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  • The Zombie of Reparations

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on March 7th, 2021 (All posts by )

    Oh, for the Love of Life Orchestra, the rotting spectral zombie of reparations for slavery of African-Americans is staggering out of the graveyard of bad political ideas once more, and onto the stage of public discussion. It’s a Biden-approved notion (or a notion of whichever puppet-master has their hand up Biden’s fundament) and I note that the thrust of the matter is only to discuss the possibility.

    Which makes me suspect that this new and respectably presidential consideration is a token gesture, a sop to the militant BLM activists and the old racial shakedown coterie, and the constituents they proport to represent; mostly the semi-literate, barely skilled lifetime welfare-receiving urban thug element, who have an insatiable appetite for monetary graft, free stuff and slivers of unearned privilege. The racial shakedown coterie does very well out of catering to those clients in any case, and it is their best interests that the shakedown continues even unto the umpteenth generation. If we are very fortunate, the stupidest, most controversial and divisive bad idea since Prohibition will never get any farther than the discussion phase, but if it does – and I wouldn’t put it past the current batch of Woke-ists to their best to make it work – it won’t. It will likely fail, catastrophically.

    The damage done will be the equal of the damage done by Prohibition – of that I am grimly certain. The resentment by the rest of us towards the racial shakedown coterie and their urban thug clientele will not be voiced, or not very loudly, because we are all the products of fifty years of being told to judge on the content of character, not the color of the skin containing it. But we will be boiling on the inside at the arbitrary and unfair nature of the proceedings. Declaring and enforcing the principle that African-Americans are due reparations from the rest of us because of slavery rides roughshod over a number of realities. Such as the fact that a) the ancestors of most Americans of every ethnic background today didn’t own slaves at all, b) arrived well after the abolition of slavery and derived precious little benefit from the existence of what was called the “peculiar institution, c) if present in the United States before the Civil War which ended slavery and secession, were just as likely to have disapproved of slavery, campaigned for its’ abolition and/or paid with their lives to end it. Additionally – a good few Scots, English and Irish immigrants to what would later become America arrived as slaves or bondservants themselves after failed rebellions or arrest and trial. A handful of Americans were also captured and held as slaves by the Barbary States early in the 19th century. If African-Americans are owed reparations because of being descended from slaves and bondservants, shouldn’t descendants of those slaves and bondservants be owed reparations as well? And if not, then why not? What also of those African-Americans in various communities in the antebellum South who themselves owed slaves? Do they get to pay reparations to themselves? Is having been a slave of any color conditions for receiving reparations? It is a matter of historical curiosity that there were a number of WWII survivors of Nazi labor camps and Japanese prison of war camps who were essentially slaves. Do they get a cut, and if not, why not?

    I will concede that if reparations for slavery and the perpetuation of Jim Crow are owed to African-Americans by any existing entity that it should be the Democrat Party and only the Democrat party – the historic party of slavery, secession and segregation – who owes and should pay such reparations. Discuss as you wish and can bear it.

     

    59 Responses to “The Zombie of Reparations”

    1. Dan from Madison Says:

      Basically you boiled it down. I present my specific quandry.

      I am one quarter German, grandma came over from Munich in the early 1900s. One quarter Latvian, grandpa came over from Riga in the early 1900s. So that half of me won’t have to pay. The other half have been here in the states for quite some time, and I can even theoretically trace to the Mayflower. I don’t think I have any slave owners in my past, but I can’t prove the negative either.

      So do I have to pay just cuz I’m white? And who gets the money? I assume someone like Kamala Harris, who is half Jamaican and half Indian is out (although she could take up her half of payments from the Jamaica thing with the Brits I suppose).

      This is all nonsense as you noted, of course and serves zero purpose (I probably have a beef with the Germans somewhere along the way). So do we dole out the cash by skin color or what? How denigrating to even have the discussion.

    2. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Same with my family, Dan – three of my grandparents didn’t even arrive until the 20th century, and the grandmother whose’ family did get to the Pennsylvania colony in time to scarf up a Penn land grant — were Quakers and abolitionists so committed to the cause that family legend has it that the family farm was an alternate safe house for the Underground railway. And the paterfamilias was so fiery in his support of Mr. Lincoln’s war that he was read out of Quaker meeting for it.. The whole reparations thing is a craptistically bad idea, and the resentment that it will inspire among those of us forced by the color of our skin to pay for it will undo every scrap of advances made in civil rights in the last half century. Depend on it.

    3. Brian Says:

      Nah, you’re not thinking this through properly. If reparations happen the proper approach is for everyone to claim “family lore” that there is secretly black ancestry in your background. I’m swarthy because I’m Sicilian AND some black in there somewhere. Never mind where or how, that is my lived truth, don’t you dare question it, and where’s my check. If the world is going to be a joke, it is long past time we stop trying to be serious, and make it as farcical as possible.

    4. MCS Says:

      “(or a notion of whichever puppet-master has their hand up Biden’s fundament)” An apt but truly vile image. The stench should linger in Democrats minds long after Biden is an unpleasant memory.

      The trouble they had with their “stimulus” bill makes me, probably unreasonably, optimistic that sanity is starting to reassert itself. Who knows?

      I wonder how the the would be recipients will react to the standard government time line: Months to years setting up a bureaucracy. More months spent “signing” people up, determining eligibility. Finally, a trickle of checks distributed with no discernible pattern, while the bulk goes to those groups most likely to kick back a portion to the Democrats. They sure aren’t going to waste money on people that will only spend it on themselves.

      The image of air dropping currency over places like Baltimore and Chicago is diverting but not likely.

    5. Clioman Says:

      So, how much will Colin Powell get? Asking for a friend.

    6. Dan from Madison Says:

      Sorry Clioman, Mr. Powell gets nothing. His parents emigrated here from Jamaica. Their claim will be with the Brits.

    7. pouncer Says:

      Let’s take the word of certain leaders of the community and movement and step back to the proposition of “forty acres and a mule”.

      Why not reify that? There is certainly enough acreage to begin with, before we need to consider cash-equivalents. Acres in New Mexico, acres in Alaska, acres on Howard Island in the middle of the Pacific and acres in territories yet unclaimed by competing nations that might be bought by the U.S. government and bestowed upon pioneers, colonists, settlers and sod-busters. Why NOT Antarctica?

