Wealth that was produced by non-consensual forced labor created the wealth of great plantations. After being emancipated, African Americans were promised “forty acres and a mule” which they NEVER GOT.
THEY produced the wealth of the south.
THEIR WEALTH, their inheritance, has been handed down through UNEARNED INHERITANCE to successive generations of the “old, genteel” Southern estates.
All wealth from the expansive plantation estates that can be traced to the slave era should be redistributed to the rightful owners — the heirs of the African Americans forcibly brought here prior to 1865 — WITH INTEREST.
Wealth produced by European immigrants that were not involved in slavery (those in the North; those who arrived after 1865) would not be affected, and African Americans who came here would not be entitled under actual reparations, based on the laws and practices relating to the return of stolen or otherwise ill-gotten wealth to rightful owners/heirs from those holding it, however innocent their own acquisition might have been. And the fact that this is in the past is irrelevant. World War II is long gone, and the heirs of long dead Holocaust victims are rightfully claiming and suing for treasures taken by Nazis from their ancestors, and winning, even from parties who came across them legally in every other respect.
There are, of course, other issues of inequality, racial and social injustice, and those must also be addressed, but those must be addressed by other policies of social and economic justice, not directly as reparation, per se.
And yes, while the issue is currently being raised in relation to the descendants of slaves and their owners, there are many similar issues that need to be raised in addressing the horrific genocide against the original inhabitants of this continent.