Once again, when black folks talk about reparations, it’s something sinister.

I find the letter writer’s use of the word “scheme” offensive (“The problem with reparations,” July 21 Sunday LNP). It’s like we are trying to get welfare.

When the wealth of this country was made through torture on the backs of men, women and children, with no rights and privileges for over 150 years, we do have the right to ask for compensation.

Yes, no one’s ancestors should be scapegoats for past sins of America. But the federal government and state governments should be held accountable. After all, they implemented the law to systematically deny our rights.

My ancestors didn’t inter Japanese Americans, and yet Ronald Reagan passed the Civil Liberties Act in 1988. Not only did he apologize for the injustice, but signed a bill to pay $1.6 billion.

Forty acres and a darn mule, and we couldn’t even get that, thanks to President Andrew Johnson.

It’s time for more than conversation.

James L. Ellis Jr.

Lancaster