      It’s often said the U.S. is a nation of immigrants. With equal truth it must be said we are a nation of pioneers who moved into and onto barely habitable lands where even natives drifted rootlessly. (My home state of Kansas is named for the tribe that other natives called — well, one translation might be “People of the North Wind” and another might be “Worthless Northland Drifters.” ) Settling in and wringing a profit from new land by the sweat of your own brow and the skill of your own hands is AT LEAST as much a source of American’s wealth and AT LEAST as much a part of the American Dream as any theft of the land from the native or the labor of the slaves. I would never say that taking the land and labor from others was morally justified. But the “taking” was not the whole story, either. There was much digging in and building up, too.

      So, if that opportunity was denied any group in the past, and the heirs of the group want to play catch up; I’m willing to discuss the mechanisms.

      First thing, we absolutely must settle — very negatively, I’m afraid — the competing claims of “La Raza” that the acreage of the US South West must be returned to Mexico. Nope, can’t apportion out the same acre to two claimants. This proposal preferences and privileges the heirs of African immigrants over the heirs of Spain; and if that’s a problem it needs to be addressed separately.

      The next thing is to survey the federally owned lands into 40 acres plots. There are very roughly 640 million federal acres available. So there roughly 16 million mule-worthy homestead sites. The US population is roughly (and conveniently) about 320 million souls, of whom about 10% are heirs of slaves. Also conveniently, homesteads are traditionally worked by families. One male married to one female with a few (between two and four) children. So we can estimate about 16 million families might POTENTIALLY line up to claim the 16 million mule-worthy homestead sites.

      We must — sadly — eliminate some who might wish to file claims who have criminal backgrounds, who aren’t in the family units historically proven to be likely successful homesteaders, who are of African heritage but NOT heirs of US slaves, etc. At the same time we must winnow down certain US federal acres not available to be steaded out. Maybe an acre has a post office on it, already, say. This reduction must be carried out by independent teams — we can’t force a match between acres and claims. If we need more land, the US must go GET some. Maybe Canada has acres to sell?

      But end of the day we might be down to 10 or 12 million families on new homesteads.
      Which leaves us the REAL problem: a huge shortage of MULES. At the very peak of US muledom during the Calvin Coolidge presidency the continental US hosted only some 6 million mules. That peak leaves us short by about half of what’s needed. In reality the present US has only about 30 THOUSAND mules available for re-distribution. (This, by the way, helps illustrate the problem of socialist planners RE-DISTRIBUTING resources rather than PRODUCING them.) The homesteader will have to be provided alternative livestock. Oxen, maybe. Or perhaps a crash breeding program (horses crossed to donkeys, for those unfamiliar with the biology of mules) to spawn mules faster than homesteaders bust sod. It will be difficult. But not insurmountable.

      Finally – always last to be considered and most important to deliver — we have to consider logistics. How do homesteading families move from their current apartments in — usually Eastern and Southern — cities to homestead-able 40 acre sites in — usually — the wild lands of the Far West and Alaska? Traditionally, families walked. Sort of the way — actually, EXACTLY THE SAME WAY — current would-be immigrants walk to Texas and California from Guatemala, Costa Rica, Mexico… I think it would be entirely fair to provide the homesteaders new boots, sneakers, etc for the journey and a starter supply of essential provisions. But I could be persuaded that kindness overcome my sense of fairness. Bus tickets wouldn’t be out of line, I suppose.

      Are there significant issues in this, very initial, consideration of fulfilling promises to the deserving heirs of the laborers of the South that I have somehow overlooked?

    8. Anonymous Says:

      Here are some more, somewhat disconnected observations:

      – What does the rest of America get out of this? A commitment from blacks to get off welfare? To stop “babies having babies?” A rejection of thug culture? A commitment to embrace the nuclear family? A collective commitment to getting a proper, first-world education? Perhaps we should demand something for our money.

      – If reparations are indeed paid out, perhaps the rest of America could then consider that black America has finally been paid off. This means the end of racial preferences, quotas, set-asides, etc., etc. The end of affirmative action. They get their money, and the rest of us can finally stop worrying about stepping on their toes. Sounds like there could be savings down the road — might be worth it!

      – The award of reparations will likely be viewed by blacks as an admission of guilt. And once that connection is made, there will be more pressure for more compensation, because “y’all are guilty!” It will never stop.

      – I’ve read estimates of 2 to 8 trillion dollars. If we’re going to spend that much money, I assert it could be better spent on repatriation rather than reparations. If blacks are so unhappy living in America, perhaps they should go back to their ancestral home. Screw ’em — I’m tired of their constant whining. (And yes, I realize there are a goodly number of blacks who embrace the American dream and are doing just fine. But if they don’t get a handle on their noisy race hustlers, they may get thrown out with the bath water.) I really am tired of their sh*t.

    9. Retail Lawyer Says:

      Africans captured the slaves, transported them to the African coast, and sold them to Europeans. Seems like reparations should be sought from Africans.

      Also, if we are going to be talking about this, we should be talking about payment in full. This is crucial since the delivery of reparations will leave the recipients and their descendants worse off in a few years, or perhaps a generation.

    10. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Personally, I am all in favor of having the discussion about reparations. Because any honest discussion (I know! I know!) would put the blame on the people who actually enslaved the African slaves — who were other Africans. Let’s hear how much the Democratic Republic of the Congo is prepared to kick into the pot for reparations. It will also be interesting to hear the Nigerian case as to why present-day Nigerians do not owe anything to the much richer present-day remote descendants of the Africans their remote ancestors enslaved.

      Then there are today’s English descendants of the traders who bought the slaves from Africans on the coasts of Africa and transported them to the English colonies in North America, long before the United States was even a twinkle in George Washington’s eye. Let’s see how much the English (and other Europeans) are prepared to kick into the pot to make up for what their remote ancestors did.

      Since none of today’s Political Class wants to talk about today’s real existential problems — the Budget Deficit, the Trade Deficit, the money printing — they might as well chat about whether African slaves got treated better or worse than Irish indentured servants in the English colonies.

    11. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      OK, if any US government, especially one whose legitimacy is questionable at best, and whose means of determining “consent of the governed” is even more questionable, decides to impose reparations for the benefit of Blacks purely based on race and ethnicity; could it not be considered at that point that the Constitution is formally moot? And in such a case would not those both seeking reparations, and those seeking to extort them no longer be considered our countrymen in any sense? In fact, would they be not be considered to be a hostile foreign force whose sole intent is to rob and pillage us?

      And would not resistance using force, including deadly force, be a rational response? Tactically, and logistically, those who would loot us are not in the best position.

      I would note that in such a case that the “disconnected observations” of

      Anonymous Says:
      March 7th, 2021 at 8:18 pm

      have more than a little bit of merit in reference to the survivors. Including those in power trying to impose those reparations.

      Subotai Bahadur

    12. Kirk Says:

      Here’s a question that I’ve never seen answered, by anyone:

      Once we establish that “whites” are liable for the sins of their ancestors, how does that all work? Which set of ancestors? Do we do it by generation, or what?

      Because, the question becomes this: say you go back six generations to have “all black slave or descended from slaves”. What do we do when you go back seven, and find that Massa done gone down to the slave sheds, and had him some fun? ‘Cos, once you go back eight generations, then your supposedly “slave ancestry” is also trending into that of whitey…

      Which is, on the face of things, ridiculous. But, still, once you accept the premise of liability for the conduct of one’s ancestors, then that precedent has to be applied reasonably and equitably, which means that about every single American black is going to have some problems with the fact that somewhere, they got Massa in the woodpile.

      Then, too… So, if I’m liable for my slave-owning ancestors (leaving aside that there were blacks who owned slaves…), then how come I’m not getting “credit” for my ancestors who fought slavery and who were abolitionists?

      I mean, if you’re going to go after me for things my ancestors did, then why don’t I get to throw up that there were ancestors who actually fought against slavery? How’re you supposed to work that fact in, to be “fair”?

      Irony is, I know who my ancestors were, and can document that there were some who fought hard against slavery. Hell, there were some who knowingly married into black America… So, how is that all going to work out? Do I get “credit” for them, or are we going to ignore their existence, and just call them all a part of “eeeevul white patriarchy”? Which ain’t exactly what I’d term “equitable”.

      Then, too… What do we do about those black slaveowners? To include, of course, that paragon of black virtue, the guy who got the legal precedence for permanent indentured servitude established by suing in court over his “freed bondsman” that went to work for someone else, and won…? Are his descendants gonna get the bill, too, or are we going to let them slide because “black”, and we all know blacks are unaccountable for their actions, permanently children before the law?

      Which is it, folks?

      The whole thing breaks down on these issues. Shall we bill “black America” for the damage done to major cities and so forth that have gone under “black majority rule”, like Detroit? I mean, if I have to pay the bill for what the blacks contributed, then shouldn’t I be able to offset for what they damaged? How about the lengthy history of black criminality? And, if we’re gonna let “black America” off because the criminals are somehow “individual” responsibility, why then aren’t I allowed to do the same with my supposed “slave-owning” white ancestors?

      The entire thing is impossible to work out, at this point. Not if you’re going to have any amount of “fairness” to it all.

      Hell, I suspect that you could easily work the math out to find out that the blacks of America actually owe the rest of us money, rather than the opposite. I mean, there are white ancestors of mine who went bankrupt supporting the Civil War and the whole abolitionist movement, not to mention all the dead who fought in that war to free the blacks. How’s that going to be accounted for? And, if I get billed for those whites who were slave owners, how do you propose to account for those that fought to free them? They going to get lumped in with the slave owners, or what? Is that even remotely just?

    13. Xennady Says:

      Talk of reparations is another lie from the regime, which is well aware that the success that Donald Trump had in attracting support from rank-and-file blacks was an existential threat. Hence, they needed to find a way to cement those folks back into the demonrat party. Reparations is that cement, along with the openly racist anti-white policies endorsed by the regime. They’re fools. They’ve been able to keep this grift going as long as they have because they’ve piously mouthed platitudes about equal rights and shriek about fixing the discrimination of decades ago. It’s a much harder sell when they openly endorse discrimination against their political opponents now and excuse it by mentioning a practice- slavery- bloodily abolished going on two centuries ago.

      I get the sense that certain folks think that anti-black discrimination never ended and we’re still living in the 19th century. Lynchings abound, and black people tremble at the thought of displeasing a white person, generally imagined to a racist Trump-supporting hick. Meanwhile, back in reality, I recall that the steel mill I used to work at had a Nixon-era consent decree that required the workforce to be 40% black. Nixon-era, as in 1970, as in 50 years of discrimination in favor of blacks. I know by the time I left, they were hiring black felons to meet that requirement. I’ve been told in person of someone murdered because they stopped to help a black motorist- which shocked me, many years later when I read John Derbyshire write about that phenomena. I remember the white couple abducted and tortured for days by blacks, because they were white, then murdered. A white teenage girl set on fire by a black criminal and killed. Etc, etc, on and on, many anecdotes not mentioned.

      I think this has been tolerated because people know how blacks were screwed over for so long and we want to make it right. Literally, everyone has been rooting for them to succeed and people have been willing to sacrifice for that goal.

      What has been our reward?

      An endless set of escalating demands- perhaps not from rank-and-file black people but certainly from the politically connected- that I suspect can never actually be satisfied. For any actual amount of reparations the regime will bestow, there will be always be demands for more, always more.

      Forgive my cliche, but this won’t end well.

    14. Smilin' Joe Says:

      The smartest thing Ali ever said was when asked after returning from Africa what his opinion of that continent was, “I’m glad granddaddy got on that boat”.
      I guess it’s racist to point out that descendents of slaves are better off today than they would be if this country never had the “peculiar intitution”.

    15. CapitalistRoader Says:

      From the Reuters link:

      A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted last June following the death in police custody in Minneapolis of George Floyd, an African-American man, found clear divisions along partisan and racial lines, with only one in 10 white respondents supporting the idea and half of Black respondents endorsing it.

