Slavery Reparations

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You are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts. — Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

by Fred Reed, 2002

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On the Web I find that Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the chairman of Afro-American Studies at Harvard, is demanding that whites pay reparations to blacks. It's because of slavery, see? He is joined in the endeavor by a gaggle of other blacks.

I guess he'll send me a bill, huh? I feel like saying, Let me get this straight, Hank. I'm slow. Be patient. You want free money because of slavery, right? I don't blame you, I'd like free money too. Tell you what. I believe in justice. I'll give you a million dollars for every slave I own and anther million for ever year you were a slave. Fair enough?

But tell me, how many slaves do you suppose I have? In round number, I mean. Say to the nearest dozen. And how long were you a slave? Oh? In other words, I owe you reparations for something that I didn't do and didn't happen to you. That makes sense. Like lug nuts on a birthday cake.

Personally, I think you owe me reparations for things you didn't do and never happened to me. I've never been coated in Dutch chocolate and thrown from the Eiffel Tower. I'll bet you've never done that to anyone. I want reparations. Kinda silly, isn't it?

But if we're going to talk about reparations, that's a street that runs in two directions. You want money from me for what some other whites did to some other blacks in another century. How about you guys paying whites reparations for current expenses caused by blacks? Not long ago blacks burned down half of Los Angeles, a city in my country. Cities are expensive, Hank. Build one and you'll see what I mean. Whites had to pay taxes to repair Los Angeles for you. You can send me a check.

Now, yes, I know you burned LA because you didn't like the verdict in the trial of those police officers. Well, I didn't like the verdict in the Simpson trial. But I didn't burn down my house and loot Korean grocers. Over the years blacks have burned a lot of American cities: Newark, Detroit, Watts, on and on. Now add in the fantastic cost over the years of welfare in all its forms, of large police forces and jails and security systems in department stores. I can't live in the capital city of my own country because of crime committed by blacks. Toss in the cultural cost of lowering standards in everything for the benefit of blacks. See what I mean?

Now, I'd view things differently if you said, "Fred, blacks can't get anywhere in a modern country without education. We know that. We need better schools, smarter teachers, harder courses, books with smaller pictures and bigger words. Can you help us?"

I'd say "Hallelujah! Hoo-ahh! Not just yes, but hell yes. Let's sell an aircraft carrier and get these folks some real schools and get them into the economic mainstream." I'd say it partly because it would be the right thing to do, and partly because I'd like to add you guys to the tax base. The current custodial state is expensive . I'd just love for blacks to study and learn to compete and stop burning places. But is it going to happen?

You may not believe it, but I, and most whites, don't like seeing blacks as miserable and screwed up as they are. I spend a fair amount of time in the projects. Those places are ugly. It's no fun watching perfectly good kids turn into semiliterate dope dealers who barely speak English. It just plain ain't right. But, Hank, what am I supposed to do about it? I can't do your children's homework. At some point, people have to do things for themselves, or they don't get done. Maybe it's time.

I'll tell you what I see out in the world, Hank. I think blacks are too accustomed to getting anything they want by just demanding it. True, it has worked for over half a century. Get a few hundred people in the street, implicitly threaten to loot and burn, holler about slavery, and the Great White Cash Spigot turns on.

Thing is, whites don't much buy it any longer. Most recognize that what once was a civil-rights movement has become a shakedown game. Few people still feel responsible for the failings and inadequacies of blacks. Political correctness keeps the lid on -- but everyone knows the score.

Which scares me, Hank. On one hand, blacks hate whites and incline toward looting and burning. (The whites you hate are the ones who marched in the civil-rights movement. Ever think about that?) On the other hand, whites quietly grow wearier and wearier of it. Not good.

On the third hand (allow me three hands, for rhetorical convenience), blacks keep demanding things. As I write, you demand reparations for slavery. Blacks in Oklahoma (I think it was) want money for some ancient race riot. Other blacks reject the Declaration of Independence, blacks in New York hint broadly at burning and looting over a trial, yet more demand the elimination of the Confederate flag, and the federal equal-opportunity apparatus, which means blacks, wants to sue Silicon Valley for not hiring nonexistent black engineers.

That's a lot of demanding for one month, Hank. What happens if whites ever say, "No?"

