Posted here: June 17, 2019.
The road back home
Let's say, just for the sake of argument, that everyone agrees reparations should be paid to blacks. (And let's not even mention that whites were held as slaves and there were black slave-holders; those facts only muddy the water.)
If we all agree to reparations, three key questions must be answered:
1. How much -- how many dollars -- should be paid?How Much?
How do we determine the total amount of money to be paid in reparations? Should we pay every black person in America $100,000? If the U.S. population is about 330,000,000, and about 13.4 percent are black (source), that means we need to rustle up some $44.22 trillion for reparation payments.
Well, the U.S. GDP in 2018 (source) was just $20.5 trillion (less than half the "required amount"), so we would need to do a whole lot of rustling!
If the reparations amount is a paltry $10,000 per black person, then we need "only" $2.05 trillion. But the entire federal budget for 2018 (source) was about $4 trillion, so reparation payments would increase the budget by some 50 percent or so, clearly an impossible amount.
Well, then, what about a payment of $1,000 per person? I think every Democratic politician would state that such an amount would be unacceptably small.
So, one might conclude the "How much?" question doesn't have a practical answer.
Ah, but there's something else to consider: When President Lyndon Johnson introduced his "Great Society" programs in 1964 and 1965, he vowed "to give every citizen an escape from the crushing weight of poverty." The stated goal was the total elimination of poverty and racial injustice. But we all know the real purpose of this program was to redistribute money from the "haves" to the "have nots" and in the process assure the black vote went to Democrats forevermore.
Well, LBJ was as successful with the vote-buying part of his "Great Society" programs as he was unsuccessful in reaching his goal of eliminating poverty and racial injustice.
But over all those years, some $22 trillion (source) have been spent on Great Society programs. One could argue that blacks were a recipient of a significant portion of that amount. And one could therefore argue many trillions of dollars have already been paid in reparations.
Add to that trillions of dollars of benefits gleaned from affirmative action programs (which, by the way, trashed the idea of "equal opportunity" in this country) and a myriad of other racial-based handouts, programs, and benefits, and some might conclude the reparations bill has already been paid!
Who Should Be Paid?
One would assume reparations should be paid by those who commit a wrong to those who were wronged. But neither of these conditions applies now. There are no slaves in the U.S. today -- black or white. No one in America today is a slave holder.
Discussion in the "How Much?" section above was based on the premise of paying reparations to every single black in the country. But this is not fair. If you are a black African from Namibia but became an American citizen last week, do you deserve reparations? I think everyone would agree -- no!
Thus the dilemma: If a long, long, long ago relative was a slave but was freed after seven days, what piece of the reparations pie do you deserve?
If someone has a hundred relatives who were slaves and you have but one, how is the allocation of money to be arranged between the two of you?
And just how are the determinations to be made as to who had slave relatives and who didn't? Ancestry records are often conflicting. Often wrong. Often missing.
It becomes quite quickly clear the determination of who should receive reparations is a mission impossible. Whatever scheme is put forth will be challenged, debated, and refuted. You can just imagine the lawsuits that would be filed.
Who Should Pay?
A similar dilemma exists in resolving this question. One could argue that only those with relatives who were slave holders should be held responsible for reparations. So, how do you determine who those people are? Practically speaking, you can't.
It could be argued that those who favored slavery should carry the cost of reparations. The full cost. Weren't they the ones most responsible for it?
It turns out determining who those people are might not be a difficult task at all. For a long time, Democrats fought fiercely for slavery, while Republicans fought just as fiercely against it. One of the objectives of LBJ's Great Society was to bury that little inconvenient fact of history and establish the false idea that Democrats have forever taken steps to eradicate slavery.
Democrats voted to keep Africans Americans in slavery, opposing the 13th Amendment which officially freed the slaves. Only four Democrats voted for it. Republicans also passed the 14th Amendment which granted slaves U.S. citizenship; Democrats voted against it. Republicans also passed the 15th Amendment which gave slaves the right to vote. Not a single one of the 56 Democrats in Congress voted for it. (Source.)
Democrats voted for racist policies for more than 100 years! Maybe they should step up to their responsibility and attend to whatever the bill is for reparations.
But something tells me this won't be a popular idea. And since the Left is running things nowadays (the Deep State, mainstream media, the entire education industry, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, the publishing industry, most of the country's churches, Silicon Valley, much of big business, etc., etc., etc.), I'm betting nobody will ever even hear of such a proposal (unless of course someone reads this article).
Back to Reality
The 2019 convention of Al Sharpton's National Action Network took place April 3-6 at the Times Square Sheraton in New York City. Virtually every Democrat presidential contender who spoke there was asked if he/she supported slavery reparations. To a person, the answer was a resounding yes. Absolutely resounding.
These Democrats know reparations are impractical, imprudent, impossible, yet they vow to push for them. How come? They pretend -- well, they lie -- to pander to black voters. Some might call that racist.
At the end of reparations discussions -- whenever that may be, and whatever outcomes may be achieved -- a question will remain: At that point in time, will there be an end to the issue of race in America? Will there then be an end to all the race baiting, all the race shaming, and the huge race industry that has been so successful for so long in dividing and harming this country?
I believe it's safe to conclude it will not be the end. The issue of race is a powerful one. It stirs resentment, it generates hate, it can be tremendously destructive. And it can be carefully manipulated to aid in a process of winning elections. That power is simply way too valuable for Democrats to relinquish.
I'm afraid racism is here to stay.