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The Democratic Party presidential candidates are unanimous in their demands for reparations for slavery. What they are — perhaps willfully — ignoring is that reparations have already been paid - over 150 years ago.

Some 620,000 men died in the Civil War to end slavery in the United States and 1.1 million were wounded. This blood payment was more than sufficient reparation for the prior existence of slavery as Abraham Lincoln noted in his Second Inaugural:

“…if God wills that [the Civil War] continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid with another drawn by the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ’the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'"

That these men’s blood sacrifice is never mentioned by any of the candidates is a despicable insult to their sacred memory. Perhaps they know if they acknowledged those men’s supreme sacrifice, it would conflict with their real agenda.

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But if any of them still retain a shred of honor or decency, they will immediately apologize and drop the subject entirely. I’m not holding my breath.

Jonathan Hayes

Corvallis (Sept. 4)

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