Now, how about you? You've got a cushy job up there at Harvard, and you can hoot and holler about what swine and bandits whites are. I guess it's lots of fun, and you get a salary for it. But don't you think you might do blacks more good if you told them to complain less and study more? For example, if you want blacks to work in Silicon Gulch, the best approach might be to find some really smart black guys, and get them to study digital design, not Black Studies.

That's how everybody else does it. It works. Then blacks wouldn't feel left out, and racial tensions would decline. Sound like a plan?

Just out of curiosity, how many hours a week do professors of Afro-American Studies spend in the projects, encouraging poor black kids to study real subjects, Hank?

Sounds like a GREAT plan!

 -- by Fred Reed, 2002


Quotes on Slavery, Racial Equality, & Fairness
All Americans must tell blacks the truth. It was blacks' moral poverty—not their material poverty—that cost them dearly in New Orleans [Hurricane Katrina]. Farrakhan, Jackson and other race hustlers are to be repudiated—they will only perpetuate the problem by stirring up hatred and applauding moral corruption. — Jesse Lee Peterson, Oct 2005

All good men wish the entire abolition of slavery, as soon as it can take place with safety to the public, and for the lasting good of the present wretched race of slaves. — Oliver Ellsworth, a signer of the Constitution

A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America has not yet become an American. — Woodrow Wilson

Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom. — Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) French politician and writer

Bean-counting government bureaucrats are free to take race, ethnicity and gender into account when doling out public funds to non-white-male contractors. But God help law enforcement officers, air marshals and border agents who try to use those same factors to combat terrorism and protect American lives. — Michelle Malkin

Blacks...can't speak English. I can't even talk the way these people talk: 'Why you ain't,' 'Where you is'....And I blamed the kid until I heard the [parents] talk....Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads....You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth! — Bill Cosby at an NAACP conference

Blacks were not enslaved because they were black but because they were available. Slavery has existed in the world for thousands of years. Whites enslaved other whites in Europe for centuries before the first black was brought to the Western hemisphere. Asians enslaved Europeans. Asians enslaved other Asians. Africans enslaved other Africans, and indeed even today in North Africa, blacks continue to enslave blacks. — Thomas Sowell

Civil rights laws were not passed to protect the rights of White Men and do not apply to them. — Mary F. Berry, chairman of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission (By definition, only whites can be racist)

Civil rights used to be about treating everyone the same. But today some people are so used to special treatment that equal treatment is considered to be discrimination. — Thomas Sowell

Data compiled by the Heritage Foundation show that teens from homes headed by single, never-married women are twice as likely to be sexually active than teens from homes headed by married couples. Black children are three times more likely than white children to be living in a single-parent household and are three times more likely to be poor. So despite arguments from Planned Parenthood and other liberal advocates that inserting government between parents and their children protects children, things are quite the opposite. The reality of the black community is testimony that the formula for keeping children poor, and assuring that their children will be poor, is to destroy the integrity of the family. Government subsidization and protection of irresponsible behavior has gotten blacks into the social black hole in which they now find themselves. Black kids are not suffering because they need more rights. They are suffering because they are not learning, from an early age, about responsibilities and consequences. — Star Parker, Nov 2005

Election of our nation's first black president is delivering an unexpected message to our black population. Blacks are discovering that what a man or woman does -- their actions -- is what matters, not the color of their skin. It seems ridiculous to point out that this was supposedly the point of the civil rights movement. Purge racism from America. But blacks themselves have been the ones having the hardest time letting it go. — Star Parker, Aug 2011

I believe a time will come when an opportunity will be offered to abolish this lamentable evil [slavery]. Everything we do is to improve it, if it happens in our day; if not, let us transmit to our descendants, together with our slaves, a pity for their unhappy lot and an abhorrence of slavery. — Patrick Henry, 1773

I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves. — Harriet Tubman

I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of tolerance. — Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In order to avoid poverty, just do three things: finish high school, marry before having a child, and don't have a child until you're at least twenty years old. Only 8 percent of people who do all three of those things wind up poor, but a staggering 79 percent of those who fail to do them wind up in poverty. — Bernard Goldberg, Arrogance, p 12

In order to get beyond race, you have to go to race. To suggest race neutrality as a remedy for racial discrimination is sophistry of the highest order. — Julian Bond, NAACP Chairman, responding to a recent Supreme Court decision (Huh?)

