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.
It has also had a long record of debate on Ethics Alarms, notably in the commentary on this 2019 post, where I admitted that I had momentarily lost my mind in this one from 2016, in which I made…
“….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. Continue reading
Conservative journalist David Greenstein made a provocative speech before a Tea Party group in which he posited a “civil war,” defined by him as when a political party rejects a lawful Presidential election and refuses to accept the legitimacy of any government it does not dominate. I admit that offering up such inflammatory analysis for comment is the pedagogical equivalent of tossing a hand grenade in a room, but there is method to my madness, beginning with my conviction, documented here since November 2016, that much of the Democratic Party is denying the legitimacy of the last Presidential election, and is actively working to find a way to remove President Trump without having to defeat him in the next one. I believe that this is among the most damaging and dangerous political developments, and ethics outrages, in U.S. history, and one that has been intentionally covered up by an unethical news media with the same agenda.
Greenstein’s speech placed the matter front and center, and I guessed, correctly, that it would get a lot of attention, though the speech has been largely ignored by progressive commentators, even as numerous Democrats, announced that they would boycott the State of the Union message, a traditional yearly symbol of a unified people. I also assumed that it would pose an interesting challenge for readers here, specifically the challenge of keeping bias out of their analysis, since, as we all know, bias makes you stupid.
Chris Marschner did an especially good job of this, and here is his excellent Comment of the Day on the post, Ethics Quote Of The Month, Terrifying Thoughts Division: Daniel Greenfield: