The April 12 letter to the Post Register on reparations totally missed the point. A rational and dispassionate discussion of the potential benefits of reparations would not sink to an “us vs. them” argument about white and black sacrifices during the Civil War. It is also not just about giving people money.

The real problem to be addressed is how to heal our country from the damage caused by slavery, much of which persists to this day. The economic disparity between blacks and whites is but one example. The Pew Research Center estimates that white households are worth roughly 20 times as much as black households, and that is only one small example of the lingering effects of never truly emancipating the slaves and their descendants.

The real solution that would benefit all of us is to level the playing field and make sure that we all have a fair shot at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. For a thoughtful discussion on what reparations may or may not be, Google “the Atlantic magazine case for reparations” which finds an article by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

B. A. Barna

Idaho Falls

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