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Reparations Again - 8/2/16

I saw an interesting article online today that a young black woman named Natasha Marin has set up a Facebook page called "Reparations" upon which black people can post their desires for goods, services and money they want white people to give them to make up for what they have suffered as a result of slavery and racism in America.  White people who feel guilty about what they think blacks have had to endure in this country, can in turn offer to meet these requests or alternatively, post goods and services they are willing to donate to any black people who want them.  There's a good online article about it at

First, I want to say that I have no objection at all to this.  If some white people think it will make them feel better about what blacks have suffered as a result of slavery and Jim Crow to give some random black person some free stuff or if some black people are willing to accept these donations because they believe that whites owe it to them, I have no objections at all, providing it is completely voluntary for both parties.  Just as long, as Mrs. Patrick Campbell said, "They don't do it in the street and frighten the horses."  I do have to admit that I don't expect this site to remain in business very long, once the unscrupulous and greedy find out about it and they get a lot of Rachel Dolezals pretending to be black in order to get the free stuff.

The idea that reparations ought to be paid to blacks to make up for their past enslavement and racist treatment by whites has been around for a long time.  The first manifestation of the idea occurred during the Civil War when many blacks believed that they would be given "40 acres and a mule" by the Federal Government when the war was over.  This actually occurred in some locales, mostly due to the personal initiatives of such military leaders as General William T. Sherman, but it never became an official government policy.  One reason was that the 40 acres of land would, in many cases, have had to been taken from the holdings of its current white owners, which would hardly have made Southern whites more amenable to their reincorporation into the Union.  In addition, most whites at the time, both North and South, thought giving the former slaves their freedom and equality (at least in theory) as citizens of the United States, was more than enough "reparations."

However, the idea of payment of official cash reparations to blacks continues to surface from time to time and the more that time passes, the more ridiculous the idea continues to seem.  While it could be argued that it might have made sense to compensate the newly freed slaves for their bondage and forced labor and still perhaps plausible to want to recompense free blacks who had had to live under segregation regimes, it has now been more than 50 years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which eliminated all government practices based on race (or at least those practices based on race that discriminated against blacks, rather than those that discriminated in their favor, like affirmative action policies) so the great majority of American blacks have never known institutionalized racism at all.

Of course, the counter argument made is that although blacks today do not suffer directly from former racist policies, they still suffer from the effects of these policies.  Of course, the problem with this argument is, as black economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, the black community as a whole made greater economic process during the last 50 years under legal segregation than it has in the 50 years since it was outlawed!  Perhaps blacks deserve to be compensated instead for the damage they have suffered as a result of the modern welfare state, which rewards indolence and penalizes responsibility.
Also, a large number, possibly a majority, of the whites in this country are the ancestors of whites who came to this country after slavery was outlawed, so their ancestors bear no responsibility at all for the enslavement of the black's forefathers.  Why should they have to pay for the crimes of others?  And then there are also the US citizens who are of Hispanic and Asian descent and whose forbears also suffered from discrimination based on race.  Why should blacks be compensated for the trials of their ancestors and not them?

Also, there is the question of how reparations would be allocated.  Should every black person receive the same amount?  What about the case of say, a certain "black" American named Barack Hussein Obama.  First, Obama is only half-black (his mother was white), should he only get half as much?  In addition, Barry is not the descendant of any American slaves, his father was a citizen of the black nation of Kenya, so perhaps he shouldn't get anything at all.  Particularly since it is difficult to argue that Obama has "suffered" because of the color of his skin.  In fact, if his genetic inheritance from his mother had predominated in his makeup and he had appeared to be a white instead of black man, it is highly unlikely that he would be living where he is today.

INor is Obama the only questionable case that would come up if Congress ever voted to authorize reparations.  The numerous lawsuits that would result would probably still be going on into the 22nd century!

I must also add that, if I were a black American, I would thank God every day that my ancestors had been enslaved and brought to the US.  It was hard on them of course, but it gave their descendants the opportunity to live as free men and women in the greatest country in the world.  There is nothing today to stop blacks, if they truly believe that America is an irredeemably racist country, from leaving it and returning to the African motherland.  Very few have taken advantage of the opportunity to do so, which is understandable considering the state of black Africa today, a land of constant warfare, disease and famine, where the democratic principle of "One man, one vote" has been transformed to read "One man, one vote, ONCE!"

Actually, I would be in favor of one form of reparations.  I would be willing to give a large cash payment to any black man or woman to make up for their having to grow up in such a hostile enviroment, providing that in return they renounce their American citizenship and agreed to leave the land of their birth, and emigrate to a country with a black majority.  Because surely the worst result of the legacy of slavery to any black person who feels that he has and is suffering from it, is that he was forced to be born and live in such an irredeemibly racist nation.  And if that is the case, why would they wish to continue to dwell in such an evil land, once they have been compensated for their past injuries?

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