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From Reparation to Restoration: Moving Beyond Restoring Property Rights to Restoring Political and Economic Visibility

Atuahene, Bernadette
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) SMU Law Review 60:1419ff

“Native people in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States have also received compensation for property
that was improperly confiscated in the past. … I argue that a substantial amount of work towards restoring a relationship
to society and correcting property-induced invisibility will occur if the dispossessed are included in the social
contract through a bottom-up process that provides asset-based choices, which both allow people to choose how they
are made whole and give them viable options from which to choose. … Property-induced invisibility is the confiscation
or destruction of real property with no payment of just compensation, executed such that dehumanization occurs. …
That is, the white supremacist state systematically confiscated land from Blacks with no payment of just compensation,
and this land dispossession was part of a larger strategy of dehumanization, which left the majority of Blacks powerless,
poor, and dependent on the state to satisfy their basic needs. … ” Property-induced invisibility will persist for those dispossessed
Blacks and their descendants who have been unable to recover from the original theft and thus remain economically
vulnerable without land or other assets. … Restoration does just this, by giving the dispossessed asset-based
choices.” (Excerpt from Author)


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