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Douglas Andrews / Feb. 25, 2021

Obama Blames Whites for Failure to Enact Reparations

In typical lead-from-behind fashion, our 44th president is now weighing in on an issue he failed to address as president.

I’m in favor of reparations, and it’s all whitey’s fault that we don’t have ‘em yet.

Barack Obama might not have expressed himself quite so candidly. After all, he’s a man of great depth and nuance — or, as Joe Biden would say, “articulate and bright and clean.” But this is the essence of his thoughts on the matter. He told us as much yesterday.

As Peter Heck writes, “On the 'Renegades’ podcast he co-hosts with Bruce Springsteen, Obama shared his views on race relations and the part reparations might play in improving them. The former president expressed that while [in] office he considered pursuing reparation payments to black citizens as compensation for the [generational] wealth lost as a consequence of slavery, but ultimately decided it would be a fruitless venture. Obama said that while he has always thought reparations would be ‘justified,’ he knew that ‘the politics of white resistance and resentment’ would prevent any meaningful action.”

Ah, the ol’ “politics of white resistance and resentment.” Why, it’s as if he thinks white people “get bitter and they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them as a way to explain their frustrations.” (If you aren’t down with turning over trillions more in transfer payments to non-victims of atrocities you never committed, Barack Obama thinks you need to listen more closely to your white guilt.)

How fitting, though, that two of our nation’s foremost narcissists have come together to collaborate on a wokecast called “Renegades: Born in the USA.” As if anyone but the dimmest of dim bulbs believes there’s anything even remotely renegady or patriotic about this ultra-privileged leftist duo.

As for our nation’s debt to the descendants of slaves, where was Obama when it mattered? When he was, oh, president? We’ll tell you where: He was cowering behind a carefully cultivated image of electability. As Fox News reports, “He opposed reparations during his 2008 presidential campaign, arguing that ‘the best reparations we can provide are good schools in the inner city and jobs for people who are unemployed.’”

Apparently, good schools and good jobs are no longer good enough.

Remember: This is the same slippery guy who was in favor of same-sex marriage back in 1996, but then lied about it during the 2008 presidential campaign in order to get elected, and then ultimately came back around in 2012, when he figured the sands had shifted sufficiently for him to “rediscover” that long-ago support.

In much the same way, Obama now says reparations are “justified” and that “there’s not much question that the wealth … [and] the power of this country was built in significant part — not exclusively, maybe not even the majority of it, but a large portion of it — was built on the backs of slaves.”

Bravely spoken, now that he’s more than four years out of office. Seems Obama just can’t stop leading from behind. Of course, he’s also emblematic of one of the many intractable problems with reparations: namely, Who owes what to whom? After all, he’s half-white, and so are millions of other Americans. For the Obamas, would the bill for slavery simply be moved from his checking account to Michelle’s?

As to the merits of reparations, our Thomas Gallatin addressed the issue earlier this week, covering Democrat Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee’s recently submitted HR 40, as well as some principled dissent from the likes of Utah Representative and former NFLer Burgess Owens. “Reparations are not the way to right our country’s wrong,” Owens said. “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.”

Another strong conservative voice within the black community, that of another former NFLer, Herschel Walker, is also against reparations. “Where does the money come from?” he asked “Does it come from all the other races except the black taxpayers? Who is black? … Who is the guilty party? Should we start at the beginning where African Americans sold your African American ancestors into slavery? And to a slave trader who eventually sold African American ancestors to slave owners?”

Finally, it was some 20 years ago when former hard-leftist-turned-conservative David Horowitz addressed the issue of reparations, and his 10-point argument, which took the form of an advertisement and caused a furor when it ran in nine college newspapers, has aged remarkably well.

Each of his 10 points is powerful on its own, but perhaps the tenth one is the most powerful: “The reparations claim is a separatist idea that sets African-Americans against the nation that gave them freedom.”

“For all America’s faults,” Horowitz writes, “African-Americans have an enormous stake in their country and its heritage. It is this heritage that is really under attack by the reparations movement. The reparations claim is one more assault on America, conducted by racial separatists and the political left. It is an attack not only on white Americans, but on all Americans — especially African-Americans.”

Regardless of what Johnny-Come-Lately Obama might think.

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