middle Passage, of 246 years of slavery, and what about the century of state-sanctioned apartheid? And if reparations were paid, would it prove little more than a Pyrrhic victory? Would it be used to justify closing off discussion of the ongoing impact of racism that the slave state spawned, or rolling back all the laws created to provide some measure of remedy? Do we end up emulating the very forces that created slavery itself by reducing it all down to dollars and cents?

Do payments from German industries to survivors of the Third Reich's slave labor camps serve to legitimize genocide, as if it were a minor matter of lost wages? The other day I read an article stating that the lawyers who sought reparations from those German companies on behalf of the survivors will split $52 million. Meanwhile, the survivors will receive between $2,500 and $7,500 each. While I don't doubt that the attorneys did an incredible amount of work to bring that case to court, the irony is that they are well rewarded for their voluntary labor while their clients — the people forced to live and work under inhuman conditions — receive little more than a token. And I'm sure that before they agreed to pay a dime, the accountants for those companies had already figured out how to pass the cost off to consumers. While here in the United States, if reparations are made, a huge chunk of the money would come out of tax dollars that African Americans paid into the system.

Does money serve to acknowledge the wrong done, the moral debt owed to the "comfort" women who the Japanese forced into sexual slavery? Or is it in fact the ultimate insult, like money thrown on the floor beside a woman by a man who has just finished raping her? Is the proper response to past and present oppression ever a class action suit, as if money were the cure for all evil? Destroy the land, defile the waters, make war, commit genocide, enslave, oppress, murder, and rape; and when your wrong is made known, all you have to do is pay a fine.

I wonder what the people in some future time will think when they look back at this era. How will they judge us? On one hand, they will see that we moved to acknowledge some of our past evils; sometimes people swore "never again," on occasion apologies were made. With the other hand, we attempted to put price tags on the evil that we do, the suffering inflicted on others.


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