Preparations for Reparations, by Andrew Joppa

Preparations for Reparations

by Andy Joppa

 

Welfare states on both sides of the Atlantic have discovered that largesse to losers does not reduce their hostility to society, but only increases it. Far from producing gratitude, generosity is seen as an admission of guilt, and the reparations as inadequate compensations for injustices – leading to worsening behavior by the recipients.

Thomas Sowell

 

First, let me state unequivocally, that I am in favor of reparations being offered to all former slaves, their children and even their grandchildren. I am relatively sure that there are grandchildren of former slaves still alive. Now, having demonstrated my well-intentioned benevolence, I’ll move to the current demand that reparations be paid, 150 years after the fact, to each and every American, with any portion of their genetic reality being of African origin…. regardless of how minimal.  Since part of my heritage is French creole out of the bayous of Louisiana, who knows, I might try to get some part of the “action.” With 25 years normally being considered as a “generation”, we are at six generations since the last slave suffered in America.

 

These lingering problems for African Americans would not have happened to Jews, Chinese, eastern Europeans, West Indians, or Africans.  These are uniquely problems of African Americans; ones that are derived from how they have been maltreated, not by racists, but by Liberal Progressive ideology and its unrelenting pursuit of winning elections regardless of the price being paid by the African American community. Why this community continues to support Democrats is one of the great mysteries of American politics. There is little doubt that the unique variable that has been faced by African Americans was not hatred…it was their manipulation by the Democrat/Left.

 

It is challenging to talk about the modern subject of reparations as if it is a meaningful basis for a purposeful dialog.  Yet, let me try to deal with it as other than what it is, another irrationality that the disturbed Left is trying to foist on America.

 

While it is ridicules on its face, there is always the possibility that in our chronically ill culture, populated by weak kneed politicians, a media with no concern for reality, and a huge swatch of dullard millennials, that it might gain traction and lead to some variation of fulfillment.  One of these variations is estimated to have a price tag of 5 trillion dollars.

 

While there are undoubtedly a number of chronic malcontents who believe that reparations are owed and should be paid, the vast majority of those “pushing” for this resolution fall into one, of several, definable categories. None of these groups actually believe that reparations are owed and have no real concern with that issue:

 

1)  The largest segment is comprised of Leftist politicians who believe they’re always playing a politically winning hand when they accommodate any racial issue in, what they see, as a “positive” manner. While they harbor no optimism that reparations will actually be paid, they know, that as always, “sounding good is better than doing good.”

The corollary of this is they also know that Republicans will have to actively resist. That simple pushback will be reprocessed into defining those who are brave enough to offer that appropriate position as being KKK members or White Supremacists.

 

2)  Another group is made of those on the Left who will use any circumstance to diminish and distort the reality of America.  They love to bandy about the concepts of slavery, Jim Crow, and racism as a mechanism to convince their young, empty-minded (but I repeat myself) minions, that America is a vile place and anyone who defends, or respects America is equally vile.

 

3) Currently, the Left is also trying to deflect attention from the provable circumstance where many in their ranks have been involved with treasonous, seditious, or other forms of criminal behavior. By stirring the racial animus “pot” they know that all other issues will become blunted.  If the issue of reparations approaches a greater chance of happening it will suck all the air out of the American room…it will form the entirety of the public debate.

 

4)  A certain percentage are also terrified of African American rage if reparations are denied.  They have a concern that American cities will go up in flame if reparations, that have been promised, are not delivered. There is historic reason for this concern.

 

5) The final segment is made of many members of the African American community who will try to leverage any situation into the potential of gaining some unearned payout from the American taxpayer. This group hasn’t the slightest interest in the circumstance of slavery or reparations, other than the sound of a ringing cash-register.  This, in fact, may be the largest segment. They recognize that American politicians will normally wilt under the pressure of being called a racist. They know that Liberal white guilt can produce the most ludicrous conclusions from what appears to be childish positions lacking any substantive dignity.

 

Rather than writing an extended essay I’ll create a series of bulleted points from which you can derive your own conclusions.  Most of these points are indisputable, while some are derived from a logical awareness of given situations:

 

·      For most of human history slavery was an unchallenged institutional concept. It existed in every country in every age.