      Calls have been growing from some politicians, academics and economists for such payments to be made to an estimated 40 million African Americans. Any federal reparations program could cost trillions of dollars, they estimate.

      First, who’s Black? That’s the burning question. Will Biden appoint Louis Gates as Director of Genetic Testing? Gates’ popular genetic testing television show on PBS demonstrates that African Americans have varying amounts of African heritage. Gates himself is genetically 50% European and 50% African. Does he get reparations? Obama? Will every American be required to submit to genetic testing? Else, I’m Black so gimme the money.

      Second, why does Reuters capitalize black but not white? This is creepily reminiscent of separate water fountains for Coloreds and Whites, treating groups of people different based on the color of their skin.

    16. werewife Says:

      Well! What a wonderful thing to wake up to: Sgt. Mom herself, no less, has USED MY CATCHPHRASE! Until this moment I was absolutely certain that no one else would ever adopt it for any purpose (because it’s objectively bonkers), but I am no longer alone! And chances are that the good Sarge herself has never even heard the Love of Life Orchestra, so for everyone’s (decidedly NOT guaranteed [LOLO is definitely an acquired taste]) pleasure, without further ado: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Love of Life Orchestra:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSBV2NLiQ2c

      Oh, and on the subject of slavery reparations, my family is still waiting for our checks from Egypt. So there.

    17. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

      You guys are trying to be logical about how all this should and might work. I’ve warned you repeatedly not to think like that, it will only make you unhappy.

      The money will not be delivered to actual black individuals, or not much. Only enough direct cash for some photo ops and human interest pieces. It will go into PROGRAMS designed for black uplift, and community centers and police retraining and anything they can think of that “creates jobs,” but mostly just jobs for liberals, including but not limited to black people. Maybe not even social workers, but a further army of advocates and encouragers of every stripe, now installed in government budgets, or nonprofits that are pipelined to the government.

      So also for who will pay. It will be anyone who has money, as it will just be a federal budget expense, no matter how they disguise and rejigger it. Not only will it not matter whether your ancestors were ever slave holders, it won’t matter if you are black. If you pay taxes you will be charged, and the money will go “into the community,” to use grifter-speak.

    18. William Letendre, Jr. Says:

      I don’t understand why these Virtue-Signaling Wokescolds wants to give away all that money to people who were never slaves, taken from people who were never slaveholders.

    19. Mike K Says:

      Let’s hear how much the Democratic Republic of the Congo is prepared to kick into the pot for reparations. It will also be interesting to hear the Nigerian case as to why present-day Nigerians do not owe anything to the much richer present-day remote descendants of the Africans their remote ancestors enslaved.

      Actually the slave traders in Africa were largely The Ashante Empire, which was in near constant war with its neighbors and which sold captured prisoners to the whites at small fortresses off the coast.

      Osei Tutu oversaw a massive Ashanti territorial expansion, building up the army by introducing new organisation and turning a disciplined royal and paramilitary army into an effective fighting machine.[4] In 1701, the Ashanti army conquered Denkyira, giving the Ashanti access to the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean coastal trade with Europeans, notably the Dutch.[4] The economy of the Ashanti Empire was mainly based on the trade of gold and slaves.[7] The army served as the effective tool to procure captives.[8]

    20. miguel cervantes Says:

      the ones whose kente cloth, norma desmond, flagrantly flaunted, did we end up finding how much of a fraud, alex haley was,

    21. RandyB Says:

      Making reparations an even dumber idea, its promoters either support groups like Hamas, or are allied to those who do. And these groups support slavery today. BLM’s founders support Hamas.

      This would be plainly insane if they weren’t making an enormous amount of money.

    22. miguel cervantes Says:

      if there’s a right thing, do the other,

      https://legalinsurrection.com/2021/03/report-biden-education-dept-punts-trump-ban-on-separating-students-into-racial-and-other-affinity-groups/

    23. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Mike K: “Actually the slave traders in Africa were largely The Ashante Empire …”

      You do realize, Mike, that you linked to Wikipedia? Don’t feel bad about it — we all make that mistake occasionally. :)

      Notice that even unreliable politically-correct ultra-Woke Wikipedia notes that the Ashanti took over the existing trade with European slavers. The Ashanti were not the only Africans to enslave fellow Africans, nor were they the first. Not surprising, because slavery was a natural condition of humankind until the development of the fossil-fueled steam engine — a mere blink in time ago in the history of the human race.

      Go back in history, and every identifiable group has at some stage owned slaves, and at others been enslaved. Purists would even argue that today’s society still operates on a neo-slavery basis — with voters on the government dole using the police power of the State to require that working citizens share their production with them.

    24. Mike K Says:

      I should have limited that comment to the slave trade with the western hemisphere as east Africa had an entirely different slave trade. Still does, in fact.

      Wiki is OK on non-political topics and this seemed to be a reasonable example.

      Some of those forts can still be found. One example.

    25. miguel cervantes Says:

      we picked up some bad habits from those tribes,

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songhai_Empire#Economy

    26. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Mike — the problem with politicized sites like Wikipedia is that sometimes the information is reliable and sometimes it is not. But how can the reader tell the difference? Remember that a lot of Wikipedia articles are written (or modified) by unemployed young Lefties in their mother’s basements. Wikipedia has its uses — but it should never be relied upon for serious purposes.

      For anyone interested in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, the best account I am aware of is the book “Black Cargoes: A history of the Atlantic slave trade 1518-1865”, written by Daniel P. Mannix, Viking Press (1962) — written before Political Correctness undermined credibility. In its approximately 300 pages, the Ashanti are referenced only 5 times. Of the +/- 1,000 miles of African coast line relevant to the slave trade, the Ashanti dominated less than 100.

      It was a complicated situation, changing over time. Slaves from different parts of Africa had different characteristics — rather like (say) differences between the later German and Irish immigrants to the United States. 90% of the slaves transported across the Atlantic went to the European plantations in the Caribbean and South America, where their survival rates were much worse than in England’s North American colonies.

