The Reparations Racket
Democrats have perpetuated racism, yet they want the rest of us to pay for it.
As it is with so many agendas, American leftists believe their take on reparations is the only one that matters. Let’s disabuse them of their arrogance.
We begin with white “privilege” and its two main components. First, simply based on the color of one’s skin, one is an inherently “advantaged” white or an inherently “victimized” black — and that ostensibly immutable dynamic should engender trillions of dollars in restitution from whites to blacks. Putting aside the absurd notion that someone who never owned slaves should owe anything someone who never was one, how does one, for example, reconcile “privileged” white residents of Appalachia, who’ve endured grinding poverty for decades, owing reparations to black multimillionaire NBA players?
NBA players whose own largesse is amplified by slave labor?
Second, the assertion that only whites can be racist since they control the levers of power is equally problematic. For example, one suspects Korean shop owners, targeted by black boycotts for daring to open stores in black neighborhoods in New York City during Mayor David Dinkins’s administration, or those that sustained a staggering 45% of all riot damage during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, might disagree. Every race and ethnicity has its share of those who fear or hate “the other,” and America has made tremendous strides in mitigating their numbers.
What about leftists’ oft-stated assertion that slavery is America’s “Original Sin?” Black scholar Thomas Sowell sets the record straight. “When slavery is mentioned, too many people automatically think of whites enslaving blacks,” he explains. “That is not even one-tenth of the story of slavery, which existed on every inhabited continent. The very word ‘slave’ derives from the word for some white people who were enslaved on a mass scale — the Slavs — for more centuries than blacks were enslaved in the Western Hemisphere.”
American slavery was undoubtedly evil, but so are the orchestrations to negate the already monumental effort made to atone for it, beginning with the 360,000 overwhelmingly white Union soldiers, whose “privilege” consisted of giving their lives to save the Union and free the slaves. That atonement continued with the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, banning slavery, guaranteeing due process and equal protection to former slaves, and granting black Americans the right to vote, respectively.
Moreover, atonement has been ongoing. There have been 55 years of affirmative action initiated by LBJ’s Executive Order 11246 in 1965. It was supposed to be a temporary solution to racial injustice and aimed at ensuring equality in hiring. Yet it not only persists, it has devolved into a racket where meritocracy has been supplanted by racial quotas promoted as “diversity.” Thus, for example, it required a Supreme Court decision to overturn the city of New Haven’s refusal to certify the results of an examination where only white candidates for fire department positions of captain and lieutenant scored high enough to qualify, and another one to eliminate the University of Michigan’s effort to increase the number of minority students with an applications process that awarded 20 points simply for being a member of a preferred race. Yet even now in California, legislators are looking to reinstate race-based considerations in university admissions and public employment. Considerations voters rejected in 1996.
What could be more reparational than an initiative that automatically confers benefits based on race — with no end in sight?
How about “disparate impact”? Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers can be sued for a facially neutral employment practice if that practice is discriminatory in its application or effect. Again, in terms of reparations, what could be more advantageous than the ability to legally require race-based outcomes — utterly irrespective of intent?
Race-based set-asides for minority-owned businesses at the federal, state, and local level of government might be the answer. In 1989, SCOTUS ruled they were unconstitutional unless discrimination could be proven by so-called disparity tests. In practice, the studies precipitating those tests tend to be cosmetic, and the system is often gamed with fraud that includes businesses self-certifying their eligibility, the creation of shell companies to hide ownership, and the lack of transparent bidding processes. Nevertheless, they persist.
Ironically, there is one entity one who could be held liable for consistently perpetuating racism from the days of slavery through today: The Democrat Party. It was Democrats who supported slavery, established the Ku Klux Klan, and maintained Jim Crow laws well into the 1960s. It was Democrats whose party platform from 1868 through 1948 either supported segregation outright or was silent on the subject. It was Democrats who accounted for the lion’s share of the opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Bill. It was Democrat Presidents Woodrow Wilson who segregated the federal government, FDR who appointed ex-KKK member Hugo Black to the Supreme Court, Lyndon Johnson who referred to the 1957 Civil Rights Act as the “n—er bill,” and Barack Obama who put immigrant children in cages.
It is today’s Democrats who abet the Burning, Looting, and Murder (BLM) taking place in cities they control, even as black businesses and neighborhoods are destroyed. It is Democrats who abide the de facto killing fields many inner cities have become, where the body count is overwhelmingly black and includes innocent children. It is Democrats whose current platform calls for the mass amnesty and open borders that would crush black employment.
Nonetheless, the same black Americans demanding reparations don’t just ignore these inconvenient realities, they overwhelmingly support the party that perpetrated them.
Doesn’t that reality either reveal the utter fraudulence of demands for reparations, or that most black Americans consider them paid in full? Or could it be the allegiance of black Americans to a party selling collectivist black victimhood for decades may hinge on the fact that it alleviates black Americans from any individual responsibility for their circumstances?
Absent that alleviation, couldn’t one make an argument that a cohort of Americans having a nuclear family-eviscerating 77% out-of-wedlock birthrate, and committing violent crimes far in excess of their representation in the overall population — both of which have precipitated enormous costs for the nation — might be on the owing, not the receiving, end of a reparations program?
Doesn’t that alleviation, perpetrated by black and white leftists alike, epitomize the soft bigotry of low expectations?
Black columnist Delano Squires gets it exactly right. “Any political philosophy that says black people are powerless victims of society’s institutions and systems who require white people to use their autonomy, agency, and privilege to uplift blacks is held down by the black intelligentsia’s unique view of white supremacy,” he writes. “Suggesting whites have a greater capacity for moral reasoning, emotional regulation, and reasoned decision-making than blacks is a paternalistic and infantilizing impulse that should be rejected completely.”
Is there any genuine argument to be made in favor of reparations? Perhaps, but it would require a robust discussion about class, not race. Millions of Americans of every ethnicity have been sold out in service to the globalist agenda. Yet our elitist class knows that keeping Americans focused on racial strife largely obscures that reality.
And they don’t give a damn if America burns to keep it hidden.