·      West-African tribal chieftains were deeply complicit with the Arabs in harvesting their fellow Africans into slavery. Constant tribal warfare made many readily available.

·      Raiding Africa for slaves was not a racial concept but one of availability.Slavery was so common in Africa that it would not have intruded on any of their moral or “legal” norms. No one wanted to be a slave, but no one minded creating one.

·      Undoubtedly, because of the norm of slavery in Africa, many who became slaves were prior slave owners. This point can’t be documented but it can be logically deduced from my prior statements.

·      Slavery persisted in Africa (still does) long after it was abolished in the West; primarily through the actions of Great Britain and, later, America. It is estimated that the cost of ending slavery by these nations, far exceeded any benefits that were accrued during slaveries long history. There were no residual benefits for either nation.

·      Again, while no one wanted to be a slave, even slaves didn’t challenge the appropriateness of the institution of slavery itself.

·      From the late 18th century forward, many in America did whatever they could to end the institution of slavery.  There was no comparable commitment from anywhere in Africa or the Arab world, where slavery was validated in the holy writings of Islam.

·      During the American Civil War over 600,000 lives were sacrificed to end the scourge of slavery. The enormous level of death created a gloom over the American nation. That was our moment of greatest “reparation.”

·      As a result of that war, the economy of the American south was left impoverished for over a hundred years.  This was partially a result of the loss of slave labor but, far more so, a result of the destruction of the south’s industrial base and infrastructure. Any economic gains accomplished by slavery were totally obliterated by the intentional devastation of the south, accomplished by federal forces

·      African American economic and social gains were substantial from that point forward, driven by their own gallant efforts and commitment to their solid nuclear family. This was all reversed with the advent of Liberal economic policies that had their origins in the 1950’s. Liberal policies did more to damage African-American progress and the quality of their families than the minimal residual effects of slavery.

·      From 1960 forward, America has invested trillions of dollars in anti-poverty programs, with most of those resources directed toward the African American community.  In the 60 years from that date, it is estimated that 20 trillion dollars have been expended toward that purpose.

·      The creation of affirmative action programs was introduced to minimize any lingering aftereffects of slavery and Jim Crow. Equal Employment Opportunity didn’t accomplish what they wanted so the norming of AA had to be introduced.  Affirmative Action, which I view as unconstitutional, gave theoretic preference to the son of an African American millionaire, over the son of an impoverished West Virginia coal miner.

·      If there are any residual benefits that are still derived from slavery, slavery that ended over 150 years ago, those benefits are also utilized by living African Americans. In other words, current African Americans are also sharing in the slave output of their ancestors. Keep in mind, I make this point with a view that these residual benefits do not exist.

·      I presume that if reparations are paid then all other forms of assistance must end; no welfare…no affirmative action…no statistical norming …nothing…forever.  There is no chance this can occur.  Politicians recognize there is no amount of reparation (if it’s financial) that will not be uselessly squandered and its recipients will, within a short space of time, be, once again…broke.

·      If reparations are paid, the complexity of determining levels of entitlement is daunting. As but one obvious example; how much should Barack Obama receive? He is half white, raised by whites in a home of reasonable privilege, and is a multi-millionaire. As another, if someone has one African American ancestor from three generations ago, but by every assessment is white and has been raised white…how much should they get with 1/32 Black heritage?  Should current need be a determining factor of the payouts? Should the descendants of Blacks who, themselves were slave owners, still receive compensation?  Should recent immigrants from Africa or the West Indies, receive anything? The word “daunting” totally underestimates the complexity of creating the algorithmic determinations of “how much and to whom.” I have only dealt with a small portion of the issues that will have to be discussed and resolved.

 

While America has been inundated with absurdities driven by race, gender and ethnicity; reparations would have to move to the very top of the “most absurd list.”  However, even if it reaches that pinnacle, it doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t happen.  Within our ludicrous culture, with one third the population showing clear signs of being mentally unbalanced and another third suffering through terminal cowardice …anything is possible.

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