      As you point out, Mike, the trade in slaves from East Africa was something else altogether, on a much larger scale than the Trans-Atlantic trade. Today’s European apologists for the misdeeds of their ancestors like to point out that the responsibility for that trade belongs to the Arabs — although, as in West Africa, the enslavement was actually done by other Africans.

    27. CatoRenasci Says:

      All of this parsing…. I’m descended from (among all sorts of other things) a substantial slaveholder who freed his slaves in 1860 before The War, because he was becoming a minister and had concluded slavery was incompatible with his Christian beliefs…. Other parts of the family didn’t come until the 20th century or were in early, but were never slave holders. A pox on the reparations nazis.

    28. Ginny Says:

      I have trouble taking this seriously except as another way to divide us and to stoke grievances. Not that that isn’t about as serious as it gets.

      One thing we could remember is that part of the reason the founders believed that stopping slave trading in 1807 would mean slavery would disappear in America. It wasn’t just the cotton gin that changed this, it was that slaves in America lived sufficiently better than slaves in most (or perhaps all) slave holding nations – elsewhere they were not replacing themselves and so with no new slaves, the whole institution would die.

      But to make that argument very often would imply a certain heartlessness – yes slavery was evil and to imply it was a bit more healthy here than elsewhere is not probably the most pleasant or most convincing of arguments.

      I’ve always wondered – does anyone know if ex-slaves were encouraged or even allowed to homestead? The only Black who lived in my home town came west after the Civil War with some of my ancestors (he had the same last name, so though I didn’t see any slaves in that part of my family’s records, he may have been a slave). He didn’t homestead, but became a home builder; I don’t know how well he did, but that seemed to indicate he was a entrepreneur and people liked his product. (My mother would point out houses “Jim built” sometimes, I don’t know if others worked for him, but he clearly was seen as the builder.)

    29. Xennady Says:

      I think AVI has nailed the motivation for all this- it isn’t actually about slavery or even black people. It’s about the grift.

      These folks have learned that any time they cry racist, they win.

      So of course they’re going to keep doing that, because it works. Hence, they can imagine all their fondest fantasies coming true. A sweet government job for every SJW, where not only do they get to tell the people who mock or despise them what to do under penalty of law, but they also can’t be fired, either. You know, civil service. My guess is that they sort-of imagine it as a homeless program writ large, where they keep getting more and more money to “solve” the “problem”- in this case “institutional racism”- because whatever amount of money they already have will never ever be enough. Pay up, you evil white devils.

      I just don’t think it’s going to work out as they intend. I very much doubt the country can afford financially or will tolerate politically several trillion dollars printed up to create expensive new bureaucracies intended to send cash payments to certain special people for no valid reason. Not only that, but if the cash payments sent out are deemed insufficient by the recipients, then political pressure will of course build to increase them. Now I think that would eventually happen no matter what the amount, but if the checks were perceived as too small from the get-go, then the regime has a political problem immediately.

      Of course the regime doesn’t want that, since I think the key motivation for the regime to propose reparations in the first place is to keep the black vote- and the black vote counters– on the demonrat plantation. So I bet what will happen- if we actually get some sort of reparations plan enacted- is that the SJWs will get the huge expensive bureaucracy they crave to give them money for nothing, and the black vote will get a hugely expensive new entitlement program. And the country will get nearly instant financial collapse, I think.

      But that isn’t even the worst part. I recall reading, long ago, that the Armenian genocide happened because Armenians came to be seen by rank-and-file Turks as functionaries of the hated Ottoman regime. I don’t know if that is actually true and I’m not going to research it enough to find out. I find the past history and future prospect of mass murder vile, and I shy away from it because I’m not a murder-loving leftist.

      That said, I’ve also expressed my opinion that the US is headed to civil war- even though I don’t think there’s been enough hate stored up to get that going, yet. The incipient reparations grift may well be what finally makes that prediction come true.

    30. Miguel cervantes Says:

      Re wikipedia check the sourcing and the talk section for what they left out.

      Turks still hate majority Christian Armenia who is allied with shia iran against azerbaijan go figure.

    31. Mike K Says:

      I recall reading, long ago, that the Armenian genocide happened because Armenians came to be seen by rank-and-file Turks as functionaries of the hated Ottoman regime.

      The Ottoman Empire was run by Greeks, I believe, not Armenians. I think the Armenians were resolutely Christian and refused to convert as many of the other Christians did. When I was in Istanbul, ten years ago, a guide pointed out that the workmen, Muslim of course, had carefully protected the mosaics they were covering in Hagia Sophia with panels of Quran quotes in calligraphy. The implication was that they were anticipating recapture in the not distant future. The Armenians refused even that token conversion. It ultimately did the Greeks no good as they were also expelled by Attaturk.

    32. Brian Says:

      “The Ottoman Empire was run by Greeks, I believe, not Armenians”
      What?

      “that the workmen, Muslim of course, had carefully protected the mosaics they were covering in Hagia Sophia with panels of Quran quotes in calligraphy.”
      Double what?

      “The implication was that they were anticipating recapture in the not distant future. ”
      What times infinity?

    33. Mike K Says:

      Brian, I am stumped by your comment. Do you have any evidence that Armenians ran the Ottoman Empire? I’m wide open to correction but the “Levantine Greeks” have always been my impression of the administrators. They were dismissed for being poor Christians as a result.

      The other two questions I don’t understand. The fact that ostensibly Muslim workmen protected Christian mosaics as they were being hidden suggested to the guide (a secular Muslim) and me that they expected them to be uncovered in the future by a restored Byzantium.

    34. Brian Says:

      There has never been an instant in which anyone realistically expected a restored Byzantium, nor were Christian components of Hagia Sophia somehow treated with respect in anticipation of such an event. Come on, man. You were fed a line of BS by a tour guide who wanted to tell some Americans what he thought they wanted to hear.

    35. Xennady Says:

      My apologies for derailing the thread into a discussion of the obscure history of a defunct empire. I lost interest in writing and wanted to get on with my day, so I wrapped up that comment as quickly as I could and my point wasn’t clear.

      Let me try again, keeping it in the realm of obscure history. At some point Turks and Armenians got along well enough to avoid genocide. Then that changed.

      What happened?

