My understanding, which is very limited, is that this is an idea that current governments should pay for past acts done by past citizens or governments to past peoples. Africans people were either captured or purchased in Africa and shipped to Caribbean Islands to work as slaves on plantations. They were forcibly removed from their own land and culture, where they could have thrived successfully as individuals. They were placed in a foreign land, their customs and family culture were destroyed, they were limited in the type of work they were trained to do and their lives were dependent on their owners.
Even after slavery was abolished over 150 years ago people of African heritage were still very limited because of the lack of family culture and customs, the lack of available or allowed training and the social limitations that continued.
Oppression has existed through out human history and even today people are oppressing other people. Humans have a hierarchy of affinity and trust, usually starting with family, going to clan, community, nation, to race. The fear of others is usually in the reverse order. You can add to this by including religion, profession, looks and most other human characteristics. We all have to work very hard to overcome this basic human trait.
Slavery was legal in some countries up until the mid 20th century is an accepted practice in some cultures even today. It has a history as old as mankind. It is seems to me that it will be very difficult to succeed in obtaining monetary payment from decedents for actions by their forefathers, whether they were Danish Plantation owners or African Slave traders.
I think that it would be much more beneficial for all concerned if the effort were directed towards reducing and eventually eliminating the effects of slavery on the current descendants of past slaves. Helping to repair the breakdown in the family and the full development of a positive culture in the social environment that we live in today would be grand reparation. Encouraging the development of education and training so that every one of the descendants of slaves can live a fulfilling and successful life is a goal that we all should and can work towards. I have no doubt that the Danes would be very happy to participate in a program to achieve this goal.
Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to email@example.com.