In our attempt to blame poverty on prejudice, we have taught the poor to be prejudiced against the basic values necessary to sustain a free and civil society....We've taught them there are no real absolutes to the human condition -- except perhaps that the highest value in life is to acquire things. — Star Parker

[I]n the post-civil-rights era, two competing ideas about discrimination, particularly racial discrimination, have arisen. The 'conservative' view is that discrimination is wrong, period. The 'liberal' view is that discriminatory means are acceptable in pursuing a noble end. — James Taranto

In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral and political evil in any Country. — Robert E Lee, Confederate General, 1856

It is much to be wished that slavery may be abolished. The honour of the States, as well as justice and humanity, in my opinion, loudly call upon them to emancipate these unhappy people. To contend for our own liberty, and to deny that blessing to others, involves an inconsistency not to be excused. — John Jay, Supporter of the Constitution after its creation and an author of The Federalist Papers, 1786

Liberals can't just come out and say they want to take more of our money, kill babies, and discriminate on the basis of race. — Ann Coulter

The average poverty rate in Black Caucus districts is almost 50 percent higher than the national average. Yet, these black politicians have 100 percent re-election rates. — Star Parker, Aug 2011

The bottom line is that the civil rights struggle is over and it is won. At one time black Americans didn't share the constitutional guarantees shared by whites; today we do. That does not mean that there are not major problems that confront a large segment of the black community, but they are not civil rights problems nor can they be solved through a 'conversation on race.' Black illegitimacy stands at 70 percent; nearly 50 percent of black students drop out of high school; and only 30 percent of black youngsters reside in two-parent families. In 2005, while 13 percent of the population, blacks committed over 52 percent of the nation's homicides and were 46 percent of the homicide victims. Ninety-four percent of black homicide victims had a black person as their murderer. Such pathology, I think much of it precipitated by family breakdown, is entirely new among blacks. In 1940, black illegitimacy was 19 percent; in 1950, only 18 percent of black households were female-headed compared with today's 70 percent. Both during slavery and as late as 1920, a teenage girl raising a child without a man present was rare among blacks. If black people continue to accept the corrupt blame game agenda of liberal whites, black politicians and assorted hustlers, as opposed to accepting personal responsibility, the future for many black Americans will remain bleak. — Walter E. Williams, economics professor, George Mason University

[T]he Constitution allowed Southern States to count three-fifths of their slaves toward the population that would determine numbers of representatives in the federal legislature. This clause is often singled out today as a sign of black dehumanization: they are only three-fifths human. But the provision applied to slaves, not blacks. That meant that free blacks–and there were many, North as well as South–counted the same as whites. More important, the fact that slaves were counted at all was a concession to slave owners. Southerners would have been glad to count their slaves as whole persons. It was the Northerners who did not want them counted, for why should the South be rewarded with more representatives, the more slaves they held? — Thomas G. West (“Was the American Founding Unjust? The Case of Slavery,” p. 5.)

[T]he day before a black child, minority child, steps into a classroom, half the achievement gap already exists. That is, they already start behind. — Joe Biden, US Senator

The great paradox of the civil rights revolution is that instead of enforcing and expanding equality before the law, the revolution created differential rights based on race, gender and, any day now, sexual orientation. The great liberal revolution, centuries in the making, that brought forth equality in law has been overthrown. In its place we see rising a new feudal legal order of status-based rights. — Paul Craig Roberts

The Jews don't like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that's a good name. Hitler was a very great man. — Louis Farrakhan (By definition, only whites can be racist)

The truth about black poverty today, as Kay Hymowitz of the Manhattan Institute has aptly put it, is that it is 'intricately intertwined with the collapse of the nuclear family in the inner city.'... Black children don't need politicians of any color who claim to hold the keys to their future. They need parents who know their names. Two of them. — Star Parker (Sep 2005)

Whenever I see any one arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally. — Abraham Lincoln

Why doesn't the Left mind racial discrimination against whites? — The Federalist Patriot, 23 Sep 2005

Why is it that hose who clamor the loudest for diversity seem to believe that diversity does not include straight white Christians? — Blaine Nay

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