      Now I don’t really care about Ottoman history and- alas- I cannot go back in time and prevent the Armenian Genocide. But, based upon that one source I read years ago, somewhere on the internet, the Armenians became identified with the failings of an unpopular regime and were murdered because of it. I think actual reality in no way justified the murdering and I’m not a fan of mass murder of anyone, period. My source could have been completely wrong, or maybe I’m misremembering it.

      But I thought of it because I can think of another minority that is quite identified with another failing regime today- a regime that is controlled by people who openly despise the majority of the population and the majority culture as well- gosh, can anyone guess what country I’m thinking about?

      I’ve repeatedly stated here that I think the US is headed for civil war, although I admit I have trouble imagining how that will begin and how it will play out. And I certainly don’t think right now that there is anywhere near enough hatred for any sort of genocide to happen here, because it has always seemed to me that rank-and-file Americans of all ethnic background get along pretty well, or at least well enough to avoid mass murder.

      Now throw reparations into the mix, along with an incipient financial collapse that we all know is likely or certain. That is, special payments to some people because of nonsense reasons, along with a hugely expensive bureaucracy employing arrogant idiots who hate America, American history, and most Americans.

      What could go wrong? I suspect the people in charge imagine nothing can go wrong, because nothing has, for them, for their entire lives. And now, at long last, they can put their preferred policies in place, punish their enemies, and right past wrongs, lately unrestrained by such silliness as the rule of law or the need to appease the racists of flyoverland by pretending to accept election results.

      Predictions are hard, especially about the future. But I feel- feelings, whoa whoa feelings– that the US is headed for a terrible crisis with no easy ending. Civil wars are bitter and nasty, and often have high death tolls.

      Enough rambling. But I’ll note, in closing, that a de facto genocide could occur in the US simply if the federal government stopped sending out welfare payments. No hatred needed, just indifference.

    36. Brian, your hostilitynis puzzling. I saw the frescoes. Says:

      Brian, your hostility is puzzling. I saw the mosaics. I saw the panels of calligraphy being taken down. The guide was pretty sympathetic to Attaturk and I’ll bet guides these days keep their mouths shut about Christianity. I don’t even know if the restoration of Hagia Sophia has continued. I did get to know some other Turks and I wonder where they are now? Most were army officers as we were visiting the Florence Nightingale museum which is in a huge army barracks.

    37. Mike K Says:

      The site seems to be acting up. WordPress on my own blog is unusable.

    38. Brian Says:

      “The mosaics depicting Jesus, his mother Mary, Christian saints, and angels were eventually destroyed or plastered over”
      from wikipedia. No mention of them being lovingly preserved for imminent re-Christianization…

    39. Mike K Says:

      It appears that some emotion is involved so I will drop the topic. I expect this at Althouse, but not here.

    40. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Umm … the topic is reparations, people. Those of us of somewhat pallor, being forced by the State to pay those of somewhat less than pallor, because of slavery in the distant past.
      And wikipedia is a suspect reference for anything.

    41. Anonymous Says:

      How about the whites who are descendants of Union soldiers killed in the War to end slavery – do they get a rebate? ;-)

    42. Tatyana Says:

      AVI is of course right: the whole cry and pomposity is just a smoke screen for bad old expropriation and redistribution of money – basically, a theft on a national level.
      It is rather funny – in a sad way – to read the comments…you’re already bargaining! Like recalcitrant kids waiting to be called a principal’s office. “It’s not me! I dinn’t do it!”
      All the time knowing you’ve no power, the only recourse is trying to call for mercy, if a call to logic doesn’t work.
      You’re bringing a code of ethics as your only weapon to a street fight…

    43. Kirk Says:

      As I once heard said by someone in the midst of a discussion on race here in America, “If I’m gonna get blamed for oppressing minorities, and made to pay a penalty for it, when I’ve never personally done anything like that…? Guess what, sweetheart? I’m going to go right out and get to oppressing me some n-words and b-words…”.

      That comment was from a guy who was a real melange of racial backgrounds, I might add–As in, Filipino, American Indian, Irish, German and some other “Caribbean bullshit” as he put it. Looked white as the driven snow, though…

      The people pressing for this stuff are grifters, pure and simple. At this point in history, the responsible parties for the whole thing are long gone and dead, most of their fortunes are dissipated, and many of their victims are now more prosperous than the descendants of the slavers. Who here would want to go live the life fantastic in Central Africa, where the majority of the actual “enslavers” descendants live today? They sold their kin to the white man, and the descendants of those people are actually better off than the ones who made the sales. Go figure…

      What I’m really waiting to hear is how all the multi-racial folks are gonna take getting the bills for their white ancestors, right along with the checks from the Reparations Committee. It’s gonna be about like taking money out of your left-hand pocket to put in your right-hand one, but with the almighty government taking a hefty cut in the transition. Should be fun to listen to the howls of inequity.

    44. MCS Says:

      Anybody that’s waiting for their “reparation” check is going to sorely disappointed. This money isn’t going to anybody that can’t be trusted to kink back a piece of it to the Democrats. It will be used as a slush fund for all the “organizers” and other grifters.

      We’ve all seen the story about the product of the Baltimore school system with a 0.13 grade average yet an upper 50% class standing. The only thing remotely surprising is that they denied this scholar a diploma. Who’s going to make reparations to the taxpayers that spent $16,000 a year per “student” to achieve this? These same taxpayers will be supporting him and his progeny from here as well.

      One imagines a conference with the aggrieved mother, the principal, the superintendent, and other assorted functionaries. Would you expect to see even one person of pallor in that group? Yet the obvious conclusion is that our scholar is the victim of racism. This explains the emphasis on “institutional racism”. Nothing can be the fault of the kid that ditched 272 days or the mother who somehow failed to notice that her would be graduate probably couldn’t read. One shudders to imagine his cohort and just how few are possibly capable of supporting themselves in any but the most menial job. Remember, he was not only above average, he was above the median.

