The Patriot Post® · Reparations in the Age of 'Unity'

By Thomas Gallatin ·

If this is how Unity™ is going to be, we’ll take a hard pass.

Democrat Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee recently submitted HR 40, a bill that would advance the dubious reparations racket that the woke Left has been ballyhooing about for years. Couching her language in tiresome leftist tropes, Jackson Lee asserted, “We believe in determination, and we believe in overcoming the many bad balls that we have been thrown; we’ve caught them, and we’ve kept on going. That is not the point of H.R. 40. Now more than ever, the facts and circumstances facing our nation demonstrate the importance of H.R. 40 and the necessity of placing our nation on the path to reparative justice.”

If HR 40 were to be passed, it would open the door for the eventual payment of race-based reparations by funding a study of “slavery and discrimination in the colonies and the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies.” (Hmm, 1619 … where have we heard that date before?) Efforts to have Congress fund a “study” of slavery and discrimination have been ongoing for over three decades, but Congress has never taken up a vote on the obviously racist and divisive issue.

Even now while offering tepid support for the reparations movement, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “[Joe Biden] supported a study of reparations, which I believe is what is being discussed and studying the continued impacts of slavery, which is being discussed in this hearing.” But as to whether Biden would actually back a reparations bill, she hedged, “We will see what happens through the legislative process.” In other words, Biden is content to wait and lead from behind.

Republicans, meanwhile, have been quick to accurately blast HR 40 as “divisive.” Representative Burgess Owens (R-UT), who is himself black, declared, “Reparations are not the way to right our country’s wrong. It is impractical and a nonstarter for the United States government to pay reparations. It is also unfair and heartless to give black Americans the hope that this is a reality.”

Owens further observed, “The reality is that black American history is not one of a hapless, hopeless race oppressed by a more powerful white race.” Rather, it is “a history of millions of middle and wealthy class black Americans throughout the early 20th century achieving the American dream.” It also effectively erases the history of impressive racial progress in the U.S. over the generations since the end of slavery and Jim Crow.

“You can’t demand or beg for respect,” Owens noted. “You can only command respect through meritocracy.” He later asserted that politics is really behind the Democrats’ reparations push, arguing, “Reparations are not about helping the black community, it’s about getting votes. Want to help the black community (& everyone else)? Let us get back to work, let our kids go back to school, let our parents decide which school, and get Planned Parenthood out of our inner cities!”

Those are wise words, and blacks exploited by Democrats for generations would be wise to heed them.