The descendants of slaves who built a Missouri university want a cool $74 billion in unpaid labor compensation
ยท Feb 14, 2024 ยท

If you're going to ask for money for work you didn't do, well, I guess the smart thing to do is ask for a heaping hopping ton of it all at once:

Descendants of the enslaved Black people who built a university in Missouri calculated that they were owed up to $74 billion in unpaid labor.

The calculation was announced on St. Louis University's campus [SLU] on Thursday - an effort being pushed by the Descendants of St. Louis University Enslaved [DSLUE].

They actually have a group with a bad acronym that's all about how their ancestors built this college!

DSLUE was joined by a state lawmaker, a civil rights attorney and economists to announce their estimation of the monetary value of unpaid labor in the construction of SLU.

Calculating those unpaid labor costs of your great-great-great-great-great grandpa like:

The accountants drew up that figure by calculating "labor for 24 hours per day, 365 days per year for 70 enslaved people from 1823-1865." They're not wrong in a sense โ€” those people did have their labor stolen from them under the yoke of slavery โ€” but I'm not sure how you get to $74 billion from those figures.

Nor am I sure how you get from "my distant ancestors were slaves" to "I am owed this money." Not sure it works that way!

The Jesuit-run school doesn't really seem to think it works that way, either:

Continuing this work is a priority for SLU and the Society of Jesus. As we move forward, we hope to re-establish and build deeper relationships with all descendant families, to explore together how best to honor the memory of those who were enslaved by the Jesuits.

That's what we like to call "a bit of misdirection!"

Call me crazy but I'm not sure anyone's going to see any part of that $74 billion.

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