    45. Sgt. Mom Says:

      I’m pretty certain at this point that AVI and Xennady have got the right of it – the attempt to whip up the old and shambling corpse of reparations is just a means of keeping the urban voters of color on their accustomed plantation, to funnel money to the usual racial grifters and offer paychecks to the usual do-gooders of administrators of programs who have no actual interest in resolving the problem ’cause that would mean no more fat paycheck.
      And as Kirk points out – pursuing it runs the risk of creating ever-more numbers of pissed-off and innocent people of semi- and non-color who become convinced if they are already judged and found guilty … then they may very well do the crime anyway. Nothing to lose, in the long run.

    46. PubliusII Says:

      OK, here are the conditions under which I would agree to reparations to blacks for slavery:

      • The person who receives reparations for slavery gets a one-way air ticket to the African country of their choice; no other destination is acceptible.

      • On arrival, the person is stripped of their US citizenship and passport.

      • The person is forever banned from the US and its territories; if discovered in the US or territories (even as a visitor), the person will be imprisoned at hard labor for 20 years, then deported back to Africa.

    47. Anonymous Says:

      So, the case for reparations is now being built not only slavery, but also the legacy of slavery. Jim Crow and the de facto case of inherent racial bias of all economic, societal, cultural and political processes based on the disparities between ethnic and racial groups. Since affirmative action appears to have had little positive effect in correcting income, wealth, education, health, and power disparities, the case for reparations is proposed to make a bold adjustment in outcomes. If special treatment rewarding self-damaging behaviors results in increased adverse consequences, why not double down and square the sum? What could go wrong with that?

      The general proposals I have read do not envision specific groups being required to pay into the transfer, but rather that it be funded by “government”. We know how that will be raised: debt. In other words, the payments to the eligible parties will either contribute to a general financial collapse or be serviced by future generations. Both? There has been some discussion of some sort of wealth or corporate net worth tax to contribute to the funds envisioned, but I can see how these will be unlikely to be enacted or sufficient if some such measures pass.

      None of the general proposals I’ve seen discussed seem to have any realistic framework for determining eligibility or compensation size. So estimates of total transfer are all over the place, but huge. Biden wants a commission or committee to explore this issue. Read that as whip up anticipation for more government checks (by zip code?) and bringing down the “rich”. DNA? Ancestry.com? Color spectrometer skin reading? Self identification? I don’t expect those in the wrong zip codes or without sufficient skin tone for inclusion are not going to be happy. The lawyers and organizers should be quing up to help write this 10,000–page program.

      Given our current political situation, I don’t doubt that this is possible in our near term future.
      Then let the fun begin.

      Here is a thought exercise: combine the proposals for a guaranteed minimum income with reparations. My suspicion is that you get a really good approximation of a tribal reservation. Now that is a third world vision.

      Death6

    48. Brian Says:

      I still have no idea why this whole conversation revolves around pretending the world in completely black and white. If people think white racism is bad, wait until they get a load of Hispanic racism. And if the race hustlers think they can bully Hispanics the way they do with white liberals, then all I can say is pass me the popcorn because the fireworks are going to be amazing to watch.

    49. Anonymous Says:

      I’d like to get Heinleinian about this. If you receive any kind of government subsidy or income, to include reparations, you lose the privilege to vote. Only free men and women get the vote.

    50. Dan from Madison Says:

      Well, Evanston, a suburb of Chicago, is giving it a crack. Looks like they are taking pot tax revenue and re-distributing it at $25 grand a pop.
      https://www.newsweek.com/evanston-illinois-could-first-city-use-marijuana-tax-fund-reparations-black-residents-1575180

    51. Brian Says:

      Dan: Well, of course. Rich college educated white people absolutely love this nonsense.

    52. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Anonymous: “If you receive any kind of government subsidy or income, to include reparations, you lose the privilege to vote.”

      Heinlein had a good idea. But it is all moot now that we know the Usual Suspects won’t even make a correct count of all the votes coming in from dead people and illegal aliens. Even Saddam Hussein made a better pretense at democracy than Beijing Biden*’s Democrat Party.

      Collapse is inevitable; fortunately, so is the eventual subsequent regrowth. When our descendants have dug up the bones of every politician, bureaucrat, judge, and lawyer and finished throwing stones at them, let’s hope they remember that proposal on limiting suffrage to those who are paying the piper.

    53. Kirk Says:

      Here’s an insight, Gavin: It ain’t the men, it’s the system.

      So long as you’ve got a power sink there for the assholes to glom on to, whatever its nature, the assholes are going to show up to grab power and abuse it. That’s the root problem–You could make just about any system work, but the whole thing is very zen-like in the nature of how men inevitably corrupt it all.

      Good God, look at the medieval monastic systems that all eventually went south and devolved into corruption and venery. All started with noble intent and the best of intentions, but once established and going along, what happened?

      The asshole population showed up, weaseled their way into the woodwork, did their work at self-promoting and bringing along others of their kind, and Hey! Presto!, the monasteries were centers of venal corruption.

      Happens everywhere, to every institution. Why? Because the power is there, and the power is there because we give it to them.

      If we’d kept the power out of the Federal Government, the Senate would still be a debating society on the banks of the Potomac. Instead, we’ve granted those assholes more and more power as time goes on, and now our “public servants” think they’re our masters.

      The only way to stop this crap is to cease putting power into these entities of creeping institutionalism, whether it’s government or corporate. Why is FakeBuch so powerful? Because we’ve invested that power into them. Why is Alphabet so powerful? Same damn reason.

      The hierarchy can only abuse what it abuses because of the power we grant it. Take that away, and what have you got? An empty sack.

      We really need to start emptying the bags of all these “vital institutions”, because they’re totally corrupt. And, they get that way because we don’t self-police, anywhere–You know damn good and well that every “bad cop” does things that his buddies notice on his left and right, but do they ever censure, criticize, or bother to do anything about it all? Nope. That’s the problem in a nutshell microcosm, right there…

    54. Mike K Says:

      Kirk Says:
      March 11th, 2021 at 9:33 pm
      Here’s an insight, Gavin: It ain’t the men, it’s the system.

      This is true on even minor levels. I learned this in local politics 20 years ago. The city council of my small city was run by a small clique of self promoters. They were naming new buildings after themselves. They falsified numbers on a proposition to build a new city hall. After the measure passed, the city hall was about 25% more expensive and included things that were not disclosed for the vote.

