Who's sorry now?
0 comment Saturday, July 19, 2014 |
Over the last year or so, there have been several formal 'apologies' for slavery issued by various elected officials.
When the current president first announced his candidacy, I saw it as inevitable that reparations would be on the agenda should he be elected, and here we are. The U.S. Senate offers a formal apology for slavery, and
the intended recipients find fault with the offer, because the measure passed by the Senate carried a disclaimer
about possible reparations claims. I think that was rather a shrewd thing to do politically, because even our blind and tone-deaf Senators know that the idea of reparations is unacceptable to most of their White constituents. Still, typically seeking to work both sides of the street, they want political credit among black constituents for the apology and for their politically correct grovelling.
Several years back when this subject came up among many White Republicans, many would scoff at the notion that reparations would ever actually be paid; it seemed to me that they were whistling in the dark when they dismissed the idea of reparations. It's only common sense to recognize that we were then, and even more so now, on a trajectory which would take us surely to the destination of apologies+reparations.
It may be that this particular measure won't pass just yet, but like the falsely-so-called 'immigration reform' that simply will not die, this idea will keep on reappearing until most White Americans have become so inured to it, and so jaded and devoid of outrage, that they will shrug when it passes.
There are so many obvious reasons why this is a bad idea, and why it would set a disastrous precedent, that it shouldn't be necessary to even run down the list of reasons. I am sure most if not all of my readers would be able to name many arguments against reparations, to blacks or to any other group.
Some usually mention that 'we' already gave reparations to Japanese-Americans for their internment during World War II. That in itself set a precedent on which the present case for reparations is built. And it should be remembered that Reagan, the sainted conservative President, signed that bill, as the linked article mentions.
However, many of the people who received restitution in that instance were, at least, the very people who were interned, not their remote descendants, as is the case with slavery. The idea of people who never owned slaves paying people who were never enslaved is something that is not consistent with our ideas of justice. We don't usually hold people responsible in a legal sense for something that their ancestors several generations back did.
Shall we mention some of the other absurdities of this idea?
For a start, how do we know which blacks are truly slave descendants? Not all blacks in the United States are descended from slaves; there were blacks who came here as free men and women. Some of their ancestors had been enslaved in the Caribbean or elsewhere, but in any case, these ancestors were never enslaved by American Whites.
Some blacks are themselves descended from black slaveowners, of whom there were more than a few.
Will their descendants get reparations, or pay them, or both?
Again, we cannot know the ancestry of many people, black or White, so as to assign "guilt" or lucrative victimhood with certainty. There are many 'dead ends' in most people's family trees, beyond which the ancestry is not known with any certitude. The way in which reparations would be determined would have to be simply along racial lines, and obvious racial lines. If you are White, you will be a payer of reparations, even if you try to cry off by saying ''my ancestors didn't get here until after 1865!" or ''my ancestors were too poor to own slaves" (note: it was not only wealthy plantation owners who had slaves) or ''my ancestors fought in the Union Army to free slaves! I'm not guilty." No, none of these excuses will hold any water. White? Guilty, as usual. Black? Line up to get your victimhood bonus.
To be fair, I would not be surprised to see some politically correct Whites try to find remote black ancestry so as to join in even deeper solidarity with blacks, although I doubt blacks would welcome them as brothers or sisters. Expect genealogists to do land-office business with people trying to find out their roots. And sadly there are some sorry Whites who would try to get reparations based on hoped-for black ancestry somewhere. This happens with some Whites who want to claim Indian ancestry when there is money to be had there. I had a classmate in graduate school who was determined to find some Cherokee ancestry even after her inquiries indicated that she had no enrolled ancestors in the Eastern Band Cherokee. She just wanted so badly to be Cherokee, and maybe that Bureau of Indian Affairs funding looked pretty good, too.
I would bet many people will get DNA testing to determine what their ancestry actually is, with some people being surprised and many dismayed by the results.
[A side note to the author of the linked article on DNA tests: the supposed 'probability that Thomas Jefferson fathered' a slave's child is not supported by the facts.]
But in general, those who pay reparations and those who will be paid will depend on obvious racial identification.
Actual 'guilt' cannot be accurately determined, so it will be no good to try to plead innocent. If you are White, you lose, regardless of your recent immigrant history or your non-slaveowning heritage.
I wonder if any liberal, PC Whites will feel wronged by having to pay up? Probably not; they will be only too glad, because then they can gloatingly watch their fellow Evil Whites be humiliated again.
And one of the most exasperating things about the idea of buying our way out of guilt (or supposed guilt) is that it will not work. It will not stop the demands, the allegations, the complaints, the recitation of grievances, the extortion. Why should a payment of money change anything? Just as with this last election, when some people naively believed that electing a black president would put us 'beyond racial conflict' or that even more absurdly, it would stop blacks' playing the race card, why should anything change, when the present scheme of things is working out so well for blacks? They hold considerable power by simply playing the race card whenever things are not to their satisfaction. The fact that they have the upper hand is obvious when we consider how they can use their race and our desire to be 'fair' to get whatever they demand, and to escape consequences of their shortcomings or wrongdoing. The present system is eminently satisfactory to them, and to all minorities, for that matter. As long as we keep paying the blackmail, the demands will continue. As the saying goes, any behavior that we reward, we get more of.
We (or more accurately, our elected ''representatives'') are simply digging the hole deeper.

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