Joel Mundt picks up his second Comment of the Day opining on the ever-green and always perplexing ethics controversy of slavery reparations, which was again broached in the recent Democratic candidates debate in New Hampshire. The topic has had a resurgence in recent years due to the advocacy of the current rock star of race-baiting , Ta Nihisi Coates, who regards the mass white to black wealth transfer as a the only way to solve America’s persistent economic gap among the races.
“….no sense whatsoever. While again rejecting the concept of reparations (“the hell with that. [The idea is] to punish [whites] for the sins of slavery committed by their ancestors by arranging a massive transfer of wealth based on principles of tort law and damages. This has always been a pipe dream of civil rights extremists, couched in the language of revenge, as if the nation and the nation’s white citizens have made no efforts, sacrificed nothing, expended no resources or wealth, to try to undo the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. Reparations are not going to happen, as the concept itself is unjust….”), I proposed a solution….that was indistinguishable from reparations…”
I concluded that mea culpa post by writing,
I’m better now. I am also, unfortunately, also back at Square One, my “Do something!” phase regarding race in America having accomplished nothing, as “Do something!’ arguments always do, and I still see no solution on the horizon.
I still don’t. Joel’s perspective can’t address that.
Here is Joel Mundt’s Comment of the Day on the post, Ethics Observations On The ABC Pre-New Hampshire Primary Democratic Candidates Debate:
The issue of reparations has tied numerous candidates up in knots. Now it’s Steyer’s turn, though I think he’s a knot-head regardless. I firmly believe that reparations have already been paid. If the practice of slavery had been cut off solely by Presidential decree or Executive Order, or because the South simply decided to halt it, one could make an argument, however painful and convoluted, that financial reparations had a place at the table of discussion.
But I believe that slavery was ended with bloodshed. Those who supported slavery and secession from the Union paid dearly for it. Hundreds of thousands of Confederate soldiers died for their cause, cities were razed and burned, and their newly-formed government was terminated. And the North paid, too, with the lives of hundreds of thousands of young men who fought to save the Union and ultimately, to end slavery.
And now, 160 years later, people like Steyer (and Buttigieg, and others) say that’s not enough. They are, in effect, telling those soldiers, “Thanks for the sacrifice, but this is more about money than you getting eviscerated by cannon shot and having your body eaten by gangrene.” I’m not sure spitting on their graves is worse.
But it does get worse.
I’m sure there’s some grand plan to (eventually) make all (white only?) citizens pay something into the pot…? Uh, wait a minute…I live in a state that didn’t support slavery, didn’t allow it, and fought against it. I don’t support slavery and I don’t own slaves…never have. I’m not paying a dime. You want money, Mr. Fund Manager? You go find the descendants of slave owners in Confederate states (none of whom currently own a single slave) and take the money from them. Good luck with that…
And it gets worse…
If, like me, you believe the penalty of slavery was paid during a violent Civil War, then what are financial reparations…really? In my view, it’s nothing more than a tax. So one could make a legitimate argument that “reparations” are another way the African-American community is being preyed upon and manipulated, not to actually fix something, but for the sole purpose of dipping into the pockets of Americans. I think that’s incredibly disrespectful.
My apologies for what feels like a rant, and chew carefully before swallowing…