The hyperbole, histrionics and aggressive selling of socialism to the masses over the last two years belies the fact that the political establishment and those on the left are desperate and scared as hell. As I’ve articulated previously in this space (and more than once), these folks rightly arrived at the conclusion that the election of Donald Trump as president in 2016 was not only a mandate against the socialist policies of Trump’s predecessor, but an indicator that the electorate is waking up to the lie of the two-party system and that it is likely to become increasingly difficult for mainstream politicians to deceive voters via the machinations and boilerplate rhetoric of the past.
As such – and because progressives don’t have much that’s real to offer – they’re pulling out all the stops; this is reflected in part by some of the proposals being made by the legion of possible contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. As will surprise few, these consist of some of the biggest giveaways ever conceived by political candidates. Subsidized college tuition (I won’t insult readers by using the term “free”), universal student loan forgiveness and “Medicare for All” are just a few.
These are calculated to appeal to those who couldn’t care less about the overall standard of living in America, as long as they “get theirs” – this group being a fast-growing segment of our increasingly narcissistic, uninformed society.
Among the mind-bogglingly unaffordable proposals being floated are reparations for blacks for slavery. On April 8, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., introduced a bill that would study the concept of reparations for descendants of slaves. Booker said that the bill is “a way of addressing head-on the persistence of racism, white supremacy and implicit racial bias in our country.”
The persistence of racism, white supremacy and implicit racial bias in America is an utter fiction (unless one takes into account the uncomfy bed progressives have made for blacks), but blacks and rank-and-file liberals have been convinced that these are endemic to our nation.
The idea of reparations for slavery has been floated before. Outside of those who summarily endorse anything proposed toward compensating blacks for their suffering, and blacks who would eagerly take a check regardless of the long-term cost to them or the nation at large, most people tended to come down on the side of the idea being demonstrably stupid.
First off, there isn’t a black person alive today who suffered under the institution of slavery, so how would one determine to whom reparations should be paid?
Then, we have to consider the basis for paying reparations. Is it “generational trauma” – the implied cultural effects of being black in a nation in which blacks were once second-class citizens? This obviously represents a perilous degree of abstraction, but if it is the case, we must then consider the question of degree: An 80 year-old black person has obviously experienced far more in the way of the cultural vestiges of slavery than an 18-year-old, so shouldn’t the octogenarian get a bigger check?
For that matter, shouldn’t I get a bigger check than the 18-year-old, since I was born at a time when there were far fewer opportunities for blacks than there are today – or does the fact that I’m of mixed race “cancel things out” and disqualify me?
Would everyone in America who “looks black” be awarded reparations, or would they be required to submit a genealogy to establish that they were descended from a slave of record?
Perhaps blacks would be awarded reparations based upon the percentage of “black blood” they possessed. Considering Massachusetts Sen. and 2020 presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren, it occurs to me that this would open the door to a whole lotta fraud.
Would naturalized blacks from Africa and the West Indies and/or their descendants be included in this grand plan? If not, how could they be reliably excluded in a nation that can’t even keep the integrity of its voter rolls? Again, the potential for fraud looms large.
Then, where do these reparations come from? If the resources are to come out of taxpayer dollars, would all blacks then be exempted from paying federal income taxes? I mean, leaving aside the inequity attendant to paying reparations at all, I don’t see any reason why working blacks should contribute toward paying reparations to other blacks.
There’s another important question to consider: If we accept the premise that the descendants of slaves are deserving of reparations despite never having suffered under the institution of slavery, does this not open the door to the reciprocal argument – that whites should be held accountable for the actions of those who participated in maintaining the institution of slavery, despite never having done so themselves?
While the idea of reparations for slavery may be laughable on its face, it must nevertheless be taken seriously, since there are definitely enough propagandized blacks and foolish whites among us to make this a reality given the right (or wrong) combination of a Democratic president and Democrat-controlled Congress.