      A group of local residents organized to try to gain control of the city council. Over a period of four years, we managed to elect a majority of the council. Guess what happened ? The new members we had recruited and supported made new friends and began the same corrupt behavior.

      The reform group later, not long after this became apparent, dissolved. There was even a web site that gave the history but it has not been maintained.

      “Power corrupts.”

    55. Kirk Says:

      The fallacy has been proven time and time again–Everyone says “If only the right men were in charge…”, and then immediately put the men saying that into power.

      End result? Those men run things for their own benefit.

      I’m pretty sure that’s how feudalism got started; central government collapses, chaos ensues, everyone stands around saying “Someone ought to do something…”. Six generations later, your descendants are serfs working in squalor for the local lord whose great-great-grandaddy “answered the call”.

      In the final analysis, they’d have been better off doing for themselves in the first damn place, instead of looking to someone else for “protection”. Analyzed one way, the whole damn thing is a protection racket.

      There are two kinds of people that ought to be culled from any civilized society: The kind that say “Someone ought to do something…” and the ones who rise up to take that power. Neither kind is trustworthy, and both will get you turned into serfs in short order–The first because they’re lazy and fearful, and the second because they lust after power over others.

      I’m coming around to the belief that what we really need is a pragmatic anarchism, one that “comes together” just enough to get things done, and then immediately dissolves itself upon completion of task. Every time we set up one of these “big bureaucracies” to do something, it turns into a self-licking ice cream cone that is only concerned with getting more ice cream to lick. Shut it down.

      I can’t think of too many “solutions” that we’ve come up with that didn’t eventually metastasize into a system-wide cancer and then turn sclerotic to boot.

    56. Brian Says:

      “The new members we had recruited and supported made new friends and began the same corrupt behavior.”
      Reminds me of the 94 GOP class. Since then they haven’t even really bothered to pretend to run an anti-establishment campaign.

      To repeat myself, these lines from Chesterton should be on the currency:
      The men whom the people ought to choose to represent them are too busy to take the jobs. But the politician is waiting for it. He’s the pestilence of modern times.
      What we should try to do is make politics as local as possible. Keep the politicians near enough to kick them.
      The villagers who met under the village tree could also hang their politicians to the tree. It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.

    57. MCS Says:

      One aspect of reparations that hasn’t been addressed is the history of institutional racism at our universities. The present brouhaha at Georgetown got me to thinking.
      https://www-washingtonexaminer-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/georgetown-law-fires-professor-who-says-black-students-underperform?_amp=true

      She could have been forgiven anything but mentioning the truth.

      No sum of money can really make up for the lost opportunities suffered by descendants of slaves. I think reparation should include more than mere money.

      To the recipients, a J.D from Georgetown, an M.D. from Harvard, a PhD. in sciencing from MIT (not fair to limit someone of such overawing achievement to any single discipline) etc.

      There would be questions to be worked out by our courageous representatives: Are the degrees bestowed as a birthright or do they vest at Majority? Is a recipient limited to a single degree or entitled to all of them? Why not? Will they be immunized from professional liability?

      It’s the difference between giving a man a fish and teaching him how. This would solve the problem for all time.

    58. Xennady Says:

      The city council of my small city was run by a small clique of self promoters.

      This reminds me of the city in which I used to live. The city council was at-large, which means no one was accountable for anything in particular. I vaguely recall being surprised at how few people voted in the local elections- then I figured it out: People quit bothering because it never mattered.

      The city government reportedly at one point sold some city owned land to a developer for $5 million to cover a budget deficit, then also sold $10 million in bonds to pay for improvements for that land. Later, right about the time the housing bubble popped, they put up a ballot proposal for a $250 million tax increase “for the schools.” After that was defeated, they came with a smaller “bare bones” tax increase, and they sent out mailers lamenting all the problems with the city’s school buildings, etc. I wondered just what the blazes they did with all the money they already were given, and voted no. That failed too, and then I moved. Last I heard they were closing a fire station because of lack of funds.

      Since then they haven’t even really bothered to pretend to run an anti-establishment campaign.

      Why would they? They’re part of the establishment. I saw today a story that said that Gee Ohh Peee senators are now trying to abolish the inheritance tax forever, because apparently they believe haven’t miserably enough at everything this year.

      But I think they also know which way the wind is blowing, as several worthless GOPe senators have decided not to run for re-election and the RNC has apparently refused to stop using Trump’s good name to raise money. After all the endless backstabbing attacks they’ve made against him, I find that hilarious and pitiful.

      The old GOP has no future, and the party knows it.

    59. Kirk Says:

      The GOP was dead back in Hoover’s day, and they’ve just kept the corpse aboveground so as to make it look like there’s a credible opposition for the Democrats to throw straw-man arguments up against. The Mutt-and-Jeff routine is valuable for the Nomenklatura in that it allows them to siphon off outrage and provide an anodyne for the rage against their feckless policies to bleed out through.

      Ever notice how well this works, with things like the Floyd case? Precisely who are the people who’ve been running and managing the police departments in all these cities? Would you not think that the police departments run by the Democrat-dominated big-city political machines would be models of tolerance, fair play, and good governance…?

      Yet, somehow, the blame is always put on the “reactionary conservatives”, who haven’t existed as a force in these cities for generations. It’s the same everywhere you look.

      I hear someone talk about racism, the question I want answered is why it seems to mostly occur in the same big city metroplexes that have been Democratic sinecures for generations. Portland? Good God, that place has been a bastion of the Democratic Party nearly my entire life, and they are trying to burn it down because “racism” expressed locally. At what point do people wake up, look around, and go “Waaaaait a minute… The people running these places where there’s all this “systemic racism” are all… Democrats.”.

      Seriously–Who, exactly, has been running academia all these years? It’s like they’re acting out that horror movie where “The calls are coming from inside the house…”, and nobody stops to wonder why there are all these “racists” running things, accusing conservatives of being the racists, and the fact is, the people running it all are the liberal Democrats.

      Most of the people living in this country are too damn stupid to live, and sure as hell can’t be trusted to participate in a representative democracy.