PHILADELPHIA–The stench of injustice has spilled over with the nauseating smell of institutional murder once again. Left unchanged, this injustice will linger until the next injustice, and the next case…until we finally get it: public policy, in the form of reparations, is the solution to all of our social ills and the injustices that frame our existence. It’s time to rethink our demands and actions.

Reparations is a word to describe what can be done to help victims of chattel enslavement overcome the horrific generational damage that they suffered and the means to give them back their dignity and to make sure that these abuses do not happen again. I’m talking about development-centered reparations in which individuals and communities take control and ownership of the development of their own communities.

For those of you who are waiting for the “great by and by,” God is not going to step in until we step up. God is not going to protect and defend us until we protect and defend ourselves.

There is no one organization that is going to make “Master” change his/her evil ways. Only a mass social movement…will. That social movement of our time is the extant reparations movement.

Our protests for the injustice of the murder of Trayvon Martin, and the release of his killer, must be strategically and logically linked to reparations. As the demand for reparations goes forward, here are some starting proposals to…repair the damage done to descendants of Africans enslaved in America. We need to:

Demand the repeal of all “stand your ground laws.” Demand a war on the import of weapons in urban communities with bounties and rewards. Demand divestment from financial institutions with a history of financing chattel slavery with investments, loans, and accepting deposits of enslavers. Demand that funding for education exceeds funding for prisons. Demand free, quality healthcare and insurance.

Unless and until we make these demands and proposals measurable and available for all African descendants enslaved in America…we will continue to engage in and promote generational insanity.

Minister Ari Sesu Merretazon is co-chair of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America. My Take is a social commentary feature that allows AFRO readers to share their insight into a range of topics. Please submit your 250-450 word entries, with My Take typed into the subject field, to [email protected]. Include your name, age, occupation and daytime phone number. The AFRO reserves the right to edit or reject any entry.